In Indian mythology Rati, Desire, is the wife of the god of love KAMADEVA. Some stories say that she was created from the sweat of the RISHI DAKSHA, SHIVA’s future father-in-law. Other stories make her the daughter of BRAHMA, who killed herself when Brahma, ashamed of his own lust, killed himself. Both were revived by Vishnu and she then was given to Kamadeva, the god of love, in marriage.
   Rati’s most celebrated achievement was to persuade Shiva to revive her husband, after he had burned him to ashes with his third eye. In the best known version of this story, Shiva restores Kamadeva to life but makes him invisible. In other versions, Rati tries to revive her husband by feats of asceticism but is stopped by the rishi NARADA, who forces her to serve as a demon’s housemaid, under the name Mayavati. In still other versions, Rati, in the guise of Mayavati, raises Kamadeva to life and they are married once again.
   Further reading: Cornelia Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen, Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978); John Dowson, A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History, and Literature, 12th ed. (Ludhiana: Lyall Book Depot, 1974).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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