Kamdev was deputed by Devas (demigods) to end the deep tapas,, or penance, that Shiva undertook after the death of Goddess Sati. To disrupt the penance that was causing imbalance in the universe, Kamadeva arrived in front of Shiva along with Ratidevi, and shot five arrows of flowers at the heart of Shiva.
Shiva’s penance was interrupted and he was terribly angry and opened his third eye on his forehead, and a fierce blazing flame came out of his third eye and burned Kamadeva into ashes.
Shiva returned to householder’s life after this incident and the balance of the universe was restored. However, there was no solace to Rati Devi. She lost her Love. This created another problem in the universe – with the death of Kamdev, there was no one to ignite passion in the living beings. Procreation came to a standstill.
Rati Devi, the consort of Kamadeva, then prayed to Mother Goddess Shakti. Goddess then appeared as Goddess Lalitha Tripura Sundari and brought back Kamdev into life.
One legend states that unable to bear the crying of Rati Devi, Goddess Lalitha looked lovingly at Shiva. Soon Kamdev reappeared from the body a smiling Shiva.
Kama Pandigai, observed during Holi festival in Tamil Nadu, celebrates this rebirth of Kamdev