One of the legends related to Holi is the sacrifice of Kamadeva. It was told that the world is looked after the Trinity of Gods – Lord Brahma, the creator; Lord Vishnu, the nurturer; and Lord Shiva, the destroyer.
The conflict started when the Goddess Sati, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, one of the first sons of Lord Brahma, married Lord Shiva against the wishes of her father. Once she arrived there, she realized her fault and was infuriated by the insult of her husband. As atonement for her disobedience, she entered the fire and died. As soon as Lord Shiva learned of her demise, he was furious. After controlling his anger, he decided to meditate and renounce anything related to worldly issues.
Without his presence, the world’s balance soon fell out of sorts. Sati then took rebirth as Goddess Parvati to try and win Lord Shiva’s heart and wake him up from his trance. When she had exhausted all her feminine ways, she asked for the help of Kamadava (the Indian cupid-god) to shoot his love-arrow on Shiva’s heart.
This successfully awoke Lord Shiva, but he was so furiously woken that he opened his third eye and instantly burned Kamadeva to ashes. It is said that Holi was the day Kamadeva sacrificed himself for the good of all beings. However, his efforts were fruitful for it did not take long before Lord Shiva married the Goddess Parvati. Later, when Lord Shiva realized his mistake, he granted Kamadeva immortality in invisible form.