Kubera

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Kubera

Kubera, is a chthonic demigod (Yaksha) who is not only extolled in Hindu scriptures but also existent in the Buddhist, Jain and Japanese pantheons as Vaisravana, Sravanabhuti and Bishamon respectively. In Hindu mythology, he is the king of the Yakshas and the lord of wealth. He is the regent of the north and is one of the Dik-palakas. He is the offspring of Vishravas Rishi and Idvida. Initially described as the lord of the evil spirits in the Vedic era, he was elevated to demigod stature only during the Puranic times.

Kubera is often depicted as a deformed dwarf with three legs, fair complexion, one yellow eye, eight teeth and pot belly; wielding  a mace and his body decked in glittering gold. His consort is Riddhi. His vahana is man (he is also called Nara Vahana) or elephant in some scriptures. In the Vishnudharmattara Purana, Kubera is an embodiment of Artha i.e. wealth; he is the hoarder of wealth. The scripture further describes his face to be inclined to the left, sporting a beard and moustache, and with two small tusks protruding from the ends of his mouth, symbolizing his powers to both punish and bestow blessings.

He had once been the ruler of Lanka and also the owner of the Pushpak Viman both being the architectural marvels of the divine architect – Vishwakarma. Later he repositioned himself to Alakapuri in the North when his half-brother Ravana usurped both Lanka and the viman from him.

An antecedent lore tells that it was Kubera who loaned one crore and fourteen lakh gold coins for Tirupati Venkateshwara’s marriage to Padmavathi. This is why devotees who throng Tirupati offer plenteous money and gold to the temple so that the Lord can restitute the money.

Another episode divulges how Ganesha taught Kubera a lesson in humility. The story goes like this. Once, out of his pride being the lord of wealth, he arranged a grand feast and invited Lord Shiva for it. Shiva declined and instead sent his son Ganesha for the same. Ganesha on arrival at the feast was given delicacies to gorge upon. But Ganesha who was insatiable asked for more and more. Kubera unable to quell Ganesha’s hunger, resorted to Lord Shiva for help. He, upon Shiva’s advice, borrowed a handful of roasted rice from goddess Paravati and offered it to Ganesha with humility and devotion. Only after this his hunger was appeased.

Chanting the following Kubera Mantra panegyrizes the worshipper with prosperity, opening new gates to sources of income and wealth.

“Om Yakshyaya Kuberaya Vaishravanaaya Dhanadhanyadi Padayeh
Dhana Dhanya Samrumddhi Me Dehi Thapaya Swaha

 Kubera, the lord of yakshas, son of Vaishrava, bestow upon me wealth, knowledge and prosperity.

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