In the Vedic times in Indian Mythology, Kubera was a being associated with evil. He was envisaged to be the chief of all evil creatures living in darkness. It was only after Hinduism consolidated into what it is today that this hideous dwarf began to get acknowledged as a god and as one of the eight guardians of the world. He still remained the king of the Yakshas. Today, in the Hindu pantheon, Kubera is widely known as the god appointed the guardian of the treasures of the gods. He often rides in his airborne magic chariot Pushpak and showers jewels and other precious objects onto the lands he passes over to succor the poor.
There are two versions of how Kubera was elevated to the stature of a god. The first version postulates that Kubera performed stringent austerities for thousands of years and, as a reward, was promoted. Another rather more romantic version is that one day Kubera had gone to rob a temple of Shiva, who is the king of robbers. During the robbery Kubera's taper had somehow been blown out. No matter how hard the dwarf tried he could not relight the taper. Nevertheless, he persisted with his efforts no matter how nefarious they were and, on the tenth attempt, he succeeded. Shiva is a benign god who is often pleased by the most illogical of efforts. This perseverance of Kubera's in his attempt to rob the god's temple won him much admiration from Shiva who subsequently granted the dwarf access to the Hindu pantheon of gods.
Kubera is physically envisioned as a dwarf with an ugly and deformed body. His skin is white and he has three legs. He has a set of only eight teeth. Why this is so is rather mysterious, as are so many physical features of the other Hindu gods. Since Kubera was so deformed, he had difficulty in moving around. Brahma took pity and ordered Vishwakarma, the architect of the gods and a god in his own right, to build the disabled god a chariot. Vishwakarma conceived and built Pushpak, an aerial chariot which moves of its own accord and which is so large that it can contain a whole city. Kubera flies in this fantastic chariot and throws down jewels and other precious objects to people on the ground to aid them with averting poverty.
Kubera has three famous half-brothers, Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Bivhishana. All three find mention in the great Indian epic story Ramayana and are relatively better-known than Kubera, especially to Indian children. This association has spawned many interesting tales and here are some of them.
It was Ravana, the eldest of Kubera's half-brothers, who stole Pushpak from him and made use of it to further his nefarious activities. The accounts of his misdeeds with the aid of the magic chariot are amply narrated in the Ramayana. First, Ravana abducted Sita, Rama's wife, from her cottage in a forest to his capital in Lanka where he held her captive. When Rama attacked Lanka to rescue his wife, Ravana used Pushpak to parry Rama's forays until Rama, Vishnu's seventh incarnation, at last overcame the evil king's forces and used Kubera's magic chariot to transport himself with his wife back to his kingdom in Ayodhya. After that the fantastic contraption was back in the hands of the dwarf god who again began going about his usual business of consolidating the wealth of the worlds.
The tale of how Ravana and his other two brothers were conceived is also an interesting story. The fabulous city of Lanka was built by Vishwakarma and the Rakshasas, the demons of Indian mythology, got hold of it. For some reason or another, the Rakshasas annoyed Vishnu who decided to attack the city. The evil ones fled because, although Lanka was the best fortified and richest city in the world at that time, they feared that it was still not safe enough against an attack by a god of Vishnu's stature. At this time Kubera, always the opportunist, took over the ghost city and settled there with his own attendants. This was not for long for as soon as Vishnu was pacified, the Rakshasas became determined to get their city back from the deformed god. They sent a beautiful maiden to seduce Kubera's father. She succeeded and from their union was born the three half-brothers of Kubera. Ravana, like quite a few notorious Rakshasas before and after him, performed stringent austerities which earned him the boon of invincibility from Shiva. With this boon he ultimately defeated his own half-brother Kubera and got back the city of Lanka for his people, the Rakshasas. After the loss of this luxurious asset Kubera approached Vishwakarma with the request of creating a residence for him. The builder god conceived for him a palace on Mount Kailash, in the Himalayas. The opulent palace was an appropriate abode for Kubera as it was in the north, the portion of the globe of which he was the guardian. Of course, as guardian of the treasures of the gods and the nine Nidhis, special treasures of indefinite significance, Kubera had for himself the most splendid city in the world on Mount Mandara, a mythical mountain in the Himalayas. Within this city, Alakapuri, is the most beautiful garden in the world, Chaitraratha. Both are a part of the many sybaritic possessions of Kubera.
Kubera is assisted in his duties by his constant attendants, the Kinnaras, male creatures, and their female counterparts, the Kinnoris.
From: hereAffiliation Deva, Lokapala, Guardians of the directions (Dikpala)
Mantra Oṃ Shaṃ Kuberāya Namaḥ
Weapon Gadā (Mace)
Consort Riddhi or Bhadra/Kauberi/Charvi
Kubera (Sanskrit: कुबेर, Pali/later Sanskrit: Kuvera, Tamil/Thai: Kuperan), also spelt Kuber, is the Lord of wealth and the god-king of the semi-divine Yakshas in Hindu mythology. He is regarded as the regent of the North (Dik-pala), and a protector of the world (Lokapala) His many epithets extol him as the overlord of numerous semi-divine species and the owner of the treasures of the world. Kubera is often depicted as a fat man, adorned with jewels and carrying a money-pot or money-bag, and a club.
Originally described as the chief of evil spirits in Vedic-era texts, Kubera acquired the status of a Deva (god) only in the Puranas and the Hindu epics. The scriptures describe that Kubera once ruled Lanka, but was overthrown by his demon stepbrother Ravana, later settling in the city of Alaka in the Himalayas. Descriptions of the "glory" and "splendours" of Kubera's city are found in many scriptures.
Kubera has also been assimilated into the Buddhist and Jain pantheons. In Buddhism, he is known as Vaisravana, the patronymic used of the Hindu Kubera and is also equated with Pañcika, while in Jainism, he is known as Sarvanubhuti.
Kubera is often depicted as a dwarf, with fair complexion and a big belly. He is described as having three legs, only eight teeth, one eye, and being adorned with jewels. He is sometimes depicted riding a man. The description of deformities like the broken teeth, three legs, three heads and four arms appear only in the later Puranic texts. Kubera holds a mace, a pomegranate or a money bag in his hand. He may also carry a sheaf of jewels or a mongoose with him. In Tibet, the mongoose is considered a symbol of Kubera's victory over Nāgas—the guardians of treasures. Kubera is usually depicted with a mongoose in Buddhist iconography.
In the Vishnudharmottara Purana, Kubera is described as the embodiment of both Artha ("wealth, prosperity, glory") and Arthashastras, the treatises related to it—and his iconography mirrors it. Kubera's complexion is described as that of lotus leaves. He rides a man—the state personified, adorned in golden clothes and ornaments, symbolizing his wealth. His left eye is yellow. He wears an armour and a necklace down to his large belly. The Vishnudharmottara Purana further describes his face to be inclined to the left, sporting a beard and mustache, and with two small tusks protruding from the ends of his mouth, representing his powers to punish and to bestow favours. His wife Riddhi, representing the journey of life, is seated on his left lap, with her left hand on the back of Kubera and the right holding a ratna-patra (jewel-pot). Kubera should be four-armed, holding a gada (mace: symbol of dandaniti—administration of justice) and a shakti (power) in his left pair, and standards bearing a lion—representing Artha and a shibika (a club, the weapon of Kubera). The nidhi treasures Padma and Shankha stand beside him in human form, with their heads emerging from a lotus and a conch respectively.
The Agni Purana states that Kubera should be installed in temples as seated on a goat, and with a club in his hand. Kubera's image is prescribed to be that of gold, with multi-coloured attributes. In some sources, especially in Jain depictions, Kubera is depicted as a drunkard, signified by the "nectar vessel" in his hand.
The exact origins of the name Kubera are unknown. "Kubera" or "Kuvera" (कुवेर) as spelt in later Sanskrit, means "deformed or monstrous" or "ill-shaped one"; indicating his deformities. Another theory suggests that Kubera may be derived from the verb root kumba, meaning to conceal. Kuvera is also split as ku (earth), and vira (hero).
As the son of Vishrava ("Fame"), Kubera is called Vaisravana (in the Pali language, Vessavana) and as the son of Ilavila, Ailavila. Vaisravana is sometimes translated as the "Son of Fame". The Sutta Nitapa commentary says that Vaisravana is derived from a name of Kubera's kingdom, Visana. Once, Kubera looked at Shiva and his wife Parvati with jealousy, so he lost one of his eyes. Parvati also turned this deformed eye yellow. So, Kubera gained the name Ekaksipingala ("one who has one yellow eye"). He is also called Bhutesha ("Lord of spirits") like Shiva. Kubera usually is drawn by spirits or men (nara), so is called Nara-vahana, one whose vahana (mount) is nara. Hopkins interprets naras as being water-spirits, although Mani translates nara as men. Kubera also rides the elephant called Sarvabhauma as a loka-pala.
Kubera also enjoys the titles "king of the whole world", "king of kings" (Rajaraja), "Lord of wealth" (Dhanadhipati) and "giver of wealth" (Dhanada). His titles are sometimes related to his subjects: "king of Yakshas" (Yaksharajan), "Lord of Rakshasas" (Rakshasadhipati), "Lord of Guhyakas" (Guhyakadhipa), "king of Kinnaras"(Kinnararaja), "king of animals resembling men" (Mayuraja), and "king of men" (Nararaja). Kubera is also called Guhyadhipa ("Lord of the hidden"). The Atharvaveda calls him the "god of hiding".
From: Wiki (also has more info available)In Hinduism, Alaka (Sanskrit:अलक), which is also sometimes called Alakapuri, is a mythical city. It is the home of Kubera, the king of Yakshas and the lord of wealth, and his attendants called yakshas. The Mahabharata mentions this city as the capital of the Yaksha Kingdom. This city rivals the capital of Indra the king of the Devas in its architecture, opulence, and overall splendor.
Alaka in Sanskrit means, 'lock of curly hair'. It is also a common name for Hindu girls.
From: WikiKuber is regarded as the god of wealth, in Hindu mythology. Lord Kubera is also known as the god of yakshas (savage beings). Kubera is always remembered with the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi. Chanting of Kuber Mantra blesses the worshipper with money and prosperity by drawing new avenues and sources of income and wealth. Mantra of Kubera helps to increase the flow of funds and the ability to accumulate wealth. Kubera Mantra is as follows:
"Om Yakshyaya Kuberaya Vaishravanaaya Dhanadhanyadi Padayeh
Dhana-Dhanya Samreeddhing Me Dehi Dapaya Swaha"
Meaning: Kubera, the lord of yakshas, bless us with wealth and prosperity.
One, who worships lord Kubera and Lakshmi, can never fall short of money and material comforts. The special puja of Kubera is performed on Dusshera, Dhan triyodasi and Deepawali, asking for prosperity and his blessings.
From: hereKUVERA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] In the Vedas, a chief of the evil beings or spirits living in the shades: a sort of Pluto, and called by his patronymic Vaisravana. Later he is Pluto in another sense, as god of wealth and chief of the Yakshas and Guhyakas.
He was son of Visravas by Idavida, but he is sometimes called son of Pulastya, who was father of Visravas. This is explained by Mahabharata, according to which Kuvera was son of Pulastya, but that sage being offended with Kuvera for his adulation of Brahma, "reproduced the half of himself in the form of Visravas," and had Ravana and other children.
Kuvera's city is Alaka (also called Prabha, Vasudhara, and Vasushtali) in the Himalayas, and his garden Chaitaratha on Mandara, one of the spurs of Mount Meru, where he is waited upon by the Kinnaras. Some authorities place his abode on Mount Kailasa in a palace built by Viswakarma.
He was half-brother of Ravana, and, according to the Ramayana and Mahabharata, he once had possession of the city of Lanka in Ceylon, which was also built by Viswakarma, and from which he was expelled by Ravana. The same authority states that he performed austerities for thousands of years, and obtained the boon from Brahma that he should be immortal, one of the guardian deities of the world, and the god of wealth. So he is regent of the north, and the keeper of gold and silver, jewels and pearls, and all the treasures of the earth, besides nine particular Nidhis, or treasures, the nature of which is not well understood.
Brahma also gave him the great self-moving aerial car Pushpaka.
His wife is Yakshi, Charvi, or Kauveri, daughter of the Danava Mura. His sons are Manigriva or Varnakavi and Nalakubara or Mayuraja, and his daughter Minakshi (fish-eyed).
He is represented as a white man deformed in body, and having three legs and only eight teeth. His body is covered with ornaments. He receives no worship. The name Kuver, as also the variant Kutanu, signifies 'vile body,' referring to his ugliness. He is also called Dhanapati, 'lord of wealth;' Ichchhavasu, 'who has wealth at will;' Yaksharaja, 'chief of the Yakshas;' Mayuraja, 'king of the Kinnaras;' Rakshasendra, 'chief of the Rakshasas;' Ratnagarbha, 'belly of jewels;' Raharaja, 'king of kings;' and Nararaja, 'king of men' (in allusion to the power of riches). From his parentage he is called Vaisravana, Paulastya, and Aidavida or Ailavila. As an especial friend of Siva he is called Isasakhi, etc.
DHANA-DA `Giver of wealth.' Kuvera, the god of riches
DHANA-PATI `Lord of wealth.' Kuvera.
DHANESWARA `Lord of wealth.' I.e., Kuvera
From: here...Vaishravana - Lord of Wealth in the Buddhist pantheon. He is the Buddhist counterpart of Kubera, the Brahmanical god of riches. According to the Brahmanical tradition, 'Kubera' was the son of a sage 'Vishravas', hence the name Vaishravana.
Vaishravana had performed austerities for a thousand years, in reward of which Brahma gave him immortality and made him god of wealth, guardian of all the treasures of the earth, which he was to give out to whom they were destined. His abode was said to be on Mount Kailas; but when Brahma appointed him god of riches, he gave him Lanka (Ceylon) as his capital, and presented him, as recorded in the Mahabharata, the car pushpaka, which was of immense size and moved at the owners will at the marvellous speed. But later on he was forced to moved to Mount Kailas by his brother Ravana who had captured the throne of Lanka. Ravana also took pushpaka from him.
Kubera is also worshipped by the Buddhists. He is considered as one of the Lokapalas, guardian of Mount Sumeru, as well as one of the Regents of the four cardinal directions. As a Regent of the North he is called Vaishravana and his adobe is Alka in the Himalayas, abounding in wealth and magnificence, where he is attended by Yakshas and Kinnaras.
The Buddhist texts, the Divyavadana and the Lalitavistara provide information pertaining to the legend and iconography of Vaishravana. In Tibet, he has been one of the primary protectors of the Gelupa sect since the fourteenth century A.D. There is a special ceremony in Tibet for imploring Kubera for riches, which is called Yan-Yung, and he plays an important part in Tantra, sorcery and exorcism. In Northern Buddhism he has two main aspects that of a deity of wealth and that of a warrior protector. In the present manifestation he has been shown as the god of wealth. Though Vaishravana holds many attributes, e.g. a sword, a banner, lemon and flat vessel etc., but his most common attribute or insignia is mongoose (nakula), often vomiting jewels, and in all descriptions Vaishravana is said to be fat and pot-bellied in appearance. His female counterpart is Vasudhara, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
Here he is seated in an easy posture on a lotus throne. His right foot is slightly pendent and supported by a conch-shell. His left hand holds a jewel-spitting mongoose. There is a precious jewel offering in front of him. He has open eyes, frowning eyebrows and an upturned lower lip. His beard has been designed in the shape of curls. He is wearing a five-jewelled crown, and various ornaments - earrings, necklaces, armlets, bracelets, waist-bands and anklets. There is a snake around his body and he is adorned with flowing scarves.
Feast of Kubera
Related Japanese deity and associations with Kubera
Working with Kubera - The God of Wealth
Statue: Kubera (Vaishravana) - God of Wealth & Kubera (Vishravana) - God of Wealth and Prosperity
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