Pride

ganesha_and_kubera

Kubera is regarded as the regent of the North (Dik-pala), and a protector of the world (Lokapala). He is 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. He is also depicted in a rickshaw being pulled by man which is a depiction worth thinking about for a while. Originally described as the chief of evil spirits, Kubera acquired the status of a Deva (god) in the Puranas and the Hindu epics. The scriptures describe that Kubera once ruled Lanka, but was overthrown by his demon stepbrother Ravana (that you may know from the Ramayana), later settling in the city of Alakapuri in the Himalayas as a neighbor to Shiva and Parvatti. Descriptions of the “glory” and “splendours” of Kubera’s city are found in many scriptures.

A story taken from the Bhagavata and Vishnu Puranas, narrates of the treasurer of Svarga (paradise) and god of wealth, Kubera, went one day to Mount Kailash in order to receive the darshan of Shiva. Since he was extremely vain, he invited Shiva to a feast in his fabulous city, Alakapuri, so that he could show off to him all of his wealth. Shiva smiled and said to him: “I cannot come, but you can invite my son Ganesha. But I warn you that he is a voracious eater.” Unperturbed, Kubera felt confident that he could satisfy even the most insatiable appetite, like that of Ganesha, with his opulence. He took the little son of Shiva with him into his great city. There, he offered him a ceremonial bath and dressed him in sumptuous clothing. After these initial rites, the great banquet began. While the servants of Kubera were working themselves to the bone in order to bring the portions, the little Ganesha just continued to eat and eat and eat. His appetite did not decrease even after he had devoured the servings which were destined for the other guests. There was not even time to substitute one plate with another because Ganesha had already devoured everything, and with gestures of impatience, continued waiting for more food. Having devoured everything which had been prepared, Ganesha began eating the decorations, the tableware, the furniture, the chandelier. Terrified, Kubera prostrated himself in front of the little omnivorous one and supplicated him to spare him, at least, the rest of the palace.

“I am hungry. If you don’t give me something else to eat, I will eat you as well!”, he said to Kubera. Desperate, Kubera rushed to mount Kailasa to ask Shiva to remedy the situation. The Lord then gave him a handful of roasted rice, saying that something as simple as a handful of roasted rice would satiate Ganesha, if it were offered with humility and genuinely. Ganesha had swallowed up almost the entire city when Kubera finally arrived and humbly gave him the rice. With that, Ganesha was finally satisfied and calmed.

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