Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Kubera at Wikipedia

KUVERA. [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 [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] `Giver of wealth.' Kuvera, the god of riches

DHANA-PATI [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] `Lord of wealth.' Kuvera.

DHANESWARA [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] `Lord of wealth.' I.e., Kuvera

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM