Sriramodantam- Day 6
Meaning of the sloka
Ravana then won a battle against the Lord of riches (wealth), Kubera, took from him the city of Lanka and the Pushpaka Vimana and lived there happily.
Ravana, having been granted the boon from Lord Brahma, decided to conquer Lanka from his half-brother Kubera. With the help of his brothers as well as his army he vanquished Kubera from Lanka and also acquired Pushpaka Vimana.
Pushpaka Vimana was built by Vishwakarma for Lord Brahma, which was gifted to Kubera. I will be writing in detail about Pushpaka Vimana in a later post.
Whenever Kubera, the lord of riches(wealth) is mentioned I remember a story told by my grandparents which is related to Lord Ganesha.
The story goes as follows ( This is not related to Ramayana but is more along the lines of life lessons)
Once, Kubera — the lord of wealth had decided to organise a feast by inviting all the Devas and Gods only to display the power of his wealth. All the invitees who were in his guest list had made their presence felt but Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati were missing.
Kubera thought that the purpose of organising the feast would become meaningless if the most supreme couple doesn’t turn up. So he decided to visit their abode and personally invite them to attend his event.
On being asked by Shiva and Parvati the purpose of the feast, Kubera fell short of words because he simply wanted to showcase his wealth. The divine couple instantly realised that Kubera had no specific reason to organise the feast. They excused themselves from attending the party but comforted Kubera by saying that their son Ganesha would represent them.
Kubera was complacent as he believed that feeding Ganesha wouldn’t be a difficult task because a child wouldn’t eat much.
Unfortunately, to his horror, Kubera was stunned and shaken by Ganesha’s appetite. Ganesha kept on eating and this landed Kubera in trouble because his kitchen fell short of food soon.
In order to escape embarrassment, Kubera sent his staff to the neighbouring villages to fetch some food for Ganesha. The wise son of Shiva and Parvati had eaten everything that was offered to him but was still hungry. He asked for more food as Kubera stood helplessly.
He couldn’t even tell Ganesha that he had nothing more to offer. Moreover, it would have hurt his pride and ego. So he stood there helplessly while Lord Ganesha ate the utensils, the gold, the entire palace and was about to eat Kubera himself.
In order to save himself , Kubera reached out to Lord Shiva and Parvati for help.
Knowing fully that Kubera’s pride was royally crushed by their son Ganesha, Lord Shiva handed over a fistful of rice to the God of wealth and asked him to feed their son.
Kubera, who had realised his folly, gave the fistful of rice to Ganesha and after eating it the latter’s hunger got satisfied and he vomited out his wealth and palace and all the other things he ate at Kubera’s palace.
Thus, Ganesha made Kubera realise that no amount of wealth can satisfy one’s hunger if it is offered with pride and ego. If he had organised the feast with an intention of feeding people out of compassion and love, he could have won the blessings of all.
The tale of Ganesha and Kubera teaches us one of the basic principles of life. It teaches us to remain humble and grounded even after we become wealthy because wealth only defines our financial status in the society but not our character.
My primary source for meanings of the slokas is from the E-book published by http://hinduebooks.blogspot.com.
Om Namo Narayanaya