Kubera

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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 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.

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Iconography

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.[1][2] The description of deformities like the broken teeth, three legs, three heads and four arms appear only in the later Puranic texts.[3] Kubera holds a mace, a pomegranate or a money bag in his hand.[1] 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.[4] Kubera is usually depicted with a mongoose in Buddhist iconography.[2]

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