Updated: Dec 9, 2022
According to the common folk of India, there are 33 koti Devi Devtas in our Sanatan Dharma.
While there are many temples of Shiva, Krishna, Rama, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Parvati and the other gods, there is one god who doesn’t have many temples. That god is Kubera. But why is it so? I don’t know, could be because he was Ravana’s half brother! Intrigued?
According to Ravana Samhita, Brahma’s son Paulatsya was the king of Lanka. His son Vishrava had two wives - Idavida, daughter of saint Bharadwaj, and Kaikasi, daughter of the rakshasa Sumali. Idavida eldest son was Kubera. Kaikasi had 3 sons and 2 daughters namely, Ravana, Kumbhkarna, Vibhishana, Kumbhashini and Surpanakha.
Kubera being the eldest and the worthiest of them all was crowned the king of Lanka by king Paulatsya. This didn’t sit well with Ravana, who was jealous and bitter by nature. He went to the forest and prayed to Shiva by doing extreme penance. Impressed by his devotion, Shiva told him to ask for a boon. Ravana asked for immense strength and power that would make him invincible. After receiving Shiva’s blessings, Ravana annexed Kubera’s kingdom and became the king of Lanka. After being defeated, Kubera went to the forest and prayed to Shiva by doing penance. Impressed by his devotion too, Shiva asked Kubera what his wish was but Kubera couldn’t ask for anything! Thus impressed by him Shiva gave him the entire wealth of Swarglok and also made him the treasurer of all the gods and goddesses. With this, Kubera rose in position than Ravana. Ravana was extremely angered by this. He stole the Pushpak from Kubera and went after him like a madman.
Kubera ran to the banks of Narmada, in Karnali and asked for Shiva to come to the rescue. Shiva refused to take sides as both of them were his devotees. Thus he suggested him to ask for help from goddess Amba.
Thereafter Kubera prayed to goddess Amba for help. Goddess Amba made it impossible for Ravana to come anywhere near Kubera. This way Kubera settled in Karnali.
The Majestic Temple
The Kubereshwar Temple is also called as Kubereshwar Mahadev Temple or Kuber Bhandaari temple. It is an old yet fascinating structure with a gorgeous ghummat (the dome shaped interior of temple roof). The ghummat is decorated with figurines, stained glass and mirrors. A huge jhoomar (chandelier) illuminates the whole temple. In the temple resides Kubereshwar Mahadev, and Amba Maa in the garbh griha (sanctorum sanctum). Ravana’s Isht Dev (most beloved and followed god), Shiva resides in another corner of the main temple. Kubera does not have any ordinary garbh griha; in it is a six pillared frame with a ghummat and at the bottom is a silver thaalo (a huge bowl like structure). And in the centre is Kubereshwar Mahadev with a huge five headed silver snake and a Jaldhara (a pot with a hole at the bottom) on top. The main temple also accommodates the Bhandaar of Kubera, which is essentially a large storage space with a little opening.
The temple has an amazing aura to it. The temple aarti in the morning has a very pure, divine and magical vibe to it where the Kubereshwar Mahadev is bathed with milk and the mantras of Rudra-ashtadhyayi to invoke the Mahadev. This is followed by the majestic aarti of Kubereshwar Mahadev, goddess Amba, and goddess Reva (another name of Narmada). The river ghat is just a few steps away from here. The temple is an ancient one and so are the steps and the ghat. The view from the ghat is amazing with river Narmada, the nurturer of the Gujaratis thus called Narmada maa. There are various shops with a variety of local products and the boats on the ghat take you to the other side of the river or to the Triveni Sangam which is again a very important spot for Hindus.
A journey through Karnali
Other than the Kubera Bhandaari temple, Karnali is a prime spot for performing the last rites and other kriyas of the people who have passed away, thus making it a very important place for Hindus. The Triveni Sangam and the ghat there are where, the ashes of are immersed.
It is folklore that the Kubereshwar Mahadev is what scares Ravana. This Temple is known for blessing with two things, Sampati and Santati, which means wealth and children. A lot of people take maantaas (a vow to visit the temple if their wish is granted) for either; and they are blessed with those. Many devotees come with their infants to take the blessings of the Kubereshwar Mahadev, and complete their maantaas. Other than the Kubereshwar Mahadev, in the campus itself, there are temples of many other forms of Shiva, the 12 Jyotirlingas, Ganesha, Nagnath, and Hanuman. It is a big campus with very serene vibes; you’d want to stay there all day. As per folklores, Kubera Bhandaar never lacks in anything, be it food or money. Staying true to this fact, there is a free of cost annakshetra (place where food is provided to anyone) where one can have 3 meals a day for free The food tastes great and you can eat to your heart’s content, which I’ve often noticed in these places, that you get full very fast. The huge hall is watched over by goddess Annapurna (the goddess of food). In the ten day festival of Ganga Dussehra, the whole town cooks only one specific type of pulse known as dhaan per day.
The temple gives, as a prasad, a little packet full of rice, a betel nut and a one rupee coin from the Kubera Bhandaar, which is supposed to be kept in our food storage so that we never lack food. And the prasad of flowers and bilipatra to be kept in our safe so that we never lack wealth. It is said that anyone who visits the temple for five consecutive new moon days will get all their wishes fulfilled, even if you can’t, the Kubereshwar Mahadev never lets one go empty handed.
Karnali is a land of temples, having more temples than its population! There’s Gita Mandir (Temple), Narmada Mandir, Gayatri Mandir, Juna Kuber Mandir, etc. It is a beautiful town in the morning and even more beautiful is the river Narmada, with amazing ghats where you can just sit in peace and all the stress and worries will get washed off. The Narmada sandhya (evening) aarti is something one should witness at least once. With the sun setting, the chanting of the mantras and the beautiful river flowing, one is sure to get goose bumps and feel divine at the same time.
The opinions expressed within this blog post are solely the author's and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of The Eternal Epics.