Kubera, aka: Kuberā; 19 Definition(s)

Introduction

Kubera means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[Kubera in Shaivism glossaries]

Kuberā (कुबेरा):—Seventh of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Khecarī, according to the Kubjikāmatatantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ), including Kuberā, represent the eight directions of the compass (from east to north-east) and are presided over by the Bhairava Saṃvarta and his consort Rudrāṇī. Khecarī is the first of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents the element ether or space.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Kubera (कुबेर) or Kuberāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Vijayāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Kubera Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Vijaya-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.

(Source): Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

[Kubera in Vastushastra glossaries]

Kubera (कुबेर) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Vairāja, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 49. The Vairāja group contains twenty-four out of a sixty-four total prāsādas (temples) classified under five prime vimānas (aerial car/palace), which were created by Brahmā for as many gods (including himself). The group represents temples (eg. Kubera) that are to be square shaped. The prāsādas, or ‘temples’, represent the dwelling place of God and are to be built in towns. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Purana

[Kubera in Purana glossaries]

Kubera (कुबेर) refers to a deity that was once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) according to the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—Kubera is the lord of the Yakṣas, he is known also by two other names Vaiśravaṇa and Dhanada, and is regarded as the giver of wealth. Six images of this god erected by various sages etc. have been mentioned. He is a friend of Śiva and the Nāga Nīla.

(Source): archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

Kubera (कुबेर).—Genealogy. Descended from Viṣṇu thus: Brahmā—Pulastya—Viśravas—Kubera. (See full article at Story of Kubera from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Kubera (कुबेर).—The son of Viśravas (Vaiśrāvaṇa) and Iḍaviḍā. His father initiated him into a great vidyā. Father of three sons—Viśāla and others. Lord of Yakṣas, and brother of Śiva;1 was pleased with Dhruva and blessed him though he killed his followers.2 Presented a golden throne to Pṛthu.3 With his naravāhana attacked Kṛṣṇa taking Pārijāta, but defeated by Satyabhāmā, retreated in fear. Presented to Kṛṣṇa eight treasures and his new city.4 Attended by Guhyakas, he is compared to Yudhiṣṭhira attended by Pāṇḍavas, Kṛṣṇa and sages.5 Lord of Alaka and son of Pulastya and resident of Kailāsa;6 vanquished by Rāvaṇa; wife Ṛddhi and son Nalakūbera.7 Man as his riding animal: followed by Yakṣas and Rākṣasas with respective standards—ulūka and gṛdhra; fought with Jambha and Kujambha and was overwhelmed; fled to Indra helpless; beaten by Tāraka.8 By residing in Benares, attained the status of a Gaṇeśa;9 observed the ādityaśayanavṛata;10 penance at the confluence of the Narmadā and the Kāverī and was blessed by Śiva to be the Lord of Yakṣas;11 icon of;12 defended the chariot of Tripurāri.13

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 2. 32-33; IV. 1. 37; 11. 33. Vāyu-purāṇa 40. 8; 47. 1; 70. 38. 97. 2.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 12. 1-9.
  • 3) Ib. 15. 14.
  • 4) Ib. X. [65 (V) 45], [66 (V) 4-21]; 50. 56.
  • 5) Ib. I. 9. 3.
  • 6) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 18. 1-2; 35. 94; 36. 218; Matsya-purāṇa 121. 2-3; 137. 32; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 196.
  • 7) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 254 and 331; 8. 44; 72. 2; IV. 15. 22; Vāyu-purāṇa 70. 41.
  • 8) Matsya-purāṇa 148. 84; 150. 50-108; 153. 179.
  • 9) Matsya-purāṇa 180. 62.
  • 10) Ib. 47. 30; 55. 32.
  • 11) Ib. 189. 4-11; 191. 85.
  • 12) Ib. 261. 20-2.
  • 13) Ib. 133. 63; 138. 25; 140. 41.

1b) (Dhanada): the guardian of the north;1 presents of, at Umā's marriage;2 in the army of deva's at Tārakāmaya; riding animal of, man;3 Harikeśa got this status at Benares; became annada and kṣetrapāla; Udbhrama and Sambhrama, two Gaṇas in his service.4

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 67. 15; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 36. 12.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 154. 489.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 174. 17-18.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 180. 94-99.

1c) (c)—a Janapada of the Ketumāla.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 44. 14.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Kavya (poetry)

[Kubera in Kavya glossaries]

Kubera (कुबेर) is the name of an important person (viz., an Ācārya or Kavi) mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—In the Kāvyamīmāṃsā of Rājaśekhara says as one of the eighteen disciple of Kāvya-puruṣa. There Rājaśekhara established him as the founder of śabda and alaṃkāra, who created an adhikaraṇa on ubhayālaṃkāra.

(Source): Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Itihasa (narrative history)

[Kubera in Itihasa glossaries]

Kubera (कुबेर) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. XIV.8) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Kubera) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Kubera is also mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. III.87.3) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places.

(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[Kubera in Hinduism glossaries]

Kubera (कुबेर, “monstrous”):—In Vedic hinduism, he is the regent of the northern direction and represents the God of wealth; he presides over all earthly treasures. He is the chief of the Yakṣās who guard these precious stones and metals. He is also the protector of travelers.

He is depicted as a white dwarf with a large belly. He has three legs which represent the three principle desires:

  1. putreṣa (‘desire for offspring’)
  2. vitteṣa (‘desire for wealth and power’)
  3. and lokaiṣa (‘desire for fame and recognition’).

His wife is Bhadrā and their two sons and daughter are Nalakubera, Maṇigrīva and Mīnākṣī.

In the Viṣṇudharmottara-purāṇa, Kubera is described as the embodiment of both Artha (“wealth, prosperity, glory”) and Arthashastras, the treatises related to it—and his iconography mirrors it. Kubera’s complexion is described as that of lotus leaves. He rides a man—the state personified, adorned in golden clothes and ornaments, symbolizing his wealth. His left eye is yellow. He wears an armour and a necklace down to his large belly.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Kubera is the king of Yakshas and is the wealthiest person in the universe.

(Source): Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Kubera (कुबेर): One of the gods of wealth and riches.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Kubera in Theravada glossaries]

See Kuvera.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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(Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

[Kubera in Tibetan Buddhism glossaries]

Kubera (कुबेर).—Protector deity of the northern cremation ground.—Synonyms for Kubera are Dhanada (Saṃvarodayatantra 17.39), Yakṣādhipa (Guhyasamayasādhanamālā 34) or Vaiśravaṇa (Gyatso). Kubera is the custodian of wealth, and king of the yakṣas. Iconographically in the Śmaśānavidhi, Kubera has a human mount (naravāhana), is yellow, and holds a “mongoose spitting out a jewel” and skull bowl. In the Adbhutaśmaśānālaṃkāra he is yellow, mounted on a nidhi and holds a club (left) and makes the gesture of threatening (right).

(Source): Google Books: Vajrayogini

Kubera (कुबेर) is the name of the protector (dikpati) associated with Gahvara: the northern cremation ground (śmaśāna) according to the Vajravārāhī-sādhana by Umāpatideva as found in te Guhyasamayasādhanamālā. As a part of this sādhana, the practicioner is to visualize a suitable dwelling place for the goddess inside the circle of protection which takes the form of eight cremation grounds.

These protectors (eg., Kubera) are variously known as dikpati, dikpāla and lokāpala and can be traced to purāṇic legends where eight protectors are assigned to each direction by Brahmā. According to the Śmaśānavidhi verse 20, these protectors are in union with their wives and have four arms, two of which make the añjali gesture of obeisance, while the second pair usually holds a skull bowl and a tantric weapon. They are variously depicted upon their respective mounts, or sitting at the base of the tree.

The Guhyasamayasādhanamālā by Umāptideva is a 12th century ritualistic manual including forty-six Buddhist tantric sādhanas. The term sādhana refers to “rites” for the contemplation of a divinity.

(Source): Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[Kubera in Buddhism glossaries]

Kubera (कुबेर) refers to the first of the “four world protectors” (caturlokapāla) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 7). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., caturlokapāla and Kubera). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Kubera is, besides one of the “four world protectors” (caturlokapāla), also one of the “eight world protectors” (aṣṭalokapāla), one of the “ten world protectors” (daśalokapāla) and one of the “fourteen world protectors” (caturdaśalokapāla).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[Kubera in Jainism glossaries]

Kubera (कुबेर).—One of the four types of Veśmadevas;—Worship of Kubera in a home is said to bring eternal prosperity.

(Source): Google Books: Jaina Iconography
General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[Kubera in Marathi glossaries]

kubēra (कुबेर).—m (S) The name of the treasurer of the gods, the Indian Plutus. Hence, appellatively, a rich man, a Crœsus. kubērācēṃ dhana mārkaṇḍēyācēṃ āyuṣya (asāvēṃ) A phrase expressive of the Hindu opinion concerning English law.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kubēra (कुबेर).—m The god of wealth. A rich man, a Crœsus.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Relevant definitions

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