The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “friendship of shiva and kubera” as found in the Shiva-purana, which, in Hinduism, represents one of the eighteen Mahapuranas. This work eulogizes Lord Shiva as the supreme deity, besides topics such as cosmology and philosophy. It is written in Sanskrit and claims to be a redaction of an original text consisting of 100,000 metrical verses.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 19 - The friendship of Śiva and Kubera

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. In the Kalpa called Pādma, I created my mental son Pulastya whose son Viśravas begot the son Vaiśravaṇa.

2. He propitiated the three-eyed God Śiva, with a very severe penance and enjoyed the city of Alakā built by Viśvakṛt.

3. When that Kalpa was over and the Meghavāhana Kalpa had started, the son of Yajñadatta, Śrīda, performed a severe penance.

4-8. Realising the efficacy of devotion to Śiva accruing from the mere illumination (of his temple) with lamps, he reached Kāśī[1] for the illumination of his thought. Under the lustre of the gems of the mind, he repeated the mantras of eleven Rudras with loyal devotion and unswerving concentration of the mind. He could realise his identity with Śiva. Then he performed very severe penance for two hundred thousand years—a penance which was enhanced by the fire of austerity, was free from incroachment of the firefly in the form of interference from lust and anger, was windless inasmuch as the breath was curbed and was pure in form with pure vision. He set up the liṅga of Śiva and worshipped it with flowers of good ideas and feelings. The penance was so severe that his body was reduced to skin and bones.

9-10. Then in the company of the Goddess Pārvatī, the lord Viśveśvara Himself addressed the devotee, the lord of Alakā, with a pleasant mind—the devotee who stood as a stump with mind concentrated on the liṅga:—“I am ready to grant you a boon. Choose it, O lord of Alakā”.

11-13. The devotee opened his eyes and gazed at lord Śiva, the moon-crested consort of Umā who was shining with a brilliance that excelled thousands of rising suns. Dazzled by the brilliance, he closed his eyes and addressed the lord of lords who is beyond the reach of mental conception. “O lord, please give my eyes the power to see your feet.”

14. This itself is a great boon, O lord, that I see you present. O lord, O moon-crested God, obeisance be to you. Of what avail are other boons?

15. On hearing his words, the lord of devas, Umā’s consort touched him with his palm and gave him the requisite of Vision.

16. Then on securing the power, Yajñadatta’s son opened his eyes and saw Umā alone at first.

17. “Who is this lady beautiful in person, near Śiva the Lord? What penance did she perform more difficult than mine?

18. “What a form! What a love! What a good luck! What a fine glory!” He repeated these words several times.

19. While he was doing this and glancing cruelly at Umā, his left eye as a result of seeing the lady, burst.

20-21. Then the Goddess told Śiva—why does this wicked ascetic look at me often and say “You make my penance shine!” and seeing me with his right eye jealously why does he marvel at my beauty, love and good luck.

22-23. On hearing the words of the Goddess, lord Śiva laughed and said “O Umā, he is your son. He does not look at you angrily or jealously. He is describing your glory of penance.” After saying this to the Goddess Īśa told him again.

24. “Dear son, I am delighted at your penance. I shall give you the boon you desire. You will be the lord of treasures and the lord of Guhyakas[2].

25. You will be the king of Yakṣas[3], Kinnaras[4] and rulers. You will be the leader of Puṇyajanas and the bestower of wealth to all.

26. My friendship with you shall remain for ever. I shall stay near you, very near Alakā, dear friend, in order to increase your love.

27. O son of Yajñadatta, great devotee, come on. This is your mother. Fall at her feet with delighted heart.

Brahmā said:—

28. After granting him boons, Lord Śiva told Umā, “O Goddess, be pleased with him. This ascetic is your own son.”

29. On hearing these words of Śiva, Pārvatī, the mother of the universe said to the son of Yajñadatta with a delighted mind.

The Goddess said:—

30. Dear son, may your pure devotion to Śiva remain for ever. With your left eye burst you will be Ekapiṅga, (having a yellow mark in place of an eye).

31. May all the boons granted to you by the lord fructify. You shall be called Kubera (lit. possessed of ill-shaped body), O son, since you jealously looked at me.

32. After granting these boons to Kubera, lord Maheśvara, in the company of the Goddess Pārvatī, entered his Viśveśvara abode.

33. Thus Kubera attained the friendship of Śiva. Very near his city Alakā was Kailāsa, the abode of Śiva.

Footnotes and references:


Kāśikā or Kāśī, known as Vārāṇasī. Situated on the left bank of the Ganges, it was the capital of the country of the same name. It is, perhaps, the Kassida or Kassidia of Ptolemy, designated after Kāśīrāja, one of the early progenitors of the lunar race who was succeeded by twenty descendants, including the famous Divodāsa who ruled and celebrated many horse-sacrifices here. The city is sacred to Śiva since Viśveśvara, one of the twelve Jyotirliṅgas, is established here.


Guhyakas, literally “Hidden beings”. They are demi-Gods who, like the Yakṣas, are the attendants of Kubera and guardians of his hidden treasure.


Yakṣas are a class of semi-divine beings who are attached to the service of Kubera.


Kinnaras, like Yakṣas, are the attendants of Kubera. They are represented as mythical beings with a human figure and the head of a horse or with a horse’s body and the head of a man. They are described as celestial choristers and musicians who dwell in the paradise of Kuvera on Kailāsa. They are called Aśvamukhas, Turaṅga-vaktras, “horse-faced” and Mayus.

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