Kubera is the early god of wealth in India. How-ever, he did not develop a large cult following and perhaps was overshadowed by the goddess LAKSHMI, whose attributes and realm of power were similar.
   There are different stories about Kubera’s birth and upbringing. Generally he is said to have ruled over Lanka (Sri Lanka) until the demon Ravana gained the power to steal some of his magical belongings and exile him. Both Kubera and Rav-ana are seen as descendents of the mind-born son of BRAHMA, Pulastya. Kubera apparently took up residence in the north; he is seen as the guardian of the northern direction, while INDRA guards the east, YAMA the south, and VARUNA the west. In all these stories he is always heralded as the lord of gold and riches.
   Further reading: Cornelia Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen, Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978); E. Washburn Hopkins, Epic Mythology (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986); W. J. Wilkins, Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic (Calcutta: Rupa, 1973).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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