As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 24
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Immense Power of Devotion of son of Yagyadutta and elevation to the status of Kubera as Supreme Lord blesses him.
Now, sage Narada wanted to know about a brahmin Yagyadutta, who lived in a town namely: Kampilya. At that same time, he wished to know as to when Shiva went to mountain Kailash and how Kubera cultivated friendship with the lord.
Brahma heard the celestial sage and briefly narrated the sequence of events relating to the life and attainment of the brahmin and his son. Yagyadutta was a man of virtues. He had a son Gunnidhi, who turned dissolute and was a huge gambler and therefore, father Yagyadutta disowned him. Gunnidhi left home and roamed about even as hunger perturbed. One day, with intent to steal sacrificial material he entered a temple of Shiva. He burnt his clothes so that he could see around and it caused his arrest and the authority sentenced him to death. Because of kukarmas, the attendants of lord Yama, tied him and at that time, ganas of Shiva arrived and freed him from the shackles of Yama’s soldiers, he told.
The company of ganas appeared to purify him and so went to Shivaloka and enjoyed the pleasure of divine lands. After an age, he took birth as son of Arindama, the king of Kalinga called Dama. Dama continued to serve lord Shiva. As a boy, he along with other boys of the area, continued to chant religious hymns in praise of Shiva. When Dama was young, father king died and therefore, he occupied the throne.
Happily, he began to spread teaching of dharma and tenets of Shiva’s teaching and essence of devotion. It was difficult for the kings to vanquish Dama. He was a staunch devotee of Shiva, and therefore, asked heads of the villages to lit lamps in the temple of Shiva, and made it compulsory for everyone and in no case, any Shivalaya be kept unlit. Hence, King Dama, earned vast quantity of religious wealth. Lighting of many lamps in temples of Shiva blessed him and he became the king of Alkapuri in next life.
A man should understand that even little devotion to the lord and worship, gives more than adequate reward, Brahma told Narada. He further advised that the people desirous of comforts and joy should chant bhajans in praise of Shiva. Look at the destiny, a mere stealing of some wealth from the temple of Shiva was a divine opportunity because when he, out of selfish motif, burnt his clothes and lit the temple, he chased away the darkness over holy Shivalinga. Therefore, as a reward, he became the king of Kalinga, turned an admirer of noble acts and so adhered to the principles of dharma. Later, he attained the honoured status of Dikpal (the god, who looks after various directions).
“Now, I will tell you how he became friend of Shiva. My son Sage Pulastya, a manas-putra, had a son Vishrava and Vaishravan (Kubera) was his son. In previous life, he had meditated on Mahadeva, the three-eyed lord and so had pleased Lord Shiva and later, enjoyed life in Alkapuri as the age passed and another age Meghvahan began. At that time, he took birth as son of Yagyadutta who spread light through lamps and undertook severe tapa as Kubera. Blessing of devotion to Shiva took him to Kashikapuri, the ever-lit region of Shiva and there he sat still and meditated on Shiva. He situated Shivalinga, a symbol of unified essence of Shiva that grows because of fiery tapa and is free from the great obstructions little patangas (whining insects) create, and is established in a huge illumined form, divinely blessed and pure and so he was engaged in austere tapa. At that moment, Shiva – Vishanatha went to him with Parvati and looked at him happily.
Shiva said, “O lord of Alka, I am ready to bless you. Reveal your wish.”
When Kubera opened eyes, he found Shrikantha (Shiva) consort of Uma, standing before him. He was more dazzling and radiant than the thousands of morning suns, and the forehead appeared inundated with moonshine. He failed to face the glittering brilliance of lord’s eyes and therefore, closed eyes and said, “O lord, bless eyes with strength of seeing and enjoying the glimpses of your feet. The greatest boon to me would be your darshana – divine glimpse. O god, what is the use of any other boon? I salute you.”
The lord of Gods, Shiva touched him with the palm and provided divine sight to witness the miracle. Son of Yagyadutta first looked at goddess and began to think, “Who is this beautiful woman next to lord Sankara? What kind of reparation she underwent that is more powerful and effective than my tapa? The beauty, immense love, fortunes and grandeur amaze. He continued to whisper and look at the goddess unkindly and it caused loss of sight of left eye, which appeared to have completely damaged.
Parvati, the great goddess said to Mahadeva, “O lord, the wicked man looks at me repeatedly and whispers something. Please demonstrate radiance of my meditation.”
Shiva laughed and said, “Uma, he is your son. He is not looking at you unkindly but is unfolding the immense wealth of tapa – meditation you have earned.” He said, thought, looked at the son of brahmin and said again, “O son, I am happy with the tapa you underwent. I bless you. You become lord of all nidhis (all the wealth) and sentinel. O man of penance, not only you will be lord of kings of yaksasa, kinners and kings but also you will bless, will also become the protector of men of virtues and charity. My friendship with you shall stay unbroken and steady. I shall always live near you and stay at Alkapuri so that affection increases each moment. Come, bow and salute at the feet of goddess Uma. She is your mother, O great devotee, son of Yagyadutta, Kubera.”
Brahma said, “O Narada, Shiva blessed him, turned to goddess of tapa Parvati and told her to be generous to him because he was her son. Parvati was happy to hear and told Kubera that devotion toward Shiva will be pure and you will live with the eye – pingle netra. All boons the great lord conferred will be easily available to you. O son, you were jealous of my beauty and so, you will become famous as Kubera.” After blessing him – a son and friend, the great god and goddess left for mountain Kailasha situated near Alkapuri.
Strength of Kubera’s tapa made the great god and goddess contented and happy and so they thought it better to live at the greatest mountain Kailasa. They decided and therefore, arrived at the legendary mountain Kailasa.
The lord blessed Kubera with the status of nidhipati (the lord of wealth), and afterward, he thought, “He took birth from the lalaat (forehead) of Brahma, who looks after the work of annihilation. He is image of Rudra and therefore, I shall go to the abode of guhakas situated in Kailasa. In the same image, I shall befriend Kubera and enjoy grandly on the mountain and would engage in austere tapa.”
After the thought, Shiva in the image of Rudra was eager to go to Kailasa as the sound of damroo – a two-headed hand drum, echoed. Sound of hand-drum enhanced confidence of three lokas as it suffused the ambiance all over and fascinated the listeners, who were keen to come to it, Brahma narrated the sequence of events briefly. When Vishnu and he heard the enchanting sound of two-headed-drum, they along with the gods of heavens, sages, muritman agamas and nigamas (nigamas and agamas are names of the Vedas… holy scripture closely related to theVedas with a different lexis, structure and philosophy), siddhas and asuras arrived there. All the ganas, parshads and lords of ganas wherever they were, reached immediately.
Brahma gave details of everyone and began to say, “Many powerful lords of ganas of thousand of arms arrived and they had crowns of jutted hair on foreheads and were adorably ornamented. They appeared dazzling as if they were Vishnu, Indra and me. Arima and siddhis (arimas and siddhis mean immense spiritual powers, perfections and excellences) surrounded him and crores (one crore is equal to ten millions) of Suryas seemed to get light and dazzle. At that time, Shiva asked Visvakarma to construct an abode for him on the mountain and further, he wanted construction of suitable and appropriate residences for devotees and other gods.
“O monk, on the directions of lord Shiva, Visvakarma constructed many kinds of wonderful houses as required and thereafter, on the request of Vishnu, the lord blessed Kubera and arrived on mountain Kailasa happily. At the auspicious moment, Vishnu and gods of heavens, monks and siddhas, gladly greeted, and coroneted lord Shiva and later, worshipped the lord and it turned into almost a festival. Rain of flowers from the sky was a sign of fortune. The echoes of salutations resounded around and it increased joy of everyone and frequent greetings and salutations and prayers of sages, monks, gods of heavens and other celestial beings tremendously delighted lord Shiva while he sat on the supreme celestial throne.
Gods of heavens and various holy souls praised the lord separately through meaningful and affectionate expressions of reverence, and therefore, after the lord heard eloquent eulogies out of extreme joy blessed all and offered gifts. He further said, “Later, all the gods, celestial beings and sages with the consent of the lord went to respective abodes. Lord Shambhu, who is free and stays in yogic intensity of meditative countenance, lived at Kailasa. For some time, Supreme lord lived without a spouse and thereafter, he married Sati – a daughter of Prajapati Daksa. Hereafter, Maheshwara leisurely wandered with spouse Sati adhering to the principles of supreme civic demeanor with ecstatic delight and conjugal harmony.” Thus, Brahma narrated the emergence of Rudra and later, arrival of Shambhu, lord Maheshwara also called Shiva. He also told an interesting tale of friendship with Kubera that spoke eloquently of the power of bhakti and its infinite blessings on the devotees.
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