Kubereshwar Temple, Varanasi
|Architectural style:||Hindu Temple architecture|
According to Kashi Khand, Chapter 13, in Kambilya there was one Dikshit named Yagya Dutt. He was proficient in all Vedas and Shastras and performed all rituals connected thereto. He had a very handsome son and Yagya Dutt performed the Yagyopavith (Sacred thread ceremony) of his son in due course of time.
However, the boy, named Guna Nidhi, did not perform any rituals a must for a Brahmachari like performing Sandhya Pooja etc. Slowly and steadily he got into bad company and engaged himself in gambling and other such vices. All these days, Guna Nidhi’s mother like an indulgent parent told lies to her husband Yagya Dutt who was under the impression that the boy was engaged in righteous activities.
Guna Nidhi was continuously losing wealth in gambling and he started selling various household articles to settle his gambling debts. In the process he sold one diamond ring belonging to his mother. Once when Yagya Dutt was returning home, he saw one ruffian wearing this diamond ring. When confronted, the person divulged the truth to Yagya Dutt that the ring was given by Guna Nidhi in settlement of gambling debts. Only then Yagya Dutt could realize how he had been cheated all along by his son and his indulgent wife.
Yagya Dutt reached home and at once discarded both his wife and son. He subsequently married one learned man’s daughter and went to some unknown destination.
Guna Nidhi started wandering about, now realizing that he had wasted his life for nothing. He went from one place to another wondering what to do. His ramblings brought him to a secluded place, where he saw some devotees of Lord Shiva going towards a temple. He was very hungry and in the hope of getting some food, he followed them to the temple. Unknown to him it was Shiv Ratri and the devotees started singing religious songs in the temple and Guna Nidhi kept awake the whole night in the hope of getting some food.
Late night when every devotee went to sleep, Guna Nidhi slowly approached the sanctum sanctorum of the temple hoping to find some prasad (eatables offered to the deity) and as it was dark, he tore a piece of cloth from his dress, rolled it like a small wick and lit it to get some illumination. With the help of such light he grabbed whatever food he could and started running away. In this attempt, he stumbled upon the foot of one devotee who started shouting. One of the devotees stuck Guna Nidhi a severe blow on the head and he died instantly.
Soon the attendants of Yam Raj arrived to take Guna Nidhi to Hell as he had committed all sorts of sin in his life. However, several Shiv Gans also arrived at the scene and took him with them. The attendants of Yam Raj read out the sins committed by Guna Nidhi including stealing from Shiva Temple. It is said that taking Shiva Nirmalyam (floral wastes and other prasad etc.) out of the Shiva Temple is the most heinous sin.
However, Shiv Gans clearly stated that whatever sins he might have committed, have been washed away by some good and pious acts unknowingly done by him. On the night of Shiv Ratri he was awake, had watched the Shiv Pooja performed by the devotees, had listened to the Shiv Bhajans and had lit a lamp near the Shiv Ling thereby removing the darkness. He will take birth as Raj Kumar of Kalinga Desa.
In his new birth the boy who was named Daman soon became the King of Kalinga and ordered all subjects in his Kingdom to ensure that lamps are lit in the Shiva Temples.He followed this ritual meticulously. Due to his good deeds in his entire life, he became Dig Pal (attendant of Lord) named Kuber.
Kuber with his intuition could realize the evil doings committed by him in one of his earlier births. He came to Kashi, installed a Shiv Ling made of flowers, lit a lamp and started worshipping Lord Shiva. His intense prayers went for a very long time. Lord Shiva was very pleased and he appeared in person with Goddess Parvaty. Kuber was very happy with the immense light and the presence of the Lord. He started blinking and with the left eye he saw Goddess Parvaty in her beautiful self and wondered about her. Exactly at that time, his left eye lost the vision.
Lord Shiva immediately realized what had happened. However, he blessed Kuber with all sorts of happiness and assured that he (Lord Shiva) would always be with him. Kuber prostrated before Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvaty. The Goddess also blessed him stating that those who worshipped the Ling installed by him, which was called Kubereshwar, would attain all sorts of Siddhi and also attain Moksha in their life.
Such devotees will always make good friends and will face no enmity in life. Kashi Khand in this chapter has described the importance of lighting lamps in the temples of Lord Shiva. Here it is important to note that not only in temples of Lord Shiva, but in all the temples it is important to light lamps during twilight time and this ritual is followed in almost all temples all over the world.
Legend / Local stories
How to Reach:
Kubereshwar is located in the north side of Annapurna Devi at D-9/1, Annapurna Temple premises. If a devotee enters the temple, he has to take a left turn where he will encounter the office of Annadanam (free feeding). Immediately thereafter, to the left is Kubereshwar Ling.
Regarding directions to reach Annapurna temple, devotees may kindly refer Visweshwar temple.