In Hindu Mythology, Kubera is the God of Wealth. He controlled all the riches in the world. He was also one of the protectors of the world [Lok Pala]. Kubera lived in the Himalaya mountains with Shiva and Parvati as his neighbours.
Kubera wanted to show off to the world how rich and hospitable he was. So he organized lavish parties and made sure everyone attended it. Though all the Devas came and appreciated Kubera's palace and his hospitality, he was not satisfied. Only if I get Shiva and the Goddess to my parties, would people praise me even more...When people realize that even the great God and the Goddess looked at my palace in awe, well people would respect me even more....
With this in mind, he went to Kailash – Shiva's home. As he entered the home, he saw the simple surroundings and smirked. Even the Great God and the Goddess lives here in the open mountains, whereas I live in a lavish palace...Being such a great God can't he not even provide a better home for his family....Why, the living room of my palace is larger than Shiva's home...
Shiva and Parvati were sitting and talking, when Kubera came inside. He bowed before the Lord and the Goddess.
'What brings you here, Kubera?' Shiva asked looking at Kubera with a smile.
Kubera spoke slowly, 'My Lord! I have organized a party....'
Parvati spoke interrupting Kubera, 'Party? What is the occasion Kubera?'
Kubera was stumped. He fumbled as he stared at the Goddess. He could not explain that he had given a party merely to show off how wealthy he was...That would be so embarrassing...
'Goddess! I... I wanted to celebrate....celebrate life...because it is so enjoyable....So I am throwing a party....' Kubera said rather lamely.
Shiva looked at Parvati. They both understood immediately that Kubera had kept the party for no reason other than to show off his wealth. Parvati nodded her head at Shiva and smiled. She looked at Kubera.
'Kubera! I would be so glad to come with you....its just that we are so busy...' Parvati said firmly.
'My Lord! My Goddess! I know you are so busy. Please I organized this party so that you could come and relax....Please...' Kubera folded his hands and looked at Parvati desperately.
'Well Kubera! Right now my son Ganesha is going to come home. He has to eat...I will have to feed him....' Parvati said with a quiet smile which Kubera missed.
Kubera laughed, 'Oh my Goddess! Then please come to my party with Ganesha so that you can all have dinner there.'
Parvati smiled at Kubera, who had not realized that he had walked into a trap.
Shiva spoke, 'Well Ganesha likes parties and he likes eating...Why don't you take him with you to the party. You see both of us have other things to do now....'
Kubera beamed and nodded. If I cannot get the Lord and the Goddess, Ganesha would be great!
Just then Ganesha returned home, 'Mother! I am home! I am hungry! Whats for dinner....How was your....'
Ganesha saw his parents talking with Kubera. He looked at his mother who was looking at him with twinkling, mischievous eyes. He silently raised his eyes as his mother nodded towards Kubera. Ganesha understood and greeted Kubera.
'Welcome Kubera! What a splendid surprise! What are you doing here?' Ganesha asked Kubera politely.
Kubera said, 'Sir! I had organized a party...'
Ganesha clapped his hands with glee, 'Party? I love parties...But what is the occasion?' He asked as he frowned.
Both Shiva and Parvati refrained from looking at each other, or they would have burst out laughing. Kubera said haltingly, 'Sir, I have a party for celebrating life...because it is so enjoyable...'
Ganesha looked at Kubera for a minute and immediately understood everything. He then said, 'My parents are very busy! I guess then I will have to come with you...'
Kubera beamed and nodded. Nodding to his parents, Ganesha set off with Kubera. Soon both of them arrived at Kubera's palace. Kubera arrived ans started, 'Sir, do you see this fountain in the park...It is built by the most precious stones....'
'Kubera!' Ganesha said sternly, 'You heard me tell my mother I was hungry! Do you really think I can admire all these things...' Ganesha asked waving his hands all over the palace, '...with a hungry stomach...'
Kubera flustered and shook his head. He summoned all his servants. He said in a hurry. 'Quick lay out the plates and bring out the food. Ganesha is going to eat the food with us...' Kubera said smirking at Ganesha. How much could the little elephant-headed boy eat?
Kubera was about to find out the answer to that question the hard way...
Ganesha said down and started eating the food placed before him. It is customary to feed a person till he says he has had enough.
Ganesha started eating all the food placed before him, the food which was actually made for hundreds of people. However Ganesha wanted some more food and looked at Kubera after the plate was empty. Kubera ordered his servants to bring more food. The servants brought in some more food, which Ganesha finished even before Kubera could blink. The servants were getting apprehensive as they brought in the last amount of food they had cooked. Kubera also watched this with mild apprehension, hoping Ganesha would get satisfied with this food.
After finishing his plate Ganesha still looked hungry. 'Food!' He bellowed angrily. The servants flustered and whispered to Kubera that the food in the palace was over. Looking at the furiously eating Ganesha, the servants even dumped the uncooked food on his plate, which vanished into Ganesha's stomach like the rest of the food!
Kubera was alarmed. 'Go to the surrounding villages and get some food immediately!'
The servants and the soldiers ran out. In a hurry, they brought some food and laid it down before Ganesha. It too vanished inside Ganehsa's stomach, who was looking more and more annoyed. 'Is this all you have? That was just an appetizer! I want FOOD!' Ganesha yelled. As Kubera backed away with fright.
Kubera said with a frightened tone, 'Sir! All my food is over. The soldiers are going to get some food for you....'
'OVER!' Ganesha yelled, 'OVER! How could this much quantity be enough for me? You cook so little and you called the Lord, Goddess and me for dinner?' Ganesha looked more and more furious with every second, 'Kubera! You promised my mother you would feed me! Now I am still hungry so I am going to eat you...'
'Aaah!...' Kubera yelled as he ran out of the palace. He ran and ran and ran straight to the only person who could protect him from Ganesha.
Kubera ran to Kailash and flung himself on Shiva's and Parvati's feet. 'My Lord and Goddess! Please save me...Please...' Kubera struggled with his breath as he tried speaking.
'What is the matter?' Shiva asked with a twinkling eye.
Kubera almost broke down crying, 'Lord please do not make fun of me! I was vain and proud, thinking I could do anything because I had all the money in the world....Please I have learnt my lesson! I will never be proud of my wealth...Please...' Kubera looked back to see if Ganesha was still behind him...'Please save me from Ganesha!'
Shiva took some rice from his house and gave it to Kubera. 'Go and give this to Ganesha, after you have given up your pride!'
'Sir! I gave him a lunch fit for hundreds of people and he is still hungry! Do you really think this will satisfy him...' Kubera wailed.
Shiva smiled, 'You gave Ganesha a feast with pride, to show-off your money, which will never satisfy him. If you give Ganesha anything with a clean mind and pure heart, whatever you give him will satisfy him....
Kubera looked at the three-eyed God, as if looking at him for the first time understood how wise the Lord and the Goddess were. He took the rice. Ganesha had entered the house and was looking at Kubera. But when Ganesha saw the subdued Kubera, Ganesha stopped and gave him a dazzling smile!
Kubera hesitatingly came forward and offered Ganesha the rice. 'Sir! I hope this satisfies you!
Ganesha smiled and ate the rice without any question. He patted his stomach and said to Kubera, 'I am full! Thank you!'
Kubera went home a wiser man as Ganesha enjoyed his feast and had eaten to his full!