In Hindu tradition, Kuber is the treasurer of wealth and he distributes it among people. A story in the scriptures indicates that Kubera got the opportunity to be the treasurer of wealth due to the blessing of Shiva. In his previous birth Kuber was a known as Gunnidhi. He used to perform all his duties – both religious and family – exceedingly well.
But due to bad friendship, Gunnidhi started losing interest in his duties. He started squandering the wealth of his father. His mother who knew about the change of character of her did not inform the father.
Soon Gunnidhi lost all his wealth. Fearing the anger of his father, Gunnidhi ran away to the forest. After walking deep into the forest, he came across as
. It was a Krishna Paksha
Chaturdasi Tithi and people were observing monthly Shivratri Vrat. Shiva Temple
Gunnidhi had not eaten any food on the day and he was thirsty and hungry. He was happy to see the puja offerings in the temple.
He decided to steal the food offerings after people fell asleep. He waited patiently and indulged in performing prayers. When other devotees fell asleep, Gunnidhi lighted a lamp using a cloth. He then collected the food offerings needed to suffice his hunger. When he was about to leave the temple, he stamped on a person sleeping.
He woke up and alerted the guards. Gunnidhi ran into the forest but an arrow shot by a guard hit is head and he died immediately.
Men of Yama (god of death) arrived to carry Gunnidhi away. But Shiv Ganas arrived there on the order of Shiva and forcibly took away Gunnidhi to Shivlok.
Shiva was pleased with Gunnidhi as he had kept fast for the entire day. He kept vigil at night. He also chanted the mantras while sitting in the temple. At night he also lighted a lamp of cloth.
He blessed Gunnidhi with Shiv Tatwa and gave to boon to be born as Kuber in his next birth.