We should never take undue pride in our material or spiritual accomplishments. The old saying “Pride always leads to a fall.” is proved true in the following story. Kubera (the God of wealth) invited Shiva and Parvati to dinner wishing to show off his riches.
But, the couple denied Kubera’s request and said that he could feed Ganesha instead. Kubera laughed and said ‘I can feed thousands of children like this.” Ganesha went to his palace and sat down to eat. He started eating all the food placed in front of him.
As was the custom, more and more food was served to him, as he did not say that he had enough. Soon there was no more food in the palace and so Kubera ordered his troops to get more food from the surrounding villages. But Ganesha continued eating and there was no more food to be found. Still very hungry, Ganesha started eating all the furniture. Kubera became very frightened.
Ganesha told him, ” You promised my parents you will feed me. Now, I have to eat you up as I am still very hungry “. Kubera ran away and pleaded with Shiva to save him from Ganesha. Shiva asked Kubera to give up his pride and serve Ganesha a handful of rice. Kubera went back to his palace.
By this time, Ganesha’s stomach had become very huge but the child was still hungry. When Kubera served a cup of rice with humility, Ganesha’s hunger was satisfied.
This teaches the lesson that a handful of puffed rice given with love and eaten with devotion is more important and filling than all the wealth of Kubera flaunted to impress the world and all the gods.