Vamana Avatar


Vamana was born to Aditi and Kashyapa . Vamana is known to be the younger brother of Indra.
The legend of Bhagavata has it that the Vamana avatar was taken by Vishnu to restore Indra's authority over the heavens, which was taken away by force by the demon king Bali in Dravida.
There is an interesting story behind this avatharam. Emperor Mahaballi ruled over the Pathala-loka. Instead of being confined to his-loka he captured the other lokas and was ruling over them. The Gods and others from other lokas Implored to God to put Mahabali in his place. Once Mahabali was performaing a big "yaga"( offering things in the sacrificial fire) and at the end of the yaga was giving away gold and other things in charity. Whoever went to the palace on that day could ask whatever they wished and the king would certainly oblige them. God seized this opportunity and came to Mahabali's palace as a dwarf-mendicant. The dwarf asked the King for just 3 footmeasure of land for himself. The king was perplexed and wondering why the dwarf was asking for only a 3 foot-measure of land when he could ask for acres and acres of land. However the king agred and asked the dwarf the measure the land with his feet. ho! God assumed gigantic proportions his head reaching up to the sky - the highest world above and his feet down at Pathala-loka the lowest of the worlds below the earth. God took one step and that covered all the worlds above the second step covered all the worlds below and there was no place left for his third foot measure. God asked king " Mahabali , I have taken two steps and have covered all the lokas tell me where to keep my foot for the third foot-measure"Mahabali realising that the dwarf was no other than God himself Bowed before the dwarf and said " Please my lord you may keep your foot over my head as the third measure." Accordingly God put his foot on Mahabali's head and pressed hard to push the King to 'Pathala'loka' and told him "O king! this is where you belong and you should confine your self to this loka only." Mahabali realised his folly and ruled long over Pathala-loka. This is to show the people that they should live in their own places and should not be so greedy to occupy the other lands. Thus , Vamana taught King Mahabali that arrogance and pride should be abandoned if any advancement in life is to be made, and that wealth should never be taken for granted since it can so easily be taken away. Vamana then took on the form of Mahavishnu. He was pleased by King Mahabali's determination and ability to keep his promise in the face of his spiritual master's curse and the prospect of losing all his wealth. Vishnu named the King Mahabali since he was a Mahatma (great soul). He allowed Mahabali to return to the spiritual sky to associate with Prahalada (the demoniac Hiranyakashipu's pious son, also a descendant of the demon race) and other divine beings. Mahavishnu also declared that Mahabali would be able to rule the universe in the following yuga (age). Mahabali was the grandson of Prahlada being the son of Prahlada's son Virochana who was killed in a battle with the Devas.
Mahabali is supposed to return every year to the land of his people, to ensure that they are prosperous. This is celebrated as the Onam festival in Kerala, where he is also called Maveli (which is a contraction of Mahabali - the Great Bali).


Sources : http://en.wikipedia.org/

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