Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Bali - An Asura King


Bali was a great Asura king who had conquered the heavens. At Indra's behest, Vishnu was born as a brahmin boy in the womb of Aditi, and went to the place where Bali was performing a great sacrifice. This is the Vamana Avatar of Lord Vishnu (Vamana = Dwarf).

Bali, despite being warned by his Guru Shukra that this was Vishnu in disguise, announced that he would not swerve from his oath, that of never refusing a supplicant. The Vamana then asked for three steps of his feet. In order to complete the donation, Bali would have to pour water from a container with a spout. Shukra made one last ditch attempt, by transforming into an insect and blocked the spout. Vamana however, pushed the insect away with the help of a blade of grass. (This punctured one eye of Shukra, who was blind in one eye from this point onwards). The gift was duly sanctified. At this point, Vamana assumed the Vishwaroopa (literally Universal-form) and with his first two steps measured the earth and the heavens. He then asked Bali, "Where should I put my third step?". Bali humbly replied, "Place it on my head". Thereupon Vishnu resumed his Vamana form and granted salvation to Bali by placing his tiny foot on Bali's head.

After this, Vamana restored the rule of the Gods on the heaven and earth and sent Bali to be the overlord of the nether-world.

Last Modified At: Sun Oct 17 23:25:55 2004