Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Vamana - The Dwarf


Bali, the son of Prahalada, had obtained powerful boons and had conquered all the three worlds. Vishnu was born as a dwarf, Vamana, the son of Aditi and sage Kashyapa to restore the Devas to their rightful place.

He went to the place where Bali was performing a great sacrifice. When a sacrifice is being performed, it is customary to give alms to Brahmanas. Despite being cautioned by his perceptor Shukra that this was Vishnu in disguise, the Asura king offered to grant anything Vamana wished.

Vamana asked for as much land as can be covered by three steps of his. Bali immediately granted this request. The dwarf then grew into a giant, and with his first two steps measured the earth and the heavens. He then asked the king, "Where shall I place my third step?".

The King humbly replied, "Place it on my head." Pleased by the humility of the Asura, Vamana made him the Lord of the under world, while restoring the heavens to Indra. Since he measured the whole universe in three steps, he is also called Trivikrama.

This story is told in more detail here.

Last Modified At: Tue Nov 2 19:11:23 2004