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17-Vaaman Avataar

6th Avataar in Main Avataar and 17th Avataar in 24 Avataar

There has been a great Daitya King Mahaa Bali (Short form Maaveli). He was born in Kashyap's family. Kashyap -> Hiranyakashayp -> Prahlaad -> Virochan and Devaambaa -> Bali. Although there is no mention about the territory where he ruled except that he ruled all the three worlds and all his subjects were very happy and highly prosperous. Nobody told lies, there was no theft and in short it was a golden era. Although mostly all Daitya were the devotees of Shiv but Prahlaad was a great devotee of Vishnu. Vishnu had to take Avataar of Narasinh because of His Bhakt Prahlaad.

Devtaa and Daitya always fought. Sometimes Devtaa won, while at other times Daitya won. Once Daitya invaded Devtaa and defeated Indra, the Lord of Heavens. Daitya took control of his Heaven and Indra and other Devtaa had to leave their Heaven. At that time Raajaa Bali was their King. Indra and other Devtaa could not tolerate the defeat. Hence they approached Vishnu to help them to regain their kingdom. It also meant to stop the just rule of Bali because of which only he could succeed in defeating Indra. Although, during Bali's rule, people were very happy and there was neither theft nor any one spoke lies, even people lived without any anxieties, still Vishnu is generally said to be favoring the Devtaa. Further Vishnu might have thought that an Asur should not rule over Heaven and if Bali will rule there, there will be two Indra etc. Vishnu assured Devtaa that He will help them.

Vishnu knew that Bali was a king who was highly virtuous and also the grandson of His Bhakt Prahlaad. However, since He was pro-Devtaa, He wanted to help Indra. Defeating Bali was an impossible task even for gods by fighting, because he was very pious and highly virtuous. Hence the cunning Vishnu hatched a plan to disguise himself as a dwarf Braahman boy called Vaaman (Tri-Vikram), and get the Tri-lok in Bhikshaa (alms) from Bali - Bali was a known great alms giver, nobody went empty-hand from his door.

When Bali had won Heaven, he came to stay there. he liked it so much that he wanted to live there forever. He expressed his desire to his Guru Shukraachaarya. Shukraachaarya Jee said - "You will have to do 100 Ashwamedh Yagya first to live here permanently." So Bali decided to do 100 Ashwamedh Yagya. He started them and finished 99 Yagya. Now he was on his 100th Yagya. After this he would be the King of Heaven. There is condition in this Yagya among other conditions that no one should go empty hand from the Yagya doer's door.

On the other side, Devtaa's mother Aditi was also worried about her sons that they were defeated and had to leave their kingdom because of Daitya. So she requested Kashyap Jee to give her a son who could kill Daitya and regain her children's kingdom. Kashyap Jee advised her to do a Vrat to get a son like that from Vishnu. She did that got the Var from Vishnu that He Himself will appear in her house as her son and will help her children. On Bhaadrapad Shukla 11, Vishnu appeared as a dwarf boy of 52 finger height. 52 in Hindi is called Baavan, so since he was only 52 finger tall, He was known as Baavan (or Baaman or Vaaman) Avataar.

So according to His plan, Vishnu appeared as a dwarf boy in Kashyap's house and went to Bali's palace to ask him something. Bali's 100th Ashwamedh Yagya was on the verge of finishing, that this boy arrived on his door with His bowl. The givers were very happy to see that boy and informed Raajaa Bali about Him. Bali ordered them to immediately call the boy inside and asked Him what did He want. The boy told him that he wanted only three feet land to worship. Bali said to Him - "Do you know, whom you are asking for? I am the King of Tri-Lok. Ask something big - lots of money, lots of land, jewels, thousands of cows etc etc. I can give you so much that your 10 further generations will never have to ask anything more in their lifetime. Ask me something in which I should also feel pride to give it to you. What is this three feet land, you are asking for?" The boy said - "Mahaaraaj, I am a Brahmchaaree, I have no children. I need only three feet land so that I can worship there sitting quietly. I don't need anything more."

Bali said - "As you wish." and asked his servants to bring the water pot to read the Sankalp to give the boy three feet land. As he was about to read the Sankalp, the Daitya Guru, Sage Shukraachaaraya, knew the bad intentions of Devtaa and hence stopped Bali not to accept the request of that dwarf Braahman boy. Bali said to his Guru - "Hey Guru, I cannot take this sin on my head. If he is not Vishnu then I have nothing to lose, and if he is Vishnu then also I will not lose anything. In both ways my fame will spread around. If I gave Him his three feet land, and he is not Vishnu, it is nothing for me; and if I give him and he is Vishnu then I am giving to that who gives to everybody. I will be blessed that the giver of everything to everybody has come on my door to ask me something That is why, Hey Guru, in all ways I am at upper hand, so please do not stop me giving this to him." and he started to read the Sankalp.

Shukraachaarya Jee didn't like his ways, so he entered the spout of the pitcher to stop the flow of water which was necessary for Sankalp. Water stopped coming out. The boy understood, he said - "Water is not coming, I think something is obstructing it. let me open it."  Saying this the boy used Darbhaa grass blade and pushed the obstacle back in the spout of the pot. This pierced one eye of Shukraachaarya and he . felt pain. With pain he moved from the spout and water started coming out and Bali completed the oath of giving away the Daan of three feet land asked by the boy. Once the oath was taken. Lord expanded His body. With His one foot He measured the Heavens and

with His second foot he measured Prithvi and the whole sky was filled with His body. Seeing this Roop of Bhagavaan, Bali got mesmerized and just stood with folded hands. Bhagavaan asked - "I have measured two feet land, now where should I keep my third foot?" Bali said - "This is all is created by you, you gave me this, you have taken away. I have my body left, you may measure your third foot on my body." and saying this he lay down facing down on the floor. Vishnu got very happy to hear this and He gave him the kingdom of Sutal Lok, and appointed Indra of next Manvantar.

Bali asked the Lord to allow him to come to the world and see his subjects and to know their welfare at least ones a year which the Lord granted. So on Onam day people of Kerala and even some from Tamilnaadu celebrate this day. Onam has now become a state festival. They wear new clothes and enjoy by playing to greet their erstwhile Mahaaraaj.

When Shukraachaarya Jee came to know about Saagar Manthan, he said - "One can get gems from Saagar Manthan, but how they will be distributed?" Indra said - "Our Guru Brihaspati has left this responsibility on you." Shukra said - "That is all right. So whatever will come out of Saagar Manthan, it will be distributed among Devtaa and Asur half and half. Do you agree?" Indra said - "Yes. I agree."

Shakti (might) is not the scale of justice; the scale of justice is Dharm only; and the might is only to protect justice. In this battle Bali was killed, Kaalnemi Raakshas was also killed - he was reborn as Kans in Dwaapar Yug. On the others side Shukra revived many Asur, including Raajaa Bali, with the help of his Sanjeevanee Vidyaa.

After this Devaasur Sangraam, to take revenge of this insult of this battle, Shukraachaarya asked Bali to do 100 Ashwamedh Yagya. To break his 100 Ashwamedh Yagya, Vishnu incarnated as Vaaman Bhagvaan. Whe Bali's 100th Yagya was going to start, he could not have got up from that Yagya, and Vaaman was adamant to get alms from his hands only. Shukraachaarya Jee said to the servant - "He is taking Sankalp, you send him by giving something else." Although the servant conveyed this to Vaaman, but He wanted to take alms from him only. Hearing this bali said - "Till even one beggar is present in our kingdom, I have no right to do this Yagya.

When Krishn was born, He showed His Chatur-bhuj Roop to both Vasudev and Devakee and said to Vasudev Jee - "Three lives before, in Swaayambhoo Manvantar (the 1st Manvantar), you were Sutapaa named Prajaapati Your wife was Prishni. In that life you and Prishni did severe penance for 12,000 years to see my Chatur-bhuj Roop. At that time also, pleased with your penance I showed you my Chatur-bhuj Roop. At that time Prishni asked me a son like myself. When I bestowed that boon to her, I said "So be it" three times, so I had to be born as her son three times.

First time I was born from Prishni's womb as ----; then I was born from Aditi as Vaaman; and the third time I am coming now. You cannot recognize my Avataar Roop by my human being form. Now I tell you the path of Mukti (Moksh). If you meditate on me in my Bhagvaan form leaving the Putra Moh (love of son), then only you can attain Mukti in this life only." But Devakee did not want Mukti, she had only the feelings of motherhood, so she asked Bhagvaan only for the feelings of motherhood and the relationship of mother and son between her and her son. Bhagvaan said - "So be it." and said - "Because of the effect of my Maayaa, you will not remember all this and you will feel the affection and pains of motherhood."



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 04/12/13