Vamana Avatar of Vishnu-A Dwarf Brahmin

Vamana Avatar of Vishnu-A Dwarf Brahmin

Vamana is the fifth Avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu (10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu). In Treta Yuga, Vamana was the first Avatar of Vishnu. He appeared as Vamana to suppress the Asura (demon) named Bali.

After the churning of the cosmic ocean, the gods became immortal and powerful. Then the army of Devaraj (the king of gods) Indra defeated the Asuraraj (demon king) Bali and his army. In this situation one day Asuraraj Bali went to meet Shukracharya, the Guru of the Asuras, and asked him, “Please give me all my powers and show me the way to regain my kingdom.” Hearing Bali’s words, Shukracharya replied, “To regain all your strength you must perform yajna.”

Bali agreed to perform the yajna under the supervision of Shukracharya. After the performance of the yajna, Bali received a golden chariot drawn by four horses running with the speed of the wind. He also got a flag post with numerous arrows, lion head and celestial armour. Along with these things Shukracharya gifted him with a garland of ever-blooming flowers and a conch shell that could thunder in battle. Then Bali fought against Indra. In that battle Asuraraj Bali was victorious and Devaraj Indra fled from the battlefield. Bali once again sought Guru Shukracharya’s guidance to maintain his victorious position. Shukracharya said, “If you perform yajna like this, you will live a fearless and powerful life. But you should give donations to the poor and the Brahmins.” Bali agreed with Shukracharya.

According to the Matsya Purana – when the gods were defeated by the Asuras, goddess Aditi (the wife of Sage Kashyapa) worshiped Lord Vishnu for a re-strengthened son. Pleased by Aditi’s devotion and motherhood, Lord Vishnu expressed his desire to be born as her son. Then in time Vishnu appeared in Aditi’s womb, and in due course Vishnu was born as Aditi’s son. She named him Vamana (dwarf). One day Vamana posed as a Brahmin and went to the spot where Shukracharya and Asuraraj Bali were performing a yajna. Bali welcomed Vamana, the Brahmin boy, and asked him, “How can I help you, Brahmin boy?”

The Brahmin said, “I have heard a lot about that you give alms to Brahmins. I do not want wealth or luxuries; I just need the land that my three steps cover.”

All the people who were present there were surprised to hear the request of the Brahmin boy. The Asuras laughed at the boy’s request. Daityaraj Bali agreed to grant him what he wanted. Suddenly, to everyone’s surprise, the young Brahmin boy started growing in size. Soon he was larger than planet Earth itself. He took a large step and put it on Earth to claim it and said, “Now the earth is mine.” Then he took the second step and put it on Amravati which was under Bali’s control and said, “Now Amravati is mine.” Amravati (the capital city of Svarga, the realm of Indra, the king of the devas, in Hinduism) was also under the Brahmin boy’s possession. Then he said, “Bali where should I keep my third step? Earth and Heaven are already mine. Now there is no place left.” Shukracharya warned Bali, “Be careful Bali! I am very sure this Brahmin is not an ordinary boy. He is surely Vamana, Lord Vishnu himself. Don’t let him take the third step or you will have to lose everything you have.” But Bali said, “Acharya, I have given him my word. I cannot go back from it. “The Asuras and Daityas heard this and stepped forward to attack Vamana, but they could not harm him at all.

Bali then addressed Vamana and said, “As nothing else is left you may keep your third step on my head.”

Hearing Bali’s words, Lord Vishnu appeared in his true form and said, “I bless you, Bali. From now on, you will rule Pataal Lok (Underworld) forever.”

Thus Bali went away to Pataal Lok. Indra and the other Gods retained Amravati due to Lord Vishnu’s Vamana Avatar.

By Krishna Das

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