|VAMANA ACCEPTING THE OFFER
OF TULASI LEAVES
Vamanamurthy said, "O king, my work will be fulfilled with the grant of
my request. Therefore make me the gift of the three paces of land that I ask." Bali
replied, 'Well, let me fulfil your desire. Wait till I bring the golden jug containing
water from the hermitage" and went inside the hermitage.
|VAMANA GROWING TALL
|VAMANA MEASURING THE EARTH AND THE HEAVEN IN
At once Shukracharya
followed Bali into the hermitage and said, 'What is this foolishness, O king?
Without consulting any one you have promised to give charity to the young ascetic.
Do you know who this boy really is ? He is the friend of the Devas. It is Vishnu
in the form of Vamana who has come here as your enemy !"
Bali said calmly, "Is that so, gurudeva? Has Narayana, to please whom saints
and wise men perform austerities for years, come on his own, to ask for charity
from me? Has he become Vamana only to take gift from me? I am indeed fortunate
that Narayana has come to my place to take a gift from me. This could only be
due to the merit earned by me in my previous life."
But Shukracharya said, "King Bali, you feel proud only because of your ignorance.
At least now, be wise and take my advice. It is not a sin to go back on one's
word in self-defense. So do not give what he asks. If you do not take my advice,
it will bring about the ruin of yourself and the Danavas. As soon as he takes
the gift from you, Sri Hari will undo you just as he undid Hiranyakashipu."
Bali replied, "Gurudeva, charity given regardless of the hardships is the
best. If Sri Hari asks, I am prepared to give even my head. Can there be greater
glory for me than giving when Sri Hari's hand is spread out to receive the gift?
Please do not stop me from giving." Having spoken thus, Bali walked straight
to Vamana with the golden jug full of water. He addressed
Vamanamurthy and said, "Devadeva,
I am ready to give; extend your hand and receive it." Vamana stretched his
hands under the hand of Bali. Bali placed his hand with tulasi leaves upon Vamana's
hands, while Vindhyavali poured water from the golden jug as the priests chanted
verses symbolic of the act of giving.
At once the heavenly drums began to sound from all directions of the earth. Heavens
rained petals of flowers on Bali and Vamana. Vamanamurthy was not short now.
He grew from height to height. People wondered at the sudden growth.
Vamana smilingly measured from his first foot all the empire of Bali on earth
and the under-world. He then measured Bali's empire in Heaven with his second
step and asked Bali where he should take his third measure.
Danavas who witnessed this could not be silent spectators. They had aspired to
occupy the other worlds and rule them under the over lordship of Bali. They became
mad with anger. With uplifted weapons they came to attack Vamana. There were
frightening sounds everywhere. Bali who stood with folded hands stopped them
and said, "Danavas, get back, Vamana is Vishnu, Lord of the World. You defeated
Devas once with His blessing. He is now with Devas. Therefore it is natural that
they should win against you." Hearing these words, Danavas stepped back.