Banasura became unhappy seeing his father's condition. He addressed Vamanamurthy
and said, "Lord of the World, my father gave you what you asked in charity.
He has not offended you in any way. You asked for three paces of land in the
guise of a short ascetic. Is it fair for you to measure the land with your extra-ordinary
feet now? My father has given away the whole of his empire to you. What is left
with him now to give you further? You who should have been impartial, have taken
sides with the Devas and have done injustice to us."
|BANASURA PLEADING FOR HIS FATHER
Vamana replied, "Banasura, it is I who received the gift and I have measured
the land only with my feet and not with any one else's. Hear my argument against
your charge of my partiality to Devas. I gave Shaker, the husband of Shachidevi,
the status and power of Indra and arranged for proper functioning of the system
of worlds. Bali had to be punished for removing Indra from his position before
the expiry of his tenure."
Then Vamana turned to Bali and said, "O King Bali, this is only a test of
your vow to give charity. You did not hesitate to give what I asked even in the
middle of your difficulties. You never regretted your charity even though I claimed
all your empire. You never felt unhappy when you were bound to your vow. You
did not feel sorry even though your kith and kin deserted you. Though Shukracharya
cursed you, you did not give up your truthfulness. Who has your patience? You
have earned a higher place than the Devas by your fame. Be immortal. Now ask
me for any boon that you want."
Bali said, "O Lord of the World, I am not pained at being defeated by you.
The pride of insolence is bad. You have taught Danavas swollen with insolence
a good lesson. I can tolerate all this but not the disgrace of having to eat
my words as one, who could not fulfill his vow to give charity. Please
place your third step on my head and be pleased to accept it in fulfillment of my promised
gift." Vamana agreed to Bali's request. Having received
Sri Hari's foot on his head, Bali was discharged of his debt. People who witnessed this shouted, "King
of devotees, soldier of charity, emperor Bali, honored the world." Tears
of joy flowed down their eyes.
|VAMANA PLACING THE FINAL STEP ON THE HEAD OF
Vamana gave the three worlds he had received as gift to
Indra. The Devas praised
Vamana in their happiness and Bali for his charity. Vamana
addressed Bali in
the presence of all and said, "Danavendra, I give you
the Kingdom of Sutala in the underworld. I shall give you one more boon. I
shall protect your fort as Janardana and keep watch over your fort and defeat
your enemies. You may ask one more boon." Bali said, "O
Lord, as the protector of my fort you have given me the privilege of seeing you
every day. For such a privilege even Rudra, Brahma and Lakshmi are not entitled.
What else is there for me to ask? But since you want me to ask for a boon, I
do so. Though I go to Sutala in the underworld, I cannot
forget the subjects of my erstwhile kingdom on earth. Therefore let me be blessed
to see the happiness of my subjects at least once a year." Vamana
granted his request and said, "The auspicious day on which you gave me charity
will be celebrated as a festival on earth every year in future. On that day the
whole earth will be the kingdom of Bali. People will worship you during day and
light lamps at night as a symbol of their ideals and joy."
Having spoken thus, Vamana departed with Brahma. Pious Bali went to Sutala along
with Prahalad and other kith and kin. He constructed a beautiful temple there
for Janardana. Sri Hari took his stand as Janardana, as the guardian and protector
of Bali's fort and palace.
The pious king Bali pleased the Lord of the World by his act of charity and became
endeared to the world by that act and his kingdom on earth became a land of plenty
on account of his charity. God waspleased by his act and became the guardian
and protector of Bali's palace.
The day on which Bali gave charity to Vamanamurthy fell
on the first day of the bright fortnight of Kartika, the month during which the
Festival of Lights is celebrated. The next day after the Festival of Lights,
celebrated on the New Moon day in the month of Ashwayuja,is called Balipadyami'.
Hindus celebrate the day as a sacred festival. It is believed that gifts given on that day are dear
to Bali and God. Men and women smear their bodies with oil and bathe, and wear
new clothes on that day. In the central hall of every home, they draw beautiful
figures with powder of rice in different colors and worship Bali and his wife
Vindhyavali. They build seven forts out of clay or cowdung and worship king Bali.
At night the thresholds of every home and temple are lighted with lamps in rows.
Bali's kingdom is remembered and people shout with joy, "Let the ideal kingdom
of Bali dawn at the earliest on earth."