The Advent of Vamana was to Glorify Bali

How often we call it ‘a blessing in disguise’, an incident that happens apparently with a sad tinge, but on the hindsight, the incident turns out to be something incredibly beneficial. Such was the real case of the dual between Lord Vamana and Emperor Mahabali, explains Bhagawan.

Vamana sought from Emperor Bali Three Footsteps of land. What is the reason for the Lord appearing as a dwarf before Bali? When the Lord could measure the Earth and the Heavens with two steps (after Bali had made the offering that Vamana wanted), why did He appear at first as a dwarf?

This shows that however mighty a person may be, when he appears as a supplicant he gets diminished in stature. When one stretches his palm for an offering he becomes small. The giver of gifts acquires a high stature. Bali realised the greatness of his status as a giver. He rejoiced over his good fortune. When Bali agreed to make the gift which Vamana sought, Sukracharya intervened to tell the Emperor: “Don’t give Him what He asks. He is not a mere Brahmin lad. He is Lord Vishnu Himself.” Bali replied: “Oh Guru, I esteem no one higher than God. I will rather give up the preceptor than renouncing God.”

There are any number of people in the world who are willing to make gifts of wealth, education and many other things, but there are few who offer themselves as a gift. Considering the gift which he was making to Vamana as a total offering of himself, Bali made the gift. Bali declared: “I am offering my wealth, my family and everything else and surrendering myself totally to you. O Lord’ save me.” Bali offered his all to the Lord.

After the Lord had used two Footsteps to measure the Earth and the firmament, Bali prayed to the Lord to place His Foot upon his head for the third Footstep. What is the inner meaning of this action? As the Lord had measured the entire Earth with one Footstep it meant that the place occupied by Bali was also covered by the first step. What separate claim could he make regarding his head? The inner significance of this should be understood. By measuring the Earth the Lord has covered the earthly realm. By His second step He had covered the heavenly realm. By placing His Foot on the head of Bali, the Lord covered the manorajyam (the realm of the mind). This indicates that the Lord accepted and received from Bali the kingdom of his mind.

The mind is at the root of this phenomenal world. The mind is the cause of both bondage and liberation for men. It is only when one is free from the trammels of the mind that he obtains true Moksha (liberation). Vamana conferred liberation on Bali by freeing him from his bondage to the mind. It should be realised that Vamana did not come to Bali just to seek a gift. He came to Bali to liberate him. He came to Bali as a protector. He sought to make Bali an ideal example to the world. For what reason?

Bali was the very embodiment of righteousness. He was a just ruler. In looking after the welfare of his subjects, he was exemplary. He excelled also in his generosity and his adoration of the Divine. He was steadfast in his faith. The advent of Vamana was intended to glorify Bali and make him an ideal example to the world.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II