Every reincarnation of Maha Vishnu is for a cause and that’s directly connected to the Dharma. In every avatar, except the Matsya avatar, we have seen a dual between Rakshasas and Devas. The story is different when it comes to Vamana Avatara, Bali was the Rakshasa King and the Lord of Patala Loka. He was a pure soul, famous and extremely spiritual person. Bali was an odd one out in the Rakshasa fraternity. Why wouldn’t he be? He is the grandson of Sri Maha Vishnu’s divine Bhakt ‘Prahalad’. We all know the Lakshmi Narasimha Avatara by Sri Maha Vishnu to kill Hiranya Kashyap.
Prahalad’s bhakti for Vishnu was continued by his son Virochan. Following the father, Bali became big bhakt of Sri Maha Vishnu. A person like him was made to go through Vishnu Maya. In the present days, Kerala celebrates Vishu and Onam in the honour of Bali. In Northern India, people celebrate Bali Padyami. Listening to this, we can conclude that he was a different kind of Rakshasa.
‘Authority of Patala Loka reaches Swarga Loka’
Bali was the head of Patala Loka and in the due course, he takes the throne as the King of Patala Loka. On the other side, Indra is also getting older and a new Indra should be elected. Bali is an excellent person with admirable skills and his guru was the great Shukracharya. Bali believes that he can be the next Indra and can become the ruler of the world.
For this to happen, King needs to acquire powers. Shukracharya decides to do yagna and gather all the powers required to rule all three kingdoms. Yagna gets completed and more than King Bali, Rishi Shukracharya is elated, because Shukracharya always dreamt of a Rakshasa ruling all the three Lokas. As they were to approach the Indra for electing Bali as the New Indra, one of the descendants of Sage Kashyap gets appointed as Indra.
That brings expected sadness and agony in the eyes of Shukracharya. He gets angry that his student’s throne is snatched away. All this happens on the behest of Brihaspati, the rival of shukracharya and guru of devas. Uncontrollable Shukracharya advises Bali to wage a War, Defeat and Become the King of Indra Loka. Bali starts his preparations and starts moving towards Swarga Loka.
Hearing all this, Indra gets frightened. Indra knows he & his kingdom are unprepared. He runs to Brihaspati and seeks refuge. Brihaspati calms him down and tells him, you can’t win anything now. You give yourself time and wait for your time of becoming King. He suggests, Indra to go away with his people and return only when the situation turns into his favour. Indra then travels quickly to Bhu Loka and lives with Rishi Kashyap. Rishi Kashyap is the father of both Rakshasas and Devathas. His wife is Aditi.
On the other side, Bali reaches Swarga Loka and announces war on Swarga Loka. But he doesn’t find Indra, he understands Indra ran away for life. He thus declares himself as New King of Indra Loka or Swarga Loka. To everyone’s surprise, Bali, the new Indra righteously rules the state. He doesn’t discriminate between anyone. His policies win the hearts of people. Bali becomes part of Devathas, everyone forgets he is a Rakshasa. He is liked by entire Swarga Loka and Devathas.
Popularity increases for Bali, Indra in Bhu Loka starts feeling anxious:
Popular Bali rules with eyes on Prosperity and equality. But a disappointed Indra eyes the lost throne, he goes complaining to Aditi. Being the mother of devathas, she can’t take the pain of son. She goes to husband Kashyap wanting to end this, Rishi Kashyap asks her to pray to Maha Vishnu as he is the power behind everything.
Aditi goes into Tapasya chanting Maha Vishnu. On the 13th day, Sri Maha Vishnu appears and asks her to wish for anything. She explains the problem to him and is expecting him to present the Indra Loka throne to her son Indra. But Vishnu says how can I do that? Bali is an able ruler; he is outstanding in his leadership style and follows all the rules.
Aditi ponders on the ‘Rule’ point. She says, Bali is from Patala Loka and he can’t rule Swarga Loka. Moreover, he snatched the authority without winning in a war. Remember, Bali is by nature a good individual but he is ‘Rakshasa’. So, according to rules, it’s an unethical action.
Reincarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu as a Dwarf Man – Vamana
A dwarf dark man is born to Aditi. That’s the 5th avatar for you. On the other side, Shukracharya wants to establish the title of ‘Indra’ forever to Bali. For attaining that, one has to complete 100 Yagnas. The rituals were given such importance in those days. One used to become powerful by Yagnas and not by money or backing of people.
Successfully Shukracharya and Bali complete 99 Yagnas. One more Yagna, Bali will become the supreme leader of the three Lokas and will be undisputed & undefeatable. 100th Yagna is almost done. Shukracharya is happy, he is delighted that his shishya ‘Bali’ will be the first Rakshasa to be titled ‘Indra’. His longstanding dream!
That’s when Vamana comes to yagna place. It’s the time of donations and gifts which marks the end of Yagna. A yagna is incomplete without gifting people. So, the gifting process is about to begin and Bali’s eyes fall on the radiant ‘Vamana’. To be continued…….