Legend related to Onam/ Vaman Jayanti
| Home |
|Onam celebrates the mythical King Mahabali and his golden rule. Mahabali the
grandson of Prahlad, had conquered all the gods with his heroic deeds. As Indra was
the king of the gods, so Mahabali was the king of the demons.
But he was also a devotee of Vishnu. He conquered the earth and after defeating Indra, he conquered heaven also and ruled there for many years. All the gods had to run away and had no place to stay. They went to plead with Vishnu. They confessed that their only complaint against Mahabali was that he had taken away their freedom. He is a good ruler, no doubt, the gods told Vishnu, but he is a foreigner.
Vishnu insisted that he could not do injustice to Mahabali. At the right time we shall find a way out of this tangle, Vishnu said. But fighting will be of no use, since Mahabali is a strong king. And the people are for him. The gods left with the request that Vishnu should take avatar to solve their problem.
Vishnu took the form of a dwarf called Vamana and approached Mahabali. Pleased with the dwarf brahmin's wisdom, Mahabali granted him a wish. The Vamana asked for three paces of land and the king agreed to it.
Suddenly Vaman the dwarf began to grow. He grew so big that his head reached the sky. Then he lifted one foot and with it he covered the whole earth.
Lifting the other foot he covered the sky. Finally the third step Vaman placed on the head of Mahabali and pushed him down to the underworld.
With this Mahabali was defeated and the gods regained their freedom. Since Mahabali was his devotee Vishnu did not destroy him, but gave him the kingdom of the underworld, and promised him to be for ever its door-keeper.
This Vishnu did in recognition of Mahabalis generosity. Thus Mahabali got the punishment for his pride, but also the reward for his good qualities.
Mahabali was so attached to his kingdom and the loved by his subjects, he was allowed by the gods to return once a year.