more ads
Kamat's Potpourri Indian Mythology .
Kamat's PotpourriNew Contents
About the Kamats
Feedback
History of India
Women of India
Faces of India
Indian Mythologies
geographica indicaArts of India
Indian Music
Indian Culture
Indian Paintings
Dig Deep Browse by Tags
Site Map
Historical Timeline
Master Index
Research House of Pictures
Stamps of India
Picture Archive
Natives of India
Temples of India
Kamat Network
Blog Portal

Story of King Bali

First Online: August 25, 2012
Page Last Updated: January 29, 2014

Bali (a.k.a Mahabali) was the grandson of Prahlada, who instilled in him a strong sense of righteousness and devotion. Bali would eventually succeed his grandfather as the king of the Asuras, and his reign over the realm was characterized by peace and prosperity. He would later expand his realm bringing the entire world under his benevolent rule and was even able to conquer the underworld (patala) and Heaven, which he wrested from Indra and the Devas. The Devas, after their defeat at the hands of Bali, approached their patron Vishnu and entreated him to restore their lordship over Heaven.

In Heaven, Bali, on the advice of his guru and advisor, Shukracharya, had begun the Ashwamedha Yajna so as to maintain his rule over the three worlds. Vishnu, meanwhile, had adopted the avatar of Vamana, a small Brahmin boy, and, during the rite, approached Bali and requested a grant of land although only as much land as he could cover with three paces.

Despite the warnings of his advisor, Bali granted this boon. Vamana then grew to an immense size, and, with his first pace, traversed the all of the earth and the underworld. With his second pace, he covered Heaven in its entirety. Admitting defeat, and seeing that Vamana has no more room for his last step, Bali offered his own head as a stepping-stone.



Vishnu as Vamana the Dwarf
Bali offers his head as a stepping stone

See Also:

Airawat
Indian Mythology

Pictures
Kamadeva and his wife RatiSage Sandipani Teaching Krishna and SudhamaLion Faced Vishnu Destroys HiranyakashipuGaruda, the King of BirdsGaruda the Mythical BirdMatsyavatar -- Vishnu as the Rescuing FishThe Descent of Ganga
Mythical CharacterWriting of MahabharatHanuman Mistakes the Sun for a FruitSati SavitriGandhari with a MaidDraupadis WeddingSavitri and Satyvan by Artist Ardhenduprasad Banerji
Killing of ValiTwo Headed BirdBhishma Lies on the Bed of ArrowsHumiliation of Draupadi and Krishnas RescueContest to Marry DraupadiCelestials from a Sanskrit TextCelestial Creature in Kavi Art
Krishna Rescues the Elephant from the CrocodileSix Headed Deity Riding a SwanVishnu as a Wild Boar (Varahavatar)Eight Handed Lord GaneshLord Brahma and Adhiti - 19th Century IllustrationPainting from Srinivasa Temple, MulbagilWall Painting of Hanuman in Rajasthan
The Humiliation of ShurpanakhiFantastic AnimalsThe Army of Super CreaturesThree Legged Devotee Bhringi Agni the FireArjuna Quenches Bhishmas Thirst as he Lies on a Bed of Arrows and Krishna Looks OnCelestial Dharani rides a Turtle
Divesting of DraupadiFour Headed BrahmaKrishna Kills a Charging ElephantMythical AnimalNaga-Nagini ConjugationNarad Teaching KayadhuNarad Advising a Devotee
Parashurama and RamaIcon of Vishnu as Boar

Kamat's Potpourri The Timeless Theater Hindu Mythology

Research Database

© 1996-2014 Kamat's Potpourri. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without prior permission. Standard disclaimers apply

Merchandise and Link Suggestions

Top of Page