This story is about Vaaman Avataar. Once King Bali, the son of Virochan and the grandson of Prahlaad and the great grandson of Hiranyakashyap, won Indra and other Devtaa and started ruling Swarg Lok. Now Bali liked Swarg so much that he wanted to live there for ever. His Guru Shukraachaarya Jee said to him – “You can live here for ever but you have to do 100 Ashwamedh Yagya for it.” Bali got ready to do them. He started his Yagya. He finished 99 Ashwamedh Yagya and now he was proceeding to do his 100th Yagya.
Seeing her son Indra out of Heaven, his mother Aditi was very sad, so she approached her husband Kashyap Jee and prayed him to give her a son who could defeat Bali and give Swarg Lok back to her son. Kashyap Jee told her to pray to Lord Vishnu so that pleased by her prayers He could give her a son. Aditi prayed to Lord Vishnu and pleased with her prayers He appeared before her. He asked her to ask for a boon. Aditi said to Him – “King Bali has captured Swarg Lok because of which my son Indra is suffering. Get the Swarg Lok back to him, please.” Vishnu said to her – “Do not worry, I will be born as your son and give Indra’s kingdom back to him.”
Then in an auspicious Muhoort Vishnu appeared as Vaaman Avataar (dwarf) of 12 years of age in Aditi’s house. All Devtaa came there to pray Him and offered Him something or the other. After getting ready Vaaman Bhagavaan set off to Bali’s Yagya. Bali’s Yagya was about to finish. Whatever Vaaman had to do, He had to do before he finished his Yagya. This is the specialty of the Ashwamedh Yagya that no beggar should go empty handed from the Yagya doer’s house and nobody should remain hungry in his kingdom.
So taking advantage of this specialty, Vaaman came to the gate of Bali’s Yagyashaalaa and asked for a donation. As his people saw Vaaman Bhagavaan, they became mesmerized and just remained stood looking at the child’s beauty. When they came to their senses, they went inside and reported King Bali that a 12-year Braahman boy was standing at the gate and was asking for donation.
Bali got very happy to hear this, he immediately came out and took the boy inside. He was also very happy and mesmerized to see that young boy. He worshipped Him methodically and asked Him what He wanted. The boy said – “I need only three feet land to do my worship.” First King Bali did not understand this joke so he asked, “What? What did you say?” The boy again said – “I want only three feet land to do my worship.”
Hearing this Bali laughed loudly and said to the boy – “Child, Are you sure you want only three feet land? Do you know who you are asking this donation?” he boy said – “Yes, I am sure what I am asking for and I know this also that I am asking this donation from King Bali, the King of Tri-Lok.” Bali said – “Then ask for more land. Why do you want the land only for yourself, ask for more so that you can build an Aashram there and gather other Muni there. Ask something so that Bali should feel honor to give it to you. I can give you so much that even your descendents will not need to ask for anything.”
The boy said – “Hey Raajan, I am a Brahmchaaree so I will not have any descendents. Besides a true Braahman should never think of tomorrow, that is why I want only three feet land.” Bali got silent hearing this reply and asked one of his attendants to bring him some water to read the Sankalp to donate three feet land to the boy. The attendant immediately brought the water and gave to the King. Bali was about to read the Sankalp, that his Guru Shukraachaarya stopped him to read the Sankalp.
Now since he saw the boy, something was going on in Shukraachaarya’s mind. The boy did not seem to him an ordinary boy . He thought and thought and recognized the boy as Vishnu. So when Bali was about to read the Sankalp to donate three feet land to the boy, he whispered in Bali’s ears – “Raajan, Stop, He is not an ordinary boy, don’ t read the Sankalp.” Bali said – “Guru Jee, Whether he is an ordinary boy or extraordinary boy, when I have made up my mind to give Him what he is asking for, I cannot go back from my words.”
Shukraachaarya tried to explain him in many ways not to comply with child’s wish saying that He was not the boy, He was Bhagavaan Himself, but Bali did not listen to him and started reading the Sankalp and pouring the water from the pot. Bali said – “Guru Jee, I cannot go back from my words at any cost whether he is a boy or Bhagavaan. If he is a boy, this donation is nothing for him and me; and if He is Bhagavaan, then also this donation is nothing for Him and me. If He is an ordinary boy, what hhe will take from me; and if He is Bhagavaan then I should feel happy that nobody is more fortunate than me in this world today, that He who gives to everybody in Tri-Lok, has come to my door to ask me something. I am giving to Him who gives toi everybody.”
When Bali did not listen to him and started reading Sankalp, Shukraachaarya seeing no other alternative entered the spout of the pot from which Bali was pouring water so that the water does not come out and the process of donation is not complete. The water stopped coming from the pot. Bali got worried as what happened, his donation was not getting completed. Vaaman Bhagavaan knew that Shukraachaarya Jee had sat in the spout to stop water going through it.
So He picked a straw and inserted into the spout saying, “It seems something has come in the way.” The straw pricked the left eye of Shukraachaarya Jee, and blood came out of his eye. His eye got spoilt and he left the spout crying with pain.
As Bali completed reading his Sankalp of donation, the boy changed His form. He increased His body so much that His head started touching the sky. He measured the whole Prithvi in one foot, the whole Swarg Lok with His second foot and the whole sky was covered with His body. As His second foot touched the Brahm Lok, Brahmaa Jee got very happy to see it. He washed it with the water of his Kamandal and the water which flowed from washing it turned into Gangaa River.
Seeing His this Roop Bali again got mesmerized and just stood watching Him closely with folded hands. He was not at all sorry for his action that why did he give Him the three feet land. He was continuously looking at Bhagavaan’s Roop and was overjoyed to see it. After measuring Prithvi and Swarg Lok with His two feet, He asked Bali – “Now where should I keep my third foot?” Bali smiled – “Bhagavan, You are the Creator, You are the Maintainer and You are the Destroyer, This all belongs to You. You gave it to me before, and You have taken it from me now. What do I have which I can offer you now? I have only my body, so please take this also. Measure your third foot keeping your foot on my body.” Saying this he lay down on the floor facing downward.
Vishnu Bhagavaan got very pleased with Bali, He blessed Bali with immortality and said – “You are great, Bali. People will remember you for many coming Yug. You will be called Daanveer Bali. Since you lay down facing downward, I give you the kingdom of Sutal Lok. You go there with your people and live there comfortably. You will be given the status of Indra in next Manvantar.” Bali prayed Bhagavaan and went to Sutal Lok with his people.