Episode # 240 – The grand “ONAM” festival in Kerala – A fitting tribute to King Mahabali!!!

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a crucial juncture wherein King Mahabali grossly disobeys the words of his “Guru”, Sage Shukraachaarya. As Bhagawan Vaamana looks on, Sage Shukraachaarya tries to educate King Mahabali that he is doing a wrong thing by committing for a “Dhaanam” to the little boy. Sage Shukraachaarya warns King Mahabali that this little boy is none other than Bhagawan Vishnu Himself, who has come to outsmart him and capture all the three “Lokhas” by asking for three feet of soil. However, epitome of “Dhaanam” as he is, King Mahabali refutes Sage Shukraachaarya by saying that he’s more than happy to give Vaamana whatever he wants, if he really is Bhagawan Vishnu Himself!

Saying thus, King Mahabali goes ahead to pour the water from his “Kamandalam” vessel on to the hands of Bhagawan Vaamana. Unable to resist himself, Sage Shukraachaarya wants to desperately save King Mahabali from what is going to unfold. Thus, he takes the form of a small fly, enters into the entrance of the “Kamandala” vessel and blocks it. As King Mahabali tries to pour the water, it doesn’t flow into Bhagawan Vaamana’s hands! Seeing this, Bhagawan Vaamana realized who was playing the ploy here! Hence he take a small “Dharba” stick from his waist, pokes through the entrance of the “Kamandala” vessel. Unable to bear the sharpness of the stick, Sage Shukraachaarya falls on the ground by losing one of his eyes! Thus, the water freely flows from the vessel to Bhagawan Vaamana’s hands! The “Dhaanam” is thus officiated!

As the “Dhaanam” is now official and as the entire set of audience is watching this event, Bhagawan Vaamana starts to grow. He grows in an unimaginable speed and size. It is to be remembered that King Mahabali has committed himself to donate three feet of soil. Thus, with His mammoth size, Bhagawan Vaamana measures one foot of soil with all of the “Bhoolokha” (The surface). Now the second feet of soil – Bhagawan Vaamana raises his other foot and measures all of the “Aakaasha” (Bhuvar Lokha) and the “Deva Lokha” (Suvar Lokha) together.

Now the third foot of soil is remaining! With just two feet, Bhagawan has measured the entire three “Lokhas” of the world and now Bhagawan is asking King Mahabali thus, “Oh Mahabali! You had committed for three feet of soil. I’ve measured two feet of it with all of the world. Now tell me where is the third feet of soil!”

This is where, Bhagawan Vaamana obtained the name “Trivikrama”. Here, “Tri” means three. “Krama” means feet. Stunned by what has just conspired, King Mahabali ran out of words! Who was once conspired by him as a little boy, is standing in front of him with a mammoth size, having measured the entire world, along with it’s three “Lokhas”, with one more foot of soil remaining to be given! What would poor King Mahabali say now? He was clearly outsmarted by Bhagawan Vishnu! Sage Shukraachaarya was right in what he said! King Mahabali discarded his Guru’s words and thus ended up giving the entire world to Bhagawan Vishnu!

Unfazed by what has just happened, King Mahabali makes up his mind. Anyway, he was more than happy to be known to the world as an epitome of “Dhaanam” and thus, did not care that he has lost his entire wealth to Bhagawan Vishnu! Anyway, all of the wealth, name, fame, etc. in this world are all Bhagawan’s property, isn’t it? Who are we to claim things in this world as ours? Making up his mind thus, King Mahabali replies, “Oh Bhagawan Vishnu! I knew that you were the person in the form of the little boy who had come to me, asking for three feet of soil! However, I had accepted for the deal, because I wanted to be known as the epitome of the noble characteristic called “Dhaanam”. Now I’m prepared to give my head to your feet, as the third foot of soil, which is remaining! Please keep your feet on my head and with it, I’ll finish my chapter in this world. I’m happy that I’m fortunate enough to have your divine feet on me!”

Saying thus, King Mahabali continues further thus, “Oh Bhagawan Vishnu! I have just one wish that I would like to have from you!” Bhagawan Vishnu replies thus, “Oh Mahabali! I’m impressed with your character and nature and I’m ready to grant any wish that you ask for! So please ask me whatever you want and it is my bound duty to grant it! You’ve had the heart to give the entire world as a “Dhaanam” to me, and I’m indebted to your nature and character!” As Bhagawan Vishnu praises him thus, King Mahabali requests thus, “Oh Bhagawan! From now, atleast once in a year, I should be able to visit my people and should see them happy and cheerful! I should be able to dwell in each person’s home and should see them immersed in spirituality, peace and happiness! Please grant this one wish for me!” As Bhagawan Vishnu hears this from King Mahabali, He was overwhelmed with joy and grants the wish immediately!

It is only because of this wish, we have the famous festival called “Onam” in Kerala (A state in southern India), being celebrated with lot of grandeur every year. It is a very popular and one of the biggest festivals for people in this state. It is thus believed that King Mahabali visits each of their homes and people receive their dear king with a beautifully designed “Attha-Poo-Kalam” (A beautiful floral design), with lamps lit all over their houses and with a grand feast (“Sadhya”) of different varieties of food.

Thus, with this, we come to the end of Bhagwan Vishnu’s “Vaamana Avatara”. For today, let us experience this blissful incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu and enjoy it to the fullest. We shall wait till the next episode to commence the next important event! Stay tuned! 😊

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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