The previous episode witnessed the culmination of an important and an interesting incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu, known famously as Bhagawan Vaamana or Bhagawan Trivikrama. It is to be remembered by readers that so far, we’ve witnessed the incarnations of “Kurma”, “Varaaha”, “Narasimha” “Hari” and “Vaamana”. This incarnation of Bhagawan Vaamana signifies lot of lessons for us to learn as well.
As we had witnessed yesterday, Bhagawan Vaamana grows into a mammoth size and measures all the three “Lokhas” of the world with just two of His feet of soil that He had asked to King Mahabali. As there was one more foot that was pending to be recovered, King Mahabali realizes that this little boy who came in front of him was none other than Bhagawan Vishnu Himself! Unlike other Raakshasas who we’ve so far seen (and are going to see) were getting angry and waging wars against Bhagawan, King Mahabali realized how fortunate he was, to give the entire world as a “Daanam” to Bhagawan Vishnu, who is the creator Himself! This is how King Mahabali, although being a Raakshasa, was very different from his other counterparts and this is also one of the reasons why Bhagawan Vishnu did not kill or harm Mahabali in any way. He was rather happy that King Mahabali was steadfast in his noble characteristic called “Daanam”, even though his Guru, Sage Shukraachaarya tried to stop him from doing it.
Appreciating him for this noble character and heart thus, Bhagawan Vishnu thus grants a wish to King Mahabali that he can visit his kingdom and people once every year and ensure that all of his people are very happy and contented. Upon knowing this, all his people were extremely happy and proud of their righteous king, and this is why even today, we see the festival called “Onam” being celebrated with lot of grandeur in the south-Indian state of Kerala. As part of this important festival, people welcome their beloved King Mahabali with beautiful floral designs, brightly lit lamps all over their homes, accompanied with a detailed lunch (“Sadhya”) with an enormous amount of food dishes being cooked! Even today, we have the all-important “Vaamana-Kshetra” in Kerala, where we can worship the very place where this entire event unfolded. Many of us might be familiar with the place called “Ernakulam” or Kochi in Kerala. Near to this Ernakulam city, there is a place called “Thirukkaatkara”, which is also one amongst the 108 “Divyadesams” of Bhagawan Vishnu. This Thirukkaatkara is the place from where King Mahabali was ruling the entire world, and it was this very place wherein Bhagawan Vishnu came in as the little Vaamana. Thus, Thirukkaatkara is a very important place in our spiritual map and we should make sure that we visit this place whenever we get time and obtain the divine blessings of Bhagawan Vaamana here.
Thus, we should learn from this event, the significance of “Daanam” as a characteristic. Whatever might be the situation, we should develop that quality of giving selflessly to those who are in need. Especially in testing times like these, in which all of us are stranded in various parts of the world, there are thousands and millions of people everywhere who are in dire need of food, money, etc. as they’ve lost their jobs and livelihood. All of us should make it a point to come forward and lend a helping hand to those people who are suffering. It is to be remembered that those people too have families and children, who have to be fed. We should thus invoke the noble character of helping others from King Mahabali and try to help as many people as we can during this tough phase of life. If not on a large scale, we can alteast try and lend a helping hand to our own people who are labourers, domestic workers, etc. in our house or society by offering them whatever little we can. At any instance, just because it is a lockdown period, we should not deny them their full month’s salary. We should give them their due share and ensure that they do not go into starvation.
More than just the money aspect, if possible, we shall even provide them with some essential items such as rice, dhal, and other important raw materials for preparing food at home. This would serve two purposes here – Firstly, they wouldn’t need to scout around to grocery shops, etc. to buy things, which might increase the possibility of them contracting the viral infection. By doing this offering to them, we shall ensure that they stay at home and maintain adequate “social distancing” norms as per the government’s advice and instruction. Secondly, by ensuring that these people stay at home, we shall contribute a bit to our nation by “breaking the chain” of this viral spread. If we’re keeping people at home, automatically the lockdown exercise undertaken by the government would gradually start bearing fruit. Hence, because of these two reasons, we should at this catastrophic juncture, try to invoke lessons of “Daanam” from King Mahabali’s life and implement them as much as possible. Rather than fretting about the current situation, we should take this as an opportunity to put many of the learnings into practice. We might not get a second chance again to serve people. So let us use this opportunity given by Bhagawan to the fullest extent possible, to serve as many needy people as possible.
Moving on thus, as Bhagawan measures all of the world and obtains it from King Mahabali, He reinstates all of it to Indra and the Devas. Thus, with this, Aditi’s wish was fulfilled. It is to be remembered by readers that Aditi, mother of Devas had performed the important “Payo-Vrata” only for this purpose.
With this, we come to the end of this important incarnation and the eighth “Skandha” of our “Srimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” continues with the next incarnation – “Matsya”. This is a very important incarnation wherein Bhagawan Vishnu is going to incarnate in the form of a huge fish to save the world from destruction. We now have to look into the story of the next “Manu” who was ruling the world, called “Shraadha Deva”. Who is this Shraadha Deva? What did he do? Why did Bhagawan incarnate again? Let’s wait till the next episode to commence a detailed discussion on these questions. Stay tuned! 😊