Vamana lila in brief by Srila Prabhupada

September 9, 2022 in Articles by Laksman dasa

krishna1008: 21 Sept 2018 -Sri Vamana Dwadashi : Appearance of Sri Vamana Deva

Vamana lila in brief by Srila Prabhupada –

There is a nice story of a great devotee, Bali Maharaja. Bali Maharaja was a very powerful king, and he conquered over the heavenly planets. So the denizens of the heavenly planets, they appealed to the Supreme Lord to save them, that “We are now conquered by the demonic king, Bali Maharaja.” 

So Bali Maharaja… And Krsna, Krsna took the shape of a dwarf and went to Bali Maharaja for begging as a brahmana boy. And He approached him, Bali Maharaja, “I want something from you. You are a great king. You give in charity to the brahmanas. So I want something from you.” So Bali Maharaja said, “Yes, I shall give You. What You want?” 

“Now, I want land of three steps …, in the measurement of My sole, three sole measurement. That’s all.” So He was a boy, His sole was sole…, not very long. So Bali Maharaja said, “What You will do with a small piece of land?” 

But He said, “Yes, that will suffice Me. If you promise this three measurement of My three palms land, that will suffice.” Then Bali Maharaja agreed, and by His two measurement of the palm, He covered the whole universe. 

Then He’s asking, “Bali Maharaja, now whatever you have got, you got, now it is finished by two feet, by two measurement of my palm. Now where I am going to keep My third, third one?” Then Bali Maharaja understood that it is the favor of the Supreme Lord. He said, “My dear Lord, yes, I have now lost everything. I have no other property, but I have got my head. Please kindly keep on it.” 

So the Lord was very much pleased on him, and He offered, “Bali Maharaja, then what do you want from Me?” “No, I never expected anything from You. I could understand You wanted from me everything; so I have offered my everything. That is finished. I don’t want…” Then Lord says, “Yes, but from My side, I have got something to offer you. I shall remain as your order-carrier servant in your door.” 

So He remained always… Just like we are sitting here, there may be some doorman, He, Lord became his doorman. So that is the return. If we offer something to Lord, oh, that is rewarded in many millions of times. So we should not expect. The Lord is always serious to return the service of the servant, of His devotee. So there are many devotees. This devotee, Bali Maharaja, surrendered everything for the service of the Lord. So he became a famous king. Sarvatma-snapane abhavad balir vaiyasakih.
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From Srila Prabhupada’s lecture on Bhagavad-gita 6.1-4 – September 2, 1966,
New York

Lord Vamana Dvadasi -Transcendental Appearance of Lord Vamandev
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Today is the appearance day of Lord Vamanadeva .

The following is from the summary of Srimad Bhagavatam 8th canto, chapter 18.
This chapter describes how Lord Vāmanadeva appeared and how He went to the sacrificial arena of Mahārāja Bali, who received Him well and fulfilled His desire by offering Him benedictions.

Lord Vāmanadeva appeared in this world from the womb of Aditi completely equipped with conchshell, disc, club and lotus. His bodily hue was blackish, and He was dressed in yellow garments. LordVisnu appeared at an auspicious moment on Śravana-dvādaśī when the Abhijit star had arisen. 

At that time, in all the three worlds (including the higher planetary system, outer space and this earth), all the demigods, the cows, the brāhmanas and even the seasons were happy because of God’s appearance. Therefore this auspicious day is called Vijayā.

When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has a sac-cid-ānanda body, appeared as the son of Kaśyapa and Aditi, both of His parents were very astonished. After His appearance, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf (Vāmana). All the great sages expressed their jubilation, and with Kaśyapa Muni before them they performed the birthday ceremony of Lord Vāmana. At the time of Lord Vāmanadeva’s sacred thread ceremony, He was honored by the sun-god, Brhaspati, the goddess presiding over the planet earth, the deity of the heavenly planets, His mother, Lord Brahmā, Kuvera, the seven rsis and others.

Lord Vāmanadeva then visited the sacrificial arena on the northern side of the Narmadā River, at the field known as Bhrgukaccha, where brāhmanas of the Bhrgu dynasty were performing yajñas. Wearing a belt made of muñja straw, an upper garment of deerskin and a sacred thread and carrying in His hands a danda, an umbrella and a waterpot (kamandalu), Lord Vāmanadeva appeared in the sacrificial arena of Mahārāja Bali. 

Because of His transcendentally effulgent presence, all the priests were diminished in their prowess, and thus they all stood from their seats and offered prayers to Lord Vāmanadeva. Even Lord Śiva accepts on his head the Ganges water generated from the toe of Lord Vāmanadeva. Therefore, after washing the Lord’s feet, Bali Mahārāja immediately accepted the water from the Lord’s feet on his head and felt that he and his predecessors had certainly been glorified. Then Bali Mahārāja inquired of Lord Vāmanadeva’s welfare and requested the Lord to ask him for money, jewels or anything He might desire.


Lord Vamanadeva asked for three paces of land in charity, and Bali Maharaja agreed to His proposal,despite Sukracarya tried to dissuade Bali Maharaja from giving land to Lord Vamanadeva.Despite his knowledge that Lord Vamanadeva was cheating him, Bali Maharaja gave everything to the Lord in charity, and thus the Lord extended His body and assumed a gigantic form as Lord Vishnu.

The Lord gradually covered the entire surface of the world, and by extending His body He covered the entire sky. With His hands He covered all directions, and with His second footstep He covered the entire upper planetary system. Therefore there was no vacant place where He could take His third footstep.

When Bali Maharaja was deprived of all his possessions, the demons were very angry. Although Bali Maharaja warned them not to do so, they took up weapons against Lord Vishnu. All of them were defeated, however, by Lord Vishnu’s eternal associates, and, in accordance with Bali Maharaja’s order, they all entered the lower planets of the universe. Understanding Lord Vishnu’s purpose, Garuda, the carrier of Lord Vishnu, immediately arrested Bali Maharaja with the ropes of Varuna. 

When Bali Maharaja was thus reduced to a helpless position, Lord Vishnu asked him for the third step of land. Because Lord Vishnu appreciated Bali Maharaja’s determination and integrity, when Bali Maharaja was unable to fulfill his promise, Lord Vishnu ascertained that the place for him would be the planet Sutala, which is better than the planets of heaven.


Bali Maharaj decided to give his head in charity as the place for Vishnu’s third step. Bali Maharaja also considered how great personalities give up their family relationships and material possessions to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indeed, they sometimes even sacrifice their lives for the satisfaction of the Lord, just to become His personal servants. Accordingly, by following in the footsteps of previous acaryas and devotees, Bali Maharaja perceived himself successful.

While Bali Maharaja, having been arrested by the ropes of Varuna, was offering prayers to the Lord, his grandfather Prahlada Maharaja appeared there and described how the Supreme Personality of Godhead had delivered Bali Maharaja by taking his possessions in a tricky way. While Prahlada Maharaja was present, Lord Brahma and Bali’s wife, Vindhyavali, described the supremacy of the Supreme Lord. 

Since Bali Maharaja had given everything to the Lord, they prayed for his release. The Lord then described how a nondevotee’s possession of wealth is a danger whereas a devotee’s opulence is a benediction from the Lord. Then, being pleased with Bali Maharaja, the Supreme Lord offered His disc to protect Bali Maharaja and promised to remain with him.

Jaya Lord Vamanadeva!