Maanavaas always want vyaapti — how much ever dhanam, yashas, aarogyam, kutumbam, power etc. one has, he always wants more and more. In the struggle to satisfy his wants he undergoes a lot of pain and experiences duhkha when the wants are not satisfied. A weaker mind may also resort to adharma maargas for achieving vyaapti. The story of Bali showcases his satya-vaak-paripaalana and the teaching of Vaamana murty about vyaapti.
Bali chakravarti is one of the greatest kings. Though he was a daitya, he never deviated from the path of truth or Dharma. He was a great Bhakta of Lord Vishnu and was praised by everyone. Since dharma was on his side, his power, strength kept on increasing. Once he decided to wage a war against Indra (as daityaas and devatas were always enemies). Indra, on knowing that Bali is coming for war, asked Mahaavishnu to save him. Bali was one of greatest bhaktas of Vishnu and also a firm follower of Dharma but only had the want for more and more vyaapti. Vishnu gave abhayam to Indra and took birth as the child of the Mahaapativrata Aditi and Kashyapa maharshi. Kashyapa and aditi did a very long tapas and hence Vishnu blessed them by being their child. After Upanayanam, the small vatu, Vaamana, taking tiny tiny steps, reached the palace of Bali.
He did asheervaadam to Bali saying "Swasti". Bali did yathaavidhi namaskaars to the vatu and asked Him "divya vastra-abharanaas, very tasty mahaa phalas, huge vanyaas, best quality cows, rathaas, ratnaas, vimrushtaannaas, kanyas, elephants, gold, graamas, huge fertile lands, part of my kingdom (which includes all the 3 lookas!) and whatever you please I am ready to give you O great braahmana. Please ask me what you want". Vaamana murty replied "O mahaanubhaava Bali, I am a brahmachaari. What will I do with all these things? Please give me 1 or 2 steps of place. Also for a saamaanya like Me trupti is important. One must never worry if vyaapti is not achieved and must be always satisfied with whatever he gets by praaptam. A person who does not do like this will he be satisfied even if he gets the whole universe? (No)" Since Bali said that he will give whatever Vaamana asks, he was preparing to do the daanam. Sukraacharya, the guru of the daityaas, realizing that Vaamana is none other than Mahaavishnu who came to teach Bali a lesson, said "O Bali, in certain un-avoidable situations one need not keep up his word" and taught Bali his Raakshasa neeti. He also told Bali who Vaamana was. However Bali did not agree to break his word, infact he said "Aaha! what great punyaas have I done that the Hand of Srihari will be below & my hand will be above! It is not an ordinary hand. I will not loose this chance of giving daanam to the shrushti, sthiti, laya kaaraka of the entire universe, even if I loose my entire kingdom. Also what is there to think, as if this body will be forever." Saying this Bali gave 3 steps of place for Vaamana. Daanam must always be done assuming that the daana-grahita is none other than Vishnu avatar and Bali did it the same way. Immediately Vaamana murty started to grow like this to become Trivikrama:
He started growing, he touched the nabho-veedhi, he reached toyaja-mandalam, then prabhaa-raashi, crossed moon and sun, reached dhruva, touched mahavraati and then crossed satyalokam and finally filled the entire universe in all directions leaving no space! Then with one step he occupied earth, with the other the aakaasham. Since Bali did not have anything other than these, he showed his head as the third place and Trivikrama then took the third step and pushed Bali into rasaatalalokam. Seeing this un-believable, divya leela of Mahaavishnu Brahma deva asked Trivikrama "Naaraayana! You have ananta leelas. As soon as you asked Bali, he gave you daanam and kept his word. Also he is a great Bhakta of yours. What is your aantaryam in binding him?". Trivikrama murty replied "O Brahma! I will first take away all the arthaas of the person who I wish to bless. I will test my bhakta and remove any small buddhi-doshaas he has and give him moksham. Also I am making Bali the Indra during the Saavarni manvantaram."
Morals in the story:
- Vyaapti for a person is important but it must never be overdone. One must always be satisfied with what he has. The amruta vaakyaas of Lord Vaamana must always be remembered.
- Bali was prepared to loose anything for keeping up his word. God always likes such people only.
- Importance of atithi seva was well illustrated by Bali. He welcomed the vatu and offered to give whatever he asks.
- Seeing the adbhuta avataar of Lord Vishnu, Brahmadeva washed His feet. This water became the holy ganga maata, the daughter of Brahmadeva. Since Her birth was at Trivikrama murty'a feet, Ganga is the most sacred river for the Indians.
- Jaambavanta, the avataar of Brahma (He created Himself in order to do tapas for Vishnu, since He was not getting free time from the task of creation :) ) , seeing the divya roopa of Trivikrama, immediately made 7 pradakshinas to Lord Trivikrama!
- Bali was the grandson of the great Bhakta Prahlada. He was born to King Virochana and Surochana.