Vamana Avatar – Part 1 – Bali defeats Indra


<< Part 2 >>

After the churning of the celestial ocean in which Lord Vishnu helped the devas obtain the Amrit, the nectar of immortality all for themselves, the asuras were enraged at this turn of events. They took up arms against the devas and attacked them on the shores of the ocean itself. Led by their commander Maharaja Bali (grandson of Prahlada), the asuras fought valiantly but the devas, who were enthused and enlivened after drinking the nectar managed to parry their attacks bravely.

Bali attacked Indra with all his best weapons and used various techniques of warfare to try and overpower the commander of the devas. Enraged by Bali’s attempts at sorcery and magical techniques to defeat him, Indra used his famed Vajra, the thunderbolt to render the asura commander unconscious, and left him for dead on the battlefield.

It was Sukracharya, a descendant of Bhrigu Muni who resuscitated Bali and nurtured him back to health. Overcome with gratitude for this gesture, Bali became a disciple of Sukracharya and served him with great faith. Pleased with his devotion and faith to his master, the holy men in the ashram suggested that Bali perform the Visvajit yagna, which would help him achieve his ultimate desire of defeating Indra.

When the sacrifice was performed, Bali received a celestial chariot, magical horses, weapons, and an entire army from the sacrificial fire. After offering his thanks and obeisance to his master and the assembled holy men, Bali then marched towards the capital of Indra. He gathered his entire army outside the capital and attacked it from all directions.

Noticing Bali’s renewed strength and disturbed by the same, Indra then approached his spiritual master Brihaspati and asked him the source of Bali’s newfound energy, enthusiasm and vigor. Brihaspati then told Indra about how Bali had managed to please the descendants of Bhrigu Muni and as a result was now equipped with supreme spiritual power, the likes of which could be overcome only by the Supreme Personality of God-head.

Brihaspati then advised Indra that a time would come when Bali would insult brahmanas which would immediately render all the benedictions that he had received from them inconsequential. However, until such a time it would be appropriate for the demi gods to leave the capital and go somewhere else. Taking the advice of their spiritual master, Indra and the demi gods then left their heavenly kingdom and scattered.

Bali, now with the satisfaction of having defeated his nemesis Indra, proceeded to perform one hundred ashwamedha sacrifices.

<< Part 2 >>

9 thoughts on “Vamana Avatar – Part 1 – Bali defeats Indra

  1. Ah yes.. Vamana Avatara..
    I feel like its one of the most underrated avataras of Lord Vishnu.
    A riveting tale though! 🙂

    • @Kavi, such words coming from a prolific blogger such as yourself mean a lot to me, thank you and am glad you enjoy these mythology related posts 🙂

    • @TTS, I refer to English translations of the original Sanskrit texts and then go on to narrate the stories in easy to read language 🙂

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