Vamana

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Vamana (Devanagari: वामन, IAST: Vāmana) is described in the Puranic texts of Hinduism as the Fifth Avatara of Vishnu, and the first incarnation of the Second Age, or the Treta yuga. Also he is the first Avatar of Vishnu which appears with a completely human form, though it was that of a dwarf brahmin. He is also sometimes known as Upendra.

Contents

Origin

Vamana was born to Aditi and Kashyapa.[1] He is the twelfth of the Adityas. Vamana is known to be the younger brother of Indra.

The legend of Bhagavata has it that the Vamana avatar was taken by Vishnu to restore Indra's authority over the heavens, which was taken away by force by the demon king Bali in Dravida.Bali was the grandson of Prahlada,the son of Hiranyakasuip. Vamana is a disguise of a short Brahman, carrying a wooden umbrella requested three steps of land for him to live in. Given a promise of three steps of land by King Mahabali against the warning given by his Guru Sukracharya, Vamana, The Supreme God grows so huge that he could cover from heaven to earth, earth to lower worlds in two simple steps. King Mahabali unable to fulfil the promise of three paces of land to the Supreme God, offers his head for the third step. Thus Vamana places his foot on King Mahabali's head and gives him immortality for his benevolence.

Symbolism

Vamana taught King Mahabali that arrogance and pride should be abandoned if any advancement in life is to be made, and that wealth should never be taken for granted since it can so easily be taken away. Vamana then took on the form of Mahavishnu and was pleased by King Mahabali's determination and ability to keep his promise, despite his spiritual master's curse and the prospect of losing all his wealth. Vishnu named the King Mahabali since he was a Mahatma (great soul). He allowed Mahabali to return to the spiritual sky to associate with Prahalada (the demoniac Hiranyakashipu's pious son) and other divine beings. Mahavishnu also declared that Mahabali would be able to rule the universe in the following yuga (age). Mahabali was the grandson of Prahlada, being the son of Prahlada's son Virochana who was killed in a battle with the Devas.

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