Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Vamana at Wikipedia

See Avatara. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] 'A descent.' The incarnation of a deity, especially of Vishnu. The 10 Avataras of Vishnu:

5. Vamana `The dwarf.' The origin of this incarnation is "the three strides of Vishnu," spoken of in the Rigveda, as before explained.

In the Tretayuga, or second age, the Daitya king Bali had, by his devotions and austerities, acquired the dominion of the three worlds, and the gods were shorn of their power and dignity. To remedy this, Vishnu was born as a diminutive son of Kasyapa and Aditi.

The dwarf appeared before Bali, and begged of him as much land as he could step over in three paces. The generous monarch complied with the request. Vishnu took two strides over heaven and earth; but respecting the virtues of Bali, he then stopped, leaving the dominion of patala, or the infernal regions, to Bali.


Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM