Bāli

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Krishna Maheshwari


Sometimes transliterated as: Bali, BAli, Baali


  1. powerful
  2. the mighty Vānara king of Kişkindhyā who was the son of Indra, the half-brother of Sugriva and the husband of Tārā and the father of Ańgada. He was slain treacherously by Rāma while engaging in dual combat with Sugriva[1]
  3. Prahlāda's grandson, Bāli[2], was an asura and a devotee of Lord Viṣṇu.

Prahlāda's grandson

He died in a battle with Indra[3]. After being brought back to life by his guru Śukrācārya, he performed severe austerities and eventually received divine weapons which he used to usurpe svarga, the Kingdom of Indra.

After their defeat, the devas appealed to Lord Viṣṇu to help them regain their domain.

Viṣṇu as the muni named Vāmana[4] approached Bāli for alms. He asked Bāli for as much land as three strides which Bāli granted. Viṣṇu then increased his stature and occupied all the three worlds in his first two strides.

He then asked Bāli where to put his third stride as there was no land in the universe left. Bāli in order to fulfill his boon offered his head.

Viṣṇu, pleased with Bāli's unconditional generosity made him the king of the netherworld. In a later incarnation, Bāli became Indra in cycle of creation known as Sāvarṇika Manvantara. He is listed among the eight cirajivins (those who are immortal).

References

  1. Valmiki Rāmayana
  2. son of Virocana
  3. the king of devas
  4. the Dwarf avatar
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
  • Bāli by Jit Majumdar