|Vishnu as Trivikrama, Mamallapuram, Tamil Naduen.wikipedia.org|
|Vamana Avatar. Vamanar putting the foot on Mahabali's head. pinterest.com|
|Vishnu covering the sky with his second stride. bhootsms.blogspot.com|
Legend has it once Sri Vishnu took the fifth avatar of Vamana (dwarf) in order to subdue the pride and presumption of King Mahabali. As Mahabali was man of charitable disposition, Sri Vishnu in the guise of a dwarf approached him and asked him to donate the land that could be covered by his three strides. Not realizing the little saint demanding so small a land was none other than Sri Vishnu, he agreed with scorn. Vamanar taking his Visvaroopam (giant form), covered the earth with one stride and the sky with his second stride. Vamanar asked Mahabali, ''Where can I place my third stride?'' Mahabali, who stood before the giant Vamanar, was literally dumbfounded. He could not believe his eyes, Any way the king was particular about keeping his promise, so what he did was, with humility, he asked Vamanar to put his foot on his head. Upon putting his foot on Mahabali's head, Vishnu said, ''Regardless of your predicament, you have kept your promise and you will ever reside in the world of divinity''. This is the reason why Vishnu got the name Thiruvikraman.
It is therefore wrong to conclude that Sri Vishnu pushed Mahabali into the nether world (pathal) by placing his foot on his head.
The correct interpretation is by putting his foot on the king's head Sri Vishnu blessed him, got rid of his blemishes and made him part of his world so that he could lead a happy blissful life for ever.
God's avatars (incarnation) always have some hidden message for the humanity and it is for their betterment and welfare. King Mahabali, though god-fearing and charitable, was over -whelmingly haughty and arrogant. So, the lord decided to correct him and make him understand his folly.
following -------Vamanar's first stride covering the earth: It implies that humans must stop being greedy and over ambitious.etc. Must avoid bad habits and over involvement in sex. They are all related to human body and its uncontrollable desires.
Vamanar's second stride: It implies that humans must get rid of rage, revulsion, fear, nervousness, etc; all related to human emotions. To succeed in life and be happy we should not give room to them keep the emotions under control.
Vamanar's third stride, placing the foot on the head of the king: It implies that all the bad and negative thoughts, including king's ego, arrognce, etc get buried for good and he becomes a matured and balanced man. No matter how great a man is, he must have humility.
As humans, we must learn to control all these temptations, emotions, etc to lead a quiet and blissful life. So,
|Dwarf Vamana avatar at Rani ki vav, Patan, Gujarateen.wikipedia.org|
Source: Aanmeegam Weekly Magazine, Dinamalar 31 March, 2019