Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 8 Chapter 18:15-23

Book 8: Chapter 18

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 8: Chapter 18: Verses 15-23
The Lord appears as the divine Dwarf and visits the sacrificial performance of Bali

Goddess Earth gave to the Lord of the universe a deerskin and Soma (the moon-god), the lord of the vegetable kingdom, the sacred staff (which a Brahmacari must always carry in his hand). His mother (Aditi) gave Him a strip of cloth to cover His privy parts with as well as a piece of cloth (to be wrapped about His loins) and Dyauh (the deity presiding over the sky), an umbrella. Brahma (the repository of Veda) gave to the immortal lord a Kamandalu (a vessel of wood or cocoanut-shell for carrying water); the seven seers, blades of the (sacred) Kusa grass and Saraswati (the goddess of speech and learning), a rosary of Aka seeds, O great king ! To Him, when invested with the sacred thread, Kubera (the lord of the Yaksas) gave a small vessel for (receiving and holding alms); while the all-virtuous Goddess lima, the Mother of the universe, Her-self gave Him alms[1]. Thus honoured (by all those assembled in the hermitage of the sage Kasyapa), that most worthy Brahmana Boy outshone by His Brahmanical glory the assembly graced by hosts of Brahmana sages.

Having swept the Vedi (raised ground for placing the sacred fire) with blades of Kusa grass (in order to drive away insects) and installing the sacred fire, and having strewn (other) blades of Kusa round it (in the prescribed manner by way of protection against evil spirits) and (then) fully lighting the fire, the Brahmana (boy) duly worshipped it in everyway and fed it by means of sacrificial sticks (daubed with clarified butter). Having heard of the mighty Bali propitiating the Lord by means of horse-sacrifices conducted by the Bhrgus, Lord Vamana, who was rich in all strength, proceeded thence (from the hermitage of Aditi) to that place (the sacrificial hall of Bali), causing the earth by His (huge) weight to bend low at every step. The celebrated Bhrgus, who were conducting as the priests of Bali a horse-sacrifice (the best of all sacrifices) at the (holy) spot bearing the name of Bhrgu-Kaccha on the northern bank of the (sacred) Narmada (the modern Narbada river), keenly observed Him (resplendent) as the sun risen close to them. Eclipsed by the splendour of the divine Dwarf, O protector of human beings, the said priests including the sacrificer (King Bali himself) and the superintending priests thereupon speculated whether the sun-god or Vibhavasu (the god of fire) or again the (divine) sage Sanatkumara was actually coming (there) with a desire to witness the sacrificial performance. Thus speculated about by the Bhrgus and their disciple (Bali) in ways more than one, the said Lo,-d Vamana (forthwith) entered the enclosure of the horse-sacrifice, bearing the umbrella along with the sacred staff (in one of his hands) and the Kamandalu full of water (in the other).



  1. A Brahmacari (religious student) is enjoined to beg his food daily from the mothers of a number of families of the twice-born classes and begins this routine from the very day he is invested with the sacred thread, when he receives his very first round of alms from an elderly and respectable female relation whose husband is alive.

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