Sacrifice of Emperor Bali
Puttaparthi, Sai Kulwanth Hall (Onam )
Emperor Bali was the personification of charity. He sacrificed everything during yagnas (sacrificial offerings). To uphold the principle of truth, he was prepared to sacrifice everything. Vamana came forward and asked for 3 feet of land. Bali, without a second thought, promised that he will give. Preceptor Sukracharya objected. 'Emperor Bali, this is no ordinary boy. He is highly powerful. The very embodiment of Vishnu is here. If you promise him anything, you cannot go back. It is better that you don’t promise him anything at all'. Then Emperor Bali said, 'Can there be a greater sin than going back on a word once given?' He disobeyed the command of his guru, and gave his promise to Vamana. Bali strived to uphold truth. God granted him all happiness and pleasure and sent him to Pathala. Pathala means that you will never be born again, birth-less. And Emperor Bali begged Vishnu to grant him a wish. 'Just as you conversed with me today, just as you entered Kerala now, every year you should visit this Kerala and take care of all the people of Kerala' - that was his request. People of Kerala celebrate this festival of Onam which signifies the visit of Vamana to this planet Earth. Bali was highly virtuous, highly meritorious, though born in a demonic family he had all the noble qualities. Because of the meritorious deeds of Emperor Bali, the people of Kerala are blessed with this opportunity of celebrating Onam.