Lord Vamanadeva, The Dwarf Incarnation
Sukadeva Goswami Sukadeva Gosvami said: After Lord Brahma had thus spoken, glorifying the Supreme Lord’s activities and prowess, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is never subject to death like an ordinary living being, appeared from the womb of Aditi. At that time the Lord appeared very beautiful. His four hands were decorated with a conch shell, club, lotus and disc, He was dressed in yellow garments, and His eyes resembled the petals of a blooming lotus. The body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, blackish in complexion, was free from all imperfections. His lotus face, decorated with ear-rings in the shape of sharks, appeared very beautiful, and on His bosom was the mark of Śrīvatsa. He wore bangles on His wrists, armlets on His arms, a helmet on His head a belt on His waist, a sacred thread across His chest, and ankle bells decorating His lotus feet. An uncommonly beautiful garland of flowers decorated His bosom, and because the flowers were extremely fragrant, a large group of bees, making their natural humming sounds, invaded them for honey. When the Lord appeared, wearing the Kaustubha gem on His neck, His effulgence vanquished the darkness in the home of Prajapati Kasyapa. At that time, there was happiness in all directions, in the reservoirs of water like the rivers and oceans, and in the core of everyone’s heart. The various seasons displayed their respective qualities, and all living entities in the upper planetary system, in outer space and on the surface of the earth were jubilant. The demigods, the cows, the brāhmaṇas and the hills and mountains were all filled with joy.
On the day of Śravaṇa-dvādaśī [the twelfth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhādra], when the moon came into the lunar mansion Śravaṇa, at the auspicious moment of Abhijit, the Lord appeared in this universe. Considering the Lord’s appearance very auspicious, all the stars and planets, from the sun to saturn, were munificently charitable. O King, when the Lord appeared on Dvādaśī, (the twelfth day of the moon) the sun was at the meridian, as every learned scholar knows. This Dvādaśī is called Vijayā. Conch shells, kettledrums, drums, paṇavas and ānakas vibrated in concert. The sound of these and various other instruments was tumultuous. Being very pleased, the celestial dancing girls [Apsarās] danced in jubilation, the best of the Gandharvas sang songs, and the great sages, demigods, Manus, Pitās and fire-gods offered prayers to satisfy the Lord. The Siddhas, Vidyādharas, Kimpuruṣas, Kinnaras, Cāraṇas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, Suparṇas, the best of serpents, and the followers of the demigods all showered flowers on Aditi’s residence, covering the entire house, while glorifying and praising the Lord and dancing.
When Aditi saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had appeared from her womb, having accepted a transcendental body by His own spiritual potency, she was struck with wonder and was very happy. Upon seeing the child, Prajapati Kasyapa exclaimed, “Jaya! Jaya!” in great happiness and wonder. The Lord appeared in His original form, with ornaments and weapons in His hands. Although this ever-existing form is not visible in the material world, He nonetheless appeared in this form. Then, in the presence of His father and mother, He assumed the form of Vamana, a brāhmaṇa-dwarf, a brahmacārī, just like a theatrical actor.
When the great sages saw the Lord as the brahmacārī-dwarf Vamana, they were certainly very pleased. Thus, they placed before them Kasyapa Muni, the Prajapati, and performed all the ritualistic ceremonies, such as the birthday ceremony. At the sacred thread ceremony of Vamanadeva, the sun-god personally uttered the Gāyatrī mantra, Brhaspati offered the sacred thread, and Kasyapa Muni offered a straw belt. Mother earth gave Him a deerskin, and the demigod of the moon, who is the king of the forest, gave Him a brahma-daṇḍa [the rod of a brahmacārī]. His mother, Aditi, gave Him cloth for underwear, and the deity presiding over the heavenly kingdom offered Him an umbrella. O King, Lord Brahma offered a waterpot to the inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead, the seven sages offered Him kuśa grass, and mother Sarasvati gave Him a string of Rudrākṣa beads. When Vamana-deva had thus been given the sacred thread, Kuvera, King of the Yakṣas, gave Him a pot for begging alms, and mother Bhagavati, the wife of Lord Siva and most chaste mother of the entire universe, gave Him His first alms. Having thus been welcomed by everyone, Lord Vamanadeva, the best of the brahmacārīs, exhibited His Brahman effulgence. Thus, He surpassed in beauty that entire assembly, even though it was filled with great saintly brāhmaṇas. After Lord Sri Vamanadeva set a sacrificial fire, He offered worship and performed a fire sacrifice on the sacrificial field.
When the Lord heard that Bali Maharaja was performing aśvamedha sacrifices under the patron- age of brāhmaṇas belonging to the Bhrgu dynasty, the Supreme Lord, who is full in every respect, proceeded there to show His mercy to Bali Ma- haraja. By His weight, He pushed down the earth with every step. While engaged in performing the sacrifice in the field known as Bhrgukaccha, on the northern bank of the Namada River, the brahminical priests, the descendants of Bhrgu, saw Vamanadeva to be like the sun rising nearby. O King, because of Vamanadeva’s bright effulgence, the priests, along with Bali Maharaja and all the members of the assembly, were robbed of their splendour. Thus, they began to ask one another whether the sun god himself, Sanat-kumara or the fire-god had personally come to see the sacrificial ceremony. While the priests of the Bhrgu dynasty and their disciples talked and argued in various ways, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vamanadeva, holding in His hands the rod, the umbrella and a water pot full of water, entered the arena of the aśvamedha sacrifice. Appearing as a brāhmaṇa boy, wearing a belt of straw, a sacred thread, an upper garment of deerskin, and matted locks of hair, Lord Vamanadeva entered the arena of sacrifice. His brilliant effulgence diminished the brilliance of all the priests and their disciples, who thus stood from their seats and welcomed the Lord properly by offering obeisance. Bali Maharaja, jubilant upon seeing Lord Vamanadeva, whose beautiful limbs contributed equally to the beauty of His entire body, offered Him a seat with great satisfaction. After offering a proper reception to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always beautiful in the vision of the liberated souls, Bali Maharaja worshiped Him by washing His lotus feet. Lord Siva, the best of demigods, who carries on his forehead the emblem of the moon, receives on his head with great devotion the Ganges water emanating from the toe of Visnu. Being aware of religious principles, Bali Maharaja knew this. Consequently, following in the footsteps of Lord Siva, he also placed on his head the water that had washed the Lord’s lotus feet.
Bali Maharaja then said to Lord Vamanadeva: O brāhmaṇa, I offer You my hearty welcome and my respectful obeisance. Please let us know what we may do for You. We think of You as the personified austerity of the great brāhmaṇa sages. O my Lord, because You have kindly arrived at our home, all my forefathers are satisfied, our family and entire dynasty have been sanctified, and the sacrifice we are performing is now complete because of Your presence. O son of a brāhmaṇa, today the fire of sacrifice is ablaze according to the injunction of the śāstra, and I have been freed from all the sinful reactions of my life by the water that has washed Your lotus feet. O my Lord, by the touch of Your small lotus feet the entire surface of the world has been sanctified. O son of a brāhmaṇa, it appears that You have come here to ask me for something. Therefore, whatever You want You may take from me. O best of those who are worshipable. You may take from me a cow, gold, a furnished house, palatable food and drink, the daughter of a brāhmaṇa for Your wife, prosperous villages, horses, elephants, chariots or whatever You desire.
– Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) > Canto 8: Withdrawal of the Cosmic Creation > Chapter 18: Lord Vamanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation, Verses: 1-32.
Lord Vamanadeva, The Dwarf Incarnation
Lord Vamanadeva, The Dwarf Incarnation