Why Shiva Blessed Bali: Story of Lord Shiva’s blessings to Mahabali

While describing the first battle among Bali and Indira, one among many versions indicates that Bali was not beheaded; rather the Brahmin Sukracharya carried out the “Mrita Sanjeevani” for reviving non beheaded bodies.

There is a belief in the texts like Abhinanda’s Rāmaćharita that Bali was still to achieve Indra’s throne and consequently he was performing the Aswamedha Yagna, a ritual the Indian kings have historically been performing to expand their kingdom, to finally achieve it. He attempted to perform as many as Indra when Vamana intervened and asked for 3 strides of land as a matter of sacrifice.

To rein in the conceit of Indra, it was Lord Vishnu who positioned Bali in power, according to the Brahma-Vaivarta Puranam,. The Bhagavata Purana recited that Lord Vishnu would seize the kingdom from Purandara (Lord Indra) and hand it over to Bali Maharaja.

King Mahabali composed a melodious song ‘Hari Naam Mala Stotram” to honor the Lord Vishnu. Pandit Jasraj is known for his famous Bhajan in the name of Lord Vishnu recited as ‘Om Namoh Bhagwate Vasudevaya,’

A Shaiva tradition believes that a rat, when coming in contact with a lamp and consequently making it burn brightly in a Shiva temple, subsequently took birth and becoming the famous emperor, Mahabali (P. 180 Philosophical Series by University of Madras, 1960). As per this legend, Lord Shiva initially told his consort Paravati that anyone who would make the lamp to burn brightly would become the ruler of the three universes.

A rat in the guise to drink the ghee obtained off melting the butter approached it, but when it tried to lick, the flame got relighted into its mouth. Parvati asked Lord Shiva to keep up his promise and so did Lord Shiva.

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