Mahabali was a great ruler whose government was known as the “golden rule of Mahabali”. His fame spread far and wide that the Gods feared that he might become too powerful. So he approached Lord Vishnu, to curb the power of Mahabali. Lord Vishnu took the form of Vaamana (a dwarf) and approached Mahabali. He asked the good King for three paces of land. King Mahabali was so kind that he saw the small person and advised him to ask for something bigger. But the guru of demons, Guru Sukracharya, realized this was no ordinary brahmin and told the king to refuse any blessings. But King Mahabali refused and granted three paces of land to Vaamana. At that time, the dwarf grew in height, almost touching the sky. With his first step measured heaven, with his second the nether world. For his third pace, there was no room and King Mahabali offered his head. So he did and Mahabali was pushed into the lower world. But Lord Vishnu was so pleased with this great King who showed his viswarupa and gave him a blessing that he allowed Mahabali to visit the earth once a year in Onam.
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