For the Appearance of Lord Vamanadeva

 Canto Eight  Chapter Eighteen of the Srimad Bhagavata

Lord Vamanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation

This is a shortened version please refer to the full version if desired found here: .


                                  TEXT 1

                            sri-suka uvaca

                  ittham virinca-stuta-karma-viryah

                    pradurbabhuvamrta-bhur adityam

                  catur-bhujah sankha-gadabja-cakrah

                    pisanga-vasa nalinayateksanah


   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. His four hands were decorated with a conchshell, club, lotus and disc, He was dressed in yellow garments, and His eyes appeared like the petals of a blooming lotus.


   The word amrta-bhuh is significant in this verse. The Lord sometimes appears like an ordinary child taking birth, but this does not mean that He is subject to birth, death or old age. One must be very intelligent to understand the appearance and activities of the Supreme Lord in His incarnations. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.9): janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah. One should try to understand that the Lord’s appearance and disappearance and His activities are all divyam, or transcendental. The Lord has nothing to do with material activities. One who understands the appearance, disappearance and activities of the Lord is immediately liberated. After giving up his body, he never again has to accept a material body, but is transferred to the spiritual world (tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so ‘rjuna).

                                TEXT 2

                   syamavadato jhasa-raja-kundala-

                 tvisollasac-chri-vadanambujah puman

                  srivatsa-vaksa balayangadollasat-



   The body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, blackish in complexion, was free from all inebrieties. His lotus face, decorated with earrings resembling sharks, appeared very beautiful, and on His bosom was the mark of Srivatsa. 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.

                                TEXT 3

                  madhu-vrata-vrata-vighustaya svaya

                    virajitah sri-vanamalaya harih

                   prajapater vesma-tamah svarocisa

                 vinasayan kantha-nivista-kaustubhah


   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 the Prajapati Kasyapa.

                                TEXT 4

                   disah praseduh salilasayas tada

                   prajah prahrsta rtavo gunanvitah

                  dyaur antariksam ksitir agni-jihva

                   gavo dvijah sanjahrsur nagas ca


   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 brahmanas and the hills and mountains were all filled with joy.

                                TEXT 5


                      sronayam sravana-dvadasyam

                       muhurte ‘bhijiti prabhuh

                       sarve naksatra-taradyas

                      cakrus taj-janma daksinam


   On the day of Sravana-dvadasi [the twelfth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhadra], when the moon came into the lunar mansion Sravana, 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.


   Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, an expert astrologer, explains the word naksatra-taradyah. The word naksatra means “the stars,” the word tara in this context refers to the planets, and adyah means “the first one specifically mentioned.” Among the planets, the first is Surya, the sun, not the moon. Therefore, according to the Vedic version, the modern astronomer’s proposition that the moon is nearest to the earth should not be accepted. The chronological order in which people all over the world refer to the days of the week–Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday–corresponds to the Vedic order of the planets and thus circumstantiates the Vedic version. Apart from this, when the Lord appeared the planets and stars became situated very auspiciously, according to astrological calculations, to celebrate the birth of the Lord.

                                TEXT 6

                       dvadasyam savitatisthan

                        madhyandina-gato nrpa

                        vijaya-nama sa prokta

                       yasyam janma vidur hareh


   O King, when the Lord appeared–on dvadasi, the twelfth day of the moon–the sun was at the meridian, as every learned scholar knows. This dvadasi is called Vijaya.

                                TEXT 7

                       sankha-dundubhayo nedur



                       nirghosas tumulo ‘bhavat


   Conchshells, kettledrums, drums, panavas and anakas vibrated in concert. The sound of these and various other instruments was tumultuous.

                                TEXT 8

                       pritas capsaraso ‘nrtyan

                       gandharva-pravara jaguh

                         tustuvur munayo deva

                        manavah pitaro ‘gnayah


   Being very pleased, the celestial dancing girls [Apsaras] danced in jubilation, the best of the Gandharvas sang songs, and the great sages, demigods, Manus, Pitas and fire-gods offered prayers to satisfy the Lord.

                              TEXTS 9-10



                        carana yaksa-raksamsi

                        suparna bhujagottamah

                        gayanto ‘tiprasamsanto

                        nrtyanto vibudhanugah

                         aditya asrama-padam

                         kusumaih samavakiran


   The Siddhas, Vidyadharas, Kimpurusas, Kinnaras, Caranas, Yaksas, Raksasas, Suparnas, 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.

                               TEXT 11

                drstvaditis tam nija-garbha-sambhavam

                   param pumamsam mudam apa vismita

                    grhita-deham nija-yoga-mayaya

                   prajapatis caha jayeti vismitah


   When Aditi saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had appeared from her own 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.

                               TEXT 12

                 yat tad vapur bhati vibhusanayudhair

                 avyakta-cid-vyaktam adharayad dharih

                   babhuva tenaiva sa vamano vatuh

                 sampasyator divya-gatir yatha natah


   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 brahmana-dwarf, a brahmacari, just like a theatrical actor.

                               TEXT 13

                       tam vatum vamanam drstva

                         modamana maharsayah

                         karmani karayam asuh

                        puraskrtya prajapatim


   When the great sages saw the Lord as the brahmacari-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.


   According to Vedic civilization, when a child is born in the family of a brahmana, the birthday ceremony, known as jata-karma, is first performed, and then other ceremonies are also gradually performed. But when this vamana-rupa appeared in the form of a vatu, or brahmacari, His sacred thread ceremony was also performed immediately.

                               TEXT 14


                        savitrim savitabravit

                       brhaspatir brahma-sutram

                       mekhalam kasyapo ‘dadat


   At the sacred thread ceremony of Vamanadeva, the sun-god personally uttered the Gayatri mantra, Brhaspati offered the sacred thread, and Kasyapa Muni offered a straw belt.

                               TEXT 15

                       dadau krsnajinam bhumir

                        dandam somo vanaspatih

                        kaupinacchadanam mata

                     dyaus chatram jagatah pateh


   Mother earth gave Him a deerskin, and the demigod of the moon, who is the king of the forest, gave Him a brahma-danda [the rod of a brahmacari]. His mother, Aditi, gave Him cloth for underwear, and the deity presiding over the heavenly kingdom offered Him an umbrella.

                               TEXT 16

                       kamandalum veda-garbhah

                        kusan saptarsayo daduh

                         aksa-malam maharaja

                        sarasvaty avyayatmanah


   O King, Lord Brahma offered a waterpot to the inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead, the seven sages offered Him kusa grass, and mother Sarasvati gave Him a string of Rudraksa beads.

                               TEXT 17

                         tasma ity upanitaya

                       yaksa-rat patrikam adat

                       bhiksam bhagavati saksad

                          umadad ambika sati


   When Vamanadeva had thus been given the sacred thread, Kuvera, King of the Yaksas, 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.

                               TEXT 18

                       sa brahma-varcasenaivam

                       sabham sambhavito vatuh


                          atyarocata marisah


   Having thus been welcomed by everyone, Lord Vamanadeva, the best of the brahmacaris, exhibited His Brahman effulgence. Thus He surpassed in beauty that entire assembly, which was filled with great saintly brahmanas.

                               TEXT 19


                       samiddham ahitam vahnim

                         krtva parisamuhanam

                       paristirya samabhyarcya

                       samidbhir ajuhod dvijah


   samiddham–blazing; ahitam–being situated; vahnim–the fire; krtva–after making; parisamuhanam–properly; paristirya–surpassing; samabhyarcya–after offering worship; samidbhih–with sacrificial offerings; ajuhot–completed the fire sacrifice; dvijah–the best of the brahmanas.


   After Lord Sri Vamanadeva set a sacrificial fire, He offered worship and performed a fire sacrifice on the sacrificial field.

                               TEXT 20


                  srutvasvamedhair yajamanam urjitam

                  balim bhrgunam upakalpitais tatah

                   jagama tatrakhila-sara-sambhrto

                   bharena gam sannamayan pade pade


   srutva–after hearing; asvamedhaih–by asvamedha sacrifices; yajamanam–the performer; urjitam–very glorious; balim–Bali Maharaja; bhrgunam–under the guidance of the brahmanas born in the Bhrgu dynasty; upakalpitaih–performed; tatah–from that place; jagama–went; tatra–there; akhila-sara-sambhrtah–the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the essence of all creation; bharena–with the weight; gam–the earth; sannamayan–depressing; pade pade–at every step.


   When the Lord heard that Bali Maharaja was performing asvamedha sacrifices under the patronage of brahmanas belonging to the Bhrgu dynasty, the Supreme Lord, who is full in every respect, proceeded there to show His mercy to Bali Maharaja. By His weight, He pushed down the earth with every step.


   The Supreme Personality of Godhead is akhila-sara-sambhrta. In other words, He is the proprietor of everything essential in this material world. Thus although the Lord was going to Bali Maharaja to beg something, He is always complete and has nothing to beg from anyone. Indeed, He is so powerful that in His full opulence He pressed down the surface of the earth at every step.

                               TEXT 21

                   tam narmadayas tata uttare baler

                  ya rtvijas te bhrgukaccha-samjnake

                  pravartayanto bhrgavah kratuttamam

                   vyacaksatarad uditam yatha ravim


   While engaged in performing the sacrifice in the field known as Bhrgukaccha, on the northern bank of the Narmada River, the brahminical priests, the descendants of Bhrgu, saw Vamanadeva to be like the sun rising nearby.

                               TEXT 22

                     te rtvijo yajamanah sadasya

                    hata-tviso vamana-tejasa nrpa

                  suryah kilayaty uta va vibhavasuh

                  sanat-kumaro ‘tha didrksaya kratoh


   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 splendor. 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.

                               TEXT 23

                  ittham sasisyesu bhrgusv anekadha

                   vitarkyamano bhagavan sa vamanah

                 chatram sadandam sajalam kamandalum

                   vivesa bibhrad dhayamedha-vatam


   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 waterpot full of water, entered the arena of the asvamedha sacrifice.

                             TEXTS 24-25

                       maunjya mekhalaya vitam


                        jatilam vamanam vipram

                         maya-manavakam harim

                      pravistam viksya bhrgavah

                       sasisyas te sahagnibhih

                       pratyagrhnan samutthaya

                       sanksiptas tasya tejasa


   Appearing as a brahmana 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 obeisances.

                               TEXT 26

                         yajamanah pramudito

                         darsaniyam manoramam


                         tasma asanam aharat


   Bali Maharaja, jubilant at seeing Lord Vamanadeva, whose beautiful limbs contributed equally to the beauty of His entire body, offered Him a seat with great satisfaction.

                               TEXT 27


                        padau bhagavato balih

                          avanijyarcayam asa



   Thus offering a proper reception to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always beautiful to the liberated souls, Bali Maharaja worshiped Him by washing His lotus feet.

                               TEXT 28

                  tat-pada-saucam jana-kalmasapaham

               sa dharma-vin murdhny adadhat sumangalam

                 yad deva-devo girisas candra-maulir

                  dadhara murdhna paraya ca bhaktya


   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.


   Lord Siva is known as Ganga-dhara, or one who carries the water of the Ganges on his head. On Lord Siva’s forehead is the emblem of the half-moon, yet to give supreme respect to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Siva placed the water of the Ganges above this emblem. This example should be followed by everyone, or at least by every devotee, because Lord Siva is one of the mahajanas. Similarly, Maharaja Bali also later became a mahajana. One mahajana follows another mahajana, and by following the parampara system of mahajana activities one can become advanced in spiritual consciousness. The water of the Ganges is sanctified because it emanates from the toe of Lord Visnu. Bali Maharaja washed the lotus feet of Vamanadeva, and the water with which he did so became equal to the Ganges. Bali Maharaja, who perfectly knew all religious principles, therefore took that water on his head, following in the footsteps of Lord Siva.

                               Text 29

                           sri-balir uvaca

                      svagatam te namas tubhyam

                       brahman kim karavama te

                      brahmarsinam tapah saksan

                      manye tvarya vapur-dharam



   Bali Maharaja then said to Lord Vamanadeva: O brahmana, I offer You my hearty welcome and my respectful obeisances. Please let us know what we may do for You. We think of You as the personified austerity of the great brahmana-sages.

                               TEXT 30

                        adya nah pitaras trpta

                        adya nah pavitam kulam

                       adya svistah kratur ayam

                        yad bhavan agato grhan


   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.

                               TEXT 31

                  adyagnayo me suhuta yatha-vidhi

                   dvijatmaja tvac-caranavanejanaih

                  hatamhaso varbhir iyam ca bhur aho

                  tatha punita tanubhih padais tava


   O son of a brahmana, today the fire of sacrifice is ablaze according to the injunction of the sastra, 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.

                               TEXT 32

                yad yad vato vanchasi tat praticcha me

                  tvam arthinam vipra-sutanutarkaye

                  gam kancanam gunavad dhama mrstam

                  tathanna-peyam uta va vipra-kanyam

                  graman samrddhams turagan gajan va

                  rathams tatharhattama sampraticcha


   O son of a brahmana, 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 brahmana for Your wife, prosperous villages, horses, elephants, chariots or whatever You desire.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Eighteenth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “Lord Vamanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation.”


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