During the churning of the ocean, Dhanvantari emerged from the waters holding a pitcher-full of nectar. The Asuras at once snatched the pot of nectar from his hands. The deva were once again dejected. The asuras began to squabble as to who shall have the first drink and how much. Lord Vishnu helped the Devas by assuming the form of Mohini. Mohini’s exceptional beauty defied description. The demons were allured by her charm and allowed Mohini to distribute the nectar. Mohini said- “You asuras must not interrupt me, only then shall I proceed.” The asuras agreed. Mohini arranged both the parties in separate rows. She would walk near the asuras but pour the nectar for the devatas. The demon Svarbhanu grew suspicious about Mohini’s intentions and sat in the group of the devatas. Oblivious of the demon, Mohini poured the ambrosia in his mouth. Surya deva and Chandra deva at once warned Lord Vishnu of his true identity. Lord Vishnu then assumed his male form and chopped off his head with his Sudrashana chakra. However the demon didn’t perish since he had consumed the nectar. The head part became Rahu while the body, Ketu.
When Lord Shiva heard about Mohini, he visited Lord Vishnu along with Parvati Devi in Vaikuntha. He expressed his desire to behold His Mohini form. Lord Vishnu agreed and disappeared from the sight. In a few moments, and extraordinary damsel stood before him. She was playing with a ball. Lord Shiva kept gazing at her with fixed eyes. As she played, a gust of wind blew away her sari. She ran to hide behind a tree. Lord Shiva ran behind her. He had once grabbed her in his two arms, but she escaped his grasp and ran again. Lord Shiva kept chasing her. They ran past numerous mountains and hermitages. Finally, he became cautious after ejaculation. Lord Vishnu assumed his male form once again. Lord Shiva had touched Mohini, so she delivered a son that very instant. The right half of his body resembled Lord Shiva while the left half resembled Lord Vishnu. He is hence called HariHara. Lord Harihara has his temples in many parts of South India.
Bali conquers Deva Loka
The Devatas grew immortal after tasting the nectar. They easily killed the asuras in the battle. Indra with his fatal Vajra killed the demon king-Bali. However Narad Muni stopped Indra from eliminating Bali’s corpse. They carried the corpse of the demons to Astachala. Shukracharya revived all the demons and Bali with the power of Sanjivani. On gaining a new life, Bali Maharaj poured his heart and soul in serving his master Shukracharya. Pleased by Bali, Shukracharya performed extraordinary fire sacrifices. He generated a celestial chariot, bow, quiver and shield. With their divine ammunitions, the asuras attacked Amravati. The gods grew frightened at the powerful onslaught of the demons. At the advice of their guru Brihaspati, they fled to the different directions for protection. Bali now ruled over the heavens. Aditi, the mother of the Devas was moved to know the plight of her sons. So she pleased her husband Kashyapa and by his orders performed a ritual to invoke Bhagavan as her son. Bhagavan appeared before her and agreed to fulfil her desire. Bhagavan first appeared in his 4-handed form. He then immediately assumed the guise of a dwarf, Vamana. Maharishi Kashaya performed his thread ceremony. Shukracharya performed 99 horse sacrifices for Bali Maharaj. He keenly wanted Bali to perform the 100th Yagnya. Only the one who performed a 100 Ashwamedha yagnas could legally be declared as Indra. Conquering Indra Lok by force can be temporary. But Shukracharaya wanted to lawfully establish Bali’s right over the throne. Bali’s sacrificial hall was situated near the southern banks of the Narmada River.
Bali Maharaj fulfils Vamana’s desire
Bali was performing his final Yagna. At that moment, Lord Vamana appeared in the guise of a Brahmachari and begged for alms. Vamana’s effulgence was divine. Bali Maharaj accompanied by other Rishi amiably welcomed Him. Bali requested him to voice his wish. Vamana said- “I desire to acquire three steps of land.” Bali Maharaj laughed. He asked Vamana to ask for more land. But Vamana was resolute. He said- “I am satisfied with three steps. I do not hanker for more.” Bali Maharaj was about to finalize his offer by taking a Sankalpa when his guru Shukracharya immediately held his hand. He said- “It is the great trickster Vishnu.” However Bali who had transcended all weaknesses of the mind, didn’t stop. He felt it unjust to refuse someone after promising. After the Sankalpa, Lord Vishnu immediately assumed his gigantic Virat form. He measured the entire earth in one step. In his second step, his feet rose above the Brahma lok. His foot nail damaged a tip of the universe. A stream of crystalline water rushed downwards washing His feet. Lord Brahma devotedly washed His feet. The sanctified water came down as Ganga. Bali’s associates pounced on Vamana to kill him. But the Vishnu Parashadas killed and chased them off. Lord Vishnu tied Bali Maharaj with the Varuna Pasha and said- “You promised to give me three steps of land. Tell me. Where should I place my third step?” Bali Maharaj with the least surprise in his voice said- “An owner is considered greater than his ownings. So please place your feet on my head.” Bhagavan kept Bali’s words by placing his feet on his head. Brahma prayed to Bhagavan and said- “Such a generous king, shouldn’t be made a captive?” Bhagavan said- “Actually I had come just to bless him.” Lord Vishnu transported Bali Maharaj along with his family to Sutala lok and said- “I will eternally dwell there as you doorkeeper. I will hold my mace and protect you. My chakra is enough to kill the demons who disobey your orders. I will protect you in all ways and I myself shall crown you as Indra in the Agami Savarni Manvantara.” Lord Brahma crowned Bhagavan as Upendra. When Ravana in his conquering spree arrived at Sutala Lok, Lord Vamana threw him a thousand Yojanas afar with his feet like a ball.
King Nabhi was childless. He worshipped Lord Narayana with the aid of Rishis. When Bhagavan appeared from the fire, the rishis requested Bhagavan to grant the king a son similar to Him. Where shall Bhagavan find someone like him? So Bhagavan himself agreed to come as Nabhi’s son. Bhagavan appeared as Rishabha. Once, Indra stopped the rains in his Kingdom. But Rishabha deva showered rains by his yogic powers. Embarrassed by his defeat, Indra gave his daughter Jayanti in marriage to Rishabha. On King Nabhis’s retirement, Rishabha deva ascended the throne of Ayodhya. He bore 100 sons. Out of these, 9 were great Yogis. 9 became rulers of 9 parts of the nation. 81 performed truthful action and became Brahmanas. The eldest son Bharata became the emperor. His valor wins the name Bharat for our nation. Earlier the nation was known as Ajanabhavarsha. People wrongly link Shakuntala’s son Bharata for the name Bhaarata. Rishabhadeva handed over his kingdom to his eldest son and retired to the forests of the southern India where he roamed in the Avadhuta state. He established numerous premises of Yoga and established the supremacy of the path. The Jain Sampradaya considers Rishabhadeva as their founder. The Jains call him the first Tirthankara.