As we know, King Bali held a Yagna to become the King of Lords. But by taking Vamana Avatar, Lord Vishnu asked him for three steps worth of land. By his original divine avatar, Lord Vishnu covered entire earth and whole galaxy in his three steps. King Bali then became a man without any wealth. King Bali was a noble man. He was a grandchild of Vishnu's great devotee Prahalad.

So why did Lord Vishnu stop him from becoming Indra, the King of Lords?

2 Answers 2


Yes, Bali Maharaj was a noble man and also have favors of Brahmanas and noble persons. But Aditi, the mother of Demi-gods, had completed the Payo-Vrata to please Lord Vishnu. So, Lord Vishnu had given her the boon to protect her sons. This is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Canto 8, Chapter 17.

SB 8.17.16

prāyo ’dhunā te ’sura-yūtha-nāthā

apāraṇīyā iti devi me matiḥ

yat te ’nukūleśvara-vipra-guptā

na vikramas tatra sukhaṁ dadāti

O mother of the demigods, in My opinion almost all the chiefs of the demons are now unconquerable, for they are being protected by brāhmaṇas, whom the Supreme Lord always favors. Thus the use of power against them now will not at all be a source of happiness.

SB 8.17.17

athāpy upāyo mama devi cintyaḥ

santoṣitasya vrata-caryayā te

mamārcanaṁ nārhati gantum anyathā

śraddhānurūpaṁ phala-hetukatvāt

Yet because I have been satisfied by the activities of your vow, O goddess Aditi, I must find some means to favor you, for worship of Me never goes in vain but certainly gives the desired result according to what one deserves.

SB 8.17.18

tvayārcitaś cāham apatya-guptaye

payo-vratenānuguṇaṁ samīḍitaḥ

svāṁśena putratvam upetya te sutān

goptāsmi mārīca-tapasy adhiṣṭhitaḥ

You have prayed to Me and properly worshiped Me by performing the great payo-vrata ceremony for the sake of protecting your sons. Because of Kaśyapa Muni’s austerities, I shall agree to become your son and thus protect your other sons.


First of all, King Bali Performed Vishwajith Yaga to rule all the worlds, But by then Indra was already assigned that position as ruler of gods for this manvantara by bramha. That decision was taken during the start of manvantara and this should be respected. Bali after knowing this wanted to rule/ obtain position which was not his, which is Adharma.. For this lord vishnu had to stop him and give Indra his Position back. Yes King Bali was Bhagavathotama, so is the reason lord vishnu dint kill him rather gor his wealth. Lord vishnu till then asked bali to rule suvar loka which was considered better/greater than heaven (ruled by indra) and vishnu promised to protect him as his guard. Lord vishnu also promised him to make give him position of Indra in Savarni Manvantara.

  • 2
    Welcome to Hinduism.SE! You should cite sources. Feb 17, 2016 at 19:59
  • @KeshavSrinivasan all this is from bhagavatham. Feb 17, 2016 at 20:08
  • 1
    OK, but you should provide specific citations and preferably quotes from the Srimad Bhagavatam. Like where does the Bhagavatam say that the reason Vishnu stopped Mahabali is because he wanted to respect the decision made in the beginning of the Manvantara? Feb 17, 2016 at 20:17
  • @Ravi I agree when lord vishnu came as vamana he asked for three steps and later he increased the size to occupy this universe, but you should remember that king bali made this offer knowing that lord vishnu only came to take away his wealth. In Bhagavatha Sukracharya clearly mentions that this child is none other than lord vishnu and he came to take away everything from you. Still king bali offered vishnu knowing what is going to happen to him. Feb 18, 2016 at 15:54
  • @Ravi He was not devoid of all the wealth he was rather made ruler of suvar loka and also was promised Indra Position in Savarni Manvantara. Feb 18, 2016 at 16:01

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