Maha Bali, the King of Pataala Loka (Netherworld or the third world as per Hindu mythology), is worshipped on this day. He was given a boon by Lord Vishnu, in his Vamana incarnation, to visit the earth once a year. Thus, people celebrate Balindra Puja or Bali’s Pooja to mark his arrival to the Earth.
This is a one-day festival celebrated every year to mark the return of Lord Mahabali. It is said that the one who offers prayers with full devotion gets freedom from all sufferings and attains salvation.
Bali Padyami Puja or Bali’s Puja is celebrated right a day after Diwali (a festival of lights) on the first day of Shukla Paksh (Waxing Moon phase) of Kartik month.
Legends and Beliefs
As per the legends, Mahabali asked Lord Vishnu, who came disguised as a Brahmachari (a person who dedicates his entire life to humanity and God), to ask for anything he desires. Lord Vishnu, incarnated as Vamana, asked for three strides of land and Mahabali agreed. Then, the Lord covered the entire earth with His one step and the kingdom of Heaven in the second step. And for the third one, Mahabali offered his own head and Lord pushed him with his foot to the Pataal Lok (the netherworld). Pleased by his sincerity and commitment towards his words, Lord blessed him with a boon that allowed him to visit the earth once a year.
Rituals and CelebrationsThe rituals observed on the Bali Puja have variations from state to state. In general, on this holy festival, Hindus exchange gifts since it is considered a way to delight Bali and the Gods. People beautify the main entrance area of the house with a Rangoli (a kind of painting done with powdered natural colours and flowers) on the floor drawn with powder of rice in different colors. Thereafter, Bali and his wife Vindhyavali are worshipped. People visit traditional Bali temples to get rid of their sins and seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu. The festival is mainly popular in Karnataka and Maharashtra.
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