The Story of Mahabali
In the same work. we have the thrilling episode of the famous King Maha Bali. This king
performed a great sacrifice in which he vowed to make generous gifts to all those who came
and asked for anything from him. Lord Vishnu approached him in the guise of a dwarfish
Brahmacharin and asked for a gift of three feet of ground to be measured by his own
diminutive feet. The Preceptor of King Bali Sukracharya discovered who the Brahmacharin
was and for what purpose he was asking for such a gift. He tried to-dissuade the King from
his intended act of generosity.
The Acharya also
pointed out that the Brahmacharin would seize the place, the power and the wealth of the
King and would hand them over to Indra. But the King stuck to his promise and propounded
in the following weighty words the highest ideal of charity Righteous men like Dadeechi
and Sibi do good to other beings even at the expense of their own lives, which are
difficult to abandon. Then what concern should there be about land and such other things?
It is even common to see men who fight in the battlefield without turning there back, give
up their life. But it is rare to see those who would make a gift to a deserving
What is meant by this is that at the spur of the moment or in a
fit of heroic anger a person may give up his life in the battle-field fighting the enemy.
But in a calm moment in ordinary life he will not give up his wealth to a deserving person
approaching him for help and assistance. Saying this, King Bali stuck to his promise in
spite of the remonstrations of his Preceptor, lost all his kingdom and came to grief. Here
again we have the instance of a person who pursued this glorious ideal of charity and
sacrificed his all for the sake of it. In the historic pronouncement of King Bali quoted
above. the King gives the example of Dadeechi and Sibi.