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Bali the king

Bali traveled to the nooks and corners of his empire and saw for himself the happiness of his subjects. He was delighted to see green crops everywhere. Every one was heard saying, "Bali is righteous, truth loving, charitable. He is born on earth to make it a heaven." There was no one who prayed to Devas (gods) for the grant of wealth and happiness. Happiness and peace were firmly established on the earth now. Having got rid of poverty, the subjects enjoyed life with happiness.

Meanwhile there was discussion in the court of Bali on earth. His ministers and generals as well as Danavas urged, "O king, all the earthly kingdoms are now ours. Indra cannot hope to match your valor and strength. We must defeat the Devas and annex their kingdom of heaven to our empire. Brahma has granted you immortality and lordship. This is the time to get the full benefit of the boons you have secured from Brahma."

At an auspicious moment decided by Shukracharya, the Danava army got ready to invade heaven.
The war trumpets and drums frightened Amaravati, Capital of Heaven. Indra met his foes boldly riding his white elephant Airavat, marching at the head of the united Devas army. Aditya, Varuna, Kubera, Yama and other Devas fought for many days against Bali and his army. But they began to flee from the battlefield one by one unable to face Bali. Having been wounded by Bali's arms, Indra ran for his life and sought the advice of Brihaspati, his preceptor.

Bali attacking amaravati

Brihaspati told Indra, "Devendra, it is futile to fight Bali. You cannot defeat him. Justice righteousness and truthfulness have made him resplendent and invincible. Therefore it is better that you go underground for some time." Accordingly Indra and the other Devas left Heaven. After establishing victory over Heaven, the Danavas installed Bali on the heavenly throne as Daityendra and celebrated the occasion as a coronation. Bali appointed his own men in place of the guardian angels of the eight directions, the Sun, the Moon and other positions to represent him in heaven, and returned to his capital on the earth.

The next day Shukracharya said to Bali, "O king of the Danavas, the Heaven also is yours now because of your twin virtues of charity and valor. Since the Under-world is also under your sway, the three worlds, the Earth, the Under-world and the Heaven are yours. But you have appointed Danavas in place of Devas. You have taken away their powers who enjoyed the power to rule over all these worlds which the Creator Brahma and Vishnu the Protector had given them. They may not take it lying low. They are sure to take revenge. If you desire to retain this over-lordship of the three worlds permanently you should perform one hundred 'Ashwamedhas' (horse sacrifices). Get ready to perform them from today."

Bhrugukachha situated to the north of Narmada was selected as the site for the performance of the sacrifices. A large open area in the grounds of the hermitage was chosen as the place to keep the sacred fire burning. Bali took the vow of sacrifice along with his queen Vindhyavali.

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