Hindu Festival: Bali Pratopada
The new moon day of the month of Ashwin is followed by the first day of the month of Kartik. It is also the first day of the new year (Vikram Samvat) of the merchant community and people of Northern India. Therefore, new account books are worshipped before use. It is also a custom for husbands to give gifts to their wives. This day is known as Balipratipadu named after demon king Bali. This day forms the half day part of the 3'/2 ever auspicious days of the year.
There lived a demon Bali, who was very strong and equally pious. He had conquered the whole earth. Though a demon by birth, he rejoiced in doing good deeds and giving alms generously. No person coming at his door went unsatisfied. Indra, the king of Gods was perturbed as he felt he would have to yield his throne to the demon king. So he, along with the other Gods prayed to Lord Vishnu to dethrone Bali. It was not an easy task to dethrone Bali. It was not even easy for Lord Vishnu as Bali was not just strong and pious, but a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. It seemed to him an impossible task so he thought of another way out.
He assumed the form of a short young Brahmin, Vaman -the dwarf. (Vaman is the 5th incarnation of Lord Vishnu). He went to Bali to ask for alms. King Bali said, "Tell me what you want, your desires will be fulfilled" Batu Vaman answered, "I want nothing else but three steps of land". It was a strange desire. King Bali begged him (Vaman) to ask for something more. But Vaman insisted that he would have nothing more or nothing less than 3 steps of land. According to custom. King Bali took water in his right hand and poured it over the right palm of Batu Vainan and said "Your desire is granted". As soon as he said so. Batu Vaman began to grow in size till he crossed the earth. "Here in one step I cross the earth. In the second step" he said, "I am crossing the heaven".
"Now where shall I put my foot to complete my third step?", he asked. King Bali instantly realised that Batu Vaman was none other than Lord Vishnu Himself. Happily, he knelt down and said "Please place Your foot on my head and complete Your third step, as my head is more valuable to me than all my possessions put together". Lord Vishnu was very pleased. He put his foot on Bali's head and blessed him. He gave Bali, the kingdom of Petal (HMM), the netherworld, and said, "You will rule the Patallok and people will remember you and cherish your deeds as long as the earth exists."
King Ball is considered as the first of the six great devotees of Lord Vishnu and also as one of the seven immortals of the world.