Vamana Jayanti: The fifth avatar of Lord Vishnu
Vamana Jayanti is celebrated as the birth anniversary of the Vamana Avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is observed on the Dwadashi Tithi of Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha. As per the Bhagwat Purana, Vamana was the fifth Avatar out of Dashavatara of Lord Vishnu and His first incarnation in the Treta Yuga. After the first four Avatars in the animal form, namely, Matsya (fish), Kurma (tortoise), Varaha (boar) and Narasimha (lion), Vamana was the first Avatar of Lord Vishnu in the human form. Vamana was born in Treta Yuga to Goddess Aditi and Rishi Kashyapa on the Dwadashi Tithi of Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha during Abhijit Muhurat when the Shravana Nakshatra was prevailing.
Vamana Jayanti is also known as Vamana Dwadashi. As per the Hindu Scriptures, if a person worships Lord Vamana, the individual gets free from all kind of sufferings and sins and achieves salvation.
Vamana Avatar Legends
As per the legends, Asuras or Daityas lost the battle against Devas. Bali, the king of Asuras became unconscious from the attack of Indra Dev and was on the death bed. At that point of time Shukracharya gave his life saving herb (Sanjeevani) to all the Asuras who were unconscious and attacked and helped them to regain their life and strength. After that, King Bali performed an austerity and became powerful than Devas. He achieved divine chariot, trident and armor for his protection through his austerities and went back to battle with Devas in the heaven.
Indra Deva got to know about the intentions of King Bali and that he will be able to conquer heaven in this battle once he completes his 100 yagnas, Indra Deva went to Lord Vishnu and asked for his help. Inorder to protect Devas from the wrath of Asuras, Lord Vishnu incarnates into Lord Vamana and takes birth from the womb of Aditi, wife of Saint Kashyap. Thereafter, Saint Kashyap asked his wife Aditi to observe Payo Fast to get blessed by a son. Consequently, on the Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapad month Aditi gave birth to a son who was named Vamana. He adopts the form of Brahmachari.Vamana was offered different things by each saint and goddesses, such as from Saint Pulaha, deerskin from Agastya, butea rod from Marichi, clothes from Angiras, umbrella from Sun, from Bhrigu, Sacred thread and Kamandal from Guru Deva, loincloth from Aditi, Rudraksha from Saraswati and begging tray from Kuber.
Soon after Vamana grew up, he went to see King Bali on the day of his 100th Ashwamedh Yagna. Vamana asked 3 steps of land as Bhiksha from Bali, to which Bali, being a great devotee of Lord Vishnu readily agreed. Vamana immediately transformed into a gigantic form and measured the whole earth in one stride. In the second stride, He measured the heaven. When Vamana Dev was about to take the third step, Bali realized that the dwarf monk was no other than Lord Vishnu Himself and for the third stride, offered his head. Thus, Bali proved that he was indeed a true devotee of Vishnu. To honor the benevolence of His devotee, instead of killing Bali, Lord Vishnu pushed him to the Patala Loka or netherworld. Lord Vishnu also granted a boon to Bali, which allowed him to visit his subjects on Earth once a year. The annual homecoming of king Bali is celebrated in Kerala on Onam and in rest of the country on Bali Pratipada.
Why is Onam celebrated?
Though Bali was sent to the Patala Loka, he was given a boon that granted him a chance to visit his people once during the year. Therefore, it is believed that King Bali visits his kingdom to see if his subjects are happy and content. Hence, people decorate their homes with Pookolam and take part in group activities such as Vallam Kali, Puli Kali, Kai Kottu Kali and prepare the Onam Sadhya. The celebrations of Onam start on Atham day (the day when Atham Nakshatra prevails) and continue for 10 days till Thiruvonam day.
Vamana Jayanti Puja Vidhi
On the day of Vamana Jayanti, Lord Vishnu is worshipped in his Vamana Avatar. On this day, Panchopachara or Shodashopachara Puja of golden or clay idol of Vamana is performed in the morning. Fast is also observed on Vamana Jayanti. After performing the Puja in the evening, Vamana Jayanti Vrat Katha is narrated and the fast is broken with Prasad. Donation of rice, curd and Mishri is also given on this day. The significance of Vamana Jayanti increases multiple times if it coincides with the Shravana Nakshatra.
What are the Rituals of Vamana Jayanti?
* On the sacred day of Vamana Jayanti, the most ideal way to initiate the rituals is by donating curd, rice, and food to the Brahmins as it is regarded as highly auspicious on the day of Vamana Jayanti.
* To please Lord Vishnu, devotees also observe a fast for the day as well as perform the puja and other rituals.
* Vishnu Sahasranama and various other mantras are recited.
* While reciting the name of Lord Vishnu for 108 times, devotees offer incense sticks, lamps, and flowers to the deity.
* The devotees listen to the Vamana Katha in the evening and then after offering prayers and bhog to the deity, they distribute the prasad to the devotees.
Vamana Jayeanti's time
Dwadashi Tithi Begins - 08:17 AM on Aug 29
Dwadashi Tithi Ends - 08:21 AM on Aug 30