Thiruvonam (Foundation Day)
21 August @ 5:30 am - 9:00 pm
Onam which is the state festival of Kerala falls in the malayalam month of Chingam (First Onam is on Friday, 20th August, Thiruvonam 2021 will be celebrated on Saturday, 21st August. Third and Fourth Onam falls on Sunday, 22nd August, and Monday 23rd, August respectively). Onam marks the commemoration of Vamana, Lord Vishnu’s Avatar and the homecoming of King Mahabali. In fact Thiruvonam is Vamana Jayanthi.Often the story is misinterpreted and depicted in a wrong way. Vamana never pushed Mahabali to Pathalam with his foot.Also Mahabali is shown as a comic character with a huge belly.
As per Srimad Bhagavatham Mahabali was born to King Virochana who was the son of Prahlada and was a devotee of Lord Vishnu.Sage Sukracharaya was his guru. Mahabali was a powerful king and once when Devas came to attack him he defeated them and conquered heaven. As Devas did not have any place to stay they went and met Lord Vishnu and told him about their plight. Lord Vishnu himself agreed to protect the place.
Lord Vishnu was born as Vamana Murti to Sage Kasyapa and Aditi Devi.The young Vamana proceeded to the place where King Mahabali was performing great Ashvamedam Yajnam. On seeing Vamana the King welcomed and oﬀered him a seat and as per custom and washed Vamana’s feet. King Mahabali lavishly oﬀered the young bramachari whatever he wished to have like gold, land etc.There was some arrogance in Mahabali’s words when he made the oﬀer. Vamana was very pleased to hear the words of the King.
Vamana said that he only needed three strides of land to do tapas.King Mahabali was surprised to hear this and said he was capable of giving much more as he was the ruler of the three worlds. Vamana again reiterated that he wanted only three strides of land.Mahabali when he came to know the young boy is not going to change his mind, was ready to oﬀer the 3 strides of land.
Sage Sukracharya preempted King Mahabali as he knew the young boy was none other than Lord Vishnu and Mahabali was going to loose everything.The king went ahead with the oﬀering as he had already given the word.After the initial rituals Mahabali asked the young boy to take 3 strides of land.
Lord Vamana who appeared as a young boy, now started growing in size.The size was so huge that Vamana measured the whole earth with one step.With the second step he covered the heavens.There was no place for the third step.When Vamana asked where to keep the third step King Mahabali gracefully showed his head and asked Vamana to step on his head.
Lord Vishnu was now very much pleased with Mahabali as he had overcome his ego which was the cause of his pride and arrogance.Then Lord Vishnu oﬀered Suthalam a place which is free from all diﬃculty to King Mahabali and Lord Vishnu himself agreed to protect the place.