Once upon a time there was a king named Bali who had conquered the Universe by defeating Lord Indra, the ruler of the demigods in the Hindu pantheon. Bali had become too powerful, so Indra pleaded with Lord Vishnu, the sustainer of Creation, for help. Vishnu decided to incarnate as a very short brahmin named Vamana to attend a special ceremony king Bali was getting ready to perform.
Both because it was customary and because Vamana’s presence was so enchanting, the king came to greet him when he arrived. It was an honor to have a renunciate participate in the ceremony, so he offered him anything he wanted. Vamana then asked for a small piece of land measured by three steps of his feet. The king was very surprised by this request and appealed to the brahmin to reconsider and ask for more. He could have absolutely anything he ever wanted: land, gold, elephants, a bride…
Hearing this, Vamana said: “All the wealth of this world cannot satisfy a discontented man. He who is dissatisfied with three feet of land cannot be satisfied by even a whole continent because he will then crave for all the seven continents. A content person leads a happy life with whatever comes his way, while a discontented person is never satisfied even if he comes to possess all the three worlds.”
Of course, Bali didn’t know that Vamana was Lord Vishnu and that as soon as his wish was granted, the dwarfish figure would expand until he encompassed the whole Universe, to take it back for Indra. The king, however, was humbled by this and asked Lord Vishnu to step on his head and take him as well. He was not only ready to give the fruits of his actions, he was also willing to surrender his ego.
Humility Is Surrendering the Ego
This story is not about wealth versus poverty, but about developing the necessary humility to perceive and allow the Divine to act through us without a sense of ownership—as the doers. Accepting that nothing really belongs to you, and that you’re a vehicle for the divine spark of your true nature is real power; it gives you inner freedom that doesn’t rely on anything or anyone.
King Bali’s reward for his appreciation and non-resistance was to rule the next cycle of the Universe. So next time you face obstacles or opposition, and you are getting ready to quit or play the victim-blame game, remember this story and drop the sense of being the doer. It’s just a self-image, an illusion of the ego, for you are a divine experience, a vehicle of the same feminine creative power that shapes the Universe.
This doesn’t mean that you become a passive spectator, quite the opposite: you have to be determined to look within every step of the way, so that everything you do is supported by a sense of purpose and self-awareness. This requires emotional effort, perseverance, and self-love. Gratitude and humility are your guidelines here. Once you aim to master them, your true Self begins emerging. Be grateful for everything that comes your way and humble enough to let your inner power guide your journey through its ups and downs.
Remember that as your true sense of self become stronger, your life can flow with greater ease and grace. You can make conscious choices, no longer guided by fear or attachment, but by love—the essence of your soul. Contact me today to start making this inner shift to create and enjoy a liberating, soul-guided life you’ve been really yearning for!
© 2014 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.