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Newsgroups: alt.hindu
Path: moth.watstar.uwaterloo.ca!S2DARBHA
From: S2DARBHA@ELECOM2.watstar.uwaterloo.ca (Srikrishna Darbha)
Subject: King Bali & the Dasha Avatars
Message-ID: <S2DARBHA.4.2E6A55E9@ELECOM2.watstar.uwaterloo.ca>
Lines: 43
Sender: news@watserv2.uwaterloo.ca
Nntp-Posting-Host: moth.watstar.uwaterloo.ca
Organization: University of Waterloo
Date: Sun, 4 Sep 1994 23:19:05 GMT

{If I've inadvertently posted this note a second time, please ignore.}

The avatars are usually quoted in this order: (1) Matsya (2) Kurma
(3) Varaha (4) Narasimha (5) Vamana (6) Parashurama (7) Rama
(8) Krishna (9) Buddha and finally, (10) Kalki.
I have always assumed that this is also the chronological
order in which they appeared (or will appear).

During the Kurma Avatara (churning of the ocean), Bali is quoted as
the King of Asuras.  As Vamana, Lord Vishnu humbles Bali by placing 
His foot on his head. 

It is ok to assume that Bali was present during both these avatars,
except for the fact that Bali is the grandson of Prahlada, who is
a small boy (5 year-old?) during the Narasimha avatara.

In short, how could Bali be present before the Narasimha avatara,
specifically, during the Kurma avatara?

The rationalizations that first come to mind are:
1. The above order of avatars is not necessarily (though generally)
2. The two BALIs are different persons.

Claim <1>: Probably not true, because it is during the Kurma avatara
story that Goddess Lakshmi emerges from the ocean and chooses Lord Vishnu
as Her Lord.  And it is mentioned in the Narasimha story that even
Lakshmi was afraid to look at the Lord's ferocious form.  So Kurma 
couldn't possibly come after Narasimha, even if the order of avatars is 
not chronological.

Claim <2>: Not very convincing, either. If there were other persons 
called Bali, wouldn't they be explicitly distinguished from the *real* 
one, considering that Bali is a major figure in these stories?

I couldn't think of any other explanations. Any ideas?

Srikrishna Darbha
Univ. of Waterloo
Ontario, CANADA

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