Emperor Mahabali and Vamana-Avatharam :
Bali, an asura, was the son of Devamba and Virochana. He grew up under the tutelage of his grandfather, Prahlada, who instilled in him a strong sense of righteousness and devotion.
Bali would eventually succeed his grandfather as the king of the Asuras, and his reign over the realm was characterized by peace and prosperity. He would later expand his realm – bringing the entire world under his benevolent rule – and was even able to conquer the underworld and Heaven, which he wrested from Indra and the Devas. The Devas, after their defeat at the hands of Bali, approached their patron Vishnu and entreated him to restore their lordship over Heaven.
In Heaven, Bali, on the advice of his guru and advisor, Sukracharya, had begun the Ashwamedha Yaga so as to maintain his rule over the three worlds. Vishnu, meanwhile, had adopted the avatar of Vamana, a small Brahmin boy, and, during the rite, approached Bali and requested a grant of land – although only as much land as he could cover with three paces.
Despite the warnings of his advisor, Bali granted this boon. Vamana then grew to an immense size, and, with his first pace, traversed the all of the earth and the underworld. With his second pace, he covered Heaven in its entirety. Admitting defeat, and seeing that Vamana has no more room for his last step, Bali offered his own head as a stepping-stone. At this time the asuras spoke out in protest, but Bali explained that all living and non living things are God's creation, and so it was God's right to have them back. Lord Vishnu, seeing the devotion of Mahabali, blessed him and raised to him to Suthala, the supreme position in heaven.
Genesis of Onam :
Folk song about Maveli says "Maveli nadu vaneedum kalam, manushyarellarum onnu pole". The song says that all people were equal when Maveli ruled.
The story goes that the beautiful state of Kerala was the capital of the Asura (demon) king, Bali. However, he was very religious, was respectful to priests and performed Vedic Aswamedha ritual to enlarge his kingdom and like his grandfather (Prahlada), was one of the greatest devotees of Lord Vishnu on Earth as he sacrificed his kingdom for the Lord. The King was greatly respected in his kingdom and was considered to be wise, judicious and extremely generous. It is said that Kerala witnessed its golden era in the reign of King Bali. Everybody in his kingdom was happy in the kingdom, there was no discrimination on the basis of caste or class. There was neither crime, nor corruption. People did not even lock their doors, as there were no thieves in that kingdom. There was no poverty, sorrow or disease in the reign of King Bali and everybody was happy and content. Banan was the only son of Bali.
However, because he was a Daitya (descendant of Diti), he was viewed by the Devas as unsafe. Otherwise, as the Vamana Purana reads, the rule of Mahabali was righteous. It is further believed (as from the Thiruppavai) that he occupied the property of others.
Onam celebrations are marked in Trikkakara, a place 10 km from Kochi (Cochin) on the Edapally- Pookattupadi road. Trikkakara is said to have been the capital of the mighty King Mahabali. A temple with a deity of Trikkakara Appan or Vamanamurthy who is Lord Vishnu himself in disguise is also located at this place.
This fascinating legend is artistically depicted at the Suchindram Temple in Kanyakumari district, where Lord Shiva is believed to have slain Banasura, the evil child of the holy Mahabali.
Onam is observed by all Malayalees as the return of the pious Mahabali to Kerala. Colorful aquatic festivals (e.g., boat races) are held on this occasion on the banks of the river Pampa. The celebration occurs all over Kerala and in the Malayalee diaspora.Mahabali is worshipped even in Tulunadu which consists of coastal region of Karnataka and northern Kerala. There are many pad-danas or folk songs which describe Mahabali and his deeds. Even today, during Diwali people go to thier field and call Bali Chakravarthi. It is said that Bali will come and rule this world again if some conditions are fulfilled, which are impossible in real world.
Views on Bali :
He is thought of by the Hindus as a true devotee of God. Shuk compared the saint-singer Narsinh Metha to Bali. He is one of the twelve Mahajans, the authorities on the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Because of the fact that Bali was such as great devotee of Vishnu, his son Bana was not slain by Lord Vishnu.
In the Yoga Vasistha, Lord Rama inquires about King Bali and he is told by his Guru Vasistha that Bali was a great king and is always protected by Lord Vishnu.
At present the great king is made as a joker by us, taking him in every procession as a buffoon, mimicry troupes play funny stories, everything utter non-sense by majority keralites/malayalies ( who boost themselves as highly educated and intelligent than any other )-PITY!!!
New generation do not know the truth, Status of this grand son of Great Prahalatha . They take onam for good eatings and drinking alcohol, celebration before TV with idiotic filmy non-sense programmes! wonder our fate of ignorance!!!