Vāmana (Skt., ‘dwarf’). In Hindu mythology, the form (the fifth) avatāra which Viṣṇu adopted in order to trick the demon king Bali into restoring the world to the gods. When Bali agreed to give him three paces of land, the dwarf grew to an enormous size so that his first two steps covered earth and heaven, and Bali had to offer his own head for the third step. (This cosmic version of Vāmana is known as Trivikrama, Skt., ‘three steps’.) Vāmana is the fifth avatāra in the standard list, and his is the only avatāra story which has a clear connection with the Viṣṇu of the Ṛg Veda.
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