The devotees from Kerala had started trickling in to the Ashram, a day before the festival Onam. An eager Swami called one of the Ashram volunteers to enquire about the welfare of the devotees, their stay and food.
It was during this brief conversation that Swami began to speak a bit about the mythology of Onam and the legend of Bali Chakravarthi, who once ruled the land, but offered his all to the Lord in charity, and accepted a humble dwelling in the nether worlds, with the special privilege to visit his folks every Onam day.
Well this is the common story told which I also knew, but then Swami gave a beautiful insight in to the significance of this story which left me spell bound.
Swami said, “It was not to punish the King Bali Chakravarthi at the request of a worried Indra who feared the loss of his throne of the heaven, but to demonstrate the devotion and surrender of King Bali Chakravarthi to all, Lord Vishnu incarnated as the dwarf Vamana Swaroopa. Similarly, even today to demonstrate the devotion and surrender of My devotees, I have assumed the Sookshma Swaroopa (Subtle form). Today, a handful of devotees are doing so much of Swami’s work due to their immense devotion, selfless sacrifice and absolute surrender. In order to let the whole world know about such devoted people, I have taken this form now!”
Who could have given this perspective other than the Lord Himself, who is the divine director of this cosmic drama? Yet the Lord of the Universe, at the end of it all, humbles Himself like the little Vamana, and gives all the credit to His devotees like the great King Bali.
Just a few days ago in Russia, Swami spoke to the simple devotees and said, “God was, devotees were. Devotees are, God is. I am, because you are.”