The priest steps on King Bali's head

     King Bali was a generous ruler but also very ambitious. To make peace with the gods he performed a Yagna (fire sacrifice). His Yagna was so successful that even the gods were terrified to appear before him and grant him a blessing in the fear that he might ask for something beyond their capacity. Some of the Gods pleaded Vishnu, the hindu deity, to check King Bali's power. Vishnu came to earth in the form of a dwarf dressed as priest.
     When the priest reached King Bali's kingdom, the king asked him to ask for anything he wanted. The priest said," You are the ruler of the three worlds: the Earth, the world above
the skies, and the underworld.Would you give me the space that I could cover with three steps?" King Bali laughed. This request seemed strange to all the attenders, but King Bali granted it," surely a dwarf  could not cover much ground", thought the King, who agreed to the dwarf's request.
     Once the request was granted to him, the priest, who was none but Vishnu in disguise, buried the entire world with one step, with the second he sank the heaven. For the third step, there was no respectable place for his foot so that the blessing could be fulfilled. Left with no alternative, the noble but annoyed King Bali offered his head for the purpose. To his surprise, with his foot step, the priest thrust the king into the under worlds, or the hell which lies below the surface of the earth.

Adapted from

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