On the fourteenth day of the month of Ashwin or on the day next to
Dhanatrayodashi, is celebrated the Choti Diwali also known as Narka
Chatudashi. Every day has certain significance and traces its origin
to some chapters of Hindu Mythology. Legend has it that
there lived once a King Bali who ruled the nether world. But then severe
penanceís and his ardent devotion gained him indomitable powers. So
immense was his prowess that even the Gods feared him. It didnít take
much time for the Gods to realize that King Bali had almost become a
threat to them. Something had to be done before it was too late. And
so they decided to seek refuge of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in the guise
of a dwarf visited King Bali and begged of him to grant him just the
land, which he could cover with his three steps. King Bali was rather
surprised for he thought how much land could this dwarf ask for. Known
for his generosity, King Bali promptly granted his wish. But the moment
he did so, Lord Vishnu manifested himself before King Bali. King Bali
realized his folly but unfortunately he couldnít take back his word.
Lord Vishnu covered the entire heaven in one step and with the second
step he covered the earth there was no place left for him to keep his
third step. And so King Bali offered his head, Lord Vishnu thus pushed
the proud King down to the unknown depths of the netherworld. But he
was granted a wish to return to earth once a year to visit his subjects.
And so the people light their houses with innumerable lamps to welcome
their King who visits them just once in a year.