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When Bali, the king of the demons had conquered the whole earth, the gods began to worry for Bali was now on the brink of capturing the heavens. The gods rushed to Vishnu for help. Vishnu was in a quandary, for Bali was one his devotees to whom he had granted several boons.

Vishnu appeared on earth in an avatar as Vamana, the dwarf with a view to resolving the crisis. He went to the venue where Bali was performing a yagna performed. Bali offered Vamana a boon. Vamana asked for as much land as he could cover in three steps. Bali thought he had got away lightly, after all how much land could the dwarfed peasant cover? Without giving much thought, Bali agreed.

Vamana grew to cosmic proportions, with his first step he covered the earth, the second took him into the heavens. When Bali realised this was no dwarf but the great god Vishnu, he fell at Vamana's feet and begged forgiveness. Vishnu left the kingdom of Patala, the netherworld to Bali, where he could rule forever.

Balipratipada is a day, dedicated to the memory of the immortal Bali, whose humility had saved him from destruction.

The second day of Diwali (Bali Prati-pada) is celebrated in memory of this. Prati-pada here translates as "below the opponent's foot" (Prati=opponent, Pada=foot). During Diwali festival people celebrates the victory of good over evil.

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