Onam is the national festival of the Indian state of Kerala. This is celebrated by the people of all the religion in the state with no difference. This the only celebration which is celebrated for an Asura(Demon) king. All the other celebrations are in favor of the Devas(Gods). In the fifth avatar of Lord Mahavishnu as Vamana, he pushes the Demon King to the Pathala(the underworld). The myth is that Indra, king of gods out of jealousy approached Lord Mahavishnu and seeks his help in destroying the king Mahabali. Lord Mahavishnu took avatar of a Brahmin youth and request for three foot of land. King Mahabali, known for his generousness, immediately grant's the wish and asks the young Brahmin boy to measure and take it himself where ever he wanted. Vamana grows in to huge and covers all that Mahabali has got in two feet. When asked for the third foot of land king Mahabali shows his own head to be stamped on. Vamana pushes him to Pathala, the bottom most land, and grant him a wish that he could visit his people once in every year. Onam is the day he visits Kerala to see his people.
"Varaha Purana" talks about ten avatars of Mahavishnu. Vamana is the fifth avathara of Lord Mahavishnu.
"Matsya: Koormo Varahascha Narasimha: Atha Vamana: Ramo Ramacha Ramascha Krishna: Kalki: iti te dasa"
- Malsia (Fish)
- Narasimha (half man half animal)
Each of these avatars are taken to destroy the demon king at that time. According to Holy Bhagavath Gita, Load Krishna says:
"Whenever righteousness wanes and unrighteousness increases I send myself forth.
For the protection of the good and for the destruction of evil, and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being age after age."
Being in GIS I thought of mapping the avatars in to the map of India and it resulted in a Visible Migration. I felt that it has also got something to do with the Aryans pushing the Dravidians to the south. The middle four avatars found to be much interesting. In each of the avatars the demons are getting pushed to the south and the next generation moves still further. Look at the map of India and the numbers in it. The numbers represent the following explanation. And arrows represents the movement.
- Narasimha - Conquered Hiranya Kasapu (Indus, Taxila) Kingdom of Kondakpors
- Vamana - Conquered Kingdom of Mahabali (Great grandson of Hiranyakasipu) Ruled all Dravida. Vamana met him at the banks of Narmada (Present Gujarat) and pushes him to Pathala(Present Kerala)
- Parasurama - Conquered kingdom of Keralaputras (present Kerala region) and hand over the land to the Brahmins that he brought from the north India.
- Rama - Conquered Kingdom of Ravana (Great grandson of Mahabali) at Present Sri Lanka and returned.
The Indian subcontinent is the only place considered. Starting from Kailasa (Heaven) the topmost place to the pathala,(Kerala) the bottem most place and the Lanka which is out of this world. So the Asuras who still are left back in the region of Kerala celebrates the good time they had when they were with the king. This celebration is called Onam. It is a harvest festival in the first month of the Malayalam calendar.