Jay Jay Sri Lord Vamanadeva...Jay Jay Sri Lord Vamnadeva...Jay Jay Sri Lord Vamnadeva...
The Story of Bali Maharaja and Lord Vaman Dev
Maharaja Pariksit inquired Suka: The Supreme God is the proprietor of everything. Why did He beg three paces of land from Bali Maharaja like a poor man, and when He got the gift for which He had begged, why did He nonetheless arrest Bali Maharaja? I am very much anxious to know the mystery of these contradictions.
Sri Suka Said: Bali Maharaja, The leader of the Demons, gathered his soldiers outside the abode of Indra and attacked it from all directions. He sounded the conchshell given to him by his Guru, Sukracarya, thus creating a fearful situation for the women protected by Indra. Seeing Bali Maharaja's indefatigable endeavor and understanding his motive, King Indra, along with the other gods, approached his master, Brhaspati, and spoke as follows. My lord, our old enemy Bali Maharaja now has new enthusiasm, and he has obtained such astonishing power that we think that perhaps we cannot resist his prowess.
Brhaspati, the Guru of the gods, said: O Indra, I know the cause for your enemy becoming so powerful. The descendants of Bhrgu Muni, being pleased by Bali Maharaja, endowed him with such extraordinary power. Neither you nor your men can conquer the most powerful Bali. Indeed, no one but the Supreme God can conquer him, for he is now equipped with brahma-tejas. As no one can stand before Yamaraja, no one can now stand before Bali Maharaja. Therefore, waiting until the situation of your enemies is reversed, you should all leave this heavenly place and go elsewhere, where you will not be seen.
Sri Suka continued: The gods, being thus advised by Brhaspati for their benefit, immediately accepted his words. Assuming forms according to their desire, they left the heavenly kingdom and scattered, without being observed by the demons. When the gods had disappeared, Bali Maharaja, the son of Virocana, entered the heavenly kingdom, and from there he brought the three worlds under his control. O King, when Aditi's sons, the gods, had thus disappeared from heaven and the demons had occupied their places, Aditi began lamenting, as if she had no protector. After many, many days, the great powerful sage Kasyapa Muni arose from the trance of meditation and returned home to see the asrama of Aditi neither jubilant nor festive. when Kasyapa Muni had been properly received and welcomed, he took his seat and then spoke as follows to his wife, Aditi, who was very morose. O great-minded lady, are all your sons faring well? Seeing your withered face, I can perceive that your mind is not tranquil. How is this so?
Aditi Said: O son of Marici, because you are a great personality you are equal toward all the demons and gods, who are born either from your body or from your mind and who possess one or another of the three qualities, sattva, rajo or tamoguna. But although the Supreme God, the supreme controller, is equal toward all living entities, He is especially favorable to the devotees. Therefore, gentle lord, kindly favor your servant. We have now been deprived of our opulence and residence by our competitors, the demons. Kindly give us protection. please consider our situation and bestow upon my sons the benedictions by which they can regain what they have lost.
Sri Suka continued: When Kasyapa Muni was thus requested by Aditi, he slightly smiled. "Alas," he said, "how powerful is the Maya of Lord Visnu, by which the entire world is bound by affection for children!"
Kasyapa Muni continued: What is this material body, made of five elements? It is different from the spirit soul. Indeed, the spirit soul is completely different from the material elements from which the body is made. But because of bodily attachment, one is regarded as a husband or son. These illusory relationships are caused by misunderstanding. My dear Aditi, engage in devotional service to the Supreme Person, who is the master of everything, who can subdue everyone's enemies, and who sits within everyone's heart. Only that Supreme Person can bestow all auspicious benedictions upon everyone, for He is the master of the universe. The Supreme Person, who is very merciful to the poor, will fulfill all of your desires, for devotional service unto Him is infallible. Any method other than devotional service is useless. That is my opinion.
Sri Suka said: O King, after Aditi was thus advised by her husband, Kasyapa Muni, she strictly followed his instructions without laziness. With full, undiverted attention, Aditi thought of the Supreme God and in this way brought under full control her mind and senses, which resembled forceful horses. She concentrated her mind upon the Supreme Lord, Vasudeva. My dear King, the Supreme Person, dressed in yellow garments and bearing a conchshell, disc, club and lotus in His four hands, then appeared before Aditi.
The Supreme God said: O mother of the gods, I have already understood your long-cherished desires for the welfare of your sons, who have been deprived of all opulences and driven from their residence by their enemies. O Devi, I can understand that you want to regain your sons and be together with them to worship Me, after defeating the enemies in battle and retrieving your abode and opulences. You want to see the wives of the demons lamenting for the death of their husbands when those demons, the enemies of your sons, are killed in battle by the gods. You want your sons to regain their lost reputation and opulence and live again on their heavenly place as usual. O mother of the gods, in My opinion almost all the chiefs of the demons are now unconquerable, for they are being protected by brahmanas, whom I always favors. Thus the use of power against them now will not at all be a source of happiness. Yet because I have been satisfied by the activities of your vow, O goddess Aditi, I must find some means to favor you, for worship of Me never goes in vain but certainly gives the desired result according to what one deserves. Because of Kasyapa Muni's austerities, I shall agree to become your son and thus protect your other sons. Always thinking of Me as being situated within the body of your husband, Kasyapa, go worship your husband, who has been purified by his austerity. O lady, even if someone inquires, you should not disclose this fact to anyone. That which is very confidential is successful if kept secret.
Sri Suka said: After speaking in this way, the Supreme God disappeared from that very spot. Aditi, having received the extremely valuable benediction that the Lord would appear as her son, considered herself very successful, and with great devotion she approached her husband. Being situated in a meditational trance, Kasyapa Muni, whose vision is never mistaken, could see that a plenary portion of God had entered within him. O King, as the wind promotes friction between two pieces of wood and thus gives rise to fire, Kasyapa Muni, whose transcendental position was fully absorbed in the Supreme, transferred his potency into the womb of Aditi.
Sri Suka continued: The Supreme God, who is never subject to death like an ordinary living being, appeared from the womb of Aditi. His four hands were decorated with a conchshell, club, lotus and disc, He was dressed in yellow garments, and His eyes appeared like the petals of a blooming lotus. When Aditi saw the Supreme Person, who had appeared from her own womb, having accepted a transcendental body by His own spiritual potency, she was struck with wonder and was very happy. Upon seeing the child, Kasyapa exclaimed, "Jaya! Jaya!" in great happiness and wonder. The Lord appeared in His original form, with ornaments and weapons in His hands. Although this ever-existing form is not visible in the material world, He nonetheless appeared in this form. Then, in the presence of His father and mother, He assumed the form of Vamana, a brahmana-dwarf, a brahmacari, just like a theatrical actor. At the sacred thread ceremony of Vamanadeva, the sun-god personally uttered the Gayatri mantra, Brhaspati offered the sacred thread, and Kasyapa Muni offered a straw belt. Mother earth gave Him a deerskin, and the god of the moon, who is the king of the forest, gave Him a brahma-danda [the rod of a brahmacari]. His mother, Aditi, gave Him cloth for underwear, and the deity presiding over the heavenly kingdom offered Him an umbrella. Lord Brahma offered a waterpot to the inexhaustible Supreme Person, the seven sages offered Him kusa grass, and mother Sarasvati gave Him a string of Rudraksa beads. When Vamanadeva had thus been given the sacred thread, Kubera, King of the Yaksas, gave Him a pot for begging alms, and mother Bhagavati, the wife of Lord Siva and most chaste mother of the entire universe, gave Him His first alms. Having thus been welcomed by everyone, Lord Vamanadeva, the best of the brahmacaris, exhibited His Brahman effulgence. Thus He surpassed in beauty that entire assembly, which was filled with great saintly brahmanas.
When the Lord heard that Bali Maharaja was performing asvamedha sacrifices under the patronage of brahmanas belonging to the Bhrgu dynasty, the Supreme Lord, who is full in every respect, proceeded there to show His mercy to Bali Maharaja. By His weight, He pushed down the earth with every step. While engaged in performing the sacrifice in the field known as Bhrgukaccha, on the northern bank of the Narmada River, the brahminical priests, the descendants of Bhrgu, saw Vamanadeva to be like the second sun rising nearby. O King, because of Vamanadeva's bright effulgence, the priests, along with Bali Maharaja and all the members of the assembly, were robbed of their splendor. Thus they began to ask one another whether the sun-god himself, Sanat-kumara or the fire-god had personally come to see the sacrificial ceremony. While the priests of the Bhrgu dynasty and their disciples talked and argued in various ways, the Supreme Person, Vamanadeva, holding in His hands the rod, the umbrella and a waterpot full of water, entered the arena of the asvamedha sacrifice. Appearing as a brahmana boy, wearing a belt of straw, a sacred thread, an upper garment of deerskin, and matted locks of hair, Lord Vamanadeva entered the arena of sacrifice. His brilliant effulgence diminished the brilliance of all the priests and their disciples, who thus stood from their seats and welcomed the Lord properly by offering obeisances. Bali Maharaja, jubilant at seeing Lord Vamanadeva, offered Him a seat with great satisfaction.
Bali Maharaja then said to Lord Vamanadeva: O brahmana, I offer You my hearty welcome and my respectful obeisances. Please let us know what we may do for You. We think of You as the personified austerity of the great brahmana-sages. O my Lord, because You have kindly arrived at our home, all my forefathers are satisfied, our family and entire dynasty have been sanctified, and the sacrifice we are performing is now complete because of Your presence. O son of a brahmana, today the fire of sacrifice is ablaze according to the injunction of the sastra, and I have been freed from all the sinful reactions of my life by the water that has washed Your lotus feet. O my Lord, by the touch of Your small lotus feet the entire surface of the world has been sanctified. O son of a brahmana, it appears that You have come here to ask me for something. Therefore, whatever You want You may take from me. O best of those who are worshipable. You may take from me a cow, gold, a furnished house, palatable food and drink, the daughter of a brahmana for Your wife, prosperous villages, horses, elephants, chariots or whatever You desire.
Sri Suka continued: When the Supreme Person, Vamanadeva, heard Bali Maharaja speaking in this pleasing way, He was very satisfied, for Bali Maharaja had spoken in terms of religious principles. Thus the Lord began to praise him.
Lord Vamanadeva said: O King, you are indeed exalted because your present advisors are the brahmanas who are descendants of Bhrgu and because your instructor for your future life is your grandfather, the peaceful and venerable Prahlada Maharaja. Your statements are very true, and they completely agree with religious etiquette. They are in keeping with the behavior of your family, and they enhance your reputation. I know that even until now, no one taking birth in your family has been poor-minded or miserly. No one has refused to give charity to brahmanas, nor after promising to give charity has anyone failed to fulfill his promise. O King Bali, never in your dynasty has the low-minded King been born who upon being requested has refused charity to brahmanas in holy places or a fight to ksatriyas on a battlefield. And your dynasty is even more glorious due to the presence of Prahlada Maharaja, who is like the beautiful moon in the sky. It was in your dynasty that Hiranyaksa was born. Carrying only his own club, he wandered the globe alone, without assistance, to conquer all directions, and no hero he met could rival him. When delivering the earth from the Garbhodaka Sea, Lord Visnu, in His incarnation as a boar, killed Hiranyaksa, who had appeared before Him. The fight was severe, and the Lord killed Hiranyaksa with great difficulty. Later, as the Lord thought about the uncommon prowess of Hiranyaksa, He felt Himself victorious indeed. When Hiranyakasipu heard the news of his brother's being killed, with great anger he went to the residence of Visnu, the killer of his brother, wanting to kill Lord Visnu. Seeing Hiranyakasipu coming forward bearing a trident in his hand like personified death, Lord Visnu, the best of all mystics and the knower of the progress of time, thought as follows. Wheresoever I go, Hiranyakasipu will follow Me, as death follows all living entities. Therefore it is better for Me to enter the core of his heart, for then, because of his power to see only externally, he will not see Me.
Lord Vamanadeva continued: O King of the demons, after Lord Visnu made this decision, He entered the body of His enemy Hiranyakasipu, who was running after Him with great force. In a subtle body inconceivable to Hiranyakasipu, Lord Visnu, who was in great anxiety, entered Hiranyakasipu's nostril along with his breath. Upon seeing that the residence of Lord Visnu was vacant, Hiranyakasipu began searching for Lord Visnu everywhere. Angry at not seeing Him, Hiranyakasipu screamed loudly and searched the entire universe, including the surface of the earth, the higher planetary systems, all directions and all the caves and oceans. But Hiranyakasipu, the greatest hero, did not see Visnu anywhere. Unable to see Him, Hiranyakasipu said, "I have searched the entire universe, but I could not find Visnu, who has killed my brother. Therefore, He must certainly have gone to that place from which no one returns. [In other words, He must now be dead.]" Hiranyakasipu's anger against Lord Visnu persisted until his death. Other people in the bodily concept of life maintain anger only because of false ego and the great influence of ignorance. Your father, Virocana, the son of Maharaja Prahlada, was very affectionate toward brahmanas. Although he knew very well that it was the gods who had come to him in the dress of brahmanas, at their request he delivered to them the duration of his life. You also have observed the principles followed by great personalities who are householder brahmanas, by your forefathers and by great heroes who are extremely famous for their exalted activities. O King of the Demons, from Your Majesty, who come from such a noble family and who are able to give charity munificently, I ask only three paces of land, to the measurement of My steps. O King, controller of the entire universe, although you are very munificent and are able to give Me as much land as I want, I do not want anything from you that is unnecessary. If a learned brahmana takes charity from others only according to his needs, he does not become entangled in sinful activities.
Bali Maharaja said: O son of a brahmana, Your instructions are as good as those of learned and elderly persons. Nonetheless, You are a boy, and Your intelligence is insufficient. Thus You are not very prudent in regard to Your self-interest. I am able to give You an entire island because I am the proprietor of the three divisions of the universe. You have come to take something from me and have pleased me by Your sweet words, but You are asking only three paces of land. Therefore You are not very intelligent. O small boy, one who approaches me to beg something should not have to ask anything more, anywhere. Therefore, if You wish, You may ask from me as much land as will suffice to maintain You according to Your needs.
Lord Vamanadeva said: O my dear King, even the entirety of whatever there may be within the three worlds to satisfy one's senses cannot satisfy a person whose senses are uncontrolled. If I were not satisfied with three paces of land, then surely I would not be satisfied even with possessing one of the seven islands, consisting of nine varsas. Even if I possessed one island, I would hope to get others. We have heard that although powerful kings like Maharaja Prthu and Maharaja Gaya achieved proprietorship over the seven dvipas, they could not achieve satisfaction or find the end of their ambitions. One should be satisfied with whatever he achieves by his previous destiny, for discontent can never bring happiness. A person who is not self-controlled will not be happy even with possessing the three worlds. Material existence causes discontent in regard to fulfilling one's lusty desires and achieving more and more money. This is the cause for the continuation of material life, which is full of repeated birth and death. But one who is satisfied by that which is obtained by destiny is fit for liberation from this material existence. A brahmana who is satisfied with whatever is providentially obtained is increasingly enlightened with spiritual power, but the spiritual potency of a dissatisfied brahmana decreases, as fire diminishes in potency when water is sprinkled upon it. Therefore, O King, from you, the best of those who give charity, I ask only three paces of land. By such a gift I shall be very pleased, for the way of happiness is to be fully satisfied to receive that which is absolutely needed.
Sri Suka continued: When the Supreme Person had thus spoken to Bali Maharaja, Bali smiled and told Him, "All right. Take whatever You like." To confirm his promise to give Vamanadeva the desired land, he then took up his waterpot. Understanding Lord Visnu's purpose, Sukracarya, the best of the learned, immediately spoke as follows to his disciple, who was about to offer everything to Lord Vamanadeva.
Sukracarya said: O son of Virocana, this brahmacari in the form of a dwarf is directly the imperishable God, Visnu. Accepting Kasyapa Muni as His father and Aditi as His mother, He has now appeared in order to fulfill the interests of the gods. You do not know what a dangerous position you have accepted by promising to give Him land. I do not think that this promise is good for you. It will bring great harm to the demons. This person falsely appearing as a brahmacari is actually the Supreme Person, Hari, who has come in this form to take away all your land, wealth, beauty, power, fame and education. After taking everything from you, He will deliver it to Indra, your enemy. You have promised to give Him three steps of land in charity, but when you give it He will occupy the three worlds. You are a rascal! You do not know what a great mistake you have made. After giving everything to Lord Visnu, you will have no means of livelihood. How then shall you live? Vamanadeva will first occupy the three worlds with one step, then He will take His second step and occupy everything in outer space, and then He will expand His universal body to occupy everything. Where will you offer Him the third step? You will certainly be unable to fulfill your promise, and I think that because of this inability your eternal residence will be in hell. Learned scholars do not praise that charity which endangers one's own livelihood. Charity, sacrifice, austerity and fruitive activities are possible for one who is competent to earn his livelihood properly. Therefore, the safe course is to say no. Although it is a falsehood, it protects one completely, it draws the compassion of others toward oneself, and it gives one full facility to collect money from others for oneself. Nonetheless, if one always pleads that he has nothing, he is condemned, for he is a dead body while living, or while still breathing he should be killed. In flattering a woman to bring her under control, in joking, in a marriage ceremony, in earning one's livelihood, when one's life is in danger, in protecting cows and brahminical culture, or in protecting a person from an enemy's hand, falsity is never condemned.
Sri Suka said: O King Pariksit, when Bali Maharaja was thus advised by his spiritual Guru, Sukracarya, his family priest, he remained silent for some time, and then, after full deliberation, he replied to his guru as follows.
Bali Maharaja said: As you have already stated, the principle of religion that does not hinder one's economic development, sense gratification, fame and means of livelihood is the real occupational duty of the householder. I also think that this religious principle is correct. I am the grandson of Maharaja Prahlada. How can I withdraw my promise because of greed for money when I have already said that I shall give this land? How can I behave like an ordinary cheater, especially toward a brahmana? There is nothing more sinful than untruthfulness. Because of this, mother earth once said, "I can bear any heavy thing except a person who is a liar." I do not fear hell, poverty, an ocean of distress, falldown from my position or even death itself as much as I fear cheating a brahmana. My lord, you can also see that all the material opulences of this world are certainly separated from their possessor at death. Therefore, if the brahmana Vamanadeva is not satisfied by whatever gifts one has given, why not please Him with the riches one is destined to lose at death? Dadhici, Sibi and many other great personalities were willing to sacrifice even their lives for the benefit of the people in general. This is the evidence of history. So why not give up this insignificant land? What is the serious consideration against it? O best of the brahmanas, certainly the great demoniac kings who were never reluctant to fight enjoyed this world, but in due course of time everything they had was taken away, except their reputation, by which they continue to exist. In other words, one should try to achieve a good reputation instead of anything else. Many men have laid down their lives on the battlefield, being unafraid of fighting, but rarely has one gotten the chance to give his accumulated wealth faithfully to a saintly person who creates holy places. By giving charity, a benevolent and merciful person undoubtedly becomes even more auspicious, especially when he gives charity to a person like your good self. Under the circumstances, I must give this little brahmacari whatever charity He wants from me. O great sage, great saintly persons like you, being completely aware of the Vedic principles for performing ritualistic ceremonies and yajnas, worship Lord Visnu in all circumstances. Therefore, whether that same Lord Visnu has come here to give me all benedictions or to punish me as an enemy, I must carry out His order and give Him the requested tract of land without hesitation. Although He is Visnu Himself, out of fear He has covered Himself in the form of a brahmana to come to me begging. Under the circumstances, because He has assumed the form of a brahmana, even if He irreligiously arrests me or even kills me, I shall not retaliate, although He is my enemy. If this brahmana really is Lord Visnu, who is worshiped by Vedic hymns, He would never give up His widespread reputation; either He would lie down having been killed by me, or He would kill me in a fight.
Sri Suka continued: Thereafter, the Guru, Sukracarya, being inspired by the Supreme Lord, cursed his exalted disciple Bali Maharaja, who was so magnanimous and fixed in truthfulness that instead of respecting his Guru's instructions, he wanted to disobey his order. Although you have no knowledge, you have become a so-called learned person, and therefore you dare be so impudent as to disobey my order. Because of disobeying me, you shall very soon be bereft of all your opulence. Even after being cursed in this way by his own spiritual master, Bali Maharaja, being a great personality, never deviated from his determination. Therefore, according to custom, he first offered water to Vamanadeva and then offered Him the gift of land he had promised. Bali Maharaja's wife, known as Vindhyavali, who was decorated with a necklace of pearls, immediately came and had a large golden waterpot brought there, full of water with which to worship the Lord by washing His feet. Bali Maharaja, the worshiper of Lord Vamanadeva, jubilantly washed the Lord's lotus feet and then took the water on his head, for that water delivers the entire universe. At that time, the residents of the higher planetary system, namely the gods, the Gandharvas, the Vidyadharas, the Siddhas and the Caranas, all being very pleased by Bali Maharaja's simple, nonduplicitous act, praised his qualities and showered upon him millions of flowers.
The unlimited God, who had assumed the form of Vamana, then began increasing in size, acting in terms of the material energy, until everything in the universe was within His body, including the earth, the planetary systems, the sky, the directions, the various holes in the universe, the seas, the oceans, the birds, beasts, human beings, the gods and the great saintly persons. Bali Maharaja, along with all the priests, acaryas and members of the assembly, observed the Supreme Person's universal body, which was full of six opulences. That body contained everything within the universe, including all the gross material elements, the senses, the sense objects, the mind, intelligence and false ego, the various kinds of living entities, and the actions and reactions of the three modes of material nature. O King, when all the demons, the followers of Maharaja Bali, saw the universal form of the Supreme Person, who held everything within His body, when they saw in the Lord's hand His disc, known as the Sudarsana cakra, which generates intolerable heat, and when they heard the tumultuous sound of His bow, all of these caused lamentation within their hearts. The Lord's conchshell, named Pancajanya, which made sounds like that of a cloud; the very forceful club named Kaumodaki; the sword named Vidyadhara, with a shield decorated with hundreds of moonlike spots; and also Aksayasayaka, the best of quivers--all of these appeared together to offer prayers to the Lord. These associates, headed by Sunanda and other chief associates and accompanied by all the predominating deities of the various planets, offered prayers to the Lord, who wore a brilliant helmet, bracelets, and glittering earrings that resembled fish. On the Lord's bosom were the lock of hair called Srivatsa and the transcendental jewel named Kaustubha. He wore a yellow garment, covered by a belt, and He was decorated by a flower garland, surrounded by bees. Manifesting Himself in this way, O King, the Supreme Person, whose activities are wonderful, covered the entire surface of the earth with one footstep, the sky with His body, and all directions with His arms. As the Lord took His second step, He covered the heavenly planets. And not even a spot remained for the third step, for the Lord's foot extended higher and higher, beyond Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and even Satyaloka.
Sri Suka continued: When Lord Brahma, who was born of a lotus flower, saw that the effulgence of his residence, Brahmaloka, had been reduced by the glaring effulgence from the toenails of Lord Vamanadeva, he approached the Supreme Person. Lord Brahma was accompanied by all the great sages, headed by Marici, and by yogis like Sanandana, but in the presence of that glaring effulgence, O King, even Lord Brahma and his associates seemed insignificant. Among the great personalities who came to worship the lotus feet of the Lord were those who had attained perfection in self-control and regulative principles, as well as experts in logic, history, general education and the Vedic literature known as kalpa [dealing with old historical incidents]. Others were experts in the Vedic corollaries, all the other knowledge of the Vedas [Sama, Yajur, Rg and Atharva], and also the supplementary Vedic knowledge [Ayur-veda, Dhanur-veda, etc.]. Others were those who had been freed of the reactions to fruitive activities by transcendental knowledge awakened by practice of yoga. And still others were those who had attained residence in Brahmaloka not by ordinary karma but by advanced Vedic knowledge. After devotedly worshiping the upraised lotus feet of the Supreme Lord with oblations of water, Lord Brahma, who was born of the lotus emanating from Lord Visnu's navel, offered prayers to the Lord. O King, the water from Lord Brahma's kamandalu washed the lotus feet of Lord Vamanadeva, who is known as Urukrama, the wonderful actor. Thus that water became so pure that it was transformed into the water of the Ganges, which went flowing down from the sky, purifying the three worlds like the pure fame of the Supreme Person.
When the demoniac followers of Maharaja Bali saw that their master, who had been determined in performing sacrifice, had lost all his possessions to Vamanadeva, who had taken them away on the plea of begging three paces of land, they were very angry and spoke as follows. "This Vamana is certainly not a brahmana but the best of cheaters, Lord Visnu. Assuming the form of a brahmana, He has covered His own form, and thus He is working for the interests of the gods. "Our lord, Bali Maharaja, because of his position in performing the yajna, has given up the power to punish. Taking advantage of this, our eternal enemy, Visnu, dressed in the form of a brahmacari beggar, has taken away all his possessions. Our lord, Bali Maharaja, is always fixed in truthfulness, and this is especially so at present, since he has been initiated into performing a sacrifice. He is always kind and merciful toward the brahmanas, and he cannot at any time speak lies. Therefore it is our duty to kill this Vamanadeva, Lord Visnu. It is our religious principle and the way to serve our master." After making this decision, the demoniac followers of Maharaja Bali took up their various weapons with a view to killing Vamanadeva. O King, the demons, aggravated by their usual anger, took their lances and tridents in hand, and against the will of Bali Maharaja they pushed forward to kill Lord Vamanadeva. O King, when the associates of Lord Visnu saw the soldiers of the demons coming forward in violence, they smiled. Taking up their weapons, they forbade the demons to continue their attempt. Nanda, Sunanda, Jaya, Vijaya, Prabala, Bala, Kumuda, Kumudaksa, Visvaksena, Patattrirat [Garuda], Jayanta, Srutadeva, Puspadanta and Satvata were all associates of Lord Visnu. They were as powerful as ten thousand elephants, and now they began killing the soldiers of the demons. When Bali Maharaja saw that his own soldiers were being killed by the associates of Lord Visnu, he remembered the curse of Sukracarya and forbade his soldiers to continue fighting. O Daityas, by human efforts no one can supersede God, who can bring happiness and distress to all living entities. The supreme time factor, which represents the Supreme Person, was previously in our favor and not in favor of the gods, but now that same time factor is against us. No one can surpass the time representation of the Supreme Person by material power, by the counsel of ministers, by intelligence, by diplomacy, by fortresses, by mystic mantras, by drugs, by herbs or by any other means.
Thereafter, on the day of soma-pana, after the sacrifice was finished, Garuda, king of the birds, understanding the desire of his master, arrested Bali Maharaja with the ropes of Varuna. O King, the Supreme Person, Vamanadeva, then spoke to Bali Maharaja, the most liberal and celebrated personality whom He had arrested with the ropes of Varuna. Bali Maharaja had lost all bodily luster, but he was nonetheless fixed in his determination. O King of the demons, you have promised to give Me three steps of land, but I have occupied the entire universe with two steps. Now think about where I should put My third. As far as the sun and moon shine with the stars and as far as the clouds pour rain, all the land throughout the universe is in your possession. Of these possessions, with one step I have occupied Bhurloka, and with My body I have occupied the entire sky and all directions. And in your presence, with My second step, I have occupied the upper planetary system. Because you have been unable to give charity according to your promise, the rule is that you should go down to live in the hellish planets. Therefore, in accordance with the order of Sukracarya, your spiritual master, now go down and live there. Far from being elevated to the heavenly planets or fulfilling one's desire, one who does not properly give a beggar what he has promised falls down to a hellish condition of life. Being falsely proud of your possessions, you promised to give Me land, but you could not fulfill your promise. Therefore, because your promise was false, you must live for a few years in hellish life.
Sri Suka said: O King, although Lord Vamanadeva was superficially seen to have acted mischievously toward Bali Maharaja, Bali Maharaja was fixed in his determination. Considering himself not to have fulfilled his promise, he spoke as follows.
Bali Maharaja said: O the best Person, most worshipable for all the gods, if You think that my promise has become false, I shall certainly rectify matters to make it truthful. I cannot allow my promise to be false. Please, therefore, place Your third lotus footstep on my head. I do not fear being deprived of all my possessions, living in hellish life, being arrested for poverty by the ropes of Varuna or being punished by You as much as I fear defamation. Although a father, mother, brother or friend may sometimes punish one as a well-wisher, they never punish their subordinate like this. But because You are the most worshipable Lord, I regard the punishment You have given me as most exalted. Since Your Lordship is indirectly the greatest well-wisher of us demons, You act for our best welfare by posing as if our enemy. Because demons like us always aspire for a position of false prestige, by chastising us You give us the eyes by which to see the right path. Many demons who were continuously inimical toward You finally achieved the perfection of great mystic yogis. Your Lordship can perform one work to serve many purposes, and consequently, although You have punished me in many ways, I do not feel ashamed of having been arrested by the ropes of Varuna, nor do I feel aggrieved. My grandfather Prahlada Maharaja is famous, being recognized by all Your devotees. Although harassed in many ways by his father, Hiranyakasipu, he still remained faithful, taking shelter at Your lotus feet. What is the use of the material body, which automatically leaves its owner at the end of life? And what is the use of all one's family members, who are actually plunderers taking away money that is useful for the service of the Lord in spiritual opulence? What is the use of a wife? She is only the source of increasing material conditions. And what is the use of family, home, country and community? Attachment for them merely wastes the valuable energy of one's lifetime. My grandfather, the best of all men, who achieved unlimited knowledge and was worshipable for everyone, was afraid of the common men in this world. Being fully convinced of the substantiality afforded by shelter at Your lotus feet, He took shelter of Your lotus feet, against the will of his father and demoniac friends, who were killed by Your own self. Only by providence have I been forcibly brought under Your lotus feet and deprived of all my opulence. Because of the illusion created by temporary opulence, people in general, who live under material conditions, facing accidental death at every moment, do not understand that this life is temporary. Only by providence have I been saved from that condition.
Sri Suka continued: O King Pariksit, Lord Brahma then began to speak to Lord Vamanadeva, within the hearing of Prahlada Maharaja, who stood nearby with folded hands. But Bali Maharaja's chaste wife, afraid and aggrieved at seeing her husband arrested, immediately offered obeisances to Lord Vamanadeva. She folded her hands and spoke as follows.
Vindhyavali said: O my Lord, You have created the entire universe for the enjoyment of Your personal pastimes, but foolish, unintelligent men have claimed proprietorship for material enjoyment. Certainly they are shameless agnostics. Falsely claiming proprietorship, they think they can give charity and enjoy. In such a condition, what good can they do for You, who are the independent creator, maintainer and annihilator of this universe?
Lord Brahma said: O well-wisher and master of all living entities, O worshipable Deity of all the gods, O all-pervading God, now this man has been sufficiently punished, for You have taken everything. Now You can release him. He does not deserve to be punished more. Bali Maharaja had already offered everything to Your Lordship. Without hesitation, he has offered his land, the planets and whatever else he earned by his pious activities, including even his own body. By offering even water, newly grown grass, or flower buds at Your lotus feet, those who maintain no mental duplicity can achieve the most exalted position within the spiritual world. This Bali Maharaja, without duplicity, has now offered everything in the three worlds. How then can he deserve to suffer from arrest?
Lord Vamanadeva said: My dear Lord Brahma, because of material opulence a foolish person becomes dull-witted and mad. Thus he has no respect for anyone within the three worlds and defies even My authority. To such a person I show special favor by first taking away all his possessions. While rotating in the cycle of birth and death again and again in different species because of his own fruitive activities, the dependent living entity, by good fortune, may happen to become a human being. This human birth is very rarely obtained. If a human being is born in an aristocratic family or a higher status of life, if he performs wonderful activities, if he is youthful, if he has personal beauty, a good education and good wealth, and if he is nonetheless not proud of his opulences, it is to be understood that he is especially favored by the Supreme Person. Although aristocratic birth and other such opulences are impediments to advancement in devotional service because they are causes of false prestige and pride, these opulences never disturb a pure devotee of the Supreme Person. Bali Maharaja has become the most famous among the demons and nonbelievers, for in spite of being bereft of all material opulences, he is fixed in his devotional service. Although bereft of his riches, fallen from his original position, defeated and arrested by his enemies, rebuked and deserted by his relatives and friends, although suffering the pain of being bound and although rebuked and cursed by his spiritual master, Bali, being fixed in his vow, did not give up his truthfulness. It was certainly with pretension that I spoke about religious principles, but he did not give up religious principles, for he is true to his word.
The Lord continued: Because of his great tolerance, I have given him a place not obtainable even by the gods. He will become the Indra in the next coming Manvantara. Until Bali achieves the position of Indra, he shall live on the planet Sutala, which was made by Visvakarma according to My order. Because it is especially protected by Me, it is free from mental and bodily miseries, fatigue, dizziness, defeat and all other disturbances. Bali, you may now go live there peacefully. On the planet Sutala, not even the predominating deities of other planets, what to speak of ordinary people, will be able to conquer you. As far as the demons are concerned, if they transgress your rule, My disc will kill them. O great hero, I shall always be with you and give you protection in all respects along with your associates and paraphernalia. Moreover, you will always be able to see Me there.
Bali Maharaja said: What a wonderful effect there is in even attempting to offer respectful obeisances to You! I merely endeavored to offer You obeisances, but nonetheless the attempt was as successful as those of pure devotees. The causeless mercy You have shown to me, a fallen demon, was never achieved even by the gods or the leaders of the various planets.
Sri Suka continued: After speaking in this way, Bali Maharaja offered his obeisances first to Lord Vamanadeva, Hari, and then to Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. Thus he was released from the bondage of the naga-pasa, and in full satisfaction he entered the Sutala.
Hare Krishna...Dandavat Pranam...