Lord Vamanadeva Begs Charity from Bali Maharaja
This Nineteenth Chapter describes how Lord Vamanadeva asked for three paces of land in charity, how Bali Maharaja agreed to His proposal, and how Sukracarya forbade Bali Maharaja to fulfill Lord Vamanadeva's request.
When Bali Maharaja, thinking Vamanadeva to be the son of a brahmana, told Him to ask for anything He liked, Lord Vamanadeva praised Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa for their heroic activities, and after thus praising the family in which Bali Maharaja had been born, He begged the King for three paces of land. Bali Maharaja agreed to give this land in charity, since this was very insignificant, but Sukracarya, who could understand that Vamanadeva was Visnu, the friend of the demigods, forbade Bali Maharaja to give this land. Sukracarya advised Bali Maharaja to withdraw his promise. He explained that in subduing others, in joking, in responding to danger, in acting for the welfare of others, and so on, one could refuse to fulfill one's promise, and there would be no fault. By this philosophy, Sukracarya tried to dissuade Bali Maharaja from giving land to Lord Vamanadeva.
iti vairocaner vakyam
dharma-yuktam sa sunrtam
nisamya bhagavan pritah
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; iti--thus; vairocaneh--of the son of Virocana; vakyam--the words; dharma-yuktam--in terms of religious principles; sah--He; su-nrtam--very pleasing; nisamya--hearing; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pritah--completely pleased; pratinandya--congratulating him; idam--the following words; abravit--said.
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 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.
vacas tavaitaj jana-deva sunrtam
kulocitam dharma-yutam yasas-karam
yasya pramanam bhrgavah samparaye
pitamahah kula-vrddhah prasantah
sri-bhagavan uvaca--the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; vacah--words; tava--your; etat--this kind of; jana-deva--O King of the people; su-nrtam--very true; kula-ucitam--exactly befitting your dynasty; dharma-yutam--completely in accord with the principles of religion; yasah-karam--fit for spreading your reputation; yasya--of whom; pramanam--the evidence; bhrgavah--the brahmanas of the Bhrgu dynasty; samparaye--in the next world; pitamahah--your grandfather; kula-vrddhah--the oldest in the family; prasantah--very peaceful (Prahlada Maharaja).
The Supreme Personality of Godhead 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.
Prahlada Maharaja is a vivid example of a pure devotee. Someone might argue that since Prahlada Maharaja, even though very old, was attached to his family, and specifically to his grandson Bali Maharaja, how could he be an ideal example? Therefore this verse uses the word prasantah. A devotee is always sober. He is never disturbed by any conditions. Even if a devotee remains in grhastha life and does not renounce material possessions, he should still be understood to be prasanta, sober, because of his pure devotion to the Lord. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore said:
kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya
"Whether one is a brahmana, a sannyasi or a sudra--regardless of what he is--he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krsna." (Cc. Madhya 8.128) Anyone completely aware of the science of Krsna, regardless of his status in life, is a guru. Thus Prahlada Maharaja is a guru in all circumstances.
Here His Lordship Vamanadeva also teaches sannyasis and brahmacaris that one should not ask more than necessary. He wanted only three paces of land, although Bali Maharaja wanted to give Him anything He wanted.
na hy etasmin kule kascin
nihsattvah krpanah puman
yo vadata dvijataye
na--not; hi--indeed; etasmin--in this; kule--in the dynasty or family; kascit--anyone; nihsattvah--poor-minded; krpanah--miser; puman--any person; pratyakhyata--refuses; pratisrutya--after promising to give; yah va--either; adata--not being charitable; dvijataye--unto the brahmanas.
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.
na santi tirthe yudhi carthinarthitah
paranmukha ye tv amanasvino nrpa
yusmat-kule yad yasasamalena
prahrada udbhati yathodupah khe
na--not; santi--there are; tirthe--in holy places (where charity is given); yudhi--in the battlefield; ca--also; arthina--by a brahmana or a ksatriya; arthitah--who have been asked; paranmukhah--who refused their prayers; ye--such persons; tu--indeed; amanasvinah--such low-minded, low-grade kings; nrpa--O King (Bali Maharaja); yusmat-kule--in your dynasty; yat--therein; yasasa amalena--by impeccable reputation; prahradah--Prahlada Maharaja; udbhati--arises; yatha--as; udupah--the moon; khe--in the sky.
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.
The symptoms of a ksatriya are given in Bhagavad-gita. One of the qualifications is the willingness to give charity (dana). A ksatriya does not refuse to give charity when requested by a brahmana, nor can he refuse to fight another ksatriya. A king who does refuse is called low-minded. In the dynasty of Bali Maharaja there were no such low-minded kings.
yato jato hiranyaksas
carann eka imam mahim
yatah--in which dynasty; jatah--was born; hiranyaksah--the king named Hiranyaksa; caran--wandering; ekah--alone; imam--this; mahim--surface of the globe; prativiram--a rival hero; dik-vijaye--for conquering all directions; na avindata--could not get; gada-ayudhah--bearing his own club.
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.
yam vinirjitya krcchrena
visnuh ksmoddhara agatam
atmanam jayinam mene
tad-viryam bhury anusmaran
yam--whom; vinirjitya--after conquering; krcchrena--with great difficulty; visnuh--Lord Visnu in His incarnation as a boar; ksma-uddhare--at the time when the earth was delivered; agatam--appeared before Him; atmanam--personally, Himself; jayinam--victorious; mene--considered; tat-viryam--the prowess of Hiranyaksa; bhuri--constantly, or more and more; anusmaran--thinking about.
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.
nisamya tad-vadham bhrata
hantum bhratr-hanam kruddho
jagama nilayam hareh
nisamya--after hearing; tat-vadham--the killing of Hiranyaksa; bhrata--the brother; hiranyakasipuh--Hiranyakasipu; pura--formerly; hantum--just to kill; bhratr-hanam--the killer of his brother; kruddhah--very angry; jagama--went; nilayam--to the residence; hareh--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
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.
tam ayantam samalokya
cintayam asa kala-jno
visnur mayavinam varah
tam--him (Hiranyakasipu); ayantam--coming forward; samalokya--observing minutely; sula-panim--with a trident in his hand; krtanta-vat--just like death personified; cintayam asa--thought; kala-jnah--who knows the progress of time; visnuh--Lord Visnu; mayavinam--of all kinds of mystics; varah--the chief.
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.
yato yato 'ham tatrasau
mrtyuh prana-bhrtam iva
ato 'ham asya hrdayam
yatah yatah--wheresoever; aham--I; tatra--there indeed; asau--this Hiranyakasipu; mrtyuh--death; prana-bhrtam--of all living entities; iva--just like; atah--therefore; aham--I; asya--of him; hrdayam--within the core of the heart; praveksyami--shall enter; parak-drsah--of a person who has only external vision.
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.
evam sa niscitya ripoh sariram
adhavato nirvivise 'surendra
evam--in this way; sah--He (Lord Visnu); niscitya--deciding; ripoh--of the enemy; sariram--the body; adhavatah--who was running after Him with great force; nirvivise--entered; asura-indra--O King of the demons (Maharaja Bali); svasa-anila--through the breathing; antarhita--invisible; suksma-dehah--in his finer body; tat-prana-randhrena--through the hole of the nostril; vivigna-cetah--being very anxious.
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.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is already in the core of everyone's heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati (Bg. 18.61). Logically, therefore, it was not at all difficult for Lord Visnu to enter Hiranyakasipu's body. The word vivigna-cetah, "very anxious," is significant. It is not that Lord Visnu was afraid of Hiranyakasipu; rather, because of compassion, Lord Visnu was in anxiety about how to act for his welfare.
sa tan-niketam parimrsya sunyam
apasyamanah kupito nanada
ksmam dyam disah kham vivaran samudran
visnum vicinvan na dadarsa virah
sah--that Hiranyakasipu; tat-niketam--the residence of Lord Visnu; parimrsya--searching; sunyam--vacant; apasyamanah--not seeing Lord Visnu; kupitah--being very angry; nanada--cried very loudly; ksmam--on the surface of the earth; dyam--in outer space; disah--in all directions; kham--in the sky; vivaran--in all the caves; samudran--all the oceans; visnum--Lord Visnu; vicinvan--searching for; na--not; dadarsa--did see; virah--although he was very powerful.
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.
apasyann iti hovaca
mayanvistam idam jagat
bhratr-ha me gato nunam
yato navartate puman
apasyan--not seeing Him; iti--in this way; ha uvaca--uttered; maya--by me; anvistam--has been sought; idam--the whole; jagat--universe; bhratr-ha--Lord Visnu, who killed the brother; me--my; gatah--must have gone; nunam--indeed; yatah--from where; na--not; avartate--comes back; puman--a person.
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.]"
Atheists generally follow the Bauddha philosophical conclusion that at death everything is finished. Hiranyakasipu, being an atheist, thought this way. Because Lord Visnu was not visible to him, he thought that the Lord was dead. Even today, many people follow the philosophy that God is dead. But God is never dead. Even the living entity, who is part of God, never dies. Na jayate mriyate va kadacit: "For the soul there is never birth or death." This is the statement of Bhagavad-gita (2.20). Even the ordinary living entity never takes birth or dies. What then is to be said of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the chief of all living entities? He certainly never takes birth or dies. Ajo'pi sann avyayatma (Bg. 4.6). Both the Lord and the living entity exist as unborn and inexhaustible personalities. Thus Hiranyakasipu's conclusion that Visnu was dead was wrong.
As indicated by the words yato navartate puman, there is certainly a spiritual kingdom, and if the living entity goes there, he never returns to this material world. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.9): tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so'rjuna. Materially speaking, every living entity dies; death is inevitable. But those who are karmis, jnanis and yogis return to this material world after death, whereas bhaktas do not. Of course, if a bhakta is not completely perfect he takes birth in the material world again, but in a very exalted position, either in a rich family or a family of the purest brahmanas (sucinam srimatam gehe), just to finish his development in spiritual consciousness. Those who have completed the course of Krsna consciousness and are free from material desire return to the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama). Here the same fact is stated: yato navartate puman. Any person who goes back home, back to Godhead, does not return to this material world.
amrtyor iha dehinam
vaira-anubandhah--enmity; etavan--so great; amrtyoh--up to the point of death; iha--in this; dehinam--of persons too involved in the bodily concept of life; ajnana-prabhavah--because of the great influence of ignorance; manyuh--anger; aham-mana--by egotism; upabrmhitah--expanded.
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.
Generally speaking, even though the conditioned soul is angry, his anger is not perpetual but temporary. It is due to the influence of ignorance. Hiranyakasipu, however, maintained his enmity and his anger against Lord Visnu until the point of death. He never forgot his vengeful attitude toward Visnu for having killed his brother, Hiranyaksa. Others in the bodily concept of life are angry at their enemies but not at Lord Visnu. Hiranyakasipu, however, was everlastingly angry. He was angry not only because of false prestige but also because of continuous enmity toward Visnu.
pita prahrada-putras te
svam ayur dvija-lingebhyo
devebhyo 'dat sa yacitah
pita--father; prahrada-putrah--the son of Maharaja Prahlada; te--your; tat-vidvan--although it was known to him; dvija-vatsalah--still, because of his affinity for brahmanas; svam--his own; ayuh--duration of life; dvija-lingebhyah--who were dressed like brahmanas; devebhyah--unto the demigods; adat--delivered; sah--he; yacitah--being so requested.
Your father, Virocana, the son of Maharaja Prahlada, was very affectionate toward brahmanas. Although he knew very well that it was the demigods who had come to him in the dress of brahmanas, at their request he delivered to them the duration of his life.
Maharaja Virocana, Bali's father, was so pleased with the brahmana community that even though he knew that those approaching him for charity were the demigods in the dress of brahmanas, he nonetheless agreed to give it.
bhavan acaritan dharman
brahmanaih purvajaih surair
bhavan--your good self; acaritan--executed; dharman--religious principles; asthitah--being situated; grhamedhibhih--by persons in household life; brahmanaih--by the brahmanas; purva-jaih--by your forefathers; suraih--by great heroes; anyaih ca--and others also; uddama-kirtibhih--very highly elevated and famous.
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.
tasmat tvatto mahim isad
vrne 'ham varadarsabhat
padani trini daityendra
sammitani pada mama
tasmat--from such a person; tvattah--from Your Majesty; mahim--land; isat--very little; vrne--am asking for; aham--I; varada-rsabhat--from the personality who can give charity munificently; padani--footsteps; trini--three; daitya-indra--O King of the Daityas; sammitani--to the measurement of; pada--by a foot; mama--My.
O King of the Daityas, 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.
Lord Vamanadeva wanted three paces of land according to the measurement of His footsteps. He did not want more than necessary. But although He pretended to be an ordinary human child, He actually wanted the land comprising the upper, middle and lower planetary systems. This was just to show the prowess of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
nanyat te kamaye rajan
nainah prapnoti vai vidvan
na--not; anyat--anything else; te--from you; kamaye--I beg; rajan--O King; vadanyat--who are so munificent; jagat-isvarat--who are the king of the entire universe; na--not; enah--distress; prapnoti--gets; vai--indeed; vidvan--one who is learned; yavat-artha--as much as one needs; pratigrahah--taking charity from others.
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.
A brahmana or sannyasi is qualified to ask charity from others, but if he takes more than necessary he is punishable. No one can use more of the Supreme Lord's property than necessary. Lord Vamanadeva indirectly indicated to Bali Maharaja that he was occupying more land than he needed. In the material world, all distresses are due to extravagance. One acquires money extravagantly and also spends it extravagantly. Such activities are sinful. All property belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and all living beings, who are sons of the Supreme Lord, have the right to use the Supreme Father's property, but one cannot take more than necessary. This principle should especially be followed by brahmanas and sannyasis who live at the cost of others. Thus Vamanadeva was an ideal beggar, for He asked only three paces of land. Of course, there is a difference between His footsteps and those of an ordinary human being. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, by His inconceivable prowess, can occupy the entire universe, including the upper, lower and middle planetary systems, by the unlimited measurement of His footsteps.
vacas te vrddha-sammatah
tvam balo balisa-matih
svartham praty abudho yatha
sri-balih uvaca--Bali Maharaja said; aho--alas; brahmana-dayada--O son of a brahmana; vacah--the words; te--of You; vrddha-sammatah--are certainly acceptable to learned and elderly persons; tvam--You; balah--a boy; balisa-matih--without sufficient knowledge; sva-artham--self-interest; prati--toward; abudhah--not knowing sufficiently; yatha--as it should have been.
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.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being full in Himself, actually has nothing to want for His self-interest. Lord Vamanadeva, therefore, had not gone to Bali Maharaja for His own self-interest. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (5.29), bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram. The Lord is the proprietor of all planets, in both the material and spiritual worlds. Why should He be in want of land? Bali Maharaja rightly said that Lord Vamanadeva was not at all prudent in regard to His own personal interests. Lord Vamanadeva had approached Bali not for His personal welfare but for the welfare of His devotees. Devotees sacrifice all personal interests to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and similarly the Supreme Lord, although having no personal interests, can do anything for the interests of His devotees. One who is full in himself has no personal interests.
mam vacobhih samaradhya
lokanam ekam isvaram
pada-trayam vrnite yo
mam--me; vacobhih--by sweet words; samaradhya--after sufficiently pleasing; lokanam--of all the planets in this universe; ekam--the one and only; isvaram--master, controller; pada-trayam--three feet; vrnite--is asking for; yah--He who; abuddhiman--not very intelligent; dvipa-dasusam--because I can give You an entire island.
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.
According to Vedic understanding, the entire universe is regarded as an ocean of space. In that ocean there are innumerable planets, and each planet is called a dvipa, or island. When approached by Lord Vamanadeva, Bali Maharaja was actually in possession of all the dvipas, or islands in space. Bali Maharaja was very pleased to see the features of Vamanadeva and was ready to give Him as much land as He could ask, but because Lord Vamanadeva asked only three paces of land, Bali Maharaja considered Him not very intelligent.
na puman mam upavrajya
bhuyo yacitum arhati
tasmad vrttikarim bhumim
vato kamam praticcha me
na--not; puman--any person; mam--unto me; upavrajya--after approaching; bhuyah--again; yacitum--to beg; arhati--deserves; tasmat--therefore; vrtti-karim--suitable to maintain Yourself; bhumim--such land; vato--O small brahmacari; kamam--according to the necessities of life; praticcha--take; me--from me.
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.
yavanto visayah presthas
na saknuvanti te sarve
sri-bhagavan uvaca--the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; yavantah--as far as possible; visayah--the objects of sense enjoyment; presthah--pleasing to anyone; tri-lokyam--within these three worlds; ajita-indriyam--a person who is not self-controlled; na saknuvanti--are unable; te--all those; sarve--taken together; pratipurayitum--to satisfy; nrpa--O King.
The Personality of Godhead 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.
The material world is an illusory energy to deviate the living entities from the path of self-realization. Anyone who is in this material world is extremely anxious to get more and more things for sense gratification. Actually, however, the purpose of life is not sense gratification but self-realization. Therefore, those who are too addicted to sense gratification are advised to practice the mystic yoga system, or astanga-yoga system, consisting of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara and so on. In this way, one can control the senses. The purpose of controlling the senses is to stop one's implication in the cycle of birth and death. As stated by Rsabhadeva:
nunam pramattah kurute vikarma
yad indriya-pritaya aprnoti
na sadhu manye yata atmano 'yam
asann api klesada asa dehah
"When a person considers sense gratification the aim of life, he certainly becomes mad after materialistic living and engages in all kinds of sinful activity. He does not know that due to his past misdeeds he has already received a body which, although temporary, is the cause of his misery. Actually the living entity should not have taken on a material body, but he has been awarded the material body for sense gratification. Therefore I think it not befitting an intelligent man to involve himself again in the activities of sense gratification, by which he perpetually gets material bodies one after another." (Bhag. 5.5.4) Thus according to Rsabhadeva the human beings in this material world are just like madmen engaged in activities which they should not perform but which they do perform only for sense gratification. Such activities are not good because in this way one creates another body for his next life, as punishment for his nefarious activities. And as soon as he gets another material body, he is put into repeated suffering in material existence. Therefore the Vedic culture or brahminical culture teaches one how to be satisfied with possessing the minimum necessities in life.
To teach this highest culture, varnasrama-dharma is recommended. The aim of the varnasrama divisions--brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa--is to train one to control the senses and be content with the bare necessities. Here Lord Vamanadeva, as an ideal brahmacari, refuses Bali Maharaja's offer to give Him anything He might want. He says that without contentment one could not be happy even if he possessed the property of the entire world or the entire universe. In human society, therefore, the brahminical culture, ksatriya culture and vaisya culture must be maintained, and people must be taught how to be satisfied with only what they need. In modern civilization there is no such education; everyone tries to possess more and more, and everyone is dissatisfied and unhappy. The Krsna consciousness movement is therefore establishing various farms, especially in America, to show how to be happy and content with minimum necessities of life and to save time for self-realization, which one can very easily achieve by chanting the maha-mantra--Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
tribhih kramair asantusto
dvipenapi na puryate
tribhih--three; kramaih--by steps; asantustah--one who is dissatisfied; dvipena--by a complete island; api--although; na puryate--cannot be satisfied; nava-varsa-sametena--even by possessing nine varsas; sapta-dvipa-vara-icchaya--by the desire to take possession of seven islands.
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.
arthaih kamair gata nantam
trsnaya iti nah srutam
sapta-dvipa-adhipatayah--those who are proprietors of the seven islands; nrpah--such kings; vainya-gaya-adayah--Maharaja Prthu, Maharaja Gaya and others; arthaih--for fulfillment of ambition; kamaih--for satisfying one's desires; gatah na--could not reach; antam--the end; trsnayah--of their ambitions; iti--thus; nah--by Us; srutam--has been heard.
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.
santusto vartate sukham
nasantustas tribhir lokair
yadrcchaya--as offered by the supreme authority according to one's karma; upapannena--by whatever is obtained; santustah--one should be satisfied; vartate--there is; sukham--happiness; na--not; asantustah--one who is dissatisfied; tribhih lokaih--even by possessing the three worlds; ajita-atma--one who cannot control his senses; upasaditaih--even though obtained.
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.
If happiness is the ultimate goal of life, one must be satisfied with the position in which he is placed by providence. This instruction is also given by Prahlada Maharaja:
sukham aindriyakam daitya
sarvatra labhyate daivad
yatha duhkham ayatnatah
"My dear friends born of demoniac families, the happiness perceived with reference to the sense objects by contact with the body can be obtained in any form of life, according to one's past fruitive activities. Such happiness is automatically obtained without endeavor, just as we obtain distress." (Bhag. 7.6.3) This philosophy is perfect in regard to obtaining happiness.
Real happiness is described in Bhagavad-gita (6.21):
sukham atyantikam yat tad
vetti yatra na caivayam
sthitas calati tattvatah
"In the spiritually joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth." One has to perceive happiness by the supersenses. The supersenses are not the senses of the material elements. Every one of us is a spiritual being (aham brahmasmi), and every one of us is an individual person. Our senses are now covered by material elements, and because of ignorance we consider the material senses that cover us to be our real senses. The real senses, however, are within the material covering. Dehino'smin yatha dehe: within the covering of the material elements are the spiritual senses. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam: when the spiritual senses are uncovered, by these senses we can be happy. Satisfaction of the spiritual senses is thus described: hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate. When the senses are engaged in devotional service to Hrsikesa, then the senses are completely satisfied. Without this superior knowledge of sense gratification, one may try to satisfy his material senses, but happiness will never be possible. One may increase his ambition for sense gratification and even achieve what he desires for the gratification of his senses, but because this is on the material platform, he will never achieve satisfaction and contentment.
According to brahminical culture, one should be content with whatever he obtains without special endeavor and should cultivate spiritual consciousness. Then he will be happy. The purpose of the Krsna consciousness movement is to spread this understanding. People who do not have scientific spiritual knowledge mistakenly think that the members of the Krsna consciousness movement are escapists trying to avoid material activities. In fact, however, we are engaged in real activities for obtaining the ultimate happiness in life. If one is not trained to satisfy the spiritual senses and continues in material sense gratification, he will never obtain happiness that is eternal and blissful. Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.1) therefore recommends:
tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam
suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam
One must practice austerity so that his existential position will be purified and he will achieve unlimited blissful life.
pumso 'yam samsrter hetur
santoso muktaye smrtah
pumsah--of the living entity; ayam--this; samsrteh--of the continuation of material existence; hetuh--the cause; asantosah--dissatisfaction with his destined achievement; artha-kamayoh--for the sake of lusty desires and getting more and more money; yadrcchaya--with the gift of destiny; upapannena--which has been achieved; santosah--satisfaction; muktaye--for liberation; smrtah--is considered fit.
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.
tejo viprasya vardhate
tat prasamyaty asantosad
yadrccha-labha-tustasya--who is satisfied by things obtained by the grace of God; tejah--the brilliant effulgence; viprasya--of a brahmana; vardhate--increases; tat--that (effulgence); prasamyati--is diminished; asantosat--because of dissatisfaction; ambhasa--by pouring of water; iva--as; asusuksanih--a fire.
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.
tasmat trini padany eva
vrne tvad varadarsabhat
etavataiva siddho 'ham
vittam yavat prayojanam
tasmat--because of being satisfied by things easily obtained; trini--three; padani--steps; eva--indeed; vrne--I ask; tvat--from your good self; varada-rsabhat--who are a munificent benedictor; etavata eva--merely by such an endowment; siddhah aham--I shall feel full satisfaction; vittam--achievement; yavat--as far as; prayojanam--is needed.
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.
ity uktah sa hasann aha
vamanaya mahim datum
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; iti uktah--thus being addressed; sah--he (Bali Maharaja); hasan--smiling; aha--said; vanchatah--as You have desired; pratigrhyatam--now take from me; vamanaya--unto Lord Vamana; mahim--land; datum--to give; jagraha--took; jala-bhajanam--the waterpot.
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: When the Supreme Personality of Godhead 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.
visnave ksmam pradasyantam
janams cikirsitam visnoh
sisyam praha vidam varah
visnave--unto Lord Visnu (Vamanadeva); ksmam--the land; pradasyantam--who was ready to deliver; usanah--Sukracarya; asura-isvaram--unto the King of the demons (Bali Maharaja); janan--knowing well; cikirsitam--what was the plan; visnoh--of Lord Visnu; sisyam--unto his disciple; praha--said; vidam varah--the best of the knowers of everything.
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.
esa vairocane saksad
bhagavan visnur avyayah
kasyapad aditer jato
sri-sukrah uvaca--Sukracarya said; esah--this (boy in the form of a dwarf); vairocane--O son of Virocana; saksat--directly; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; visnuh--Lord Visnu; avyayah--without deterioration; kasyapat--from His father, Kasyapa; aditeh--in the womb of His mother, Aditi; jatah--was born; devanam--of the demigods; karya-sadhakah--working in the interest.
Sukracarya said: O son of Virocana, this brahmacari in the form of a dwarf is directly the imperishable Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu. Accepting Kasyapa Muni as His father and Aditi as His mother, He has now appeared in order to fulfill the interests of the demigods.
yad anartham ajanata
na sadhu manye daityanam
mahan upagato 'nayah
pratisrutam--promised; tvaya--by you; etasmai--unto Him; yat anartham--which is repugnant; ajanata--by you who have no knowledge; na--not; sadhu--very good; manye--I think; daityanam--of the demons; mahan--great; upagatah--has been achieved; anayah--inauspiciousness.
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.
esa te sthanam aisvaryam
sriyam tejo yasah srutam
dasyaty acchidya sakraya
esah--this person falsely appearing as a brahmacari; te--of you; sthanam--the land in possession; aisvaryam--the riches; sriyam--the material beauty; tejah--the material power; yasah--the reputation; srutam--the education; dasyati--will give; acchidya--taking from you; sakraya--unto your enemy, Lord Indra; maya--falsely appearing; manavakah--a brahmacari son of a living being; harih--He is actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari.
This person falsely appearing as a brahmacari is actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 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.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains in this regard that the very word harih means "one who takes away." If one connects himself with Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord takes away all his miseries, and in the beginning the Lord also superficially appears to take away all his material possessions, reputation, education and beauty. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.88.8), yasyaham anugrhnami harisye tad-dhanam sanaih. The Lord said to Maharaja Yudhisthira, "The first installment of My mercy toward a devotee is that I take away all his possessions, especially his material opulence, his money." This is the special favor of the Lord toward a sincere devotee. If a sincere devotee wants Krsna above everything but at the same time is attached to material possessions, which hinder his advancement in Krsna consciousness, by tactics the Lord takes away all his possessions. Here Sukracarya says that this dwarf brahmacari would take away everything. Thus he indicates that the Lord will take away all one's material possessions and also one's mind. If one delivers his mind to the lotus feet of Krsna (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh), one can naturally sacrifice everything to satisfy Him. Although Bali Maharaja was a devotee, he was attached to material possessions, and therefore the Lord, being very kind to him, showed him special favor by appearing as Lord Vamana to take away all his material possessions, and his mind as well.
tribhih kramair imal lokan
sarvasvam visnave dattva
mudha vartisyase katham
tribhih--three; kramaih--by steps; iman--all these; lokan--three planetary systems; visva-kayah--becoming the universal form; kramisyati--gradually He will expand; sarvasvam--everything; visnave--unto Lord Visnu; dattva--after giving charity; mudha--O you rascal; vartisyase--you will execute your means of livelihood; katham--how.
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?
Bali Maharaja might argue that he had promised only three steps of land. But Sukracarya, being a very learned brahmana, immediately understood that this was a plan of Hari, who had falsely appeared there as a brahmacari. The words mudha vartisyase katham reveal that Sukracarya was a brahmana of the priestly class. Such priestly brahmanas are mostly interested in receiving remuneration from their disciples. Therefore when Sukracarya saw that Bali Maharaja had risked all of his possessions, he understood that this would cause havoc not only to the King but also to the family of Sukracarya, who was dependent on Maharaja Bali's mercy. This is the difference between a Vaisnava and a smarta-brahmana. A smarta-brahmana is always interested in material profit, whereas a Vaisnava is interested only in satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead. From the statement of Sukracarya, it appears that he was in all respects a smarta-brahmana interested only in personal gain.
kramato gam padaikena
dvitiyena divam vibhoh
kham ca kayena mahata
tartiyasya kuto gatih
kramatah--gradually; gam--the surface of the land; pada ekena--by one step; dvitiyena--by the second step; divam--the whole of outer space; vibhoh--of the universal form; kham ca--the sky also; kayena--by the expansion of His transcendental body; mahata--by the universal form; tartiyasya--as far as the third step is concerned; kutah--where is; gatih--to keep His step.
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?
Sukracarya wanted to tell Bali Maharaja how he would be cheated by Lord Vamana. "You have promised three steps," he said. "But with only two steps, all your possessions will be finished. How then will you give Him a place for His third step?" Sukracarya did not know how the Lord protects His devotee. The devotee must risk everything in his possession for the service of the Lord, but he is always protected and never defeated. By materialistic calculations, Sukracarya thought that Bali Maharaja would under no circumstances be able to keep his promise to the brahmacari, Lord Vamanadeva.
nistham te narake manye
hy apradatuh pratisrutam
pratisrutasya yo 'nisah
nistham--perpetual residence; te--of you; narake--in hell; manye--I think; hi--indeed; apradatuh--of a person who cannot fulfill; pratisrutam--what has been promised; pratisrutasya--of the promise one has made; yah anisah--one who is unable; pratipadayitum--to fulfill properly; bhavan--you are that person.
You will certainly be unable to fulfill your promise, and I think that because of this inability your eternal residence will be in hell.
na tad danam prasamsanti
yena vrttir vipadyate
danam yajnas tapah karma
loke vrttimato yatah
na--not; tat--that; danam--charity; prasamsanti--the saintly persons praise; yena--by which; vrttih--one's livelihood; vipadyate--becomes endangered; danam--charity; yajnah--sacrifice; tapah--austerity; karma--fruitive activities; loke--in this world; vrttimatah--according to one's means of livelihood; yatah--as it is so.
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. [They are not possible for one who cannot maintain himself.]
dharmaya yasase 'rthaya
kamaya sva-janaya ca
pancadha vibhajan vittam
ihamutra ca modate
dharmaya--for religion; yasase--for one's reputation; arthaya--for increasing one's opulence; kamaya--for increasing sense gratification; sva-janaya ca--and for maintaining one's family members; pancadha--for these five different objectives; vibhajan--dividing; vittam--his accumulated wealth; iha--in this world; amutra--the next world; ca--and; modate--he enjoys.
Therefore one who is in full knowledge should divide his accumulated wealth in five parts--for religion, for reputation, for opulence, for sense gratification and for the maintenance of his family members. Such a person is happy in this world and in the next.
The sastras enjoin that if one has money one should divide all that he has accumulated into five divisions--one part for religion, one part for reputation, one part for opulence, one part for sense gratification and one part to maintain the members of his family. At the present, however, because people are bereft of all knowledge, they spend all their money for the satisfaction of their family. Srila Rupa Gosvami taught us by his own example by using fifty percent of his accumulated wealth for Krsna, twenty-five percent for his own self, and twenty-five percent for the members of his family. One's main purpose should be to advance in Krsna consciousness. This will include dharma, artha and kama. However, because one's family members expect some profit, one should also satisfy them by giving them a portion of one's accumulated wealth. This is a sastric injunction.
atrapi bahvrcair gitam
srnu me 'sura-sattama
satyam om iti yat proktam
yan nety ahanrtam hi tat
atra api--in this regard also (in deciding what is truth and what is not truth); bahu-rcaih--by the sruti-mantras known as Bahvrca-sruti, which are evidence from the Vedas; gitam--what has been spoken; srnu--just hear; me--from me; asura-sattama--O best of the asuras; satyam--the truth is; om iti--preceded by the word om; yat--that which; proktam--has been spoken; yat--that which is; na--not preceded by om; iti--thus; aha--it is said; anrtam--untruth; hi--indeed; tat--that.
One might argue that since you have already promised, how can you refuse? O best of the demons, just take from me the evidence of the Bahvrca-sruti, which says that a promise is truthful preceded by the word om and untruthful if not.
satyam puspa-phalam vidyad
vrkse 'jivati tan na syad
anrtam mulam atmanah
satyam--the factual truth; puspa-phalam--the flower and the fruit; vidyat--one should understand; atma-vrksasya--of the tree of the body; giyate--as described in the Vedas; vrkse ajivati--if the tree is not living; tat--that (puspa-phalam); na--not; syat--is possible; anrtam--untruth; mulam--the root; atmanah--of the body.
The Vedas enjoin that the factual result of the tree of the body is the good fruits and flowers derived from it. But if the bodily tree does not exist, there is no possibility of factual fruits and flowers. Even if the body is based on untruth, there cannot be factual fruits and flowers without the help of the bodily tree.
This sloka explains that in relation to the material body even the factual truth cannot exist without a touch of untruth. The Mayavadis say, brahma satyam jagan mithya: "The spirit soul is truth, and the external energy is untruth." The Vaisnava philosophers, however, do not agree with the Mayavada philosophy. Even if for the sake of argument the material world is accepted as untruth, the living entity entangled in the illusory energy cannot come out of it without the help of the body. Without the help of the body, one cannot follow a system of religion, nor can one speculate on philosophical perfection. Therefore, the flower and fruit (puspa-phalam) have to be obtained as a result of the body. Without the help of the body, that fruit cannot be gained. The Vaisnava philosophy therefore recommends yukta-vairagya. It is not that all attention should be diverted for the maintenance of the body, but at the same time one's bodily maintenance should not be neglected. As long as the body exists one can thoroughly study the Vedic instructions, and thus at the end of life one can achieve perfection. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita (8. 6): yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram. Everything is examined at the time of death. Therefore, although the body is temporary, not eternal, one can take from it the best service and make one's life perfect.
tad yatha vrksa unmulah
susyaty udvartate 'cirat
evam nastanrtah sadya
atma susyen na samsayah
tat--therefore; yatha--as; vrksah--a tree; unmulah--being uprooted; susyati--dries up; udvartate--falls down; acirat--very soon; evam--in this way; nasta--lost; anrtah--the temporary body; sadyah--immediately; atma--the body; susyet--dries up; na--not; samsayah--any doubt.
When a tree is uprooted it immediately falls down and begins to dry up. Similarly, if one doesn't take care of the body, which is supposed to be untruth--in other words, if the untruth is uprooted--the body undoubtedly becomes dry.
In this regard, Srila Rupa Gosvami says:
vairagyam phalgu kathyate
"One who rejects things without knowledge of their relationship to Krsna is incomplete in his renunciation." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.66) When the body is engaged in the service of the Lord, one should not consider the body material. Sometimes the spiritual body of the spiritual master is misunderstood. But Srila Rupa Gosvami instructs, prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah. The body fully engaged in Krsna's service should not be neglected as material. One who does neglect it is false in his renunciation. If the body is not properly maintained, it falls down and dries up like an uprooted tree, from which flowers and fruit can no longer be obtained. The Vedas therefore enjoin:
om iti satyam nety anrtam tad etat-puspam phalam vaco yat satyam sahesvaro yasasvi kalyana-kirtir bhavita; puspam hi phalam vacah satyam vadaty athaitan-mulam vaco yad anrtam yad yatha vrksa avirmulah susyati, sa udvartata evam evanrtam vadann avirmulam atmanam karoti, sa susyati sa udvartate, tasmad anrtam na vaded dayeta tv etena.
The purport is that activities performed with the help of the body for the satisfaction of the Absolute Truth (om tat sat) are never temporary, although performed by the temporary body. Indeed, such activities are everlasting. Therefore, the body should be properly cared for. Because the body is temporary, not permanent, one cannot expose the body to being devoured by a tiger or killed by an enemy. All precautions should be taken to protect the body.
parag riktam apurnam va
aksaram yat tad om iti
yat kincid om iti bruyat
tena ricyeta vai puman
bhiksave sarvam om kurvan
nalam kamena catmane
parak--that which separates; riktam--that which makes one free from attachment; apurnam--that which is insufficient; va--either; aksaram--this syllable; yat--that; tat--which; om--omkara; iti--thus stated; yat--which; kincit--whatever; om--this word om; iti--thus; bruyat--if you say; tena--by such an utterance; ricyeta--one becomes free; vai--indeed; puman--a person; bhiksave--unto a beggar; sarvam--everything; om kurvan--giving charity by uttering the word om; na--not; alam--sufficiently; kamena--for sense gratification; ca--also; atmane--for self-realization.
The utterance of the word om signifies separation from one's monetary assets. In other words, by uttering this word one becomes free from attachment to money because his money is taken away from him. To be without money is not very satisfactory, for in that position one cannot fulfill one's desires. In other words, by using the word om one becomes poverty-stricken. Especially when one gives charity to a poor man or beggar, one remains unfulfilled in self-realization and in sense gratification.
Maharaja Bali wanted to give everything to Vamanadeva, who had appeared as a beggar, but Sukracarya, being Maharaja Bali's familial spiritual master in the line of seminal succession, could not appreciate Maharaja Bali's promise. Sukracarya gave Vedic evidence that one should not give everything to a poor man. Rather, when a poor man comes for charity one should untruthfully say, "Whatever I have I have given you. I have no more." It is not that one should give everything to him. Actually the word om is meant for om tat sat, the Absolute Truth. Omkara is meant for freedom from all attachment to money because money should be spent for the purpose of the Supreme. The tendency of modern civilization is to give money in charity to the poor. Such charity has no spiritual value because we actually see that although there are so many hospitals and other foundations and institutions for the poor, according to the three modes of material nature a class of poor men is always destined to continue. Even though there are so many charitable institutions, poverty has not been driven from human society. Therefore it is recommended here, bhiksave sarvam om kurvan nalam kamena catmane. One should not give everything to the beggars among the poor.
The best solution is that of the Krsna consciousness movement. This movement is always kind to the poor, not only because it feeds them but also because it gives them enlightenment by teaching them how to become Krsna conscious. We are therefore opening hundreds and thousands of centers for those who are poor, both in money and in knowledge, to enlighten them in Krsna consciousness and reform their character by teaching them how to avoid illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling, which are the most sinful activities and which cause people to suffer, life after life. The best way to use money is to open such a center, where all may come live and reform their character. They may live very comfortably, without denial of any of the body's necessities, but they live under spiritual control, and thus they live happily and save time for advancement in Krsna consciousness. If one has money, it should not be squandered away on nothing. It should be used to push forward the Krsna consciousness movement so that all of human society will become happy, prosperous and hopeful of being promoted back home, back to Godhead. The Vedic mantra in this regard reads as follows:
parag va etad riktam aksaram yad etad om iti tad yat kincid om iti ahatraivasmai tad ricyate; sa yat sarvam om kuryad ricyad atmanam sa kamebhyo nalam syat.
athaitat purnam abhyatmam
yac ca nety anrtam vacah
sarvam nety anrtam bruyat
sa duskirtih svasan mrtah
atha--therefore; etat--that; purnam--completely; abhyatmam--drawing the compassion of others by presenting oneself as always poverty-stricken; yat--that; ca--also; na--not; iti--thus; anrtam--false; vacah--words; sarvam--completely; na--not; iti--thus; anrtam--falsity; bruyat--who should say; sah--such a person; duskirtih--infamous; svasan--while breathing or while alive; mrtah--is dead or should be killed.
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.
Beggars always present themselves as possessing nothing, and this may be very good for them because in this way they are assured of not losing their money and of always drawing the attention and compassion of others for the sake of collection. But this is also condemned. If one purposely continues this professional begging, he is supposed to be dead while breathing, or, according to another interpretation, such a man of falsity should be killed while still breathing. The Vedic injunction in this regard is as follows: athaitat purnam abhyatmam yan neti sa yat sarvam neti bruyat papikasya kirtir jayate. sainam tatraiva hanyat. If one continuously poses himself as possessing nothing and collects money by begging, he should be killed (sainam tatraiva hanyat).
strisu narma-vivahe ca
nanrtam syaj jugupsitam
strisu--to encourage a woman and bring her under control; narma-vivahe--in joking or in a marriage ceremony; ca--also; vrtti-arthe--for earning one's livelihood, as in business; prana-sankate--or in time of danger; go-brahmana-arthe--for the sake of cow protection and brahminical culture; himsayam--for any person who is going to be killed because of enmity; na--not; anrtam--falsity; syat--becomes; jugupsitam--abominable.
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.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Nineteenth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled, "Lord Vamanadeva Begs Charity from Bali Maharaja."