Chapter Twenty

                Bali Maharaja Surrenders the Universe


   The summary of this Twentieth Chapter is as follows. Despite his knowledge that Lord Vamanadeva was cheating him, Bali Maharaja gave everything to the Lord in charity, and thus the Lord extended His body and assumed a gigantic form as Lord Visnu.

   After hearing the instructive advice of Sukracarya, Bali Maharaja became contemplative. Because it is the duty of a householder to maintain the principles of religion, economic development and sense gratification, Bali Maharaja thought it improper to withdraw his promise to the brahmacari. To lie or fail to honor a promise given to a brahmacari is never proper, for lying is the most sinful activity. Everyone should be afraid of the sinful reactions to lying, for mother earth cannot even bear the weight of a sinful liar. The spreading of a kingdom or empire is temporary; if there is no benefit for the general public, such expansion has no value. Previously, all the great kings and emperors expanded their kingdoms with a regard for the welfare of the people in general. Indeed, while engaged in such activities for the benefit of the general public, eminent men sometimes even sacrificed their lives. It is said that one who is glorious in his activities is always living and never dies. Therefore, fame should be the aim of life, and even if one becomes poverty-stricken for the sake of a good reputation, that is not a loss. Bali Maharaja thought that even if this brahmacari, Vamanadeva, were Lord Visnu, if the Lord accepted his charity and then again arrested him, Bali Maharaja would not envy Him. Considering all these points, Bali Maharaja finally gave in charity everything he possessed.

   Lord Vamanadeva then immediately extended Himself into a universal body. By the mercy of Lord Vamanadeva, Bali Maharaja could see that the Lord is all-pervading and that everything rests in His body. Bali Maharaja could see Lord Vamanadeva as the supreme Visnu, wearing a helmet, yellow garments, the mark of Srivatsa, the Kaustubha jewel, a flower garland, and ornaments decorating His entire body. The Lord gradually covered the entire surface of the world, and by extending His body He covered the entire sky. With His hands He covered all directions, and with His second footstep He covered the entire upper planetary system. Therefore there was no vacant place where He could take His third footstep.


                                TEXT 1




                            sri-suka uvaca

                        balir evam grha-patih

                         kulacaryena bhasitah

                     tusnim bhutva ksanam rajann

                          uvacavahito gurum




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; balih--Bali Maharaja; evam--thus; grha-patih--the master of the household affairs, although guided by the priests; kula-acaryena--by the family acarya or guide; bhasitah--being thus addressed; tusnim--silent; bhutva--becoming; ksanam--for a moment; rajan--O King (Maharaja Pariksit); uvaca--said; avahitah--after full deliberation; gurum--unto his spiritual master.




   Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King Pariksit, when Bali Maharaja was thus advised by his spiritual master, Sukracarya, his family priest, he remained silent for some time, and then, after full deliberation, he replied to his spiritual master as follows.




   Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks that Bali Maharaja remained silent at a critical point. How could he disobey the instruction of Sukracarya, his spiritual master? It is the duty of such a sober personality as Bali Maharaja to abide by the orders of his spiritual master immediately, as his spiritual master had advised. But Bali Maharaja also considered that Sukracarya was no longer to be accepted as a spiritual master, for he had deviated from the duty of a spiritual master. According to sastra, the duty of the guru is to take the disciple back home, back to Godhead. If he is unable to do so and instead hinders the disciple in going back to Godhead, he should not be a guru. Gurur na sa syat (Bhag. 5.5.18). One should not become a guru if he cannot enable his disciple to advance in Krsna consciousness. The goal of life is to become a devotee of Lord Krsna so that one may be freed from the bondage of material existence (tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so 'rjuna). The spiritual master helps the disciple attain this stage by developing Krsna consciousness. Now Sukracarya has advised Bali Maharaja to deny the promise to Vamanadeva. Under the circumstances, therefore, Bali Maharaja thought that there would be no fault if he disobeyed the order of his spiritual master. He deliberated on this point--should he refuse to accept the advise of his spiritual master, or should he independently do everything to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead? He took some time. Therefore it is said, tusnim bhutva ksanam rajann uvacavahito gurum. After deliberating on this point, he decided that Lord Visnu should be pleased in all circumstances, even at the risk of ignoring the guru's advice to the contrary.

   Anyone who is supposed to be a guru but who goes against the principle of visnu-bhakti cannot be accepted as guru. If one has falsely accepted such a guru, one should reject him. Such a guru is described as follows (Mahabharata, Udyoga 179.25):


                        guror apy avaliptasya

                         karyakaryam ajanatah


                         parityago vidhiyate


   Srila Jiva Gosvami has advised that such a useless guru, a family priest acting as guru, should be given up, and that the proper, bona-fide guru should be accepted.


                        sat-karma-nipuno vipro


                       avaisnavo gurur na syad

                       vaisnavah svapaco guruh


   "A scholarly brahmana expert in all subjects of Vedic knowledge is unfit to become a spiritual master without being a Vaisnava, but if a person born in a family of a lower caste is a Vaisnava, he can become a spiritual master." (Padma Purana)


                                TEXT 2




                           sri-balir uvaca

                       satyam bhagavata proktam

                       dharmo 'yam grhamedhinam

                       artham kamam yaso vrttim

                        yo na badheta karhicit




   sri-balih uvaca--Bali Maharaja said; satyam--it is truth; bhagavata--by Your Greatness; proktam--what has already been spoken; dharmah--a religious principle; ayam--that is; grhamedhinam--especially for the householders; artham--economic development; kamam--sense gratification; yasah vrttim--reputation and means of livelihood; yah--which religious principle; na--not; badheta--hinders; karhicit--at any time.




   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.




   Bali Maharaja's grave answer to Sukracarya is meaningful. Sukracarya stressed that one's material means of livelihood and one's material reputation, sense gratification and economic development must continue properly. To see to this is the first duty of a man who is a householder, especially one who is interested in material affairs. If a religious principle does not affect one's material condition, it is to be accepted. At the present time, in this age of Kali, this idea is extremely prominent. No one is prepared to accept any religious principle if it hampers material prosperity. Sukracarya, being a person of this material world, did not know the principles of a devotee. A devotee is determined to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead to His full satisfaction. Anything that hampers such determination should certainly be rejected. This is the principle of bhakti. Anukulyasya sankalpah pratikulyasya varjanam (Cc. Madhya 22.100). To perform devotional service, one must accept only that which is favorable and reject that which is unfavorable. Bali Maharaja had the opportunity to contribute everything he possessed to the lotus feet of Lord Vamanadeva, but Sukracarya was putting forward a material argument to hamper this process of devotional service. Under the circumstances, Bali Maharaja decided that such hindrances should certainly be avoided. In other words, he decided immediately to reject the advice of Sukracarya and go on with his duty. Thus he gave all his possessions to Lord Vamanadeva.


                                TEXT 3




                        sa caham vitta-lobhena

                      pratyacakse katham dvijam

                         pratisrutya dadamiti

                        prahradih kitavo yatha




   sah--such a person as I am; ca--also; aham--I am; vitta-lobhena--for being allured by greed for money; pratyacakse--I shall cheat or say no when I have already said yes; katham--how; dvijam--especially to a brahmana; pratisrutya--after already having promised; dadami--that I shall give; iti--thus; prahradih--I who am famous as the grandson of Maharaja Prahlada; kitavah--an ordinary cheater; yatha--just like.




   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?




   Bali Maharaja had already been blessed by his grandfather Prahlada Maharaja. Therefore, he was a pure devotee, although born in a family of demons. There are two kinds of highly elevated devotees, called sadhana-siddha and krpa-siddha. Sadhana-siddha refers to one who has become a devotee by regular execution of the regulative principles mentioned in the sastras, as ordered and directed by the spiritual master. If one regularly executes such devotional service, he will certainly attain perfection in due course of time. But there are other devotees, who may not have undergone all the required details of devotional service but who, by the special mercy of guru and Krsna--the spiritual master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead--have immediately attained the perfection of pure devotional service. Examples of such devotees are the yajna-patnis, Maharaja Bali and Sukadeva Gosvami. The yajna-patnis were the wives of ordinary brahmanas engaged in fruitive activities. Although the brahmanas were very learned and advanced in Vedic knowledge, they could not achieve the mercy of Krsna-Balarama, whereas their wives achieved complete perfection in devotional service, despite their being women. Similarly, Vairocani, Bali Maharaja, received the mercy of Prahlada Maharaja, and by Prahlada Maharaja's mercy he also received the mercy of Lord Visnu, who appeared before him as a brahmacari beggar. Thus Bali Maharaja became a krpa-siddha because of the special mercy of both guru and Krsna. Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms this favor: guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija (Cc. Madhya 19.151). Bali Maharaja, by the grace of Prahlada Maharaja, got the seed of devotional service, and when that seed developed, he achieved the ultimate fruit of that service, namely love of Godhead (prema pum-artho mahan), immediately upon the appearance of Lord Vamanadeva. Bali Maharaja regularly maintained devotion for the Lord, and because he was purified, the Lord appeared before him. Because of unalloyed love for the Lord, he then immediately decided, "I shall give this little dwarf brahmana whatever He asks from me." This is a sign of love. Thus Bali Maharaja is understood to be one who received the highest perfection of devotional service by special mercy.


                                TEXT 4




                      na hy asatyat paro 'dharma

                         iti hovaca bhur iyam

                       sarvam sodhum alam manye

                        rte 'lika-param naram




   na--not; hi--indeed; asatyat--than compulsion to untruthfulness; parah--more; adharmah--irreligion; iti--thus; ha uvaca--indeed had spoken; bhuh--mother earth; iyam--this; sarvam--everything; sodhum--to bear; alam--I am able; manye--although I think; rte--except; alika-param--the most heinous liar; naram--a human being.




   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."




   On the surface of the earth there are many great mountains and oceans that are very heavy, and mother earth has no difficulty carrying them. But she feels very much overburdened when she carries even one person who is a liar. It is said that in Kali-yuga lying is a common affair: mayaiva vyavaharike (Bhag. 12.2.3). Even in the most common dealings, people are accustomed to speaking so many lies. No one is free from the sinful reactions of speaking lies. Under the circumstances, one can just imagine how this has overburdened the earth, and indeed the entire universe.


                                TEXT 5




                        naham bibhemi nirayan

                        nadhanyad asukharnavat

                      na sthana-cyavanan mrtyor

                       yatha vipra-pralambhanat




   na--not; aham--I; bibhemi--am afraid of; nirayat--from a hellish condition of life; na--nor; adhanyat--from a poverty-stricken condition; asukha-arnavat--nor from an ocean of distresses; na--nor; sthana-cyavanat--from falling from a position; mrtyoh--nor from death; yatha--as; vipra-pralambhanat--from the cheating of a brahmana.




   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.


                                TEXT 6




                     yad yad dhasyati loke 'smin

                        samparetam dhanadikam

                       tasya tyage nimittam kim

                      vipras tusyen na tena cet




   yat yat--whatsoever; hasyati--will leave; loke--in the world; asmin--in this; samparetam--one who is already dead; dhana-adikam--his wealth and riches; tasya--of such wealth; tyage--in renunciation; nimittam--the purpose; kim--what is; viprah--the brahmana who is confidentially Lord Visnu; tusyet--must be pleased; na--is not; tena--by such (riches); cet--if there is a possibility.




   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?




   The word vipra means brahmana, and at the same time "confidential." Bali Maharaja had confidentially decided to give the gift to Lord Vamanadeva without discussion, but because such a decision would hurt the hearts of the asuras and his spiritual master, Sukracarya, he spoke equivocally. Bali Maharaja, as a pure devotee, had already decided to give all the land to Lord Visnu.


                                TEXT 7




                       sreyah kurvanti bhutanam

                        sadhavo dustyajasubhih


                         ko vikalpo dharadisu




   sreyah--activities of the utmost importance; kurvanti--execute; bhutanam--of the general mass of people; sadhavah--the saintly persons; dustyaja--which are extremely hard to give up; asubhih--by their lives; dadhyan--Maharaja Dadhici; sibi--Maharaja Sibi; prabhrtayah--and similar great personalities; kah--what; vikalpah--consideration; dhara-adisu--in giving the land to the brahmana.




   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?




   Bali Maharaja was prepared to give everything to Lord Visnu, and Sukracarya, being a professional priest, might have been anxiously waiting, doubting whether there had been any such instance in history in which one had given everything in charity. Bali Maharaja, however, cited the tangible examples of Maharaja Sibi and Maharaja Dadhici, who had given up their lives for the benefit of the general public. Certainly one has attachment for everything material, especially one's land, but land and other possessions are forcibly taken away at the time of death, as stated in Bhagavad-gita (mrtyuh sarva-haras caham). The Lord personally appeared to Bali Maharaja to take away everything he had, and thus he was so fortunate that he could see the Lord face to face. Nondevotees, however, cannot see the Lord face to face; to such persons the Lord appears as death and takes away all their possessions by force. Under the circumstances, why should we not part with our possessions and deliver them to Lord Visnu for His satisfaction? Sri Canakya Pandita says in this regard, san-nimitte varam tyago vinase niyate sati (Canakya-sloka 36). Since our money and possessions do not last but will somehow or other be taken away, as long as they are in our possession it is better to use them for charity to a noble cause. Therefore Bali Maharaja defied the order of his so-called spiritual master.


                                TEXT 8




                      yair iyam bubhuje brahman

                      daityendrair anivartibhih

                       tesam kalo 'grasil lokan

                       na yaso 'dhigatam bhuvi




   yaih--by whom; iyam--this world; bubhuje--was enjoyed; brahman--O best of the brahmanas; daitya-indraih--by great heroes and kings born in demoniac families; anivartibhih--by those who were determined to fight, either to lay down their lives or to win victory; tesam--of such persons; kalah--the time factor; agrasit--took away; lokan--all possessions, all objects of enjoyment; na--not; yasah--the reputation; adhigatam--achieved; bhuvi--in this world.




   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.




   In this regard, Canakya Pandita (Canakya-sloka 34) also says, ayusah ksana eko 'pi na labhya svarna-kotibhih. The duration of one's life is extremely short, but if in that short lifetime one can do something that enhances his good reputation, that may continue to exist for many millions of years. Bali Maharaja therefore decided not to follow his spiritual master's instruction that he deny his promise to Vamanadeva; instead, he decided to give the land according to the promise and be everlastingly celebrated as one of the twelve mahajanas (balir vaiyasakir vayam).


                                TEXT 9




                        sulabha yudhi viprarse

                       hy anivrttas tanu-tyajah

                        na tatha tirtha ayate

                      sraddhaya ye dhana-tyajah




   su-labhah--very easily obtained; yudhi--in the battlefield; vipra-rse--O best of the brahmanas; hi--indeed; anivrttah--not being afraid of fighting; tanu-tyajah--and thus lay down their lives; na--not; tatha--as; tirthe ayate--on the arrival of a saintly person who creates holy places; sraddhaya--with faith and devotion; ye--those who; dhana-tyajah--can give up their accumulated wealth.




   O best of the brahmanas, 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.




   Many ksatriyas have laid down their lives on the battlefield for their nations, but hardly a person can be found who has given up all his property and his accumulated wealth in charity to a person worthy of the gift. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (17.20):


                        datavyam iti yad danam

                          diyate 'nupakarine

                        dese kale ca patre ca

                      tad danam sattvikam smrtam


   "That gift which is given out of duty, at the proper time and place, to a worthy person, and without expectation of return is considered to be charity in the mode of goodness." Thus charity given in the proper place is called sattvika. And above this charity in goodness is transcendental charity, in which everything is sacrificed for the sake of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vamanadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, had come to Bali Maharaja for alms. How could one get such an opportunity to give charity? Therefore, Bali Maharaja decided without hesitation to give the Lord whatever He wanted. One may get various opportunities to lay down his life on the battlefield, but such an opportunity as this is hardly ever obtained.


                               TEXT 10




                   manasvinah karunikasya sobhanam

                   yad arthi-kamopanayena durgatih

                 kutah punar brahma-vidam bhavadrsam

                   tato vator asya dadami vanchitam




   manasvinah--of persons who are greatly munificent; karunikasya--of persons celebrated as very merciful; sobhanam--very auspicious; yat--that; arthi--of persons in need of money; kama-upanayena--by satisfying; durgatih--becoming poverty-stricken; kutah--what; punah--again (is to be said); brahma-vidam--of persons well versed in transcendental science (brahma-vidya); bhavadrsam--like your good self; tatah--therefore; vatoh--of the brahmacari; asya--of this Vamanadeva; dadami--I shall give; vanchitam--whatever He wants.




   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.




   If one accepts a poverty-stricken position because of losing money in business, gambling, prostitution or intoxication, no one will praise him, but if one becomes poverty-stricken by giving all of his possessions in charity, he becomes adored all over the world. Aside from this, if a benevolent and merciful person exhibits his pride in becoming poverty-stricken by giving his possessions in charity for good causes, his poverty is a welcome and auspicious sign of a great personality. Bali Maharaja decided that even though he would become poverty-stricken by giving everything to Vamanadeva, this is what he would prefer.


                               TEXT 11




                  yajanti yajnam kratubhir yam adrta

                   bhavanta amnaya-vidhana-kovidah

                  sa eva visnur varado 'stu va paro

                 dasyamy amusmai ksitim ipsitam mune




   yajanti--worship; yajnam--who is the enjoyer of sacrifice; kratubhih--by the different paraphernalia for sacrifice; yam--unto the Supreme Person; adrtah--very respectfully; bhavantah--all of you; amnaya-vidhana-kovidah--great saintly persons fully aware of the Vedic principles of performing sacrifice; sah--that; eva--indeed; visnuh--is Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; varadah--either He is prepared to give benedictions; astu--He becomes; va--or; parah--comes as an enemy; dasyami--I shall give; amusmai--unto Him (unto Lord Visnu, Vamanadeva); ksitim--the tract of land; ipsitam--whatever He has desired; mune--O great sage.




   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.




   As stated by Lord Siva:


                         aradhananam sarvesam

                        visnor aradhanam param

                        tasmat parataram devi

                         tadiyanam samarcanam


   (Padma Purana)


   Although in the Vedas there are recommendations for worshiping many demigods, Lord Visnu is the Supreme Person, and worship of Visnu is the ultimate goal of life. The Vedic principles of the varnasrama institution are meant to organize society to prepare everyone to worship Lord Visnu.



                         purusena parah puman

                       visnur aradhyate pantha

                       nanyat tat-tosa-karanam


   "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu, is worshiped by the proper execution of prescribed duties in the system of varna and asrama. There is no other way to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (Visnu Purana 3.8.9) One must ultimately worship Lord Visnu, and for that purpose the varnasrama system organizes society into brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, sudras, brahmacaris, grhasthas, vanaprasthas and sannyasis. Bali Maharaja, having been perfectly educated in devotional service by his grandfather Prahlada Maharaja, knew how things are to be done. He was never to be misguided by anyone, even by a person who happened to be his so-called spiritual master. This is the sign of full surrender. Bhaktivinoda Thakura said:


                  marabi rakhabi----yo iccha tohara

                    nitya-dasa-prati tuya adhikara


   When one surrenders to Lord Visnu, one must be prepared to abide by His orders in all circumstances, whether He kills one or gives one protection. Lord Visnu must be worshiped in all circumstances.


                               TEXT 12




                        yadyapy asav adharmena

                        mam badhniyad anagasam

                       tathapy enam na himsisye

                      bhitam brahma-tanum ripum




   yadyapi--although; asau--Lord Visnu; adharmena--crookedly, without reference to the straight way; mam--me; badhniyat--kills; anagasam--although I am not sinful; tathapi--still; enam--against Him; na--not; himsisye--I shall take any retaliation; bhitam--because He is afraid; brahma-tanum--having assumed the form of a brahmana-brahmacari; ripum--even though He is my enemy.




   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 Lord Visnu as He is had come to Bali Maharaja and asked him to do something, Bali Maharaja certainly would not have refused His request. But to enjoy a little humor between Himself and His devotee, the Lord covered Himself as a brahmana-brahmacari and thus came to Bali Maharaja to beg for only three feet of land.


                               TEXT 13




                          esa va uttamasloko

                        na jihasati yad yasah

                      hatva mainam hared yuddhe

                          sayita nihato maya




   esah--this (brahmacari); va--either; uttama-slokah--is Lord Visnu, who is worshiped by Vedic prayers; na--not; jihasati--desires to give up; yat--because; yasah--perpetual fame; hatva--after killing; ma--me; enam--all this land; haret--will take away; yuddhe--in the fight; sayita--will lie down; nihatah--being killed; maya--by me.




   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.




   Bali Maharaja's statement that Visnu would lie down having been killed is not the direct meaning, for Visnu cannot be killed by anyone. Lord Visnu can kill everyone, but He cannot be killed. Thus the real meaning of the words "lie down" is that Lord Visnu would reside within the core of Bali Maharaja's heart. Lord Visnu is defeated by a devotee through devotional service; otherwise, no one can defeat Lord Visnu.


                               TEXT 14




                            sri-suka uvaca

                       evam asraddhitam sisyam

                          anadesakaram guruh

                        sasapa daiva-prahitah

                       satya-sandham manasvinam




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; evam--thus; asraddhitam--who was not very respectful to the instruction of the spiritual master; sisyam--unto such a disciple; anadesa-karam--who was not prepared to carry out the order of his spiritual master; guruh--the spiritual master (Sukracarya); sasapa--cursed; daiva-prahitah--being inspired by the Supreme Lord; satya-sandham--one who was fixed in his truthfulness; manasvinam--who was of a highly elevated character.




   Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thereafter, the spiritual master, 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 spiritual master's instructions, he wanted to disobey his order.




   The difference between the behavior of Bali Maharaja and that of his spiritual master, Sukracarya, was that Bali Maharaja had already developed love of Godhead, whereas Sukracarya, being merely a priest of routine rituals, had not. Thus Sukracarya was never inspired by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to develop in devotional service. As stated by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (10.10):


                        tesam satata-yuktanam

                       bhajatam priti-purvakam

                       dadami buddhi-yogam tam

                         yena mam upayanti te


   "To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."

   Devotees who actually engage in devotional service with faith and love are inspired by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vaisnavas are never concerned with ritualistic smarta-brahmanas. Srila Sanatana Gosvami has therefore compiled Hari-bhakti-vilasa to guide the Vaisnavas, who never follow the smarta-viddhi. Although the Supreme Lord is situated in the core of everyone's heart, unless one is a Vaisnava, unless one is engaged in devotional service, one does not get sound advice by which to return home, back to Godhead. Such instructions are meant only for devotees. Therefore in this verse the word daiva-prahitah, "being inspired by the Supreme Lord," is important. Sukracarya should have encouraged Bali Maharaja to give everything to Lord Visnu. This would have been a sign of love for the Supreme Lord. But he did not do so. On the contrary, he wanted to punish his devoted disciple by cursing him.


                               TEXT 15




                      drdham pandita-many ajnah

                      stabdho 'sy asmad-upeksaya

                       mac-chasanatigo yas tvam

                       acirad bhrasyase sriyah




   drdham--so firmly convinced or fixed in your decision; pandita-mani--considering yourself very learned; ajnah--at the same time foolish; stabdhah--impudent; asi--you have become; asmat--of us; upeksaya--by disregarding; mat-sasana-atigah--surpassing the jurisdiction of my administration; yah--such a person (as you); tvam--yourself; acirat--very soon; bhrasyase--will fall down; sriyah--from all opulence.




   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.




   Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Bali Maharaja was not pandita-mani, or one who falsely assumes himself learned; rather, he was pandita-manya-jnah, one who is so learned that all other learned persons worship him. Aid because he was so learned, he could disobey the order of his so-called spiritual master. He had no fear of any condition of material existence. Anyone cared for by Lord Visnu does not need to care about anyone else. Thus Bali Maharaja could never be bereft of all opulences. The opulences offered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead are not to be compared to the opulences obtained by karma-kanda. In other words, if a devotee becomes very opulent, it is to be understood that his opulence is a gift of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such opulence will never be vanquished, whereas the opulence achieved by one's fruitive activity may be vanquished at any moment.


                               TEXT 16




                        evam saptah sva-guruna

                        satyan na calito mahan

                         vamanaya dadav enam





   evam--in this way; saptah--being cursed; sva-guruna--by his own spiritual master; satyat--from truthfulness; na--not; calitah--who moved; mahan--the great personality; vamanaya--unto Lord Vamanadeva; dadau--gave in charity; enam--all the land; arcitva--after worshiping; udaka-purvakam--preceded by offering of water.




   Sukadeva Gosvami continued: 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.


                               TEXT 17




                        vindhyavalis tadagatya

                         patni jalaka-malini

                        aninye kalasam haimam

                        avanejany-apam bhrtam




   vindhyavalih--Vindhyavali; tada--at that time; agatya--coming there; patni--the wife of Maharaja Bali; jalaka-malini--decorated with a necklace of pearls; aninye--caused to be brought; kalasam--a waterpot; haimam--made of gold; avanejani-apam--with water for the sake of washing the Lord's feet; bhrtam--filled.




   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.


                               TEXT 18




                        yajamanah svayam tasya

                        srimat pada-yugam muda

                        avanijyavahan murdhni

                        tad apo visva-pavanih




   yajamanah--the worshiper (Bali Maharaja); svayam--personally; tasya--of Lord Vamanadeva; srimat pada-yugam--the most auspicious and beautiful pair of lotus feet; muda--with great jubilation; avanijya--properly washing; avahat--took; murdhni--on his head; tat--that; apah--water; visva-pavanih--which gives liberation to the whole universe.




   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.


                               TEXT 19




                    tadasurendram divi devata-gana


                 tat karma sarve 'pi grnanta arjavam

                  prasuna-varsair vavrsur mudanvitah




   tada--at that time; asura-indram--unto the King of the demons, Bali Maharaja; divi--in the higher planetary system; devata-ganah--the residents known as the demigods; gandharva--the Gandharvas; vidyadhara--the Vidyadharas; siddha--the residents of Siddhaloka; caranah--the residents of Caranaloka; tat--that; karma--action; sarve api--all of them; grnantah--declaring; arjavam--plain and simple; prasuna-varsaih--with a shower of flowers; vavrsuh--released; muda-anvitah--being very pleased with him.




   At that time, the residents of the higher planetary system, namely the demigods, 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.




   Arjavam--simplicity or freedom from duplicity--is a qualification of a brahmana and a Vaisnava. A Vaisnava automatically acquires all the qualities of a brahmana.


                 yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana

                 sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah


   (Bhag. 5.18.12)


   A Vaisnava should possess the brahminical qualities such as satya, sama, dama, titiksa and arjava. There cannot be any duplicity in the character of a Vaisnava. When Bali Maharaja acted with unflinching faith and devotion unto the lotus feet of Lord Visnu, this was very much appreciated by all the residents of the higher planetary system.


                               TEXT 20




                  nedur muhur dundubhayah sahasraso

                  gandharva-kimpurusa-kinnara jaguh

                    manasvinanena krtam suduskaram

                 vidvan adad yad ripave jagat-trayam




   neduh--began to beat; muhuh--again and again; dundubhayah--trumpets and kettledrums; sahasrasah--by thousands and thousands; gandharva--the residents of Gandharvaloka; kimpurusa--the residents of Kimpurusaloka; kinnarah--and the residents of Kinnaraloka; jaguh--began to sing and declare; manasvina--by the most exalted personality; anena--by Bali Maharaja; krtam--was done; su-duskaram--an extremely difficult task; vidvan--because of his being the most learned person; adat--gave Him a gift; yat--that; ripave--unto the enemy, Lord Visnu, who was siding with Bali Maharaja's enemies, the demigods; jagat-trayam--the three worlds.




   The Gandharvas, the Kimpurusas and the Kinnaras sounded thousands and thousands of kettledrums and trumpets again and again, and they sang in great jubilation, declaring, "How exalted a person is Bali Maharaja, and what a difficult task he has performed! Even though he knew that Lord Visnu was on the side of his enemies, he nonetheless gave the Lord the entire three worlds in charity."


                               TEXT 21




                  tad vamanam rupam avardhatadbhutam

                   harer anantasya guna-trayatmakam

               bhuh kham diso dyaur vivarah payodhayas

                    tiryan-nr-deva rsayo yad-asata




   tat--that; vamanam--incarnation of Lord Vamana; rupam--form; avardhata--began to increase more and more; adbhutam--certainly very wonderful; hareh--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; anantasya--of the unlimited; guna-traya-atmakam--whose body is expanded by the material energy, consisting of three modes (goodness, passion and ignorance); bhuh--the land; kham--the sky; disah--all directions; dyauh--the planetary systems; vivarah--different holes of the universe; payodhayah--great seas and oceans; tiryak--lower animals, birds and beasts; nr--human beings; devah--demigods; rsayah--great saintly persons; yat--wherein; asata--lived.




   The unlimited Supreme Personality of Godhead, 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 demigods and the great saintly persons.




   Bali Maharaja wanted to give charity to Vamanadeva, but the Lord expanded His body in such a way that He showed Bali Maharaja that everything in the universe is already in His body. Actually, no one can give anything to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for He is full in everything. Sometimes we see a devotee offering Ganges water to the Ganges. After taking his bath in the Ganges, a devotee takes a palmful of water and offers it back to the Ganges. Actually, when one takes a palmful of water from the Ganges, the Ganges does not lose anything, and similarly if a devotee offers a palmful of water to the Ganges, the Ganges does not increase in any way. But by such an offering, the devotee becomes celebrated as a devotee of mother Ganges. Similarly, when we offer anything with devotion and faith, what we offer does not belong to us, nor does it enrich the opulence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But if one offers whatever he has in his possession, he becomes a recognized devotee. In this regard, the example is given that when one's face is decorated with a garland and sandalwood pulp, the reflection of one's face in a mirror automatically becomes beautiful. The original source of everything is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is our original source also. Therefore when the Supreme Personality of Godhead is decorated, the devotees and all living entities are decorated automatically.


                               TEXT 22




                    kaye balis tasya maha-vibhuteh

                    sahartvig-acarya-sadasya etat

                  dadarsa visvam tri-gunam gunatmake





   kaye--in the body; balih--Maharaja Bali; tasya--of the Personality of Godhead; maha-vibhuteh--of that person who is equipped with all wonderful opulences; saha-rtvik-acarya-sadasyah--with all the priests, acaryas and members of the holy assembly; etat--this; dadarsa--saw; visvam--the whole universe; tri-gunam--made of three modes of material nature; guna-atmake--in that which is the source of all such qualities; bhuta--with all the gross material elements; indriya--with the senses; artha--with the sense objects; asaya--with mind, intelligence and false ego; jiva-yuktam--with all the living entities.




   Bali Maharaja, along with all the priests, acaryas and members of the assembly, observed the Supreme Personality of Godhead'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.




   In Bhagavad-gita, the Supreme Personality of Godhead says, aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate: Krsna is the origin of everything. Vasudevah sarvam iti: Krsna is everything. Mat-sthani sarva-bhutani na caham tesv avasthitah: everything rests in the body of the Lord, yet the Lord is not everywhere. Mayavadi philosophers think that since the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, has become everything, He has no separate existence. Their philosophy is called advaita-vada. Actually, however, their philosophy is not correct. Here, Bali Maharaja was the seer of the Personality of Godhead's universal body, and that body was that which was seen. Thus there is dvaita-vada; there are always two entities--the seer and the seen. The seer is a part of the whole, but he is not equal to the whole. The part of the whole, the seer, is also one with the whole, but since he is but a part, he cannot be the complete whole at any time. This acintya-bhedabheda--simultaneous oneness and difference--is the perfect philosophy propounded by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.


                               TEXT 23




                 rasam acastanghri-tale 'tha padayor

                 mahim mahidhran purusasya janghayoh

                    patattrino januni visva-murter

                    urvor ganam marutam indrasenah




   rasam--the lower planetary system; acasta--observed; anghri-tale--beneath the feet, or on the sole; atha--thereafter; padayoh--on the feet; mahim--the surface of the land; mahidhran--the mountains; purusasya--of the giant Personality of Godhead; janghayoh--on the calves; patattrinah--the flying living entities; januni--on the knees; visva-murteh--of the form of the gigantic Lord; urvoh--on the thighs; ganam marutam--varieties of air; indra-senah--Bali Maharaja, who had obtained the soldiers of King Indra and who was situated in the post of Indra.




   Thereafter, Bali Maharaja, who was occupying the seat of King Indra, could see the lower planetary systems, such as Rasatala, on the soles of the feet of the Lord's universal form. He saw on the Lord's feet the surface of the globe, on the surface of His calves all the mountains, on His knees the various birds, and on His thighs the varieties of air.




   The universal situation is described herein in regard to the complete constitution of the Lord's gigantic universal form. The study of this universal form begins from the sole. Above the soles are the feet, above the feet are the calves, above the calves are the knees, and above the knees are the thighs. Thus the parts of the universal body, one after another, are described herein. The knees are the place of birds, and above that are varieties of air. The birds can fly over the mountains, and above the birds are varieties of air.


                               TEXT 24




                 sandhyam vibhor vasasi guhya aiksat

                   prajapatin jaghane atma-mukhyan

                 nabhyam nabhah kuksisu sapta-sindhun

                     urukramasyorasi carksa-malam




   sandhyam--the evening twilight; vibhoh--of the Supreme; vasasi--in the garment; guhye--on the private parts; aiksat--he saw; prajapatin--the various Prajapatis, who had given birth to all living entities; jaghane--on the hips; atma-mukhyan--the confidential ministers of Bali Maharaja; nabhyam--on the navel; nabhah--the whole sky; kuksisu--on the waist; sapta--seven; sindhun--oceans; urukramasya--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who was acting wonderfully; urasi--on the bosom; ca--also; rksa-malam--the clusters of stars.




   Bali Maharaja saw beneath the garments of the Lord, who acts wonderfully, the evening twilight. In the Lord's private parts he saw the Prajapatis, and in the round portion of the waist he saw himself with his confidential associates. In the Lord's navel he saw the sky, on the Lord's waist he saw the seven oceans, and on the Lord's bosom he saw all the clusters of stars.


                             TEXTS 25-29




                  hrdy anga dharmam stanayor murarer

                  rtam ca satyam ca manasy athendum

                  sriyam ca vaksasy aravinda-hastam

                   kanthe ca samani samasta-rephan


                    indra-pradhanan amaran bhujesu

                tat-karnayoh kakubho dyaus ca murdhni

                  kesesu meghan chvasanam nasikayam

                  aksnos ca suryam vadane ca vahnim


                   vanyam ca chandamsi rase jalesam

                bhruvor nisedham ca vidhim ca paksmasu

                   ahas ca ratrim ca parasya pumso

                   manyum lalate 'dhara eva lobham


                   sparse ca kamam nrpa retasambhah

                 prsthe tv adharmam kramanesu yajnam

                    chayasu mrtyum hasite ca mayam

                    tanu-ruhesv osadhi-jatayas ca


                     nadis ca nadisu sila nakhesu

                   buddhav ajam deva-ganan rsims ca

                    pranesu gatre sthira-jangamani

                    sarvani bhutani dadarsa virah




   hrdi--within the heart; anga--my dear King Pariksit; dharmam--religion; stanayoh--on the bosom; murareh--of Murari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; rtam--very pleasing words; ca--also; satyam--truthfulness; ca--also; manasi--in the mind; atha--thereafter; indum--the moon; sriyam--the goddess of fortune; ca--also; vaksasi--on the chest; aravinda-hastam--who always carries a lotus flower in her hand; kanthe--on the neck; ca--also; samani--all the Vedas (Sama, Yajur, Rg and Atharva); samasta-rephan--all sound vibrations; indra-pradhanan--headed by King Indra; amaran--all the demigods; bhujesu--on the arms; tat-karnayoh--on the ears; kakubhah--all the directions; dyauh ca--the luminaries; murdhni--on the top of the head; kesesu--within the hair; meghan--the clouds; svasanam--breathing air; nasikayam--on the nostrils; aksnoh ca--in the eyes; suryam--the sun; vadane--in the mouth; ca--also; vahnim--fire; vanyam--in His speech; ca--also; chandamsi--the Vedic hymns; rase--in the tongue; jala-isam--the demigod of the water; bhruvoh--on the eyebrows; nisedham--warnings; ca--also; vidhim--regulative principles; ca--also; paksmasu--in the eyelids; ahah ca--daytime; ratrim--night; ca--also; parasya--of the supreme; pumsah--of the person; manyum--anger; lalate--on the forehead; adhare--on the lips; eva--indeed; lobham--greed; sparse--in His touch; ca--also; kamam--lusty desires; nrpa--O King; retasa--by semen; ambhah--water; prsthe--on the back; tu--but; adharmam--irreligion; kramanesu--in the wonderful activities; yajnam--fire sacrifice; chayasu--in the shadows; mrtyum--death; hasite--in His smiling; ca--also; mayam--the illusory energy; tanu-ruhesu--in the hair on the body; osadhi-jatayah--all species of drugs, herbs and plants; ca--and; nadih--the rivers; ca--also; nadisu--in the veins; silah--stones; nakhesu--in the nails; buddhau--in the intelligence; ajam--Lord Brahma; deva-ganan--the demigods; rsin ca--and the great sages; pranesu--in the senses; gatre--in the body; sthira-jangamani--moving and stationary; sarvani--all of them; bhutani--living entities; dadarsa--saw; virah--Bali Maharaja.




   My dear King, on the heart of Lord Murari he saw religion; on the chest, both pleasing words and truthfulness; in the mind, the moon; on the bosom, the goddess of fortune, with a lotus flower in her hand; on the neck, all the Vedas and all sound vibrations; on the arms, all the demigods, headed by King Indra; in both ears, all the directions; on the head, the upper planetary systems; on the hair, the clouds; in the nostrils, the wind; on the eyes, the sun; and in the mouth, fire. From His words came all the Vedic mantras, on His tongue was the demigod of water, Varunadeva, on His eyebrows were the regulative principles, and on His eyelids were day and night. [When His eyes were open it was daytime, and when they were closed it was night.] On His forehead was anger, and on His lips was greed. O King, in His touch were lusty desires, in His semen were all the waters, on His back was irreligion, and in His wonderful activities or steps was the fire of sacrifice. On His shadow was death, in His smile was the illusory energy, and on the hairs of His body were all the drugs and herbs. In His veins were all the rivers, on His nails were all the stones, in His intelligence were Lord Brahma, the demigods and the great saintly persons, and throughout His entire body and senses were all living entities, moving and stationary. Bali Maharaja thus saw everything in the gigantic body of the Lord.


                               TEXT 30




                   sarvatmanidam bhuvanam niriksya

                   sarve 'surah kasmalam apur anga

                    sudarsanam cakram asahya-tejo

                 dhanus ca sarngam stanayitnu-ghosam




   sarva-atmani--in the supreme whole, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; idam--this universe; bhuvanam--the three worlds; niriksya--by observing; sarve--all; asurah--the demons, the associates of Bali Maharaja; kasmalam--lamentation; apuh--received; anga--O King; sudarsanam--named Sudarsana; cakram--the disc; asahya--unbearable; tejah--the heat of which; dhanuh ca--and the bow; sarngam--named Sarnga; stanayitnu--the resounding of assembled clouds; ghosam--sounding like.




   O King, when all the demons, the followers of Maharaja Bali, saw the universal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 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.


                               TEXT 31




                  parjanya-ghoso jalajah pancajanyah

                    kaumodaki visnu-gada tarasvini

                  vidyadharo 'sih sata-candra-yuktas

                     tunottamav aksayasayakau ca




   parjanya-ghosah--having a sound vibration like that of the clouds; jalajah--the Lord's conchshell; pancajanyah--which is known as Pancajanya; kaumodaki--known by the name Kaumodaki; visnu-gada--the club of Lord Visnu; tarasvini--with great force; vidyadharah--named Vidyadhara; asih--the sword; sata-candra-yuktah--with a shield decorated with hundreds of moons; tuna-uttamau--the best of quivers; aksayasayakau--named Aksayasayaka; ca--also.




   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.


                             TEXTS 32-33




                    sunanda-mukhya upatasthur isam

                   parsada-mukhyah saha-loka-palah





                   raraja rajan bhagavan urukramah

                   ksitim padaikena baler vicakrame

                  nabhah sarirena disas ca bahubhih




   sunanda-mukhyah--the associates of the Lord headed by Sunanda; upatasthuh--began to offer prayers; isam--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; parsada-mukhyah--other chiefs of the associates; saha-loka-palah--with the predominant deities of all the planets; sphurat-kirita--with a brilliant helmet; angada--bracelets; mina-kundalah--and earrings in the shape of fish; srivatsa--the hair named Srivatsa on His bosom; ratna-uttama--the best of jewels (Kaustubha); mekhala--belt; ambaraih--with yellow garments; madhu-vrata--of bees; srak--in which there was a garland; vanamalaya--by a flower garland; avrtah--covered; raraja--predominantly manifested; rajan--O King; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; urukramah--who is prominent by His wonderful activities; ksitim--the whole surface of the world; pada ekena--by one footstep; baleh--of Bali Maharaja; vicakrame--covered; nabhah--the sky; sarirena--by His body; disah ca--and all directions; bahubhih--by His arms.




   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 Personality of Godhead, 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.




   One might argue, "Since Bali Maharaja promised Vamanadeva only the land occupied by His steps, why did Lord Vamanadeva occupy the sky also?" In this regard, Srila Jiva Gosvami says that the steps include everything, downward and upward. When one stands up, he certainly occupies certain parts of the sky and certain portions of the earth below his feet. Thus there was nothing uncommon for the Supreme Personality of Godhead when He occupied the entire sky with His body.


                               TEXT 34




                 padam dvitiyam kramatas trivistapam

                   na vai trtiyaya tadiyam anv api

                  urukramasyanghrir upary upary atho

                 mahar-janabhyam tapasah param gatah




   padam--step; dvitiyam--second; kramatah--advancing; tri-vistapam--all of the heavenly planets; na--not; vai--indeed; trtiyaya--for the third step; tadiyam--of the Lord; anu api--only a spot of land remained; urukramasya--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who performs uncommon activities; anghrih--steps occupying above and below; upari upari--higher and higher; atho--now; mahah-janabhyam--than Maharloka and Janaloka; tapasah--that Tapoloka; param--beyond that; gatah--approached.




   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.




   When the Lord's footstep exceeded the height of all the lokas, including Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka, His nails certainly pierced the covering of the universe. The universe is covered by the five material elements (bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham). As stated in the sastra, these elements are in layers, each ten times thicker than the previous one. Nonetheless, the nails of the Lord pierced through all these layers and made a hole penetrating into the spiritual world. From this hole, the water of the Ganges infiltrated into this material world, and therefore it is said, pada-nakha-nira janita jana-pavana (Dasavatara-stotra 5). Because the Lord kicked a hole in the covering of the universe, the water of the Ganges came into this material world to deliver all the fallen souls.


Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Twentieth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Bali Maharaja Surrenders the Universe."

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