(श्रीमद्भागवतम् – स्कन्धः८, अध्यायः १९)

 [The English
translation is largely based on that of  the disciples of His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as given in the “Srimad Bhagavatam”
published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust]
श्री शुक उचाच-
इति वैरोचनेर्वाक्यं धर्मयुक्तं सुसूनृतम्।
निशम्य भगवान् प्रीतः प्रतिनन्द्येदमब्रवीत्॥१॥
Sukadeva Goswami
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 (dharma).  Thus the Lord began to praise him. 
वचस्तवैतज्जनदेव सूनृतं
  कुलोचितं धर्मयुतं यशस्करम्।
यस्य प्रमाणं भृगवः साम्पराये
  पितामहः कुलवृद्धः प्रशान्तः ॥२॥
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 behaviour of
your family, and they enhance your reputation.
न ह्येतस्मिन् कुले कश्चि-
 न्निःसत्त्वः कृपणः पुमान्।
प्रत्याख्याता प्रतिश्रुत्य
  यो वादाता द्विजातये ॥३॥
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
Brahmans, nor after promising to give charity has anyone failed to fulfill his
न सन्ति तिर्थे युधिचार्थिनार्थिताः
  पराङ्मुखा ये त्वमनस्विनो नृपाः।
युष्मत्कुले यद्यशसामलेन
   प्रह्लाद उद्भाति यथोडुपःखे ॥४॥
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 kshatriyas 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.
 यतो जातो हिरण्याक्षश्चरन्नेक इमां महीम्।
 प्रतिवीरं दिग्विजये नाविन्दत गदायुधः ॥५॥
It was in your dynasty that Hiranyaksha was born.
Carrying only his own club (mace), he wandered the globe alone, without
assistance, to conquer all directions, and no hero he met could rival him.
यं विनिर्जित्य कृच्छ्रेण विष्णुः क्ष्मोद्धार आगतम्।
नात्मानं जयिनं मेने तद्वीर्यं भूर्यनुस्मरन् ॥६॥
When delivering the earth
from the Garbhodaka Sea, Lord Vishnu, in His incarnation as a boar, killed Hiranyaksha,
who had appeared before him.  The fight
was severe, and the Lord killed Hiranyaksha with great difficulty. Later, as
the Lord thought about the uncommon prowess of Hiranyaksha, He did not consider
Himself  really victorious.
निशम्य तद्वधं भ्राता हिरण्यकशिपुः पुरा।
हन्तुं भ्रातृहणं क्रुद्धो जगाम निलयं हरे:॥७॥
When Hiranyakasipu
heard  the news of his brother’s being
killed, with great anger he went to the residence of Vishnu, the killer of his
brother, wanting to kill Lord Vishnu.
तमायान्तं समालोक्य शूलपाणिं कृतान्तवत्।
चिन्तयामास कालज्ञो विष्णुर्मायाविनां वरः ॥८॥
Seeing Hiranyakasipu
coming forward bearing a trident in his hand like personified death, Lord
Vishnu, the best of all mystics and the knower of the progress of time, thought
as follows.
यतो यतोऽहं तत्रासौ मृत्युः प्राणभृतामिव।
अतोऽहमस्य हृदयं प्रवेक्ष्यामि पराग्दृशः॥९॥
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.
एवं स  निश्चित्य
रिपोः शरीर-
     माधावतो निर्विविशेऽसुरेन्द्र।
     स्तत्प्राणरन्ध्रेण विविग्नचेताः ॥१०॥
Lord Vamanadeva
continued: O King of the demons, after Lord Vishnu 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 Vishnu, who was in great anxiety, entered
Hiranyakasipu’s nostril along with his breath.  
स तन्निकेतं परिमृश्य शून्य-
   मपश्यमानः कुपितो ननाद।
 क्ष्मां द्यां दिशः खं विवरान् समुद्रान्
   विष्णुं विचिन्वन् न ददर्श वीरः ॥११॥
Upon seeing that the
abode of Lord Vishnu was vacant, Hiranyakasipu began searching for Lord Vishnu
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 Vishnu anywhere.    
अपश्यन्निति होवाच मयान्विष्टमिदं जगत्।
भ्रातृहा मे गतो नूनं यतो नावर्तते पुमान् ॥१२॥
Unable to see Him,
Hiranyakasipu said, “I have searched the entire universe, but I could not find
Vishnu, 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]
वैरानुबन्ध एतावानामृत्योरिह देहिनाम्।
अज्ञानप्रभवो मन्युरहंमानोपबृंहितः॥१३॥
Hiranyakasipu’s anger
against Lord Vishnu 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.
पिता प्रह्लादपुत्रस्ते तद्विद्वान् द्विजवत्सलः।
स्वमायुर्द्विजलिङ्गेभ्यो देवेभ्योऽदात् स याचितः॥१४॥
Your father Virochana,
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.
भवानाचरितान् धर्मानास्थितो गृहमेधिभिः।
ब्राह्मणैः पूर्वजैः शूरैरन्यैश्चोद्दामकीर्तिभिः॥१५॥
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.
तस्मात् त्वत्तो महीमीषद् वृणेऽहं वरदर्षभात्।
पदानि त्रीणि दैत्येन्द्र संमितानि पदा मम ॥१६॥
O King of the Daityas,
from Your Majesty, best among those who  give charity munificently, I ask only three
paces of land measured by my steps.  
नान्यत् ते कामये राजन् वदान्याज्जगदीश्वरात् ।
नैनः प्राप्नोति वै विद्वान् यावदर्थपरिग्रहः ॥१७॥
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
अहो ब्राह्मणदायाद वाचस्ते वृद्धसम्मताः।
त्वं बालो बालिशमतिः स्वार्थं प्रत्यबुधो यथा॥१८॥
Bali Maharaja said: O son of a brahmana, Your words
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.
मां वचोभिः समाराध्य लोकानामेकमीश्वरम्।
पदत्रयं वृणीते योऽबुद्धिमान् द्वीपदाशुषम्॥१९॥
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.
न पुमान् मामुपव्रज्य भूयो याचितुमर्हति।
तस्माद् वृत्तिकरीं भूमिं वटो कामं प्रतीच्छ मे ॥२०॥
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 Your
यावन्तो  विषयाः प्रेष्ठास्त्रिलोक्यामजितेन्द्रियम्।
न शक्नुवन्ति ते सर्वे प्रतिपूरयितुं न्रुप ॥२१॥
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. 
त्रिभिः क्रमैरसन्तुष्टो द्वीपेनापि न पूर्यते।
नववर्षसमेतेन सप्तद्वीपवरेच्छया ॥२२॥
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 varshas.  Even if I possess one island, I would hope to
get all the seven islands..
सप्तद्वीपाधिपतयो नृपा वैन्यगयादयः।
अर्थैः कामैर्गता नान्तं तृष्णाया इति नः श्रुतम्॥२३॥
We have heard that although powerful kings like Maaraja
Prthu and Maharaja Gaya achieved proprietorship over the seven dvipas,
they could not achieve satisfaction or find the end of their ambitions
यदृच्छयोपपन्नेन सन्तुष्टो वर्तते सुखम्।
नासन्तुष्टस्त्रिभिर्लोकैरजितात्मोपसादितैः ॥२४॥
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.
पुंसोऽयं संसृतेर्हेतुरसन्तोषोऽर्थकामयोः।
यदृच्छयोपपन्नेन सन्तोषो मुक्तये स्मृतः ॥२५॥
Material existence causes
discontent in regard to fulfilling one’s lusty desires and accumulating more
and more wealth.  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.
यदृच्छालाभतुष्टस्य  तेजो विप्रस्य वर्धते।
तत् प्रशाम्यत्यसन्तोषादम्भसेवाशुशुक्षणिः ॥२६॥
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. 
तस्माद् त्रीणि पदान्येव वृणे त्वद् वरदर्षभात्।
एतावतैव सिद्धोऽहं वित्तं यावत्प्रयोजनम् ॥२७॥
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.
श्रीशुक उवाच
इत्युक्तः स हसन्नाह वाञ्छातः प्रतिगृह्यताम्।
वामनाय महीं दातुं जग्राह जलभाजनम् ॥२८॥
Sukadeva Goswami
continued:  When the Supreme Personality
of Godhead had thus spoken to Bali Maharaja, Bali smiled and told Him, “Alright,
Take whatever You like.” To confirm his promise to give Vamanadeva the desired
land, he then took up his water jug.
विष्णवे क्षां प्रदास्यन्तमुशना असुरेश्वरम्।
जानंश्चिकीर्षितं विष्णोः शिष्यं प्राह विदां वरः ॥२९॥
Understanding Lord Vishnu’s
purpose, Sukracharya, the best of the learned, immediately spoke as follows to
his disciple, who was about to offer everything to Lord Vamanadeva.  
श्रीशुक्र उवाच-
एष वैरोचने साक्षाद् भगवान् विष्णुरव्ययः।
कश्यपाददितेर्जातो देवानां कार्यसाधकः ॥३०॥
Sukracharya said: O son
of Virochana, this brahmachari in the form of a dwarf is directly the
imperishable Supreme Personality of godhead, Vishnu.  Accepting Kashyapa Muni as His father and
Aditi as His mother, He has now appeared in order to fulfill the interests of
the demigods.  
प्रतिश्रुतं त्वयैतस्मै यदनर्थमजानता।
न साधु मन्ये दैत्यानां महानुपगतोऽनयः॥३१॥
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.
एष ते स्थानमैश्वर्यं श्रियं तेजो यशः श्रुतम्।
दास्यत्याच्छिद्य शक्राय मायामाणवको हरिः ॥३२॥
This person falsely
appearing as a brahmachari 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.
त्रिभिः क्रमैरिमाँल्लोकान् विश्वकायः क्रमिष्यति।
सर्वस्वं विष्णवे दत्त्वा मूढ वर्तिष्यसे कथम्॥३३॥
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 fool!  You do not know what a great mistake you have
made.  After giving everything to Lord
Vishnu, You will have no means of livelihood. 
How then shall you live?  
क्रमतो गां पदैकेन द्वितीयेन दिवं विभोः।
खं च कायेन महता तार्तीयस्य कुतो गतिः ॥३४॥
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?
निष्ठां ते नरके मन्ये ह्यप्रदातुः प्रतिश्रुतम्।
प्रतिश्रुतस्य योऽनीशः प्रतिपादयितुं भवान्॥३५॥
You will certainly be
unable to fulfill your promise, and I think that because of this inability your
eternal residence will be in hell. 
न तद् दानं प्रशंसन्ति येन वृत्तिर्विपद्यते।
दानं यज्ञतपः कर्म लोके वृत्तिमतो यतः ॥३६॥
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.] 
धर्माय यशसेऽर्थाय कामाय स्वजनाय च।
पञ्चधा विभजन् वित्तमिहामुत्र च मोदते ॥३७॥
Therefore one who is in
full knowledge should divide his accumulated wealth in five parts – for religion
(dharma), 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.
अत्रापि बह्वृचैर्गीतं शृणु मेऽसुरसत्तम।
सत्यमोमिति यत् प्रोक्तं यन्नेत्याहानृतं हि तत् ॥३८॥
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 Bahvrcha-sruti, which says that a promise is
truthful preceded by the word Om and untruthful if not.
सत्यं पुष्पफलं विद्यादात्मवृक्षस्य गीयते।
वृक्षेऽजीवति तन्न स्यादनृतं मूलमात्मनः ॥३९॥
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.
तद् यथा वृक्ष उन्मूलः शुष्यत्युदवर्ततेऽचिराद्।
एवं नष्टानृतः सद्य आत्मा शुष्येन्न संशयः ॥४०॥
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.
पराग् रिक्तमपूर्णं वा अक्षरं यत् तदोमिति।
यत् किञ्चिदोमिति ब्रूयात् तेन रिष्येत वै पुमान् ।
भिक्षवे सर्वमोङ्कुर्वन्नालं कामेन चत्मने॥४१॥
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.
अथैतत् पूर्णमभ्यात्मं यच्च नेत्यनृतं वचः।
सर्वं नेत्यनृतं ब्रूयात् स दुष्कीर्तिः श्वसन् मृतः ॥४२॥
Therefore, the safe
course is to say no.  Although it is a
false-hood, it protects one completely, it draws the compassion of others
toward 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.
स्त्रीषु नर्म विवाहे च वृत्त्यर्थे प्राणसङ्कटे।
गोब्राह्मणार्थे हिंसायां नानृतं स्याज्जुगुप्सितम् ॥४३॥
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.
इति श्रीमद्भागवते महापुराणे पारमहंस्यां संहितायामष्टमस्कन्धे
       वामनप्रादुर्भावे एकोनविंशोऽध्यायः           

Sri P R Ramamurthy Ji was the author of this website. When he started this website in 2009, he was in his eighties. He was able to publish such a great number of posts in limited time of 4 years. We appreciate his enthusiasm for Sanskrit Literature. Authors story in his own words :

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