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]
विप्रकृतो राजन् बलिर्भगवतासुरः।
प्रत्याहाविक्लवं वचः ॥१॥
Goswami said: O King, although the Supreme Personality of Godhead was
superficially seen to have acted mischievously toward Bali Maharaja, the latter
was fixed in his determination.
Considering himself not to have fulfilled his promise, he spoke as
तन्न भवेत् प्रलम्भनं
Maharaja said: O best Personality of Godhead, most worshipable for all the
demigods, if You think that my promise has become false, I shall certainly
rectify matters to make it truthful. I
cannot allow my promise to be false.
Please, therefore, place Your third lotus footstep on my head.
नाहं निरयात् पदच्युतो
do not fear being deprived of all my possessions, living in hellish life, being
bound by the ropes of Varuna, being subjected to unbearable distress or poverty
or being punished by you as much as I fear defamation.
श्लाघ्यतमं मन्ये दण्डमर्हत्तमार्पितम्।
माता पिता भ्राता सुहृदश्चादिशन्ति हि ॥४॥
father, mother, brother or friend may sometimes punish one as a
well-wisher, they never punish their subordinate like this. But because You are the most worshipable
Lord, I regard the punishment You have given me as most exalted.
नूनमसुराणां नः पारोक्ष्यः परमो गुरुः।
विभ्रंशं चक्षुरादिशत् ॥५॥
Your Lordship is indirectly the greatest well-wisher of us demons, You act for
our best welfare by posing as if our enemy.
Because demons like us always aspire for a position of false prestige,
by chastising us You give us the eyes by which to see the right path.
वैरानुबन्धेन रूढेन विबुधेतराः|
लेभिरे सिद्धिं यामु हैकान्तयोगिनः॥६॥
निगृहीतोऽस्मि भवता भूरिकर्मणा।
वारुणैः पाशैर्नातिव्रीडे न च व्यथे ॥७॥
demons who were continuously inimical toward You finally achieved the
perfection of great mystic yogis. Your
Lordship can perform one work to serve many purposes, and consequently,
although you have punished me in many ways, I do not feel ashamed of having
been arrested by the ropes of Varuna, nor do I feel aggrieved.
grandfather Prahlada Maharaja is famous, being recognised by all Your
devotees. Although harassed in many ways
by his father, Hiranyakasipu, he still remained faithful, taking shelter at
your lotus feet.
is the use of the material body, which automatically leaves its owner at the
end of life? And what is the use of all one’s family members, who are actually
plunderers taking away money that is useful for the service of the Lord in
spiritual opulence? What is the use of a wife?
She is only the source of increasing material conditions. And what is the use of family, home, country
and community? Attachment for them merely wastes the valuable energy of one’s
स निश्चित्य पितामहो महा-
प्रपेदे ह्यकुतोभयं जनाद्
grandfather, the best of all men, who achieved unlimited knowledge and was
worshipable for everyone, was afraid of the common men in this world. Being fully convinced of the substantiality
afforded by shelter at your lotus feet, He took shelter of Your lotus feet,
against the will of his father and demoniac friends, who were killed by Your
by providence have I been forcibly brought under Your lotus feet and deprived
of all my opulence. Because of the
illusion created by temporary opulence, people in general, who live under
material conditions, facing accidental death at every moment, do not understand
that this life is temporary. Only by
providence have I been saved from that condition.
भाषमाणस्य प्रह्लादो भगवत्प्रियः।
Goswami said: O best of the Kurus, while Bali Maharaja was describing his
fortunate position in this way, the most dear devotee of the Lord, Prahlada
Maharaja, appeared there, like the moon rising in the night time.
Bali Maharaja saw his grandfather Prahlada Maharaja, the most fortunate
personality, whose dark body resembled black ointment for the eyes. His tall elegant figure was dressed in yellow
garments, he had long arms, and his beautiful eyes were like the petals of a
lotus. He was very dear and pleasing to
bound by the ropes of Varuna, Bali Maharaja could not offer befitting respect
to Prahlada Maharaja as he had done before.
Rather, he simply offered respectful obeisances with his head, his eyes
being inundated with tears and his face lowered in shame.
भूमौ शिरसा महामना
the great personality Prahlada Maharaja saw that the Supreme Lord was sitting
there, surrounded and worshiped by His intimate associates like Sunanda, he was
overwhelmed with tears of jubilation. Approaching the Lord and falling to the
ground, he offered obeisances to the Lord with his head.
महानस्य कुतो ह्यनुग्रहो
Maharaja said: My Lord, it is Your Lordship who gave this Bali the very great
opulence of the post of heavenly King, and now, today, it is You who have taken
it all away. I think You have acted
with equal beauty in both ways. Because
his exalted position as King of heaven was putting him in the darkness of
ignorance, You have done him a very merciful favour by taking away all his
हि विद्वानपि मुह्यते यत-
नमस्ते जगदीश्वराय वै
opulence is so bewildering that it makes even a learned, self-controlled man
forget to search for the goal of self-realisation. But the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
Narayana, the Lord of the universe, can see everything by His will. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances to
राजन् प्रह्लादस्य कृताञ्जलेः।
भगवानुवाच मधुसूदनम् ॥१८॥
Goswami continued: O King Parikshit, Lord Brahma then began to speak to the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, within the hearing of Prahlada Maharaja, who
stood nearby with folded hands.
वीक्ष्य पतिं साध्वी तत्पत्नी भयविह्वला।
प्रणतोपेन्द्रं बभाषेऽवाङ्मुखी नृप ॥१९॥
Bali Maharaja’s chaste wife, afraid and aggrieved at seeing her husband bound,
immediately offered obeisances to Lord Vamanadeva [Upendra]. She folded her
hands and spoke as follows.
इदं त्रिजगत् कृतं ते
प्रभोस्तव किमस्यत आवहन्ति
Vindhyavali said: O my Lord, You have created the entire universe for the
enjoyment of Your personal pastimes, but foolish, unintelligent men have claimed proprietorship
for material enjoyment. Certainly they
are shameless agnostics. Falsely claiming
proprietorship, they think they can give charity and enjoy. In such a
condition, what good can they can do for You, who are the independent creator,
maintainer and annihilator of this universe?
भूतेश देवदेव जगन्मय।
हृतसर्वस्वं नायमर्हति निग्रहम् ॥२१॥
Brahma said: O well-wisher and master of all living entities, O worshipable
Deity of all the demigods, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, now this man
has been sufficiently punished, for You have taken everything. Now You can release him. He does not deserve to be punished more.
तेऽनेन दत्ता भूर्लोकाः कर्मार्जिताश्च ये।
च सर्वस्वमात्माविक्लवया धिया॥२२॥
Maharaja had already offered everything to Your Lordship. Without hesitation, he has offered his land,
the planets and whatever he earned by his pious activities, including even his
गतिरसौ भजते त्रिलोकीं
offering even water, newly grown grass, or flower buds at Your lotus feet,
those who maintain no mental duplicity can achieve the most exalted position
within the spiritual world. This Bali
Maharaja, without duplicity, has now offered everything in the three
worlds. How then can he deserve to
suffer from arrest?
यमनुगृह्णामि तद्विशो विधुनोम्यहम्।
पुरुषः स्तब्धो लोकं मां चावमन्यते॥२४॥
Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Lord Brahma, because of material
opulence a foolish person becomes dull-witted and mad. Thus he has no respect for anyone within the
three worlds and defies even My authority. To such a person I show special
favour by first taking away all his possessions.
कदाचिज्जीवात्मा संसरन् निजकर्मभिः।
पौरुषीं गतिमाव्रजेत् ॥२५॥
rotating in the cycle of birth and death again and again in different species
because of his own fruitive activities, the dependent living entity, by good
fortune, may happen to become a human being.
This human birth is very rarely obtained.
न भवेत् स्तम्भस्तत्रायं मदनुग्रहः ॥२६॥
a human being is born in an aristocratic family or a higher status of life, if
he performs wonderful activities, if he is youthful, if he has personal beauty,
a good education and good wealth, and if he is nonetheless not proud of his
opulences, it is to be understood that he is especially favoured by the Supreme
Personality of Godhead.
हन्त मुह्येन्न मत्परः ॥२७॥
aristocratic birth and other such opulences are impediments to advancement in
devotional service because they are causes of false prestige and pride, these
opulences never disturb a pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of
मायां सीदन्नपि न मुह्यति ॥२८॥
Maharaja has become the most famous among the demons and nonbelievers, for in
spite of being bereft of all material opulences, he is fixed in his devotional
स्थानात् क्षिप्तो बद्धश्च शत्रुभिः।
परित्यक्तो यातनामनुयापितः ॥२९॥
भर्त्सितः शप्तो जहौ सत्यं न सुव्रतः।
मया धर्मो नायं त्यजति सत्यवाक् ॥३०॥
bereft of his riches, fallen from his original position, defeated and arrested
by his enemies, rebuked and deserted by his relatives and friends, although
suffering the pain of being bound and although rebuked and cursed by his
spiritual master, Bali Maharaja, being fixed in his vow, did not give up his
truthfulness. It was certainly with
pretention that I spoke about religious principles, but he did not give up
religious principles, for he is true to his word.
प्रापितः स्थानं दुष्प्रापममरैरपि।
भवितेन्द्रो मदाश्रयः ॥३१॥
Lord continued: Because of his great tolerance, I have given him a place not
obtainable even by the demigods. He will
become King of the heavenly planets during the period of the Manu known as
व्याधयश्च क्लमस्तन्द्रा पराभवः ।
निवसतां संभवन्ति ममेक्षया ॥३२॥
Bali Maharaja achieves the position of King of heaven, he shall live on the
planet Sutala, which was made by Viswakarma according to My order. Because it is especially protected by Me, it
is free from mental and bodily miseries, fatigue, dizziness, defeat and all
other disturbances. Bali Maharaja, you
may now go live there peacefully.
महाराज याहि भो भद्रमस्तु ते।
स्वर्गिभिः प्रार्थ्यं ज्ञातिभिः परिवारितः॥३३॥
Maharaja[Indrasena], now you may go to the planet Sutala, which is desired even
by the demigods. Live there peacefully,
surrounded by your friends and relatives. All good fortune unto you.
मे सूदयिष्यति ॥३४॥
the planet Sutala, not even the predominating deities of other planets, what to
speak of ordinary people, will be able to conquer you. As far as the demons are concerned, if they
transgress your rule, My disc will kill them.
सर्वतोऽहं त्वां सानुगं सपरिच्छदम्।
सन्निहितं वीर तत्र मां द्रक्ष्यते भवान् ॥३५॥
great hero, I shall always be with you and give you protection in all respects
along with your associates and paraphernalia.
Moreover, you will always be able to see Me there.
मदनुभावं वै सद्यः कुण्ठो विनङ्क्ष्यति॥३६॥
there you will see My supreme prowess, your materialistic ideas and anxieties
that have arisen from your association with the demons and Daavas will
immediately be vanquished.