yasyanudasyam evasmat-pitamahah kila vavre na tu sva-pitryam yad utakutobhayam padam diyamanam bhagavatah param iti bhagavatoparate khalu sva-pitari.
yasya—of whom (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); anudasyam—the service; eva—certainly; asmat—our; pita-mahah—grandfather; kila—indeed; vavre—accepted; na—not; tu—but; sva—own; pitryam—paternal property; yat—which; uta—certainly; akutah-bhayam—fearlessness; padam—position; diyamanam—being offered; bhagavatah—than the Supreme Personality of Godhead; param—other; iti—thus; bhagavata—by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; uparate—when killed; khalu—indeed; sva-pitari—his own father.
Bali Maharaja said: My grandfather Prahlada Maharaja is the only person who understood his own self-interest. Upon the death of Prahlada’s father, Hiranyakasipu, Lord Nrsimhadeva wanted to offer Prahlada his father’s kingdom and even wanted to grant him liberation from material bondage, but Prahlada accepted neither. Liberation and material opulence, he thought, are obstacles to devotional service, and therefore such gifts from the Supreme Personality of Godhead are not His actual mercy. Consequently, instead of accepting the results of karma and jnana, Prahlada Maharaja simply begged the Lord for engagement in the service of His servant.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has instructed that an unalloyed devotee should consider himself a servant of the servant of the servant of the Supreme Lord (gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah). In Vaisnava philosophy, one should not even become a direct servant. Prahlada Maharaja was offered all the blessings of an opulent position in the material world and even the liberation of merging into Brahman, but he refused all this. He simply wanted to engage in the service of the servant of the servant of the Lord. Therefore Bali Maharaja said that because his grandfather Prahlada Maharaja had rejected the blessings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in terms of material opulence and liberation from material bondage, he truly understood his self-interest.
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