baleh pada-trayam bhumeh
kasmad dharir ayacata
labdhartho ’pi babandha tam
etad veditum icchamo
mahat kautuhalam hi nah
bandhanam capy anagasah
sri-raja uvaca—the King said; baleh—of Bali Maharaja; pada-trayam—three steps; bhumeh—of land; kasmat—why; harih—the Supreme Personality of Godhead (in the form of Vamana); ayacata—begged; bhuta-isvarah—the proprietor of all the universe; krpana-vat—like a poor man; labdha-arthah—He got the gift; api—although; babandha—arrested; tam—him (Bali); etat—all this; veditum—to understand; icchamah—we desire; mahat—very great; kautuhalam—eagerness; hi—indeed; nah—our; yacna—begging; isvarasya—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; purnasya—who is full in everything; bandhanam—arresting; ca—also; api—although; anagasah—of he who was faultless.
Maharaja Pariksit inquired: The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the proprietor of everything. Why did He beg three paces of land from Bali Maharaja like a poor man, and when He got the gift for which He had begged, why did He nonetheless arrest Bali Maharaja? I am very much anxious to know the mystery of these contradictions.
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