baleḥ pada-trayaṁ bhūmeḥ
kasmād dharir ayācata
labdhārtho ’pi babandha tam
etad veditum icchāmo
mahat kautūhalaṁ hi naḥ
bandhanaṁ cāpy anāgasaḥ
śrī-rājā uvāca—the King said; baleḥ—of Bali Mahārāja; pada-trayam—three steps; bhūmeḥ—of land; kasmāt—why; hariḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead (in the form of Vāmana); ayācata—begged; bhūta-īśvaraḥ—the proprietor of all the universe; kṛpaṇa-vat—like a poor man; labdha-arthaḥ—He got the gift; api—although; babandha—arrested; tam—him (Bali); etat—all this; veditum—to understand; icchāmaḥ—we desire; mahat—very great; kautūhalam—eagerness; hi—indeed; naḥ—our; yācñā—begging; īśvarasya—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pūrṇasya—who is full in everything; bandhanam—arresting; ca—also; api—although; anāgasaḥ—of he who was faultless.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit inquired: The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the proprietor of everything. Why did He beg three paces of land from Bali Mahārāja like a poor man, and when He got the gift for which He had begged, why did He nonetheless arrest Bali Mahārāja? I am very much anxious to know the mystery of these contradictions.
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