Chapter Fifteen
Bali Mahārāja Conquers the Heavenly Planets
This chapter describes how Bali, after performing the Viśvajit-yajña, received the benediction of a chariot and various kinds of paraphernalia for war, with which he attacked the King of heaven. All the demigods, being afraid of him, left the heavenly planets and went away, following the instructions of their guru.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit wanted to understand how Lord Vāmanadeva, on the plea of taking three paces of land from Bali Mahārāja, took everything away from him and arrested him. Śukadeva Gosvāmī responded to this inquiry with the following explanation. In the fight between the demons and the demigods, as described in the Eleventh Chapter of this canto, Bali was defeated, and he died in the fight, but by the grace of Śukrācārya he regained his life. Thus he engaged himself in the service of Śukrācārya, his spiritual master. The descendants of Bhṛgu, being pleased with him, engaged him in the Viśvajit-yajña. When this yajña was performed, from the fire of yajña came a chariot, horses, a flag, a bow, armor and two quivers of arrows. Mahārāja Prahlāda, Bali Mahārāja’s grandfather, gave Bali an eternal garland of flowers, and Śukrācārya gave him a conchshell. Bali Mahārāja, after offering obeisances to Prahlāda, the brāhmaṇas and his spiritual master, Śukrācārya, equipped himself to fight with Indra and went to Indrapurī with his soldiers. Blowing his conchshell, he attacked the outskirts of Indra’s kingdom. When Indra saw Bali Mahārāja’s prowess, he went to his own spiritual master, Bṛhaspati, told him about Bali’s strength, and inquired about his duty. Bṛhaspati informed the demigods that because Bali had been endowed with extraordinary power by the brāhmaṇas, the demigods could not fight with him. Their only hope was to gain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indeed, there was no alternative. Under the circumstances, Bṛhaspati advised the demigods to leave the heavenly planets and keep themselves somewhere invisible. The demigods followed his orders, and Bali Mahārāja, along with his associates, gained the entire kingdom of Indra. The descendants of Bhṛgu Muni, being very affectionate to their disciple Bali Mahārāja, engaged him in performing one hundred aśvamedha-yajñas. In this way, Bali enjoyed the opulences of the heavenly planets.
TEXTS 1–2
śrī-rājovāca
baleḥ pada-trayaṁ bhūmeḥ
kasmād dharir ayācata
bhūteśvaraḥ kṛpaṇa-val
labdhārtho ’pi babandha tam
etad veditum icchāmo
mahat kautūhalaṁ hi naḥ
yācñeśvarasya pūrṇasya
bandhanaṁ cāpy anāgasaḥ
SYNONYMS
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.
TRANSLATION
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.
TEXT 3
śrī-śuka uvāca
parājita-śrīr asubhiś ca hāpito
hīndreṇa rājan bhṛgubhiḥ sa jīvitaḥ
sarvātmanā tān abhajad bhṛgūn baliḥ
śiṣyo mahātmārtha-nivedanena
SYNONYMS
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; parājita—being defeated; śrīḥ—opulences; asubhiḥ ca—of life also; hāpitaḥ—deprived; hi—indeed; indreṇa—by King Indra; rājan—O King; bhṛgubhiḥ—by the descendants of Bhṛgu Muni; saḥ—he (Bali Mahārāja); jīvitaḥ—brought back to life; sarva-ātmanā—in full submission; tān—them; abhajat—worshiped; bhṛgūn—the descendants of Bhṛgu Muni; baliḥMahārāja Bali; śiṣyaḥ—a disciple; mahātmā—the great soul; artha-nivedanena—by giving them everything.
TRANSLATION
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, when Bali Mahārāja lost all his opulence and died in the fight, Śukrācārya, a descendant of Bhṛgu Muni, brought him back to life. Because of this, the great soul Bali Mahārāja became a disciple of Śukrācārya and began to serve him with great faith, offering everything he had.
TEXT 4
taṁ brāhmaṇā bhṛgavaḥ prīyamāṇā
ayājayan viśvajitā tri-ṇākam
jigīṣamāṇaṁ vidhinābhiṣicya
mahābhiṣekeṇa mahānubhāvāḥ
SYNONYMS
tam—upon him (Bali Mahārāja); brāhmaṇāḥ—all the brāhmaṇas; bhṛgavaḥ—the descendants of Bhṛgu Muni; prīyamāṇāḥ—being very pleased; ayājayan—engaged him in performing a sacrifice; viśvajitā—known as Viśvajit; tri-nākam—the heavenly planets; jigīṣamāṇam—desiring to conquer; vidhinā—according to regulative principles; abhiṣicya—after purifying; mahā-abhiṣekeṇa—by bathing him in a great abhiṣeka ceremony; mahā-anubhāvāḥ—the exalted brāhmaṇas.
TRANSLATION
The brāhmaṇa descendants of Bhṛgu Muni were very pleased with Bali Mahārāja, who desired to conquer the kingdom of Indra. Therefore, after purifying him and properly bathing him according to regulative principles, they engaged him in performing the yajña known as Viśvajit.
TEXT 5
tato rathaḥ kāñcana-paṭṭa-naddho
hayāś ca haryaśva-turaṅga-varṇāḥ
dhvajaś ca siṁhena virājamāno
hutāśanād āsa havirbhir iṣṭāt
SYNONYMS
tataḥ—thereafter; rathaḥ—a chariot; kāñcana—with gold; paṭṭa—and silk garments; naddhaḥ—wrapped; hayāḥ ca—horses also; haryaśva-turaṅga-varṇāḥ—exactly of the same color as the horses of Indra (yellow); dhvajaḥ ca—a flag also; siṁhena—with the mark of a lion; virājamānaḥ—existing; huta-aśanāt—from the blazing fire; āsa—there was; havirbhiḥ—by offerings of clarified butter; iṣṭāt—worshiped.
TRANSLATION
When ghee [clarified butter] was offered in the fire of sacrifice, there appeared from the fire a celestial chariot covered with gold and silk. There also appeared yellow horses like those of Indra, and a flag marked with a lion.
TEXT 6
dhanuś ca divyaṁ puraṭopanaddhaṁ
tūṇāv ariktau kavacaṁ ca divyam
pitāmahas tasya dadau ca mālām
amlāna-puṣpāṁ jalajaṁ ca śukraḥ
SYNONYMS
dhanuḥ—a bow; ca—also; divyam—uncommon; puraṭa-upanaddham—covered with gold; tūṇau—two quivers; ariktau—infallible; kavacam ca—and armor; divyam—celestial; pitāmahaḥ tasya—his grandfather, namely Prahlāda Mahārāja; dadau—gave; ca—and; mālām—a garland; amlāna-puṣpām—made of flowers that do not fade away; jala jam—a conchshell (which is born in water); ca—as well as; śukraḥ—Śukrācārya.
TRANSLATION
A gilded bow, two quivers of infallible arrows, and celestial armor also appeared. Bali Mahārāja’s grandfather Prahlāda Mahārāja offered Bali a garland of flowers that would never fade, and Śukrācārya gave him a conchshell.
TEXT 7
evaṁ sa viprārjita-yodhanārthas
taiḥ kalpita-svastyayano ’tha viprān
pradakṣiṇī-kṛtya kṛta-praṇāmaḥ
prahrādam āmantrya namaś-cakāra
SYNONYMS
evam—in this way; saḥ—he (Bali Mahārāja); vipra-arjita—gained by the grace of the brāhmaṇas; yodhana-arthaḥ—possessing equipment for fighting; taiḥ—by them (the brāhmaṇas); kalpita—advice; svastyayanaḥ—ritualistic performance; atha—as; viprān—all the brāhmaṇas (Śukrācārya and others); pradakṣiṇī-kṛtya—circumambulating; kṛta-praṇāmaḥ—offered his respectful obeisances; prahrādam—unto Prahlāda Mahārāja; āmantrya—addressing; namaḥ-cakāra—offered him obeisances.
TRANSLATION
When Mahārāja Bali had thus performed the special ritualistic ceremony advised by the brāhmaṇas and had received, by their grace, the equipment for fighting, he circumambulated the brāhmaṇas and offered them obeisances. He also saluted Prahlāda Mahārāja and offered obeisances to him.
TEXTS 8–9
athāruhya rathaṁ divyaṁ
bhṛgu-dattaṁ mahārathaḥ
susrag-dharo ’tha sannahya
dhanvī khaḍgī dhṛteṣudhiḥ
hemāṅgada-lasad-bāhuḥ
sphuran-makara-kuṇḍalaḥ
rarāja ratham ārūḍho
dhiṣṇya-stha iva havyavāṭ
SYNONYMS
atha—thereupon; āruhya—getting on; ratham—the chariot; divyam—celestial; bhṛgu-dattam—given by Śukrācārya; mahā-rathaḥBali Mahārāja, the great charioteer; su-srak-dharaḥ—decorated with a nice garland; atha—thus; sannahya—covering his body with armor; dhanvī—equipped with a bow; khaḍgī—taking a sword; dhṛta-iṣudhiḥ—taking a quiver of arrows; hema-aṅgada-lasat-bāhuḥ—decorated with golden bangles on his arms; sphurat-makara-kuṇḍalaḥ—decorated with brilliant earrings resembling sapphires; rarāja—was illuminating; ratham ārūḍhaḥ—getting on the chariot; dhiṣṇya-sthaḥ—situated on the altar of sacrifice; iva—like; havya-vāṭ—worshipable fire.
TRANSLATION
Then, after getting on the chariot given by Śukrācārya, Bali Mahārāja, decorated with a nice garland, put protective armor on his body, equipped himself with a bow, and took up a sword and a quiver of arrows. When he sat down on the seat of the chariot, his arms decorated with golden bangles and his ears with sapphire earrings, he shone like a worshipable fire.
TEXTS 10–11
tulyaiśvarya-bala-śrībhiḥ
sva-yūthair daitya-yūthapaiḥ
pibadbhir iva khaṁ dṛgbhir
dahadbhiḥ paridhīn iva
vṛto vikarṣan mahatīm
āsurīṁ dhvajinīṁ vibhuḥ
yayāv indra-purīṁ svṛddhāṁ
kampayann iva rodasī
SYNONYMS
tulya-aiśvarya—equal in opulence; bala—strength; śrībhiḥ—and in beauty; sva-yūthaiḥ—by his own men; daitya-yūtha-paiḥ—and by the chiefs of the demons; pibadbhiḥ—drinking; iva—as if; kham—the sky; dṛgbhiḥ—with the sight; dahadbhiḥ—burning; paridhīn—all directions; iva—as if; vṛtaḥ—surrounded; vikarṣan—attracting; mahatīm—very great; āsurīm—demoniac; dhvajinīm—soldiers; vibhuḥ—most powerful; yayau—went; indra-purīm—to the capital of King Indra; su-ṛddhām—very opulent; kampayan—causing to tremble; iva—as if; rodasī—the complete surface of the world.
TRANSLATION
When he assembled with his own soldiers and the demon chiefs, who were equal to him in strength, opulence and beauty, they appeared as if they would swallow the sky and burn all directions with their vision. After thus gathering the demoniac soldiers, Bali Mahārāja departed for the opulent capital of Indra. Indeed, he seemed to make the entire surface of the world tremble.
TEXT 12
ramyām upavanodyānaiḥ
śrīmadbhir nandanādibhiḥ
kūjad-vihaṅga-mithunair
gāyan-matta-madhuvrataiḥ
pravāla-phala-puṣporu-
bhāra-śākhāmara-drumaiḥ
SYNONYMS
ramyām—very pleasing; upavana—with orchards; udyānaiḥ—and gardens; śrīmadbhiḥ—very beautiful to see; nandana-ādibhiḥ—such as Nandana; kūjat—chirping; vihaṅga—birds; mithunaiḥ—with pairs; gāyat—singing; mattamad; madhu-vrataiḥ—with bees; pravāla—of leaves; phala-puṣpa—fruits and flowers; uru—very great; bhāra—bearing the weight; śākhā—whose branches; amara-drumaiḥ—with eternal trees.
TRANSLATION
King Indra’s city was full of pleasing orchards and gardens, such as the Nandana garden. Because of the weight of the flowers, leaves and fruit, the branches of the eternally existing trees were bending down. The gardens were visited by pairs of chirping birds and singing bees. The entire atmosphere was celestial.
TEXT 13
haṁsa-sārasa-cakrāhva-
kāraṇḍava-kulākulāḥ
nalinyo yatra krīḍanti
pramadāḥ sura-sevitāḥ
SYNONYMS
haṁsa—of swans; sārasa—cranes; cakrāhva—birds known as cakravākas; kāraṇḍava—and water fowl; kula—by groups; ākulāḥ—congested; nalinyaḥ—lotus flowers; yatra—where; krīḍanti—enjoyed sporting; pramadāḥ—beautiful women; sura-sevitāḥ—protected by the demigods.
TRANSLATION
Beautiful women protected by the demigods sported in the gardens, which had lotus ponds full of swans, cranes, cakravākas and ducks.
TEXT 14
ākāśa-gaṅgayā devyā
vṛtāṁ parikha-bhūtayā
prākāreṇāgni-varṇena
sāṭṭālenonnatena ca
SYNONYMS
ākāśa-gaṅgayā—by Ganges water known as Ākāśa-gaṅgā; devyā—the always-worshipable goddess; vṛtām—surrounded; parikha-bhūtayā—as a trench; prākāreṇa—by ramparts; agni-varṇena—resembling fire; sa-aṭṭālena—with places for fighting; unnatena—very high; ca—and.
TRANSLATION
The city was surrounded by trenches full of Ganges water, known as Ākāśa-gaṅgā, and by a high wall, which was the color of fire. Upon this wall were parapets for fighting.
TEXT 15
rukma-paṭṭa-kapāṭaiś ca
dvāraiḥ sphaṭika-gopuraiḥ
juṣṭāṁ vibhakta-prapathāṁ
viśvakarma-vinirmitām
SYNONYMS
rukma-paṭṭa—possessing plates made of gold; kapāṭaiḥ—the doors of which; ca—and; dvāraiḥ—with entrances; sphaṭika-gopuraiḥ—with gates made of excellent marble; juṣṭām—linked; vibhakta-prapathām—with many different public roads; viśvakarma-vinirmitām—constructed by Viśvakarmā, the heavenly architect.
TRANSLATION
The doors were made of solid gold plates, and the gates were of excellent marble. These were linked by various public roads. The entire city had been constructed by Viśvakarmā.
TEXT 16
sabhā-catvara-rathyāḍhyāṁ
vimānair nyarbudair yutām
śṛṅgāṭakair maṇimayair
vajra-vidruma-vedibhiḥ
SYNONYMS
sabhā—with assembly houses; catvara—courtyards; rathya—and public roads; āḍhyām—opulent; vimānaiḥ—by airplanes; nyarbudaiḥ—not less than ten crores (one hundred million); yutām—endowed; śṛṅga-āṭakaiḥ—with crossroads; maṇi-mayaiḥ—made of pearls; vajra—made of diamonds; vidruma—and coral; vedibhiḥ—with places to sit.
TRANSLATION
The city was full of courtyards, wide roads, assembly houses, and not less than one hundred million airplanes. The crossroads were made of pearl, and there were sitting places made of diamond and coral.
TEXT 17
yatra nitya-vayo-rūpāḥ
śyāmā viraja-vāsasaḥ
bhrājante rūpavan-nāryo
hy arcirbhir iva vahnayaḥ
SYNONYMS
yatra—in that city; nitya-vayaḥ-rūpāḥ—who were ever beautiful and young; śyāmāḥ—possessing the quality of śyāmā; viraja-vāsasaḥ—always dressed with clean garments; bhrājante—glitter; rūpa-vat—well decorated; nāryaḥ—women; hi—certainly; arcirbhiḥ—with many flames; iva—like; vahnayaḥ—fires.
TRANSLATION
Everlastingly beautiful and youthful women, who were dressed with clean garments, glittered in the city like fires with flames. They all possessed the quality of śyāmā.
PURPORT
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura gives a hint of the quality of the śyāmā woman.
A woman whose body is very warm during the winter and cool during the summer and who generally has very firm breasts is called śyāmā.
TEXT 18
sura-strī-keśa-vibhraṣṭa-
nava-saugandhika-srajām
yatrāmodam upādāya
mārga āvāti mārutaḥ
SYNONYMS
sura-strī—of the women of the demigods; keśa—from the hair; vibhraṣṭa—fallen; nava-saugandhika—made of fresh, fragrant flowers; srajām—of the flower garlands; yatra—wherein; āmodam—the fragrance; upādāya—carrying; mārge—on the roads; āvāti—blows; mārutaḥ—the breeze.
TRANSLATION
The breezes blowing in the streets of the city bore the fragrance of the flowers falling from the hair of the women of the demigods.
TEXT 19
hema-jālākṣa-nirgacchad-
dhūmenāguru-gandhinā
pāṇḍureṇa praticchanna-
mārge yānti sura-priyāḥ
SYNONYMS
hema-jāla-akṣa—from dainty little windows made of networks of gold; nirgacchat—emanating; dhūmena—by smoke; aguru-gandhinā—fragrant due to burning incense known as aguru; pāṇḍureṇa—very white; praticchanna—covered; mārge—on the street; yānti—pass; sura-priyāḥ—beautiful public women known as Apsarās, celestial girls.
TRANSLATION
Apsarās passed on the streets, which were covered with the white, fragrant smoke of aguru incense emanating from windows with golden filigree.
TEXT 20
muktā-vitānair maṇi-hema-ketubhir
nānā-patākā-valabhībhir āvṛtām
śikhaṇḍi-pārāvata-bhṛṅga-nāditāṁ
vaimānika-strī-kala-gīta-maṅgalām
SYNONYMS
muktā-vitānaiḥ—by canopies decorated with pearls; maṇi-hema-ketubhiḥ—with flags made with pearls and gold; nānā-patākā—possessing various kinds of flags; valabhībhiḥ—with the domes of the palaces; āvṛtām—covered; śikhaṇḍi—of birds like peacocks; pārāvata—pigeons; bhṛṅga—bees; nāditām—vibrated by the respective sounds; vaimānika—getting on airplanes; strī—of women; kala-gīta—from the choral singing; maṅgalām—full of auspiciousness.
TRANSLATION
The city was shaded by canopies decorated with pearls, and the domes of the palaces had flags of pearl and gold. The city always resounded with the vibrations of peacocks, pigeons and bees, and above the city flew airplanes full of beautiful women who constantly chanted auspicious songs that were very pleasing to the ear.
TEXT 21
mṛdaṅga-śaṅkhānaka-dundubhi-svanaiḥ
satāla-vīṇā-murajeṣṭa-veṇubhiḥ
nṛtyaiḥ savādyair upadeva-gītakair
manoramāṁ sva-prabhayā jita-prabhām
SYNONYMS
mṛdaṅga—of drums; śaṅkha—conchshells; ānaka-dundubhi—and kettledrums; svanaiḥ—by the sounds; sa-tāla—in perfect tune; vīṇā—a stringed instrument; muraja—a kind of drum; iṣṭa-veṇubhiḥ—accompanied by the very nice sound of the flute; nṛtyaiḥ—with dancing; sa-vādyaiḥ—with concert instruments; upadeva-gītakaiḥ—with singing by the secondary demigods like the Gandharvas; manoramām—beautiful and pleasing; sva-prabhayā—by its own brilliance; jita-prabhām—the personification of beauty was conquered.
TRANSLATION
The city was filled with the sounds of mṛdaṅgas, conchshells, kettledrums, flutes and well-tuned stringed instruments all playing in concert. There was constant dancing and the Gandharvas sang. The combined beauty of Indrapurī defeated beauty personified.
TEXT 22
yāṁ na vrajanty adharmiṣṭhāḥ
khalā bhūta-druhaḥ śaṭhāḥ
māninaḥ kāmino lubdhā
ebhir hīnā vrajanti yat
SYNONYMS
yām—in the streets of the city; na—not; vrajanti—pass; adharmiṣṭhāḥ—irreligious persons; khalāḥ—envious persons; bhūta-druhaḥ—persons violent toward other living entities; śaṭhāḥ—cheaters; māninaḥ—falsely prestigious; kāminaḥ—lusty; lubdhāḥ—greedy; ebhiḥ—these; hīnāḥ—completely devoid of; vrajanti—walk; yat—on the street.
TRANSLATION
No one who was sinful, envious, violent toward other living entities, cunning, falsely proud, lusty or greedy could enter that city. The people who lived there were all devoid of these faults.
TEXT 23
tāṁ deva-dhānīṁ sa varūthinī-patir
bahiḥ samantād rurudhe pṛtanyayā
ācārya-dattaṁ jalajaṁ mahā-svanaṁ
dadhmau prayuñjan bhayam indra-yoṣitām
SYNONYMS
tām—that; deva-dhānīm—place where Indra lived; saḥ—he (Bali Mahārāja); varūthinī-patiḥ—the commander of the soldiers; bahiḥ—outside; samantāt—in all directions; rurudhe—attacked; pṛtanyayā—by soldiers; ācārya-dattam—given by Śukrācārya; jala-jam—the conchshell; mahā-svanam—a loud sound; dadhmau—resounded; prayuñjan—creating; bhayam—fear; indra-yoṣitām—of all the ladies protected by Indra.
TRANSLATION
Bali Mahārāja, who was the commander of numberless soldiers, gathered his soldiers outside this abode of Indra and attacked it from all directions. He sounded the conchshell given him by his spiritual master, Śukrācārya, thus creating a fearful situation for the women protected by Indra.
TEXT 24
maghavāṁs tam abhipretya
baleḥ paramam udyamam
sarva-deva-gaṇopeto
gurum etad uvāca ha
SYNONYMS
maghavānIndra; tam—the situation; abhipretya—understanding; baleḥ—of Bali Mahārāja; paramam udyamam—great enthusiasm; sarva-deva-gaṇa—by all the demigods; upetaḥ—accompanied; gurum—unto the spiritual master; etat—the following words; uvāca—said; ha—indeed.
TRANSLATION
Seeing Bali Mahārāja’s indefatigable endeavor and understanding his motive, King Indra, along with the other demigods, approached his spiritual master, Bṛhaspati, and spoke as follows.
TEXT 25
bhagavann udyamo bhūyān
baler naḥ pūrva-vairiṇaḥ
aviṣahyam imaṁ manye
kenāsīt tejasorjitaḥ
SYNONYMS
bhagavan—O my lord; udyamaḥ—enthusiasm; bhūyān—great; baleḥ—of Bali Mahārāja; naḥ—our; pūrva-vairiṇaḥ—past enemy; aviṣahyam—unbearable; imam—this; manye—I think; kena—by whom; āsīt—got; tejasā—prowess; ūrjitaḥ—achieved.
TRANSLATION
My lord, our old enemy Bali Mahārāja now has new enthusiasm, and he has obtained such astonishing power that we think that perhaps we cannot resist his prowess.
TEXT 26
nainaṁ kaścit kuto vāpi
prativyoḍhum adhīśvaraḥ
pibann iva mukhenedaṁ
lihann iva diśo daśa
dahann iva diśo dṛgbhiḥ
saṁvartāgnir ivotthitaḥ
SYNONYMS
na—not; enam—this arrangement; kaścit—anyone; kutaḥ—from anywhere; api—either; prativyoḍhum—to counteract; adhīśvaraḥ—capable; piban iva—as if drinking; mukhena—by the mouth; idam—this (world); lihan iva—as if licking up; diśaḥ daśa—all ten directions; dahan iva—as if burning; diśaḥ—all directions; dṛgbhiḥ—by his vision; saṁvarta-agniḥ—the fire known as saṁvarta; iva—like; utthitaḥ—now arisen.
TRANSLATION
No one anywhere can counteract this military arrangement of Bali’s. It now appears that Bali is trying to drink up the entire universe with his mouth, lick up the ten directions with his tongue, and raise fire in every direction with his eyes. Indeed, he has arisen like the annihilating fire known as saṁvartaka.
TEXT 27
brūhi kāraṇam etasya
durdharṣatvasya mad-ripoḥ
ojaḥ saho balaṁ tejo
yata etat samudyamaḥ
SYNONYMS
brūhi—kindly inform us; kāraṇam—the cause; etasya—of all this; durdharṣatvasya—of the formidableness; mat-ripoḥ—of my enemy; ojaḥ—prowess; sahaḥ—energy; balam—strength; tejaḥ—influence; yataḥ—wherefrom; etat—all this; samudyamaḥ—endeavor.
TRANSLATION
Kindly inform me. What is the cause for Bali Mahārāja’s strength, endeavor, influence and victory? How has he become so enthusiastic?
TEXT 28
śrī-gurur uvāca
jānāmi maghavañ chatror
unnater asya kāraṇam
śiṣyāyopabhṛtaṁ tejo
bhṛgubhir brahma-vādibhiḥ
SYNONYMS
śrī-guruḥ uvācaBṛhaspati said; jānāmi—I know; maghavan—O Indra; śatroḥ—of the enemy; unnateḥ—of the elevation; asya—of him; kāraṇam—the cause; śiṣyāya—unto the disciple; upabhṛtam—endowed; tejaḥ—power; bhṛgubhiḥ—by the descendants of Bhṛgu; brahma-vādibhiḥ—all-powerful brāhmaṇas.
TRANSLATION
Bṛhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods, said: O Indra, I know the cause for your enemy’s becoming so powerful. The brāhmaṇa descendants of Bhṛgu Muni, being pleased by Bali Mahārāja, their disciple, endowed him with such extraordinary power.
PURPORT
Bṛhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods, informed Indra, “Ordinarily, Bali and his forces could not achieve such strength, but it appears that the brāhmaṇa descendants of Bhṛgu Muni, being pleased with Bali Mahārāja, endowed them with this spiritual power.” In other words, Bṛhaspati informed Indra that Bali Mahārāja’s prowess was not his own but that of his exalted guru, Śukrācārya. We sing in our daily prayers, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ’pi . By the pleasure of the spiritual master, one can get extraordinary power, especially in spiritual advancement. The blessings of the spiritual master are more powerful than one’s personal endeavor for such advancement. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura therefore says:
Especially for spiritual advancement, one should carry out the bona fide order of the spiritual master. By the paramparā system, one can thus be endowed with the original spiritual power coming from the Supreme Personality of Godhead (evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]).
TEXT 29
ojasvinaṁ baliṁ jetuṁ
na samartho ’sti kaścana
bhavad-vidho bhavān vāpi
varjayitveśvaraṁ harim
vijeṣyati na ko ’py enaṁ
brahma-tejaḥ-samedhitam
nāsya śaktaḥ puraḥ sthātuṁ
kṛtāntasya yathā janāḥ
SYNONYMS
ojasvinam—so powerful; balimBali Mahārāja; jetum—to conquer; na—not; samarthaḥ—able; asti—is; kaścana—anyone; bhavat-vidhaḥ—like you; bhavān—you yourself; api—either; varjayitvā—excepting; īśvaram—the supreme controller; harim—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vijeṣyati—will conquer; na—not; kaḥ api—anyone; enam—him (Bali Mahārāja); brahma-tejaḥ-samedhitam—now empowered with brahma-tejas, extraordinary spiritual power; na—not; asya—of him; śaktaḥ—is able; puraḥ—in front; sthātum—to stay; kṛta-antasya—of Yamarāja; yathā—as; janāḥ—people.
TRANSLATION
Neither you nor your men can conquer the most powerful Bali. Indeed, no one but the Supreme Personality of Godhead can conquer him, for he is now equipped with the supreme spiritual power [brahma-tejas]. As no one can stand before Yamarāja, no one can now stand before Bali Mahārāja.
TEXT 30
tasmān nilayam utsṛjya
yūyaṁ sarve tri-viṣṭapam
yāta kālaṁ pratīkṣanto
yataḥ śatror viparyayaḥ
SYNONYMS
tasmāt—therefore; nilayam—not visible; utsṛjya—giving up; yūyam—you; sarve—all; tri-viṣṭapam—the heavenly kingdom; yāta—go somewhere else; kālam—time; pratīkṣantaḥ—waiting for; yataḥ—whereof; śatroḥ—of your enemy; viparyayaḥ—the reverse condition arrives.
TRANSLATION
Therefore, waiting until the situation of your enemies is reversed, you should all leave this heavenly planet and go elsewhere, where you will not be seen.
TEXT 31
eṣa vipra-balodarkaḥ
sampraty ūrjita-vikramaḥ
teṣām evāpamānena
sānubandho vinaṅkṣyati
SYNONYMS
eṣaḥ—this (Bali Mahārāja); vipra-bala-udarkaḥ—flourishing because of the brahminical power invested in him; samprati—at the present moment; ūrjita-vikramaḥ—extremely powerful; teṣām—of the same brāhmaṇas; eva—indeed; apamānena—by insult; sa-anubandhaḥ—with friends and assistants; vinaṅkṣyati—will be vanquished.
TRANSLATION
Bali Mahārāja has now become extremely powerful because of the benedictions given him by the brāhmaṇas, but when he later insults the brāhmaṇas, he will be vanquished, along with his friends and assistants.
PURPORT
Bali Mahārāja and Indra were enemies. Therefore, when Bṛhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods, predicted that Bali Mahārāja would be vanquished when he insulted the brāhmaṇas by whose grace he had become so powerful, Bali Mahārāja’s enemies were naturally anxious to know when that opportune moment would come. To pacify King Indra, Bṛhaspati assured him that the time would certainly come, for Bṛhaspati could see that in the future Bali Mahārāja would defy the orders of Śukrācārya in order to pacify Lord Viṣṇu, Vāmanadeva. Of course, to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one can take all risks. To please Vāmanadeva, Bali Mahārāja risked defying the orders of his spiritual master, Śukrācārya. Because of this, he would lose all his property, yet because of devotional service to the Lord, he would get more than he expected, and in the future, in the eighth manvantara, he would occupy the throne of Indra again.
TEXT 32
evaṁ sumantritārthās te
guruṇārthānudarśinā
hitvā tri-viṣṭapaṁ jagmur
gīrvāṇāḥ kāma-rūpiṇaḥ
SYNONYMS
evam—thus; su-mantrita—being well advised; arthāḥ—about duties; te—they (the demigods); guruṇā—by their spiritual master; artha-anudarśinā—whose instructions were quite befitting; hitvā—giving up; tri-viṣṭapam—the heavenly kingdom; jagmuḥ—went; gīrvāṇāḥ—the demigods; kāma-rūpiṇaḥ—who could assume any form they liked.
TRANSLATION
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: The demigods, being thus advised by Bṛhaspati for their benefit, immediately accepted his words. Assuming forms according to their desire, they left the heavenly kingdom and scattered, without being observed by the demons.
PURPORT
The word kāma-rūpiṇaḥ indicates that the demigods, the inhabitants of the heavenly planets, can assume any form they desire. Thus it was not at all difficult for them to remain incognito before the eyes of the demons.
TEXT 33
deveṣv atha nilīneṣu
balir vairocanaḥ purīm
deva-dhānīm adhiṣṭhāya
vaśaṁ ninye jagat-trayam
SYNONYMS
deveṣu—all the demigods; atha—in this way; nilīneṣu—when they disappeared; baliḥBali Mahārāja; vairocanaḥ—the son of Virocana; purīm—the heavenly kingdom; deva-dhānīm—the residence of the demigods; adhiṣṭhāya—taking possession of; vaśam—under control; ninye—brought; jagat-trayam—the three worlds.
TRANSLATION
When the demigods had disappeared, Bali Mahārāja, the son of Virocana, entered the heavenly kingdom, and from there he brought the three worlds under his control.
TEXT 34
taṁ viśva-jayinaṁ śiṣyaṁ
bhṛgavaḥ śiṣya-vatsalāḥ
śatena hayamedhānām
anuvratam ayājayan
SYNONYMS
tam—unto him (Bali Mahārāja); viśva-jayinam—the conqueror of the entire universe; śiṣyam—because of his being a disciple; bhṛgavaḥ—the brāhmaṇas, descendants of Bhṛgu like Śukrācārya; śiṣya-vatsalāḥ—being very pleased with the disciple; śatena—by one hundred; haya-medhānām—sacrifices known as aśvamedha; anuvratam—following the instruction of the brāhmaṇas; ayājayan—caused to execute.
TRANSLATION
The brāhmaṇa descendants of Bhṛgu, being very pleased with their disciple, who had conquered the entire universe, now engaged him in performing one hundred aśvamedha sacrifices.
PURPORT
We have seen in the dispute between Mahārāja Pṛthu and Indra that when Mahārāja Pṛthu wanted to perform one hundred aśvamedha-yajñas, Indra wanted to impede him, for it is because of such great sacrifices that Indra was made King of heaven. Here the brāhmaṇa descendants of Bhṛgu decided that although Mahārāja Bali was situated on the throne of Indra, he would not be able to stay there unless he performed such sacrifices. Therefore they advised Mahārāja Bali to perform at least as many aśvamedha-yajñas as Indra. The word ayājayan indicates that all the brāhmaṇas induced Bali Mahārāja to perform such sacrifices.
TEXT 35
tatas tad-anubhāvena
bhuvana-traya-viśrutām
kīrtiṁ dikṣu-vitanvānaḥ
sa reja uḍurāḍ iva
SYNONYMS
tataḥ—thereafter; tat-anubhāvena—because of performing such great sacrifices; bhuvana-traya—throughout the three worlds; viśrutām—celebrated; kīrtim—reputation; dikṣu—in all directions; vitanvānaḥ—spreading; saḥ—he (Bali Mahārāja); reje—became effulgent; uḍurāṭ—the moon; iva—like.
TRANSLATION
When Bali Mahārāja performed these sacrifices, he gained a great reputation in all directions, throughout the three worlds. Thus he shone in his position, like the brilliant moon in the sky.
TEXT 36
bubhuje ca śriyaṁ svṛddhāṁ
dvija-devopalambhitām
kṛta-kṛtyam ivātmānaṁ
manyamāno mahāmanāḥ
SYNONYMS
bubhuje—enjoyed; ca—also; śriyam—opulence; su-ṛddhām—prosperity; dvija—of the brāhmaṇas; deva—as good as the demigods; upalambhitām—achieved because of the favor; kṛta-kṛtyam—very satisfied by his activities; iva—like that; ātmānam—himself; manyamānaḥ—thinking; mahā-manāḥ—the great-minded.
TRANSLATION
Because of the favor of the brāhmaṇas, the great soul Bali Mahārāja, thinking himself very satisfied, became very opulent and prosperous and began to enjoy the kingdom.
PURPORT
The brāhmaṇas are called dvija-deva, and kṣatriyas are generally called nara-deva. The word deva actually refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The brāhmaṇas guide human society in becoming happy by satisfying Lord Viṣṇu, and according to their advice, the kṣatriyas, who are called nara-deva, keep law and order so that other people, namely the vaiśyas and śūdras, may properly follow regulative principles. In this way, people are gradually elevated to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Fifteenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Bali Mahārāja Conquers the Heavenly Planets.”

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