Chapter Eighteen
Lord Vāmanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation
This chapter describes how Lord Vāmanadeva appeared and how He went to the sacrificial arena of Mahārāja Bali, who received Him well and fulfilled His desire by offering Him benedictions.
Lord Vāmanadeva appeared in this world from the womb of Aditi completely equipped with conchshell, disc, club and lotus. His bodily hue was blackish, and He was dressed in yellow garments. Lord Viṣṇu appeared at an auspicious moment on Śravaṇa-dvādaśī when the Abhijit star had arisen. At that time, in all the three worlds (including the higher planetary system, outer space and this earth), all the demigods, the cows, the brāhmaṇas and even the seasons were happy because of God’s appearance. Therefore this auspicious day is called Vijayā. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has a sac-cid-ānanda body, appeared as the son of Kaśyapa and Aditi, both of His parents were very astonished. After His appearance, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf (Vāmana). All the great sages expressed their jubilation, and with Kaśyapa Muni before them they performed the birthday ceremony of Lord Vāmana. At the time of Lord Vāmanadeva’s sacred thread ceremony, He was honored by the sun-god, Bṛhaspati, the goddess presiding over the planet earth, the deity of the heavenly planets, His mother, Lord Brahmā, Kuvera, the seven ṛṣis and others. Lord Vāmanadeva then visited the sacrificial arena on the northern side of the Narmadā River, at the field known as Bhṛgukaccha, where brāhmaṇas of the Bhṛgu dynasty were performing yajñas. Wearing a belt made of muñja straw, an upper garment of deerskin and a sacred thread and carrying in His hands a daṇḍa, an umbrella and a waterpot (kamaṇḍalu), Lord Vāmanadeva appeared in the sacrificial arena of Mahārāja Bali. Because of His transcendentally effulgent presence, all the priests were diminished in their prowess, and thus they all stood from their seats and offered prayers to Lord Vāmanadeva. Even Lord Śiva accepts on his head the Ganges water generated from the toe of Lord Vāmanadeva. Therefore, after washing the Lord’s feet, Bali Mahārāja immediately accepted the water from the Lord’s feet on his head and felt that he and his predecessors had certainly been glorified. Then Bali Mahārāja inquired of Lord Vāmanadeva’s welfare and requested the Lord to ask him for money, jewels or anything He might desire.
TEXT 1
śrī-śuka uvāca
itthaṁ viriñca-stuta-karma-vīryaḥ
prādurbabhūvāmṛta-bhūr adityām
catur-bhujaḥ śaṅkha-gadābja-cakraḥ
piśaṅga-vāsā nalināyatekṣaṇaḥ
SYNONYMS
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; ittham—in this way; viriñca-stuta-karma-vīryaḥ—the Personality of Godhead, whose activities and prowess are always praised by Lord Brahmā; prādurbabhūva—became manifested; amṛta-bhūḥ—whose appearance is always deathless; adityām—from the womb of Aditi; catuḥ-bhujaḥ—having four arms; śaṅkha-gadā-abja-cakraḥ—decorated with conchshell, club, lotus and disc; piśaṅga-vāsāḥ—dressed in yellow garments; nalina-āyata-īkṣaṇaḥ—having blooming eyes like the petals of a lotus.
TRANSLATION
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: After Lord Brahmā had thus spoken, glorifying the Supreme Lord’s activities and prowess, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is never subject to death like an ordinary living being, appeared from the womb of Aditi. His four hands were decorated with a conchshell, club, lotus and disc, He was dressed in yellow garments, and His eyes appeared like the petals of a blooming lotus.
PURPORT
The word amṛta-bhūḥ is significant in this verse. The Lord sometimes appears like an ordinary child taking birth, but this does not mean that He is subject to birth, death or old age. One must be very intelligent to understand the appearance and activities of the Supreme Lord in His incarnations. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (4.9): janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ. One should try to understand that the Lord’s appearance and disappearance and His activities are all divyam, or transcendental. The Lord has nothing to do with material activities. One who understands the appearance, disappearance and activities of the Lord is immediately liberated. After giving up his body, he never again has to accept a material body, but is transferred to the spiritual world (tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna [Bg. 4.9]).
TEXT 2
śyāmāvadāto jhaṣa-rāja-kuṇḍala-
tviṣollasac-chrī-vadanāmbujaḥ pumān
śrīvatsa-vakṣā balayāṅgadollasat-
kirīṭa-kāñcī-guṇa-cāru-nūpuraḥ
SYNONYMS
śyāma-avadātaḥ—whose body is blackish and free from inebriety; jhaṣa-rāja-kuṇḍala—of the two earrings, made in the shape of sharks; tviṣā—by the luster; ullasat—dazzling; śrī-vadana-ambujaḥ—having a beautiful lotus face; pumān—the Supreme Person; śrīvatsa-vakṣāḥ—with the mark of Śrīvatsa on His bosom; balaya—bracelets; aṅgada—arm bands; ullasat—dazzling; kirīṭa—helmet; kāñcī—belt; guṇa—sacred thread; cāru—beautiful; nūpuraḥ—ankle bells.
TRANSLATION
The body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, blackish in complexion, was free from all inebrieties. His lotus face, decorated with earrings resembling sharks, appeared very beautiful, and on His bosom was the mark of Śrīvatsa. He wore bangles on His wrists, armlets on His arms, a helmet on His head, a belt on His waist, a sacred thread across His chest, and ankle bells decorating His lotus feet.
TEXT 3
madhu-vrata-vrāta-vighuṣṭayā svayā
virājitaḥ śrī-vanamālayā hariḥ
prajāpater veśma-tamaḥ svarociṣā
vināśayan kaṇṭha-niviṣṭa-kaustubhaḥ
SYNONYMS
madhu-vrata—of bees always hankering for honey; vrāta—with a bunch; vighuṣṭayā—resounding; svayā—uncommon; virājitaḥ—situated; śrī—beautiful; vana-mālayā—with a flower garland; hariḥ—the Supreme Lord; prajāpateḥ—of Kaśyapa Muni, the Prajāpati; veśma-tamaḥ—the darkness of the house; sva-rociṣā—by His own effulgence; vināśayan—vanquishing; kaṇṭha—on the neck; niviṣṭa—worn; kaustubhaḥ—the Kaustubha gem.
TRANSLATION
An uncommonly beautiful garland of flowers decorated His bosom, and because the flowers were extremely fragrant, a large group of bees, making their natural humming sounds, invaded them for honey. When the Lord appeared, wearing the Kaustubha gem on His neck, His effulgence vanquished the darkness in the home of the Prajāpati Kaśyapa.
TEXT 4
diśaḥ praseduḥ salilāśayās tadā
prajāḥ prahṛṣṭā ṛtavo guṇānvitāḥ
dyaur antarīkṣaṁ kṣitir agni-jihvā
gāvo dvijāḥ sañjahṛṣur nagāś ca
SYNONYMS
diśaḥ—all directions; praseduḥ—became happy; salila—of water; āśayāḥ—the reservoirs; tadā—at that time; prajāḥ—all living entities; prahṛṣṭāḥ—very happy; ṛtavaḥ—the seasons; guṇa-anvitāḥ—full of their respective qualities; dyauḥ—the upper planetary system; antarīkṣam—outer space; kṣitiḥ—the surface of the earth; agni-jihvāḥ—the demigods; gāvaḥ—the cows; dvijāḥ—the brāhmaṇas; sañjahṛṣuḥ—all became happy; nagāḥ ca—and the mountains.
TRANSLATION
At that time, there was happiness in all directions, in the reservoirs of water like the rivers and oceans, and in the core of everyone’s heart. The various seasons displayed their respective qualities, and all living entities in the upper planetary system, in outer space and on the surface of the earth were jubilant. The demigods, the cows, the brāhmaṇas and the hills and mountains were all filled with joy.
TEXT 5
śroṇāyāṁ śravaṇa-dvādaśyāṁ
muhūrte ’bhijiti prabhuḥ
sarve nakṣatra-tārādyāś
cakrus taj-janma dakṣiṇam
SYNONYMS
śroṇāyām—when the moon was situated in the Śravaṇa lunar mansion; śravaṇa-dvādaśyām—on the twelfth lunar day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhādra, the day famous as the Śravaṇa-dvādaśī; muhūrte—in the auspicious moment; abhijiti—in the first portion of the Śravaṇa lunar mansion known as the Abhijit-nakṣatra and in the Abhijit-muhūrta (occurring at midday); prabhuḥ—the Lord; sarve—all; nakṣatra—stars; tārā—planets; ādyāḥ—beginning with the sun and followed by the other planets; cakruḥ—made; tat-janma—the birthday of the Lord; dakṣiṇam—very munificent.
TRANSLATION
On the day of Śravaṇa-dvādaśī [the twelfth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhādra], when the moon came into the lunar mansion Śravaṇa, at the auspicious moment of Abhijit, the Lord appeared in this universe. Considering the Lord’s appearance very auspicious, all the stars and planets, from the sun to Saturn, were munificently charitable.
PURPORT
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, an expert astrologer, explains the word nakṣatra-tārādyāḥ. The word nakṣatra means “the stars,” the word tāra in this context refers to the planets, and ādyāḥ means “the first one specifically mentioned.” Among the planets, the first is Sūrya, the sun, not the moon. Therefore, according to the Vedic version, the modern astronomer’s proposition that the moon is nearest to the earth should not be accepted. The chronological order in which people all over the world refer to the days of the week—Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday—corresponds to the Vedic order of the planets and thus circumstantiates the Vedic version. Apart from this, when the Lord appeared the planets and stars became situated very auspiciously, according to astrological calculations, to celebrate the birth of the Lord.
TEXT 6
dvādaśyāṁ savitātiṣṭhan
madhyandina-gato nṛpa
vijayā-nāma sā proktā
yasyāṁ janma vidur hareḥ
SYNONYMS
dvādaśyām—on the twelfth day of the moon; savitā—the sun; atiṣṭhat—was staying; madhyam-dina-gataḥ—on the meridian; nṛpa—O King; vijayā-nāma—by the name Vijayā; —that day; proktā—is called; yasyām—on which; janma—the appearance; viduḥ—they know; hareḥ—of Lord Hari.
TRANSLATION
O King, when the Lord appeared—on dvādaśī, the twelfth day of the moon—the sun was at the meridian, as every learned scholar knows. This dvādaśī is called Vijayā.
TEXT 7
śaṅkha-dundubhayo nedur
mṛdaṅga-paṇavānakāḥ
citra-vāditra-tūryāṇāṁ
nirghoṣas tumulo ’bhavat
SYNONYMS
śaṅkha—conchshells; dundubhayaḥ—kettledrums; neduḥ—vibrated; mṛdaṅga—drums; paṇava-ānakāḥ—drums named paṇavas and ānakas; citra—various; vāditra—of these vibrations of musical sound; tūryāṇām—and of other instruments; nirghoṣaḥ—the loud sound; tumulaḥ—tumultuous; abhavat—became.
TRANSLATION
Conchshells, kettledrums, drums, paṇavas and ānakas vibrated in concert. The sound of these and various other instruments was tumultuous.
TEXT 8
prītāś cāpsaraso ’nṛtyan
gandharva-pravarā jaguḥ
tuṣṭuvur munayo devā
manavaḥ pitaro ’gnayaḥ
SYNONYMS
prītāḥ—being very pleased; ca—also; apsarasaḥ—the celestial dancing girls; anṛtyan—danced; gandharva-pravarāḥ—the best of the Gandharvas; jaguḥ—sang; tuṣṭuvuḥ—satisfied the Lord by offering prayers; munayaḥ—the great sages; devāḥ—the demigods; manavaḥ—the Manus; pitaraḥ—the inhabitants of Pitṛloka; agnayaḥ—the fire-gods.
TRANSLATION
Being very pleased, the celestial dancing girls [Apsarās] danced in jubilation, the best of the Gandharvas sang songs, and the great sages, demigods, Manus, Pitās and fire-gods offered prayers to satisfy the Lord.
TEXTS 9–10
siddha-vidyādhara-gaṇāḥ
sakimpuruṣa-kinnarāḥ
cāraṇā yakṣa-rakṣāṁsi
suparṇā bhujagottamāḥ
gāyanto ’tipraśaṁsanto
nṛtyanto vibudhānugāḥ
adityā āśrama-padaṁ
kusumaiḥ samavākiran
SYNONYMS
siddha—the inhabitants of Siddhaloka; vidyādhara-gaṇāḥ—the inhabitants of Vidyādhara-loka; sa—with; kimpuruṣa—the inhabitants of Kimpuruṣa-loka; kinnarāḥ—the inhabitants of Kinnaraloka; cāraṇāḥ—the inhabitants of Cāraṇaloka; yakṣa—the Yakṣas; rakṣāṁsi—the Rākṣasas; suparṇāḥ—the Suparṇas; bhujaga-uttamāḥ—the best of the inhabitants of the serpent loka; gāyantaḥ—glorifying the Lord; ati-praśaṁsantaḥ—praising the Lord; nṛtyantaḥ—dancing; vibudhānugāḥ—the followers of the demigods; adityāḥ—of Aditi; āśrama-padam—the place of residence; kusumaiḥ—by flowers; samavākiran—covered.
TRANSLATION
The Siddhas, Vidyādharas, Kimpuruṣas, Kinnaras, Cāraṇas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, Suparṇas, the best of serpents, and the followers of the demigods all showered flowers on Aditi’s residence, covering the entire house, while glorifying and praising the Lord and dancing.
TEXT 11
dṛṣṭvāditis taṁ nija-garbha-sambhavaṁ
paraṁ pumāṁsaṁ mudam āpa vismitā
gṛhīta-dehaṁ nija-yoga-māyayā
prajāpatiś cāha jayeti vismitaḥ
SYNONYMS
dṛṣṭvā—seeing; aditiḥ—mother Aditi; tam—Him (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); nija-garbha-sambhavam—born of her own womb; param—the Supreme; pumāṁsam—the Personality of Godhead; mudam—great happiness; āpa—conceived; vismitā—being very much astonished; gṛhīta—accepted; deham—body, or transcendental form; nija-yoga-māyayā—by His own spiritual potency; prajāpatiḥKaśyapa Muni; ca—also; āha—said; jaya—all glories; iti—thus; vismitaḥ—being astonished.
TRANSLATION
When Aditi saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had appeared from her own womb, having accepted a transcendental body by His own spiritual potency, she was struck with wonder and was very happy. Upon seeing the child, Prajāpati Kaśyapa exclaimed, “Jaya! Jaya!” in great happiness and wonder.
TEXT 12
yat tad vapur bhāti vibhūṣaṇāyudhair
avyakta-cid-vyaktam adhārayad dhariḥ
babhūva tenaiva sa vāmano vaṭuḥ
sampaśyator divya-gatir yathā naṭaḥ
SYNONYMS
yat—which; tat—that; vapuḥ—transcendental body; bhāti—manifests; vibhūṣaṇa—with regular ornaments; āyudhaiḥ—and with weapons; avyakta—unmanifested; cit-vyaktam—spiritually manifested; adhārayat—assumed; hariḥ—the Lord; babhūva—immediately became; tena—with that; eva—certainly; saḥ—He (the Lord); vāmanaḥ—dwarf; vaṭuḥ—a brāhmaṇa brahmacārī; sampaśyatoḥ—while both His father and mother were seeing; divya-gatiḥ—whose movements are wonderful; yathā—as; naṭaḥ—a theatrical actor.
TRANSLATION
The Lord appeared in His original form, with ornaments and weapons in His hands. Although this ever-existing form is not visible in the material world, He nonetheless appeared in this form. Then, in the presence of His father and mother, He assumed the form of Vāmana, a brāhmaṇa-dwarf, a brahmacārī, just like a theatrical actor.
PURPORT
The word naṭaḥ is significant. An actor changes dress to play different parts, but is always the same man. Similarly, as described in the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.33, 39), the Lord assumes many thousands and millions of forms (advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣam). He is always present with innumerable incarnations (rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā-niyamena tiṣṭhan nānāvatāram akarod bhuvaneṣu kintu [Bs. 5.39]). Nonetheless, although He appears in various incarnations, they are not different from one another. He is the same person, with the same potency, the same eternity and the same spiritual existence, but He can simultaneously assume various forms. When Vāmanadeva appeared from the womb of His mother, He appeared in the form of Nārāyaṇa, with four hands equipped with the necessary symbolic weapons, and then immediately transformed Himself into a brahmacārī (vaṭu). This means that His body is not material. One who thinks that the Supreme Lord assumes a material body is not intelligent. He has to learn more about the Lord’s position. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (4.9), janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ. One has to understand the transcendental appearance of the Lord in His original transcendental body (sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]).
TEXT 13
taṁ vaṭuṁ vāmanaṁ dṛṣṭvā
modamānā maharṣayaḥ
karmāṇi kārayām āsuḥ
puraskṛtya prajāpatim
SYNONYMS
tam—Him; vaṭum—the brahmacārī; vāmanam—dwarf; dṛṣṭvā—seeing; modamānāḥ—in a happy mood; mahā-ṛṣayaḥ—the great saintly persons; karmāṇi—ritualistic ceremonies; kārayām āsuḥ—performed; puraskṛtya—keeping in front; prajāpatimKaśyapa Muni, the Prajāpati.
TRANSLATION
When the great sages saw the Lord as the brahmacārī-dwarf Vāmana, they were certainly very pleased. Thus they placed before them Kaśyapa Muni, the Prajāpati, and performed all the ritualistic ceremonies, such as the birthday ceremony.
PURPORT
According to Vedic civilization, when a child is born in the family of a brāhmaṇa, the birthday ceremony, known as jāta-karma, is first performed, and then other ceremonies are also gradually performed. But when this vāmana-rūpa appeared in the form of a vaṭu, or brahmacārī, His sacred thread ceremony was also performed immediately.
TEXT 14
tasyopanīyamānasya
sāvitrīṁ savitābravīt
bṛhaspatir brahma-sūtraṁ
mekhalāṁ kaśyapo ’dadāt
SYNONYMS
tasya—of Lord Vāmanadeva; upanīyamānasya—at the time of His being offered the sacred thread ceremony; sāvitrīm—the Gāyatrī mantra; savitā—the sun-god; abravīt—chanted; bṛhaspatiḥBṛhaspati, the guru of the demigods; brahma-sūtram—the sacred thread; mekhalām—the belt of straw; kaśyapaḥKaśyapa Muni; adadāt—offered.
TRANSLATION
At the sacred thread ceremony of Vāmanadeva, the sun-god personally uttered the Gāyatrī mantra, Bṛhaspati offered the sacred thread, and Kaśyapa Muni offered a straw belt.
TEXT 15
dadau kṛṣṇājinaṁ bhūmir
daṇḍaṁ somo vanaspatiḥ
kaupīnācchādanaṁ mātā
dyauś chatraṁ jagataḥ pateḥ
SYNONYMS
dadau—gave, offered; kṛṣṇa-ajinam—the skin of a deer; bhūmiḥ—mother earth; daṇḍam—a brahmacārī’s rod; somaḥ—the moon-god; vanaḥ-patiḥ—the king of the forest; kaupīna—the underwear; ācchādanam—covering the body; mātā—His mother, Aditi; dyauḥ—the heavenly kingdom; chatram—an umbrella; jagataḥ—of the whole universe; pateḥ—of the master.
TRANSLATION
Mother earth gave Him a deerskin, and the demigod of the moon, who is the king of the forest, gave Him a brahma-daṇḍa [the rod of a brahmacārī]. His mother, Aditi, gave Him cloth for underwear, and the deity presiding over the heavenly kingdom offered Him an umbrella.
TEXT 16
kamaṇḍaluṁ veda-garbhaḥ
kuśān saptarṣayo daduḥ
akṣa-mālāṁ mahārāja
sarasvaty avyayātmanaḥ
SYNONYMS
kamaṇḍalum—a waterpot; veda-garbhaḥ—Lord Brahmā; kuśānkuśa grass; sapta-ṛṣayaḥ—the seven sages; daduḥ—offered; akṣa-mālām—a string of Rudrākṣa beads; mahārāja—O King; sarasvatī—the goddess Sarasvatī; avyaya-ātmanaḥ—to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
TRANSLATION
O King, Lord Brahmā offered a waterpot to the inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead, the seven sages offered Him kuśa grass, and mother Sarasvatī gave Him a string of Rudrākṣa beads.
TEXT 17
tasmā ity upanītāya
yakṣa-rāṭ pātrikām adāt
bhikṣāṁ bhagavatī sākṣād
umādād ambikā satī
SYNONYMS
tasmai—unto Him (Lord Vāmanadeva); iti—in this way; upanītāya—who had undergone His sacred thread ceremony; yakṣa-rāṭKuvera, the treasurer of heaven and King of the Yakṣas; pātrikām—a pot for begging alms; adāt—delivered; bhikṣām—alms; bhagavatī—mother Bhavānī, the wife of Lord Śiva; sākṣāt—directly; umāUmā; adāt—gave; ambikā—the mother of the universe; satī—the chaste.
TRANSLATION
When Vāmanadeva had thus been given the sacred thread, Kuvera, King of the Yakṣas, gave Him a pot for begging alms, and mother Bhagavatī, the wife of Lord Śiva and most chaste mother of the entire universe, gave Him His first alms.
TEXT 18
sa brahma-varcasenaivaṁ
sabhāṁ sambhāvito vaṭuḥ
brahmarṣi-gaṇa-sañjuṣṭām
atyarocata māriṣaḥ
SYNONYMS
saḥ—He (Vāmanadeva); brahma-varcasena—by His Brahman effulgence; evam—in this way; sabhām—the assembly; sambhāvitaḥ—having been welcomed by everyone; vaṭuḥ—the brahmacārī; brahma-ṛṣi-gaṇa-sañjuṣṭām—filled with great brāhmaṇa sages; ati-arocata—surpassing, appeared beautiful; māriṣaḥ—the best of the brahmacārīs.
TRANSLATION
Having thus been welcomed by everyone, Lord Vāmanadeva, the best of the brahmacārīs, exhibited His Brahman effulgence. Thus He surpassed in beauty that entire assembly, which was filled with great saintly brāhmaṇas.
TEXT 19
samiddham āhitaṁ vahniṁ
kṛtvā parisamūhanam
paristīrya samabhyarcya
samidbhir ajuhod dvijaḥ
SYNONYMS
samiddham—blazing; āhitam—being situated; vahnim—the fire; kṛtvā—after making; parisamūhanam—properly; paristīrya—surpassing; samabhyarcya—after offering worship; samidbhiḥ—with sacrificial offerings; ajuhot—completed the fire sacrifice; dvijaḥ—the best of the brāhmaṇas.
TRANSLATION
After Lord Śrī Vāmanadeva set a sacrificial fire, He offered worship and performed a fire sacrifice on the sacrificial field.
TEXT 20
śrutvāśvamedhair yajamānam ūrjitaṁ
baliṁ bhṛgūṇām upakalpitais tataḥ
jagāma tatrākhila-sāra-sambhṛto
bhāreṇa gāṁ sannamayan pade pade
SYNONYMS
śrutvā—after hearing; aśvamedhaiḥ—by aśvamedha sacrifices; yajamānam—the performer; ūrjitam—very glorious; balimBali Mahārāja; bhṛgūṇām—under the guidance of the brāhmaṇas born in the Bhṛgu dynasty; upakalpitaiḥ—performed; tataḥ—from that place; jagāma—went; tatra—there; akhila-sāra-sambhṛtaḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the essence of all creation; bhāreṇa—with the weight; gām—the earth; sannamayan—depressing; pade pade—at every step.
TRANSLATION
When the Lord heard that Bali Mahārāja was performing aśvamedha sacrifices under the patronage of brāhmaṇas belonging to the Bhṛgu dynasty, the Supreme Lord, who is full in every respect, proceeded there to show His mercy to Bali Mahārāja. By His weight, He pushed down the earth with every step.
PURPORT
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is akhila-sāra-sambhṛta. In other words, He is the proprietor of everything essential in this material world. Thus although the Lord was going to Bali Mahārāja to beg something, He is always complete and has nothing to beg from anyone. Indeed, He is so powerful that in His full opulence He pressed down the surface of the earth at every step.
TEXT 21
taṁ narmadāyās taṭa uttare baler
ya ṛtvijas te bhṛgukaccha-saṁjñake
pravartayanto bhṛgavaḥ kratūttamaṁ
vyacakṣatārād uditaṁ yathā ravim
SYNONYMS
tam—Him (Vāmanadeva); narmadāyāḥ—of the River Narmadā; taṭe—on the bank; uttare—northern; baleḥ—of Mahārāja Bali; ye—who; ṛtvijaḥ—the priests engaged in ritualistic ceremonies; te—all of them; bhṛgukaccha-saṁjñake—in the field named Bhṛgukaccha; pravartayantaḥ—performing; bhṛgavaḥ—all the descendants of Bhṛgu; kratu-uttamam—the most important sacrifice, named aśvamedha; vyacakṣata—they observed; ārāt—nearby; uditam—risen; yathā—like; ravim—the sun.
TRANSLATION
While engaged in performing the sacrifice in the field known as Bhṛgukaccha, on the northern bank of the Narmadā River, the brahminical priests, the descendants of Bhṛgu, saw Vāmanadeva to be like the sun rising nearby.
TEXT 22
te ṛtvijo yajamānaḥ sadasyā
hata-tviṣo vāmana-tejasā nṛpa
sūryaḥ kilāyāty uta vā vibhāvasuḥ
sanat-kumāro ’tha didṛkṣayā kratoḥ
SYNONYMS
te—all of them; ṛtvijaḥ—the priests; yajamānaḥ—as well as Bali Mahārāja, who had engaged them in performing the yajña; sadasyāḥ—all the members of the assembly; hata-tviṣaḥ—decreased in their bodily effulgence; vāmana-tejasā—by the brilliant effulgence of Lord Vāmana; nṛpa—O King; sūryaḥ—the sun; kila—whether; āyāti—is coming; uta —either; vibhāvasuḥ—the fire-god; sanat-kumāraḥ—the Kumāra known as Sanat-kumāra; atha—either; didṛkṣayā—with a desire to observe; kratoḥ—the sacrificial ceremony.
TRANSLATION
O King, because of Vāmanadeva’s bright effulgence, the priests, along with Bali Mahārāja and all the members of the assembly, were robbed of their splendor. Thus they began to ask one another whether the sun-god himself, Sanat-kumāra or the fire-god had personally come to see the sacrificial ceremony.
TEXT 23
itthaṁ saśiṣyeṣu bhṛguṣv anekadhā
vitarkyamāṇo bhagavān sa vāmanaḥ
chatraṁ sadaṇḍaṁ sajalaṁ kamaṇḍaluṁ
viveśa bibhrad dhayamedha-vāṭam
SYNONYMS
ittham—in this way; sa-śiṣyeṣu—with their disciples; bhṛguṣu—among the Bhṛgus; anekadhā—in many ways; vitarkyamāṇaḥ—being talked and argued about; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; saḥ—that; vāmanaḥ—Lord Vāmana; chatram—umbrella; sadaṇḍam—with the rod; sa-jalam—filled with water; kamaṇḍalum—waterpot; viveśa—entered; bibhrat—taking in hand; hayamedha—of the aśvamedha sacrifice; vāṭam—the arena.
TRANSLATION
While the priests of the Bhṛgu dynasty and their disciples talked and argued in various ways, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāmanadeva, holding in His hands the rod, the umbrella and a waterpot full of water, entered the arena of the aśvamedha sacrifice.
TEXTS 24–25
mauñjyā mekhalayā vītam
upavītājinottaram
jaṭilaṁ vāmanaṁ vipraṁ
māyā-māṇavakaṁ harim
praviṣṭaṁ vīkṣya bhṛgavaḥ
saśiṣyās te sahāgnibhiḥ
pratyagṛhṇan samutthāya
saṅkṣiptās tasya tejasā
SYNONYMS
mauñjyā—made of muñja straw; mekhalayā—with a belt; vītam—circled; upavīta—sacred thread; ajina-uttaram—wearing a deerskin upper garment; jaṭilam—having matted locks of hair; vāmanam—Lord Vāmana; vipram—a brāhmaṇa; māyā-māṇavakam—the illusory son of a human being; harim—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; praviṣṭam—entered; vīkṣya—seeing; bhṛgavaḥ—the priests who were descendants of Bhṛgu; sa-śiṣyāḥ—with their disciples; te—all of them; saha-agnibhiḥ—with the fire sacrifice; pratyagṛhṇan—properly welcomed; samutthāya—standing up; saṅkṣiptāḥ—being diminished; tasya—His; tejasā—by brilliance.
TRANSLATION
Appearing as a brāhmaṇa boy, wearing a belt of straw, a sacred thread, an upper garment of deerskin, and matted locks of hair, Lord Vāmanadeva entered the arena of sacrifice. His brilliant effulgence diminished the brilliance of all the priests and their disciples, who thus stood from their seats and welcomed the Lord properly by offering obeisances.
TEXT 26
yajamānaḥ pramudito
darśanīyaṁ manoramam
rūpānurūpāvayavaṁ
tasmā āsanam āharat
SYNONYMS
yajamānaḥBali Mahārāja, who had engaged all the priests in performing the sacrifice; pramuditaḥ—being very jubilant; darśanīyam—pleasing to see; manoramam—so beautiful; rūpa—with beauty; anurūpa—equal to His bodily beauty; avayavam—all the different parts of the body; tasmai—unto Him; āsanam—a sitting place; āharat—offered.
TRANSLATION
Bali Mahārāja, jubilant at seeing Lord Vāmanadeva, whose beautiful limbs contributed equally to the beauty of His entire body, offered Him a seat with great satisfaction.
TEXT 27
svāgatenābhinandyātha
pādau bhagavato baliḥ
avanijyārcayām āsa
mukta-saṅga-manoramam
SYNONYMS
su-āgatena—by words of welcome; abhinandya—welcoming; atha—thus; pādau—the two lotus feet; bhagavataḥ—of the Lord; baliḥBali Mahārāja; avanijya—washing; arcayām āsa—worshiped; mukta-saṅga-manoramam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beautiful to the liberated souls.
TRANSLATION
Thus offering a proper reception to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always beautiful to the liberated souls, Bali Mahārāja worshiped Him by washing His lotus feet.
TEXT 28
tat-pāda-śaucaṁ jana-kalmaṣāpahaṁ
sa dharma-vin mūrdhny adadhāt sumaṅgalam
yad deva-devo giriśaś candra-maulir
dadhāra mūrdhnā parayā ca bhaktyā
SYNONYMS
tat-pāda-śaucam—the water that washed the lotus feet of the Lord; jana-kalmaṣa-apaham—which washes away all the sinful reactions of the people in general; saḥ—he (Bali Mahārāja); dharma-vit—completely aware of religious principles; mūrdhni—on the head; adadhāt—carried; su-maṅgalam—all-auspicious; yat—which; deva-devaḥ—the best of the demigods; giriśaḥ—Lord Śiva; candra-mauliḥ—who carries on his forehead the emblem of the moon; dadhāra—carried; mūrdhnā—on the head; parayā—supreme; ca—also; bhaktyā—with devotion.
TRANSLATION
Lord Śiva, the best of demigods, who carries on his forehead the emblem of the moon, receives on his head with great devotion the Ganges water emanating from the toe of Viṣṇu. Being aware of religious principles, Bali Mahārāja knew this. Consequently, following in the footsteps of Lord Śiva, he also placed on his head the water that had washed the Lord’s lotus feet.
PURPORT
Lord Śiva is known as Gaṅgā-dhara, or one who carries the water of the Ganges on his head. On Lord Śiva’s forehead is the emblem of the half-moon, yet to give supreme respect to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śiva placed the water of the Ganges above this emblem. This example should be followed by everyone, or at least by every devotee, because Lord Śiva is one of the mahājanas. Similarly, Mahārāja Bali also later became a mahājana. One mahājana follows another mahājana, and by following the paramparā system of mahājana activities one can become advanced in spiritual consciousness. The water of the Ganges is sanctified because it emanates from the toe of Lord Viṣṇu. Bali Mahārāja washed the lotus feet of Vāmanadeva, and the water with which he did so became equal to the Ganges. Bali Mahārāja, who perfectly knew all religious principles, therefore took that water on his head, following in the footsteps of Lord Śiva.
TEXT 29
śrī-balir uvāca
svāgataṁ te namas tubhyaṁ
brahman kiṁ karavāma te
brahmarṣīṇāṁ tapaḥ sākṣān
manye tvārya vapur-dharam
SYNONYMS
śrī-baliḥ uvācaBali Mahārāja said; su-āgatam—all welcome; te—unto You; namaḥ tubhyam—I offer my respectful obeisances unto You; brahman—O brāhmaṇa; kim—what; karavāma—can we do; te—for You; brahma-ṛṣīṇām—of the great brāhmaṇa sages; tapaḥ—austerity; sākṣāt—directly; manye—I think; tvā—You; ārya—O noble one; vapuḥ-dharam—personified.
TRANSLATION
Bali Mahārāja then said to Lord Vāmanadeva: O brāhmaṇa, I offer You my hearty welcome and my respectful obeisances. Please let us know what we may do for You. We think of You as the personified austerity of the great brāhmaṇa-sages.
TEXT 30
adya naḥ pitaras tṛptā
adya naḥ pāvitaṁ kulam
adya sviṣṭaḥ kratur ayaṁ
yad bhavān āgato gṛhān
SYNONYMS
adya—today; naḥ—our; pitaraḥ—forefathers; tṛptāḥ—satisfied; adya—today; naḥ—our; pāvitam—purified; kulam—the whole family; adya—today; su-iṣṭaḥ—properly executed; kratuḥ—the sacrifice; ayam—this; yat—because; bhavān—Your Lordship; āgataḥ—arrived; gṛhān—at our residence.
TRANSLATION
O my Lord, because You have kindly arrived at our home, all my forefathers are satisfied, our family and entire dynasty have been sanctified, and the sacrifice we are performing is now complete because of Your presence.
TEXT 31
adyāgnayo me suhutā yathā-vidhi
dvijātmaja tvac-caraṇāvanejanaiḥ
hatāṁhaso vārbhir iyaṁ ca bhūr aho
tathā punītā tanubhiḥ padais tava
SYNONYMS
adya—today; agnayaḥ—the sacrificial fires; me—executed by me; su-hutāḥ—properly offered oblations; yathā-vidhi—in terms of the śāstric injunction; dvija-ātmaja—O son of a brāhmaṇa; tvat-caraṇa-avanejanaiḥ—which washed Your lotus feet; hata-aṁhasaḥ—who have become cleansed of all sinful reactions; vārbhiḥ—by the water; iyam—this; ca—also; bhūḥ—the surface of the globe; aho—oh; tathā—as well; punītā—sanctified; tanubhiḥ—small; padaiḥ—by the touch of the lotus feet; tava—Your.
TRANSLATION
O son of a brāhmaṇa, today the fire of sacrifice is ablaze according to the injunction of the śāstra, and I have been freed from all the sinful reactions of my life by the water that has washed Your lotus feet. O my Lord, by the touch of Your small lotus feet the entire surface of the world has been sanctified.
TEXT 32
yad yad vaṭo vāñchasi tat pratīccha me
tvām arthinaṁ vipra-sutānutarkaye
gāṁ kāñcanaṁ guṇavad dhāma mṛṣṭaṁ
tathānna-peyam uta vā vipra-kanyām
grāmān samṛddhāṁs turagān gajān vā
rathāṁs tathārhattama sampratīccha
SYNONYMS
yat yat—whatever; vaṭo—O brahmacārī; vāñchasi—You desire; tat—that; pratīccha—You may take; me—from me; tvām—You; arthinam—desiring something; vipra-suta—O son of a brāhmaṇa; anutarkaye—I consider; gām—a cow; kāñcanam—gold; guṇavat dhāma—a furnished residence; mṛṣṭam—palatable; tathā—as well as; anna—food grains; peyam—drink; uta—indeed; —either; vipra-kanyām—the daughter of a brāhmaṇa; grāmān—villages; samṛddhān—prosperous; turagān—horses; gajān—elephants; —either; rathān—chariots; tathā—as well as; arhat-tama—O best of those who are worshipable; sampratīccha—You may take.
TRANSLATION
O son of a brāhmaṇa, it appears that You have come here to ask me for something. Therefore, whatever You want You may take from me. O best of those who are worshipable. You may take from me a cow, gold, a furnished house, palatable food and drink, the daughter of a brāhmaṇa for Your wife, prosperous villages, horses, elephants, chariots or whatever You desire.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Eighteenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Lord Vāmanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation.”

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