māṁ vacobhiḥ samārādhya
lokānām ekam īśvaram
pada-trayaṁ vṛṇīte yo
mām—me; vacobhiḥ—by sweet words; samārādhya—after sufficiently pleasing; lokānām—of all the planets in this universe; ekam—the one and only; īśvaram—master, controller; pada-trayam—three feet; vṛṇīte—is asking for; yaḥ—He who; abuddhimān—not very intelligent; dvīpa-dāśuṣam—because I can give You an entire island.
I am able to give You an entire island because I am the proprietor of the three divisions of the universe. You have come to take something from me and have pleased me by Your sweet words, but You are asking only three paces of land. Therefore You are not very intelligent.
According to Vedic understanding, the entire universe is regarded as an ocean of space. In that ocean there are innumerable planets, and each planet is called a dvīpa, or island. When approached by Lord Vāmanadeva, Bali Mahārāja was actually in possession of all the dvīpas, or islands in space. Bali Mahārāja was very pleased to see the features of Vāmanadeva and was ready to give Him as much land as He could ask, but because Lord Vāmanadeva asked only three paces of land, Bali Mahārāja considered Him not very intelligent.
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