eṣa vā uttamaśloko
na jihāsati yad yaśaḥ
hatvā maināṁ hared yuddhe
śayīta nihato mayā
eṣaḥ—this (brahmacārī); vā—either; uttama-ślokaḥ—is Lord Viṣṇu, who is worshiped by Vedic prayers; na—not; jihāsati—desires to give up; yat—because; yaśaḥ—perpetual fame; hatvā—after killing; mā—me; enām—all this land; haret—will take away; yuddhe—in the fight; śayīta—will lie down; nihataḥ—being killed; mayā—by me.
If this brāhmaṇa really is Lord Viṣṇu, who is worshiped by Vedic hymns, He would never give up His widespread reputation; either He would lie down having been killed by me, or He would kill me in a fight.
Bali Mahārāja’s statement that Viṣṇu would lie down having been killed is not the direct meaning, for Viṣṇu cannot be killed by anyone. Lord Viṣṇu can kill everyone, but He cannot be killed. Thus the real meaning of the words “lie down” is that Lord Viṣṇu would reside within the core of Bali Mahārāja’s heart. Lord Viṣṇu is defeated by a devotee through devotional service; otherwise, no one can defeat Lord Viṣṇu.
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