satyam bhagavata proktam
dharmo ’yam grhamedhinam
artham kamam yaso vrttim
yo na badheta karhicit
sri-balih uvaca—Bali Maharaja said; satyam—it is truth; bhagavata—by Your Greatness; proktam—what has already been spoken; dharmah—a religious principle; ayam—that is; grhamedhinam—especially for the householders; artham—economic development; kamam—sense gratification; yasah vrttim—reputation and means of livelihood; yah—which religious principle; na—not; badheta—hinders; karhicit—at any time.
Bali Maharaja said: As you have already stated, the principle of religion that does not hinder one’s economic development, sense gratification, fame and means of livelihood is the real occupational duty of the householder. I also think that this religious principle is correct.
Bali Maharaja’s grave answer to Sukracarya is meaningful. Sukracarya stressed that one’s material means of livelihood and one’s material reputation, sense gratification and economic development must continue properly. To see to this is the first duty of a man who is a householder, especially one who is interested in material affairs. If a religious principle does not affect one’s material condition, it is to be accepted. At the present time, in this age of Kali, this idea is extremely prominent. No one is prepared to accept any religious principle if it hampers material prosperity. Sukracarya, being a person of this material world, did not know the principles of a devotee. A devotee is determined to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead to His full satisfaction. Anything that hampers such determination should certainly be rejected. This is the principle of bhakti. Anukulyasya sankalpah pratikulyasya varjanam (Cc. Madhya 22.100). To perform devotional service, one must accept only that which is favorable and reject that which is unfavorable. Bali Maharaja had the opportunity to contribute everything he possessed to the lotus feet of Lord Vamanadeva, but Sukracarya was putting forward a material argument to hamper this process of devotional service. Under the circumstances, Bali Maharaja decided that such hindrances should certainly be avoided. In other words, he decided immediately to reject the advice of Sukracarya and go on with his duty. Thus he gave all his possessions to Lord Vamanadeva.
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