padaṁ dvitīyaṁ kramatas triviṣṭapaṁ
na vai tṛtīyāya tadīyam aṇv api
urukramasyāṅghrir upary upary atho
mahar-janābhyāṁ tapasaḥ paraṁ gataḥ
padam—step; dvitīyam—second; kramataḥ—advancing; tri-viṣṭapam—all of the heavenly planets; na—not; vai—indeed; tṛtīyāya—for the third step; tadīyam—of the Lord; aṇu api—only a spot of land remained; urukramasya—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who performs uncommon activities; aṅghriḥ—steps occupying above and below; upari upari—higher and higher; atho—now; mahaḥ-janābhyām—than Maharloka and Janaloka; tapasaḥ—that Tapoloka; param—beyond that; gataḥ—approached.
As the Lord took His second step, He covered the heavenly planets. And not even a spot remained for the third step, for the Lord’s foot extended higher and higher, beyond Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and even Satyaloka.
When the Lord’s footstep exceeded the height of all the lokas, including Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka, His nails certainly pierced the covering of the universe. The universe is covered by the five material elements (bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ kham). As stated in the śāstra, these elements are in layers, each ten times thicker than the previous one. Nonetheless, the nails of the Lord pierced through all these layers and made a hole penetrating into the spiritual world. From this hole, the water of the Ganges infiltrated into this material world, and therefore it is said, pada-nakha-nīra janita jana-pāvana (Daśāvatāra-stotra 5). Because the Lord kicked a hole in the covering of the universe, the water of the Ganges came into this material world to deliver all the fallen souls.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Twentieth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Bali Mahārāja Surrenders the Universe.”
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