śreyaḥ kurvanti bhūtānāṁ
ko vikalpo dharādiṣu
śreyaḥ—activities of the utmost importance; kurvanti—execute; bhūtānām—of the general mass of people; sādhavaḥ—the saintly persons; dustyaja—which are extremely hard to give up; asubhiḥ—by their lives; dadhyaṅ—Mahārāja Dadhīci; śibi—Mahārāja Śibi; prabhṛtayaḥ—and similar great personalities; kaḥ—what; vikalpaḥ—consideration; dharā-ādiṣu—in giving the land to the brāhmaṇa.
Dadhīci, Śibi and many other great personalities were willing to sacrifice even their lives for the benefit of the people in general. This is the evidence of history. So why not give up this insignificant land? What is the serious consideration against it?
Bali Mahārāja was prepared to give everything to Lord Viṣṇu, and Śukrācārya, being a professional priest, might have been anxiously waiting, doubting whether there had been any such instance in history in which one had given everything in charity. Bali Mahārāja, however, cited the tangible examples of Mahārāja Śibi and Mahārāja Dadhīci, who had given up their lives for the benefit of the general public. Certainly one has attachment for everything material, especially one’s land, but land and other possessions are forcibly taken away at the time of death, as stated in Bhagavad-gītā (mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham). The Lord personally appeared to Bali Mahārāja to take away everything he had, and thus he was so fortunate that he could see the Lord face to face. Nondevotees, however, cannot see the Lord face to face; to such persons the Lord appears as death and takes away all their possessions by force. Under the circumstances, why should we not part with our possessions and deliver them to Lord Viṣṇu for His satisfaction? Śrī Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says in this regard, san-nimitte varaṁ tyāgo vināśe niyate sati (Cāṇakya-śloka 36). Since our money and possessions do not last but will somehow or other be taken away, as long as they are in our possession it is better to use them for charity to a noble cause. Therefore Bali Mahārāja defied the order of his so-called spiritual master.
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