TEXT 23
bhavadbhir nirjita hy ete
bahuso ínucara hareh
daivenarddhais ta evadya
yudhi jitva nadanti nah
SYNONYMS
bhavadbhih—by all of you demons; nirjitah—have been defeated; hi—indeed; ete—all these soldiers of the demigods; bahusah—in great number; anucarah—followers; hareh—of Lord Visnu; daivena—by providence; rddhaih—whose opulence was increased; te—they (the demigods); eva—indeed; adya—today; yudhi—in the fight; jitva—defeating; nadanti—are vibrating in jubilation; nah—us.
TRANSLATION
Previously, being empowered by providence, you defeated a great number of such followers of Lord Visnu. But today those same followers, having defeated us, are roaring in jubilation like lions.
PURPORT
Bhagavad-gita mentions five causes of defeat or victory. Of these five, daiva (providence) is the most powerful (na ca daivat param balam). Bali Maharaja knew the secret of how he had formerly been victorious because providence was in his favor. Now, since that same providence was not in his favor, there was no possibility of his victory. Thus he very intelligently forbade his associates to fight.

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