tam baddham varunaih pasair
bhagavan aha vamanah
tam—unto him; baddham—who was so arrested; varunaih pasaih—by the ropes of Varuna; bhagavan—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; aha—said; vamanah—Vamanadeva; nasta-sriyam—unto Bali Maharaja, who had lost his bodily luster; sthira-prajnam—but was all the same determined in his decision; udara-yasasam—the most magnanimous and celebrated; nrpa—O King.
O King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vamanadeva, then spoke to Bali Maharaja, the most liberal and celebrated personality whom He had arrested with the ropes of Varuna. Bali Maharaja had lost all bodily luster, but he was nonetheless fixed in his determination.
When one is bereft of all his possessions, he is certainly reduced in bodily luster. But although Bali Maharaja had lost everything, he was fixed in his determination to satisfy Vamanadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gita, such a person is called sthita-prajna. A pure devotee is never deviated from the service of the Lord, despite all difficulties and impediments offered by the illusory energy. Generally men who have wealth and opulence are famous, but Bali Maharaja became famous for all time by being deprived of all his possessions. This is the special mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead toward His devotees. The Lord says, yasyaham anugrhnami harisye tad-dhanam sanaih. As the first installment of His special favor, the Lord takes away all the possessions of His devotee. A devotee, however, is never disturbed by such a loss. He continues his service, and the Lord amply rewards him, beyond the expectations of any common man.
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