taṁ baddhaṁ vāruṇaiḥ pāśair
bhagavān āha vāmanaḥ
tam—unto him; baddham—who was so arrested; vāruṇaiḥ pāśaiḥ—by the ropes of Varuṇa; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; āha—said; vāmanaḥ—Vāmanadeva; naṣṭa-śriyam—unto Bali Mahārāja, who had lost his bodily luster; sthira-prajñam—but was all the same determined in his decision; udāra-yaśasam—the most magnanimous and celebrated; nṛpa—O King.
O King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāmanadeva, then spoke to Bali Mahārāja, the most liberal and celebrated personality whom He had arrested with the ropes of Varuṇa. Bali Mahārāja 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 Mahārāja had lost everything, he was fixed in his determination to satisfy Vāmanadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gītā, such a person is called sthita-prajña. 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 Mahārāja 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, yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ. 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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