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Canto 8

Dâmodarâshthaka

 

 

Chapter 19: Lord Vâmanadeva Begs Charity from Bali Mahârâja

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'When He thus heard the very pleasing and faithful, dharmic words of the son of Virocana, the Supreme Lord praised him satisfied with the following words. (2) The Supreme Lord said: 'Oh Lord of Man, what you have said is very true, befits the dynasty, is in accord with the dharma and adds to your repute. It proves the authority of the Bhrigu brahmins and is of the peace of your grandfather [Prahlâda], your oldest ancestor in the afterlife. (3) No one in this dynasty has been as poor-minded as to break his promises unto the brahmins and not be charitable. (4) Because of the impeccable reputation of Prahlâda who is like a clear moon in the sky oh ruler, in your dynasty no kings are found who, in holy places or on the battlefield, were as low-minded not to respond to the requests of petitioners. (5) In this dynasty Hiranyâksha was born who, alone wandering around on this earth to conquer its directions with his club, could not find a hero equal to him. (6) After Vishnu [as a boar] had delivered the world and with great difficulty had defeated him, He considered himself only victorious when He constantly thought of Hiranyâksha's heroism [see 3.17-19]! (7) When his brother Hiranyakas'ipu heard that he had been killed, he very angry went to the abode of the Lord to put an end to the One who had finished his brother [see 7.3]. (8) Seeing him with the trident in his hand coming towards Him like death personified the Chief of the Mystics, the Knower of Time, Lord Vishnu, thought the following. (9) 'Wherever I go this one - like the death of each - will also go. I will enter his heart therefore, he only looks outside of himself.' (10) Thus decided oh King of the Asuras, He, invisible in His subtle body, entered the body of the persecuting enemy through the breath in his nostril. (11) Hiranyakas'ipu searching His abode found it empty. Enraged because he in spite of his power could not see Vishnu in any direction of the surface of the earth, in outer space, in the sky, in the caves and in the oceans, he screamed loudly. (12) When he could not find Him anywhere he said: 'I have searched the entire universe for Him who killed my brother. He must have left for the place no one returns from, He must have died.' (13) Ego inspired enmity - an anger which has its basis in ignorance - does not persist until death when it concerns physical-minded people. [But with Hiranyakas'pu it did]. (14) Your father [Virocana], the son of Prahlâda, surrendered upon the request of the demigods his life to them despite the fact that he knew that they had dressed up as brahmins because of his affinity with the twice-born ones. (15) You also executed yourself the dharma that was established by the householders, the brahmins, your forefathers, the great heroes and other highly elevated and famous souls. (16) Someone like your Majesty I ask for a little bit of land. Oh King of the Daityas, from him who can be so generous in his charity I ask three footsteps to the measure of My reach. (17) There is nothing else I desire from you oh munificent King, oh master of the universe. May the one of learning not suffer any want and receive by donations as much as he needs.'

(18) S'rî Bali said: 'Alas oh brahmin scion, Your words may be welcome to the scholars and the elderly ones, but as a boy not bent on taxing for his self-interest You are not quite aware of what it all takes. (19) It is for him who with sweet words propitiates me, the one and only master of all the world, not very intelligent to ask for three steps of land when I can give an entire continent! (20) No one who once has approached me deserves it to beg again and therefore, oh small brahmacârî, take from me as You desire whatever would suit Your needs.'

(21) The Supreme Lord said: 'All sense objects capable of pleasing someone within these three worlds, together cannot satisfy the person who has no control over his senses oh King [see also 5.5: 4]. (22) He who is not satisfied with three steps of land will not be content with a complete continent of nine lands either, for then he will desire to take possession of all the seven continents. (23) We heard that kings like Prithu and Gaya who managed to rule all the seven continents, did not reach the end of their ambitions or their desire for wealth. (24) One should be satisfied with that what one accidentally happens to acquire. There is no happiness for a dissatisfied person who has no control over himself, not even when he possesses the three worlds [see also 7.6: 3-5, 5.5: 1 and B.G. 6: 20-23]. (25) When someone is dissatisfied with his money and sensual pleasures, there is no end to his materially determined existence [of repeatedly dying and starting all over again]. He, however, who is satisfied with that what was acquired by fate, applies for liberation. (26) The spiritual power and glory of a brahmin increases when he is satisfied with what he obtained by providence, but decreases with his dissatisfaction like a fire that is extinguished with water. (27) I therefore ask you who are so munificent as a benefactor, for three steps of land, for My purpose is met perfectly with acquiring nothing more than what is needed.'

(28) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being addressed Bali said with a smile to Lord Vâmana: 'Now take from me what You want' and in order to give Him the land, he took up his water pot [so as to confirm his promise ritually with its water]. (29) S'ukrâcârya, a great expert in these matters, guessed what Vishnu's plan was and addressed the Asura lord, his disciple, who was about to deliver the land to Lord Vishnu.'

(30) S'rî S'ukrâcârya said: 'This person oh son of Virocana, is the immortal Supreme Lord Vishnu Himself. He took His birth from Kas'yapa and Aditi to serve the interest of the godly ones. (31) I think that what you promised is at odds with your intentions. You do not realize what you have agreed upon, it is not good for it entails great adversity for the Daityas! (32) He, impersonating as a human child, is the Lord who teaches you a lesson. He will snatch away all material beauty and riches, power and repute and give it to your enemy [lord Indra, see also 7.10]. (33) With these three steps He will seize all the worlds by expanding to the universal form. How can you keep your position after as a fool having given everything away to Vishnu! (34) One after the other He with the first step will take the earth and with the second step occupy outer space. In the ether expanding to His greatest size, where should He make his third step? (35) You will be in hell forever I think, for that is what happens to people who do not keep their promises. Your Majesty cannot live up to the expectations you have created. (36) The wise do not favor any charity that endangers one's livelihood, for it is because of one's capacity to maintain oneself that sacrifice, charity, austerity and fruitive activity are possible in this world. (37) In order to be happy in this world as also in the next, one should divide one's earnings in five: one part is for the religion, one is for one's respectability, one for one's property, one for one's pleasure and one for the family. (38) Now listen to what, in this regard [concerning your promise] is stated in many Vedic verses oh best of the Asuras. That what is true is preceded by the word om [AUM, 'yes', 'so be it'] and things said that were not preceded by that word are called untrue [false or deceptive, see also B.G 17: 24, 9: 17 and 8: 13]. (39) Understand the Vedic truth about the flowers and the fruits: one may pick the fruits from the body of a tree but if the tree is not alive then that root of the body is not the truth so that it is impossible to pick [compare B.G. 8: 6]. (40) When a tree falls down it will, being uprooted, quickly dry out. Likewise the bodily reality also will soon end and dry out [when its maintenance has been uprooted *], that suffers no doubt. (41) The use of the syllable om entails that one separates oneself from [one's wealth], that one is freed from it, yes, that someone with everything that he says with om, will be losing it. When one thus expressing oneself donates in charity to beggars, one will see one's wealth diminished so that because of that om exercise there will not be enough for one's own sense gratification and self-realization. (42) Choose therefore now fully for yourself. It is a falsehood but it is not completely untrue to say this [in favor of your own position], for speaking a complete lie would make you infamous, would make you a living corpse. (43) A lie that heals is better than a truth that wounds when one wants to charm a woman, wants to tell a joke, wants to marry, wants to make a living, in times of danger, when one must protect the cows and the brahminical culture or when one has to defend against violence.'

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Third revised edition, loaded September 18, 2012.
 

 

 

Previous Aadhar edition and Vedabase links:

Text 1

S'rî S'uka said: 'When He thus heard the very pleasing and faithful, dharmic words of the son of Virocana, the Supreme Lord praised him satisfied with the following words.
S'rî S'uka said: 'When He thus heard the very pleasing words of loyalty to the dharma from the son of Virocana, praised the Supreme Lord him, satisfied as He was, with the following words. (Vedabase)

 

Text 2

The Supreme Lord said: 'Oh Lord of Man, what you have said is very true, befits the dynasty, is in accord with the dharma and adds to your repute. It proves the authority of the Bhrigu brahmins and is of the peace of your grandfather [Prahlâda], your oldest ancestor in the afterlife.

The Supreme Lord said: 'The like of what you say, o Lord of Man, is very true, befits the dynasty, is in accord with the dharma and answers to your good name; it proves the Brighu-brahmins and the future of your grandfather, the oldest and most peaceful one [Prahlâda]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 3

No one in this dynasty has been as poor-minded as to break his promises unto the brahmins and not be charitable.

In this dynasty has indeed no one been a poorminded miser; unto the brahmins none has denied what was promised or forsaken the charity. (Vedabase)

 

Text 4

Because of the impeccable reputation of Prahlâda who is like a clear moon in the sky oh ruler, in your dynasty no kings are found who, in holy places or on the battlefield, were as low-minded not to respond to the requests of petitioners.

By the impeccable reputation of Prahlâda, who is like the moon risen in the sky, o ruler, are there in your dynasty no such low-minded kings found who are of refusal [of charity] at the holy places or on the battlefield, declining the prayers of the ones interested. (Vedabase)


Text 5

In this dynasty Hiranyâksha was born who, alone wandering around on this earth to conquer its directions with his club, could not find a hero equal to him.

In it [the dynasty] was born Hiranyâksha who wandering this earth alone to conquer its directions with his club couldn't find a hero equal to him. (Vedabase)


Text 6

After Vishnu [as a boar] had delivered the world and with great difficulty had defeated him, He considered himself only victorious when He constantly thought of Hiranyâksha's heroism [see 3.17-19].

He Himself, Vishnu in person, who [as a boar] appeared before him with the deliverance of the world, considered, after He with great difficulty had defeated him, Himself to his prowess the more victorious [see 3.17-19]! (Vedabase)


Text 7

When his brother Hiranyakas'ipu heard that he had been killed, he very angry went to the abode of the Lord to put an end to the One who had finished his brother [see 7.3].

After his brother Hiranyakas'ipu heard how he had been killed, went he very angry for the Lord His abode to put an end to the One who had finished his brother [see 7.3]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 8

Seeing him with the trident in his hand coming towards Him like death personified the Chief of the Mystics, the Knower of Time, Lord Vishnu, thought the following.

Observing closely how he like death personified came after Him with the trident in his hand thought He, the Knower of Time, Lord Vishnu, the Chief of the Mystics: (Vedabase)

 

Text 9

'Wherever I go this one - like the death of each - will also go. I will enter his heart therefore, he only looks outside of himself.'

'Wheresoever I go will this one, like the death of all, go likewise; therefore will I enter his heart as he is only looking without.' (Vedabase)

  

Text 10

Thus decided oh King of the Asuras, He, invisible in His subtle body, entered the body of the persecuting enemy through the breath in his nostril.

This way decided He greatly concerned, invisible in His subtle body, to enter via his breathing through the nostril the body of that enemy of malicious pursuit, o King of the Asuras. (Vedabase)

 

Text 11

Hiranyakas'ipu searching His abode found it empty. Enraged because he in spite of his power could not see Vishnu in any direction of the surface of the earth, in outer space, in the sky, in the caves and in the oceans, he screamed loudly.

He, scouring His abode, found it empty not spotting Him and in rage he cried out loud in all directions over the surface of the earth and in outer space, in the sky, the caves and the oceans; despite all his power could he, searching for Vishnu, not get to see Him. (Vedabase)

 

Text 12

When he could not find Him anywhere he said: 'I have searched the entire universe for Him who killed my brother. He must have left for the place no one returns from, He must have died.'

Not finding Him he said: 'I searched the whole universe for Him who killed my brother, He must have gone to the place from where no one returns.' (Vedabase)

 

Text 13

Ego inspired enmity - an anger which has its basis in ignorance - does not persist until death when it concerns physical-minded people. [But with Hiranyakas'pu it did].

His enmity so great persisted till his death while normally with physical-minded people the [impermanent] egotistical anger grows because of the predominance of ignorance. (Vedabase)

 

Text 14

Your father [Virocana], the son of Prahlâda, surrendered upon the request of the demigods his life to them despite the fact that he knew that they had dressed up as brahmins because of his affinity with the twice-born ones.

Your father, the son of Prahlâda [Virocana], gave on request of the godly, despite knowing that they had dressed up as brahmins, his lifespan up because of his own affinity with the twiceborn. (Vedabase)

 

Text 15

You also executed yourself the dharma that was established by the householders, the brahmins, your forefathers, the great heroes and other highly elevated and famous souls.

Your good self also performed to the dharma that was established by the householders, the brahmins, your forefathers, the great heroes and others highly elevated and famous. (Vedabase)

  

Text 16

Someone like your Majesty I ask for a little bit of land. Oh King of the Daityas, from him who can be so generous in his charity I ask three footsteps to the measure of My reach.

From such a person, from Your Majesty, I ask a little bit of land; from him who can be of munificent charity I ask three footsteps of land, o Daitya King, to the measure of My foot. (Vedabase)

 

Text 17

There is nothing else I desire from you oh munificent King, oh master of the universe. May the one of learning not suffer any want and receive by donations as much as he needs.'

There is nothing else I desire from You, o King so generous, o Controller of the Universe, may the one of learning not suffer any want and receive from donations as much as he needs.' (Vedabase)

  

Text 18

S'rî Bali said: 'Alas oh brahmin scion, Your words may be welcome to the scholars and the elderly ones, but as a boy not bent on taxing for his self-interest You are not quite aware of what it all takes.

S'rî Bali said: 'Alas o brahmin scion, Your words are welcome to the learned and elderly, but as a boy not intent on taxing for Your self-interest are You not aware of what it all takes. (Vedabase)

 

Text 19

It is for him who with sweet words propitiates me, the one and only master of all the world, not very intelligent to ask for three steps of land when I can give an entire continent!

It is for him who propitiates with sweet words me, the one and only master of all the world, not very intelligent to ask for three steps, as I can give You a whole continent! (Vedabase)

 

Text 20

No one who once has approached me deserves it to beg again and therefore, oh small brahmacârî, take from me as You desire whatever would suit Your needs.'

No one who once has approached me deserves it to beg again and therefore, o small brahmacârî, take from me according Your desire whatever suits Your needs.' (Vedabase)

 

Text 21

The Supreme Lord said: 'All sense objects capable of pleasing someone within these three worlds, together cannot satisfy the person who has no control over his senses oh King [see also 5.5: 4].

The Supreme Lord said: 'All the possible senseobjects taken together that within these three worlds could please one, are incapable of satisfying the man who is not in control with his senses, o King [see also 5.5:4]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 22

He who is not satisfied with three steps of land will not be content with a complete continent of nine lands either, for then he will desire to take possession of all the seven continents.

He who has not enough with three steps will not even be happy with a whole continent of nine lands or the desire to take hold of all the seven of them. (Vedabase)

 

Text 23

We heard that kings like Prithu and Gaya who managed to rule all the seven continents, did not reach the end of their ambitions or their desire for wealth.

We came to know that Prithu, Gaya and such royal rulers over all the seven continents following this course couldn't reach the end of the fulfillment of their ambitions and desires. (Vedabase


Text 24

One should be satisfied with that what one accidentally happens to acquire. There is no happiness for a dissatisfied person who has no control over himself, not even when he possesses the three worlds [see also 7.6: 3-5, 5.5: 1 and B.G. 6: 20-23].

With whatever is obtained from what God grants to one's destiny, should one be content; there is no happiness for the one dissatisfied if he is not in control with himself, not even if he has obtained the three worlds [see also 7.6: 3-5, 5.5: 1 and B.G. 6.20-23]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 25

When someone is dissatisfied with his money and sensual pleasures, there is no end to his materially determined existence [of repeatedly dying and starting all over again]. He, however, who is satisfied with that what was acquired by fate, applies for liberation.

The continuation of material existence [in repeated births and deaths] of the living entity is the cause of the discontent with the regulations of the economy and the desires, but he who is satisfied with what was achieved by destiny, applies for liberation. (Vedabase)

 

Text 26

The spiritual power and glory of a brahmin increases when he is satisfied with what he obtained by providence, but decreases with his dissatisfaction like a fire that is extinguished with water.

The effulgence of the brahmin increases in satisfaction with what was obtained by providence but decreases with dissatisfaction like a fire put out with water. (Vedabase)

 

Text 27

I therefore ask you who are so munificent as a benefactor, for three steps of land, for My purpose is met perfectly with acquiring nothing more than what is needed.'

For that reason I ask from you so munificent as a benefactor three steps of land as I shall be perfect indeed with just the achievement of the necessary.' (Vedabase)

  

Text 28

S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being addressed Bali said with a smile to Lord Vâmana: 'Now take from me what You want' and in order to give Him the land, he took up his water pot [so as to confirm his promise ritually with its water].

S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus addressed said Bali with a smile: 'As You desired take from me now.', and to give Him the land he took his waterpot. (Vedabase)

 

Text 29

S'ukrâcârya, a great expert in these matters, guessed what Vishnu's plan was and addressed the Asura lord, his disciple, who was about to deliver the land to Lord Vishnu.'

S'ukrâcârya, the greatest expert, who had guessed what Vishnu's plan was then addressed his disciple, the asura lord who was about to deliver the land to Vishnu. (Vedabase)

 

Text 30

S'rî S'ukrâcârya said: 'This person oh son of Virocana, is the immortal Supreme Lord Vishnu Himself. He took His birth from Kas'yapa and Aditi to serve the interest of the godly ones.

S'rî S'ukrâcârya said: 'This one here is directly the Supreme Lord Vishnu, o son of Virocana, in His full glory born from Kas'yapa and Aditi to operate to the interest of the godly. (Vedabase)

 

Text 31

I think that what you promised is at odds with your intentions. You do not realize what you have agreed upon, it is not good for it entails great adversity for the Daityas!

What you promised is, I think, at variance, you have no idea, it won't do you any good; what you contrived is a great threat for the daityas! (Vedabase)

 

Text 32

He, impersonating as a human child, is the Lord who teaches you a lesson. He will snatch away all material beauty and riches, power and repute and give it to your enemy [lord Indra, see also 7.10].

He, impersonating as a human child, is the Lord teaching you a lesson; He'll snatch all the material beauty and riches, power and repute away from you to give it to your enemy [Indra, see also 7.10*]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 33

With these three steps He will seize all the worlds by expanding to the universal form. How can you keep your position after as a fool having given everything away to Vishnu!

With the three steps He'll seize all the worlds adopting the universal form to which He'll gradually expand and how will you sustain yourselves after having given everything away to Vishnu, you fool! (Vedabase)

 

Text 34

One after the other He with the first step will take the earth and with the second step occupy outer space. In the ether expanding to His greatest size, where should He make his third step?

In due order will He with one step take the earth, with the second step occupy the outer space and the ether expanding to His greatest and what is there left then for His third step? (Vedabase)

 

Text 35

You will be in hell forever I think, for that is what happens to people who do not keep their promises. Your Majesty cannot live up to the expectations you have created.

You'll perpetually reside in hell I think as indeed happens to a person who cannot fulfill his promise; and you are such a one not capable of being true to the promise you made. (Vedabase)

 

Text 36

The wise do not favor any charity that endangers one's livelihood, for it is because of one's capacity to maintain oneself that sacrifice, charity, austerity and fruitive activity are possible in this world.

The saintly are not in favor of the charity that endangers one's livelihood; the charity, sacrifice, austerity and fruitive activity àre there from one's selfmaintaining. (Vedabase)

 

Text 37

In order to be happy in this world as also in the next, one should divide one's earnings in five: one part is for the religion, one is for one's respectability, one for one's property, one for one's pleasure and one for the family.

When one divides one's earnings over the five objectives of the religion, one's success, one's upkeep, one's pleasure and one's family, can one be happy in this world and in the next. (Vedabase)


Text 38

Now listen to what, in this regard [concerning your promise] is stated in many Vedic verses oh best of the Asuras. That what is true is preceded by the word om [AUM, 'yes', 'so be it'] and things said that were not preceded by that word are called untrue [false or deceptive, see also B.G 17: 24, 9: 17 and 8: 13].

Listen, in this regard is the truth by the many [Rig-] veda [Bahvrica-s'ruti] prayers for the gods and the creation that I have expressed, o best of the asuras, preceded by the word AUM and of that which has been said that was not headed thus one speaks as the non-eternal [the relative, illusory or untrue, see also B.G 17: 24, 9: 17 and 8: 13]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 39

Understand the Vedic truth about the flowers and the fruits: one may pick the fruits from the body of a tree but if the tree is not alive then that root of the body is not the truth so that it is impossible to pick [compare B.G. 8: 6].

One should understand that the factual truth of flowers and fruits is there from the tree that is the body, but from a dead tree is there no possibility of that, however untrue that bodily root itself might be [compare B.G. 8: 6]. (Vedabase)


Text 40

When a tree falls down it will, being uprooted, quickly dry out. Likewise the bodily reality also will soon end and dry out [when its maintenance has been uprooted *], that suffers no doubt.

It suffers no doubt that the same way as with a tree that uprooted falls and dries up, the temporal body immediately is lost and dried out [when one doesn't care for that temporal root *]. (Vedabase)


Text 41

The use of the syllable om entails that one separates oneself from [one's wealth], that one is freed from it, yes, that someone with everything that he says with om, will be losing it. When one thus expressing oneself donates in charity to beggars, one will see one's wealth diminished so that because of that om exercise there will not be enough for one's own sense gratification and self-realization. 

That syllable of AUM thus stated is what separates one, frees one and forms the counterpart [to your wealth] and of anything said to its expression does a person become free indeed; anything given in charity to the needy uttering AUM will not be for the satisfaction of the senses or one's self-realization. (Vedabase)

Text 42

Choose therefore now fully for yourself. It is a falsehood but it is not completely untrue to say this [in favor of your own position], for speaking a complete lie would make you infamous, would make you a living corpse.

Therefore be not fully of that drawing of compassion nor fully [committed] to that non-eternal wording; thus no one can say you are of illusion, one who would be reprehensible being dead alive. (Vedabase)


Text 43

A lie that heals is better than a truth that wounds when one wants to charm a woman, wants to tell a joke, wants to marry, wants to make a living, in times of danger, when one must protect the cows and the brahminical culture or when one has to defend against violence.'

It is no falsity [you see] nor an abomination to charm a woman, to jest or to marry, to make a living or to protect in times of danger the cows and the brahminical against violence.' (Vedabase)

 

*: The temporal body is there for eternal things. S'rîla Rupa Gosvâmî says: "One who rejects things without knowledge of their relationship to Krishna is incomplete in his renunciation." (Bhakti-rasâmrita-sindhu 1.2.66)

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Commons License
The text and audio are offered under the conditions of the
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
The image is titled: 'Vâmana receiving water from a noble and his wife",
Marwar, early 19th century ©
Victoria & Albert Museum.
Production:
Filognostic Association of The Order of Time.


  

 

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