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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 8

Bali Mahârâja Conquers the Heavenly Places

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 8   

 Bali Mahârâja Conquers the Heavenly Places

(1-2) The king said: 'Why did the Lord, the Controller of all living beings, like a poor man beg Bali for three steps of land and why did He fetter him despite of the donation? All this begging of the Controller so complete in Himself and the arrest of Bali though he was faultless, we very anxiously desire to understand.'

(3) S'rî S'uka said: 'Defeated by Indra, being deprived of his opulence and his life indeed [see 8.11], was Bali brought back to life by the descendants of Bhrigu [S'ukrâcârya and his followers]. To Bhrigu's following was he, as a great soul and disciple, of worship by giving them everything he had in full surrender. (4) The brahmin followers of Bhrigu, very pleased with him, engaged him in a sacrifice called Vis'vajit so that he, after according the regulations being purified by the exalted souls in a great bathing ceremony [abhisheka], to his desire could conquer the heavenly worlds. (5) From the blazing fire worshiped with oblations of ghee was there, drawn by horses with the color of those of Indra [yellow], a chariot covered with gold and silk that was adorned with a banner marked with a lion. (6) There was a special gilded bow, two quivers with infallible arrows and a celestial armor. His grandfather [Prahlâda] donated a garland of never fading flowers and S'ukrâcârya gave him a conch shell. (7) After thus, on the advice of the brahmins performing the ritual, in the form of the fighting gear having gained their grace, circumambulated he all the scholars offering his obeisances and bade he also with due respect Prahlâda Mahârâja farewell. (8-9) Thereupon ascending the divine chariot donated by S'ukrâcârya, did the great charioteer, decorated with his garland, covered by his armor and equipped with his bow, take up his sword and quiver of arrows. With his golden bangles on his arms and his earrings glittering like sapphires shone he, positioned on his chariot, like a fire of worship on an altar. (10-11) Surrounded by his own men and the other daitya leaders who equaled him in opulence, strength and beauty, seemed they to drink in the sky and burn the directions with their looks. Gathering the greatest asura warriors went they to the supremely wealthy capital of Indra as shaking the entire earth.

(12) It was there very pleasant with orchards and gardens like the beautiful Nandana garden, chirping pairs of birds, madly humming bees and eternal trees with branches heavy of the great weight of its leaves with flowers and fruits. (13) They were crowded with groups of swans, cranes, cakravâka birds, ducks, lotus flowers and beautiful sporting women protected by the godly. (14) The ever worshipable goddess surrounded them with trenches of celestial Ganges water and parapeted ramparts in the color of fire. (15) Constructed by Vis'vakarmâ, were the gates that gave access to the city made of marble, were the doors [of the houses] covered by golden plates and were the many public roads carefully laid out. (16) It was replete with assembly houses, courtyards, roads, and countless opulent palaces. The crossroads were made with pearls and had sitting places adorned with diamonds and coral. (17) In that city one found, like with a fire with many flames, the most beautiful, glittering, ever-young women, who cool, warm and round-breasted [of 's'yâmâ'], well-decorated always wore impeccably clean clothes. (18) The breezes blowing in the streets carried the fragrance of the fresh aromatic flowers fallen from the hair of the sura women. (19) On the streets passed the sura sweethearts through the white fragrant smoke of aguru incense burnt from behind windows with gold filigree. (20) There were canopies strewn with pearls and gold, a variety of flags that adorned the domes of the palaces and peacocks, pigeons and bees that vibrated their sounds to which the women in their heavenly buildings sang in chorus the auspiciousness. (21) The city with all its brilliance so beautiful and pleasing with the singing loves of the gods, the solo instruments, the dancing and the sounds of flutes, vînâs, drums, conch shells and kettledrums all perfectly in tune, defeated the beauty of the deity of splendor. (22) No godless people roamed the streets, there was no one envious or of violence against other creatures, no one cheated and no one was of false prestige, lust or greed; all walking there were completely void of all that. (23) And it was that city of God which from the outside at all sides was attacked by him, the commander of the troops provided by S'ukrâcârya, who, resounding his conch shell loudly, created fear with all the ladies protected by Indra.

(24) Indra facing the situation understood Bali's fervent zeal and addressed in the company of the godly the spiritual master [Brihaspati] with the following words: (25) 'O my Lord, who gave Bali, our enemy from the past, the great fervor and prowess I'm afraid we're unable to withstand? (26) There is no one to be found who can counter this armed arrangement of his, it is as if he with his mouth wants to drink in and lick up the whole world and with his vision wants to set ablaze all directions, having risen like the fire at the end of time. (27) Please tell us what the cause of the formidable prowess of our enemy is and from where all his energy, strength, influence and this endeavor came.'

(28) Brihaspati said: 'I know the cause, o Indra, of the rise of your enemy, he got his power being a disciple of the mighty brahmins that are the followers of Bhrigu. (29) Being that powerful can the strong one not be defeated by someone like you or anyone belonging to you; except for the Supreme Controller, the Lord, will no one be able to vanquish him now he is endowed with a superior spiritual strength; to oppose him is just as useless as to oppose the lord of death. (30) Therefore must you all leave, give up the heavenly kingdom and go elsewhere to await the time when your enemy has to face his reverse. (31) He who now so utterly mighty flourishes by the brahminical power invested in him, will by insulting the same power find his demise together with all his friends and helpers.'

(32) Thus advised by their spiritual master on what they had to do gave they up their heavenly kingdom and departed they who were the gods who could assume any form they liked. (33) When all the godly this way had left took Bali, the son of Virocana, hold of the city where the divine had their stay and brought he the heavenly worlds under his control. (34) Because he was their disciple instructed the followers of Bhrigu, very pleased with the conqueror of the universe, him to perform a hundred [as'vamedha] horse sacrifices. (35) From performing those sacrifices spread his fame in all directions of the three worlds and shone he with a glory equal to the moon. (36) From winning the favor of the twiceborn deemed he, in enjoying the like of an opulence and prosperity of the demigods, himself most happy with all he had conceived and done so greatly.

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/