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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 8

Lord Vâmanadeva Begs Charity from Bali Mahârâja

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 8   

 Lord Vâmanadeva Begs Charity from Bali Mahârâja

(1) 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. (2) 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 authority of the Bhrigu-brahmins and constitutes the standard of your grandfather, the oldest and most peaceful one [Prahlâda]. (3) In this dynasty has indeed no one been a poorminded miser; unto the brahmins none has denied what was promised or forsaken the charity. (4) By the impeccable reputation of Prahlâda, who is like a clear moon in the sky, o ruler, are there in your dynasty no such low-minded kings found who refuse to commit themselves in the holy places or on the battlefield not responding to the requests of the servants in question. (5) In this dynasty was born Hiranyâksha who, alone wandering this earth to conquer its directions with his club, couldn't find a hero equal to him. (6) Vishnu who [as a boar] with great difficulty had defeated him who He found on His way when He delivered the world, was, after He had been victorious, constantly reminding Himself of how powerful and capable Hiranyâksha had been [see 3.17-19]! (7) 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]. (8) 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: (9) 'Wheresoever I go will this one, like he was the death of each, go likewise; therefore will I enter his heart since he only looks outside of himself.' (10) This way decided He greatly concerned, invisible in His subtle body, to enter via his breath, through the nostril, the body of that enemy of malicious pursuit, o King of the Asuras. (11) 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 of all his power could he, searching for Vishnu, not get to see Him. (12) 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.' (13) Normally persists the ego-inspired enmity, an anger which has its basis in ignorance, with physical-minded people not beyond the death [of an adversary]. (14) Your father [Virocana], the son of Prahlâda, gave requested by the gods, despite of the fact that he knew that they had dressed up as brahmins, his life to them out of his own affinity with the twiceborn. (15) 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. (16) 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 King of the Daityas, to the measure of My foot. (17) There is nothing else I desire from you, o King so generous, o master of the universe, may the one of learning not suffer any want and receive from donations as much as he needs.'

(18) 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. (19) 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, when I can give an entire continent! (20) 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.'

(21) The Supreme Lord said: 'All the possible sense objects taken together that within these three worlds could please one, are incapable of satisfying the man who has no control over his senses, o King [see also 5.5: 4]. (22) He who has not enough with three steps won't be happy with a whole continent of nine lands either, nor with the desire to take hold of all the seven continents. (23) We have heard 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. (24) With that what by the grace of God is acquired according one's destiny should one be content; for someone dissatisfied not in control with himself is there no happiness, not even if he has obtained the three worlds [see also 7.6: 3-5, 5.5: 1 and B.G. 6: 20-23]. (25) To be discontent with the money and the sensual pleasures is the cause of the continuation of someone's materially determined existence [of repeatedly dying and starting all over again], but he who is satisfied with what was achieved by destiny, applies for liberation. (26) The effulgence of the brahmin increases when he is satisfied with what was obtained by providence, but decreases with his dissatisfaction the way a fire is extinguished with water. (27) For that reason do I ask you, so munificent as a benefactor, for three steps of land, for I have met My purpose perfectly with the single achievement of what is necessary.'

(28) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus addressed said Bali with a smile: 'Now take from me as You like', and in order to give Him the land took he his waterpot [so as to confirm ritually with the water in his hand his promise]. (29) S'ukrâcârya, the greatest expert in these matters who had guessed what Vishnu's plan was, then addressed his disciple, the asura lord who was about to deliver the land to Vishnu.'

(30) 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. (31) What you promised is, I think, at odds, you have no idea, it won't do you any good; what you contrived is a great threat for the Daityas! (32) 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]. (33) With the three steps He'll seize all the worlds gradually expanding to the universal form - how can you maintain yourselves after having given everything away to Vishnu, o fool! (34) One after the other will He with one step take the earth, with the second step occupy outer space and in the ether expand to His greatest and where would He then make his third step? (35) You'll be in hell forever I think, as that's what indeed happens to people who can't keep their promise; for you are of the type that no way is capable of living up to the expectations he created. (36) The saintly are not in favor of the charity that endangers one's livelihood, for it is because of one's capacity to maintain oneself that one finds the charity, sacrifice, austerity and fruitive activity in this world. (37) 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. (38) Listen, in this regard [concerning your promise] 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 om [AUM, 'yes', 'so be it'] and of that which has been said that was not preceded thus one speaks as the non-eternal [the relative, illusory or untrue, see also B.G 17: 24, 9: 17 and 8: 13]. (39) One should understand that the factual truth, as stated by the Vedas, says that flowers and fruits are there from the tree that is the body, but that from the untrue of the root of a dead tree there is no chance for them [compare B.G. 8: 6]. (40) 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*]. (41) That syllable of om thus uttered is what separates one, frees one and forms the counterpart [to one's wealth], a person is thus freed from that what is proposed [is sacrificed] in relation to its expression; anything given in charity to the needy therewith uttering om will thus not serve the satisfaction of one's senses or one's self-realization. (42) Do therefore not entirely accede to that drawing of your compassion nor be fully [committed] to speaking untruthfully [that you couldn't spare]; thus no one can say you are of illusion, that you would be someone who is reprehensible being dead alive. (43) 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 the cows and the brahminical in times of danger against violence.'

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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/