Chapter 15: Bali Mahârâja Conquers the Heavenly Places
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-19, 11:38 AM

    Chapter 15: 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 notwithstanding his donation? We very much would like to understand all this begging of the Controller who is so complete in Himself and the arrest of Bali in spite of his innocence.'

    (3) S'rî S'uka said: 'Bali being defeated by Indra and deprived of his opulence and his life [see 8.11], was resuscitated by the followers of Bhrigu [S'ukrâcârya and his pupils]. He [then] as a great soul and disciple proved his respect for them by offering in full surrender everything he had. (4) The brahmin followers of Bhrigu who enjoyed a great authority, very pleased with him who wanted to conquer the heavenly places [of Indra] engaged him in a sacrifice called Vis'vajit. For that purpose they first according to the regulations subjected him to a great purification ritual [abhisheka]. (5) From the blazing fire that was worshiped with oblations of ghee, a brilliant chariot appeared drawn by horses with the same color as those of Indra [yellow]. It was covered with gold and silk and was adorned with a banner marked with a lion. (6) There was a special gilded bow, two quivers with an inexhaustible supply of  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 he on the advice of the brahmins had performed the ritual and thus by their grace had obtained the fighting gear, he circumambulated the scholars, offered his obeisances and with due respect bade Prahlâda Mahârâja farewell. (8-9) Next having ascended the divine chariot that was donated by S'ukrâcârya, the great charioteer, decorated with his garland, covered by his armor and equipped with his bow, took up a sword and quiver of arrows. With his golden bangles on his arms and the rings in his ears that glittered with their sapphires, he from his elevated position on the chariot shone like the fire of worship on an altar. (10-11) Surrounded by his men and the other Daitya leaders equal to him in opulence, strength and beauty, they seemed to drink in the sky and burn the directions with their looks. Having gathered the greatest Asura warriors they went to the supremely wealthy capital of Indra, making the earth tremble under their feet.

    (12) That place was most agreeable with orchards and gardens - like the beautiful Nandana garden - full of pairs of chirping birds, madly humming bees and eternal trees with branches overladen with leaves, 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 ones. (14) The ever worshipable river goddess surrounded the city with trenches filled with celestial Ganges water outside of the parapeted ramparts in the color of fire. (15) The gates that gave access to the city made of marble, the doors [of the houses] covered by golden plates and the many, carefully laid out public roads, were all constructed by Vis'vakarmâ. (16) It was replete with assembly houses, courtyards, roads, and countless opulent palaces. The crossroads were constructed with natural stone and had sitting places adorned with pillars and coral. (17) In that city one found the most beautiful, ever young women glittering like the flames of a fire, who cool, warm, round breasted and well decorated, always wore impeccably clean clothes. (18) The breezes blowing in the streets carried the fragrance of the fresh aromatic flowers that had slipped down from the hair of the demigod women. (19) The divine sweethearts passed on the streets through the white fragrant smoke of the aguru incense that was burned behind the windows with golden 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. The women in their heavenly buildings sang thereto in chorus about their happiness. (21) The city with all its brilliance so beautiful and pleasing with all the singing of the Gandharvas, the solo instruments, the dancing and the sounds of flutes, vînâs, drums, conch shells and kettledrums all perfectly in tune, defeated the splendor of beauty personified. (22) No godless people roamed the streets there, no one was envious or of violence against other creatures, no one cheated and no one was of false prestige, lust or greed. All who moved around there were completely free from all of that. (23) And it was that city of God that from the outside on all sides was attacked by him, the commander of the troops provided by S'ukrâcârya, who loudly resounding his conch shell created fear among all the ladies protected by Indra.

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

    (28) Brihaspati said: 'Oh Indra, I know how your enemy could rise against you. He derives his power from being a disciple of the mighty brahmins who are the followers of Bhrigu. (29) Being that powerful this strong man cannot be defeated by someone like you or by anyone belonging to you. Except for the Supreme Controller, the Lord, no one will be able to vanquish him now that he is endowed with a superior spiritual strength. To oppose him is just as useless as to oppose the lord of death. (30) You must therefore all give up your place in the heavenly kingdom, leave and go elsewhere to await the time your enemy has to face his reverse. (31) He who now is so utterly mighty, arising 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 being advised by their spiritual master on what they had to do, they who were the gods who could assume any form they liked, gave up their heavenly kingdom and departed. (33) When the gods thus had left, Bali, the son of Virocana, took hold of the city where the residents of heaven had their stay and brought the three worlds under his control. (34) Because he was their disciple the followers of Bhrigu, who were very pleased with the conqueror of the universe, told him to devote himself to a hundred [as'vamedha] horse sacrifices. (35) From performing those sacrifices his fame spread in all directions of the three worlds so that he shone with a glory equal to that of the moon. (36) From winning the favor of the twice-born ones he, in enjoying an opulence and prosperity like that of the demigods, deemed himself most happy with all that he had conceived and done so greatly.'