Chapter 23: The Demigods Regain the Heavenly Places
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-20, 4:53 PM

    Chapter 23: The Demigods Regain the Heavenly Places

    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'After [Bali] the great and exalted soul who carried the approval of all the saints, thus was addressed by the Original, Oldest Person, he spoke full of devotion with folded hands, with tears in his eyes and a faltering voice. (2) S'rî Bali said: 'Oh just the attempt to offer my obeisances suffices for a result like that of surrendered devotees. What You out of Your causeless mercy have granted a fallen Asura like me, nobody among the demigods and the leaders of the world has achieved before.'

    (3) S'rî S'uka said: 'After having said this to the Lord, Bali offered Him and also Lord Brahmâ and Lord S'iva his obeisances. Thereupon he released and satisfied entered Sutala together with his associates. (4) By fulfilling Aditi's desire and by giving back to king Indra his supremacy over the heavenly worlds, the Lord thus exercised His authority over the entire universe [see 8.16: 11-17]. (5) Prahlâda who had heard how his descendant, his grandson Bali, had achieved His mercy and was released from his fetters, then full of devotion addressed [the Supreme Personality] as follows. (6) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'With this benediction, which could not be achieved by Lord Brahmâ, by the Goddess of Fortune or by Lord S'iva - not even mentioning others -, You for us Asuras have become the Protector Against All Misery, the One whose feet are worshiped by the most respected personalities of the universe! (7) Oh Shelter of All, Lord Brahmâ and others enjoy Your grace by tasting the honey of serving Your lotus feet. How could we, people of a bad conduct and a bad birth, achieve the position that is granted when one follows the path of Your merciful glance? (8) Oh how wonderful all the activities of Your unlimited spiritual potency are! In Your pastimes, oh Lord who created all the worlds, oh Soul of all souls expert in every field, You are equal towards everyone. Not to discriminate characterizes Your love, a love in which You for Your devotees are like a desire tree [since You are unto the people what they are unto You, see B.G. 9: 29].'

    (9) The Supreme Lord said: 'My son Prahlâda, I wish you all the best, please go to the place Sutala and bring with a spirit of joy happiness to your grandson, relatives and friends! (10) Situated there you will always have the vision of Me holding the club [the conch, the lotus and the discus]. The great delight of seeing Me in that form will cut the bonds of karma.'

    (11-12) S'rî S'uka said: 'Prahlâda accepted, with his clear mind consenting, with folded hands the order of the Supreme Lord oh King. After he, the Master of all the leading Asuras, next had circumambulated the Original Person and offered his obeisances, he together with Bali with His permission entered the lower world Sutala. (13) Lord Nârâyana then said to S'ukrâcârya who in the assembly of transcendentalists sat close to Him in a group of priests [brahma, hotâ, udgâtâ and adhvaryu]: (14) 'Oh brahmin, please describe the karmic imperfections of your disciple Bali who performs the sacrifices, for these karmic faults [see 8.20: 15] will be neutralized under the supervision of the brahmins.'

    (15) S'rî S'ukra said: 'What would be wrong with him who in all respects was of worship for You who are the Master of all fruitive action, You the Controller and Enjoyer of all sacrifices [see also 4.31: 14, 1.2: 13 and B.G. 5: 25]? (16) As for the time and place, the person, the paraphernalia, [the practice of] the mantras and following the principles, faults can be made, but these are all nullified by regularly chanting Your glories in congregation [*]. (17) Still I have to do what You have told me oh Supreme One, for it is the most auspicious and supreme thing for each person to fold his hands in obedience to Your command.'

    (18) S'rî S'uka said: 'Us'anâ [S'ukrâcârya, see 4.1: 45] the mightiest [sage] thus offering his obeisances to the authority of the Lord, set himself together with the best brahmins the task of compensating for the imperfect sacrifice that Bali made for the Lord. (19) Oh King, the Lord who as Vâmana this way from Bali had begged the land, delivered the places of the gods that had been seized by the others to His godbrother the great Indra. (20-21) For the pleasure of Kas'yapa and Aditi [the parents of Vâmana] and for the well-being of all living beings and worlds, the master of the founding fathers Lord Brahmâ, together with the gods, the saints, the forefathers, the Manus, Daksha, Bhrigu, Angirâ, all the great leaders, Lord S'iva and his son [Kârttikeya], made Lord Vâmana the supreme leader of all the authorities in the world. (22-23) When they made Upendra the master for all purposes, [the protector] of  the Veda, the master of all gods, of all religion, of all fame, of all opulence, of all auspiciousness and of all vows, regarding Him the greatest expert in elevating to a higher life, that oh ruler of man, made all living beings extremely happy. (24) Indra together with the leaders of the world thereafter, with the permission of Lord Brahmâ, then kept Lord Vâmana in front on the divine path of accomplishing the kingdom of heaven. (25) Under the protection of Vâmanadeva Indra regained his rule over the three worlds and the pleasure of being blessed by its supreme wealth and had nothing more to fear [from the Asuras]. (26-27) Oh King, Lord Brahmâ, Lord S'iva and his son, the sages headed by Bhrigu, the munis, the forefathers and all the living beings, the perfected ones and the space travelers [the vimâna people] and such, glorified all the supremely wonderful, praiseworthy deeds of Lord Vishnu, also praised Aditi and then left for each their own world.

    (28) Oh pleasure of the dynasty, to hear about all these activities of Lord Urukrama [the Lord 'of the great steps'] I have described to you, wipes away all consequences of sin. (29) The great saint [Vasishthha Muni] stated in his mantras that no mortal human being subject to death or destined to be reborn can measure the glories of Lord Urukrama, even as no one is capable of counting the number of atoms of the earth [see also B.G. 10: 42 and **]. (30) Anyone who hears about and keeps listening to the stories about this God of gods, Lord Hari, all of whose works performed in His incarnations are equally wonderful, will attain the supreme destination. (31) When one engages in this [telling and listening] during the performance of whatever ritual, whether one is engaged for the gods, the ancestors or one's fellow man [at a marriage ceremony for instance], that ceremony will with these [descriptions] be well-performed.'