Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 8 Chapter 20:1-13

Book 8: Chapter 20

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 8: Chapter 20: Verses 1-13
A vision of the Cosmic Body (of the Lord)

Sri Suka resumed : Thus spoken to by the sage Sukra (the preceptor of the demon race), Bali, the sacrificer (lit., master of the house or head of his family) kept quiet for a moment and (then) with a concentrated mind submitted to his teacher (as follows). Bali said: Truly has it been observed by your worshipful self that such (alone) is the duty of householders, as does not at any time interfere with his wealth, enjoyment, fame and livelihood. (2) But, having promised (once) that I shall give, how can I, the celebrated Bali (a scion of Prahrada) refuse, like a cheat, through greed of wealth, a (holy) Brahmana? This Earth (once) clearly said: "Indeed there is no unrighteousness greater than falsehood. I regard myself capable of sustaining all other than a man given to lying."

I am not afraid (so much) of (the tortures of) hell, poverty and (even) an ocean of misery nor of falling from my position and death (itself) as of playing a Brahmana false. Whatever wealth etc.,there is in this world will (surely) abandon a deceased person. (Why, then, should one not give it away oneself during one's very lifetime?) (And) what apology is there for parting with (only a portion of) such wealth if a Brahmana is not satisfied with that (much)? Pious souls like the sage Dadhici and king Sibi minister to living beings with their life (itself), (so) difficult to part with. What scruple can there be (under such circumstances) in giving away land etc., (external to the self)? Time swallowed the enjoyments of those lords of the Daityas by whom, O holy Brahmana, (the whole of) this globe was ruled over and who never retreated (in battle), but not (so) the celebrity acquired by them on earth (which still survives).

Warriors not turning back and laying down their lives on the field of battle, O Brahmana sage, are indeed easy to find, but not so those (liberal souls) who give away (their) fortune with reverence when a worthy recipient comes. It is (rather) graceful for a magnanimous and compassionate soul that poverty should overtake him in consequence of (his) gratifying the desire of (ordinary) petitioners, much more of knowers of Brahma like you. Hence I shall (presently) confer the desired boon on this Brahmacari. Be he the selfsame Lord Visnu, the Bestower of boons, whom you, well-versed in the Vedic rituals, worship with reverence through Kratus (sacrificial performances in which the use of the Soma plant is indispensable and Yajnas (those in which the Soma plant is not used), or be he an enemy, I shall bestow on him the land sought for, O holy sage! Even if he unrighteously puts me- even though faultless-in bonds, yet I shall not hurt him, my enemy disguised as a Brahmana, and (therefore) afraid (of me). If he is really Lord Visnu (of excellent fame), he would not forfeit his fair name (by playing me false) and might (as well) wrest the earth (from me, even if I were loth to part with it) after killing me in battle; or, being slain by me, he might lie in (eternal) sleep (if he is an impostor).



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