Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 8 Chapter 21:1-13

Book 8: Chapter 21

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 8: Chapter 21: Verses 1-13
Bali put in bonds

Sri Suka resumed : Observing the Lord's foot as having reached Satyaloka, Brahma (the lotus-born), who was (how) encircled by (the lustre of) the moon-like nails (of that foot) and whose (very) realm was eclipsed by them, went forth to greet the foot. So did Marici and the other seers, lifelong celibates (like the celestial sage Narada) and Yogis (united with the Lord through perception of identity), headed by Sanandana, O ruler among men, (deities presiding over) the (four) Vedas as well as the (four) Upavedas,[1] the (twelve) Yamas [2](forms of self-discipline) along with the (twelve) Niyamas [3] (religious vows), (the science of) logic, Itihasas (works on history such as the Ramayana of Valmiki and the Mahabharata), the (six) Vedangas (classes of works regarded as auxiliary to the Vedas and designed to aid in the correct pronunciation and interpretation of the text and the right employment of the Mantras in ceremonials), the (eighteen) Puranas and Samhitas (methodically arranged collections of sacred texts or verses, such as the Pancaratra-Samhita, Brahma-Samhita, Suta-Samhita and Garga-Samhita) and whoever else had their impurities in the shape of Karma burnt up with the fire of wisdom kindled by the breeze of Yoga (contemplation on God), and bowed to that foot, by virtue of whose contemplation they had ascended to the realm of Brahma (the self-born), (which is) not accessible through rituals. Now Brahma of unsullied fame offered water as an act of worship to the upraised foot of Lord Visnu, from the lotus at whose navel he had himself emerged; and having duly worshipped the foot (in other ways too), he sang His praises with devotion. That water poured from the water-pot of Brahma (the creator) came to be the (holy) Ganga (the heavenly river) because of its being hallowed by washing the aforesaid foot of Lord Visnu (of wide strides), O ruler of men. Falling through the heavens, the stream purifies (all) the three worlds (through which it courses) as the Lord's untarnished fame does.

Full of great reverence, Brahma and other guardians of the (various) worlds along with their followers offered worship to their own Ruler-who had (now) contracted His dimensions (once more resumed His diminutive form)-with water (to wash His hands and feet, rinse His mouth, and bathe Him with), presents (of various kinds), fragrant wreaths of flowers, ethereal perfumes and sandalpaste etc., to daub His person with, incense (of various kinds), lights, parched grains of paddy, unbroken rice, fruits and sprouts, songs of praise and shouts of victory marked by the glory of His power, dances and music-both instrumental and vocal-and the sound of conchs and kettledrums. Jambavan, the king of the bears [4], who ran swift as thought, actually proclaimed (while running) by (repeated) sounds of drum in all the (four) quarters the triumph (of Lord Vamana), (which was) marked with great festivity.

Enraged at finding the whole earth, which was till now in the possession of their master-who had taken a solemn undertaking to perform a sacrifice (and to abstain in consequence from all forms of violence till the end of the sacrifice)- snatched away (from him) by recourse to a deceitful prayer for three paces of land, the Asuras said (to one another):- "He is certainly not a begging Brahmana but Visrw (himself), the foremost of (all) conjurers, who-concealed (as he is) under the guise of a Brahmana-seeks to accomplish the purpose of the gods. By this fellow, (who is no other than) an enemy disguised as a Brahmana boy, stands wrested, under pretext of begging, everything belonging to our master (king Bali), who has relinquished (all forms of) violence by reason of his sacrificial activity. Falsehood is not possible for our master, who is ever vowed to truthfulness, particularly so long as he is consecrated for sacrificial activity, (nay,) who is devoted to the Brahmanas and full of compassion (to all). Therefore, it is our sacred duty and a (distinct) service to our lord to kill this fellow? Saying so, the Asuras forming the retinue of Bali took up (their) arms.



  1. A class of writings subordinate to the Vedas, viz., Ayurveda or the science of medicine, Dhanurveda or the military science, Gandharvaveda or the science of music and Sthapatyaveda or the science of architecture which are attached in order to Rgveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda.
  2. For a list of the Yamas and Niyamas vide translation of IV. xxii. 24.
  3. For a list of the Yamas and Niyamas vide translation of IV. xxii. 24.
  4. He Is the same Jambavan who subsequently figured so prominently in the expedition of Sri Rama against Lanka in the Treta age and also unwittingly fought with Sri Krsna in the Dwapara age-vide X.55 of Srimad Bhagavata.

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