Thursday, 8 July 2021

BALI PROMISES TO GIVE LANDS TO THE DWARF | BHAVISHYA PARVA SECTION - 45

CHAPTER LXVI

(BALI PROMISES TO GIVE LANDS TO THE DWARF)

Vamana as Trivikrama

Vishnu said:—"What a wonderful sacrifice is this undertaken by the king of Asuras. There are various sorts of well prepared edibles. O highly powerful Dānava king, your sacrifice has excelled that of the Great Creator Brahmā, that of Sakra the king of the celestials and that of Yama, and Varuna (1-2). This horse-sacrifice, the best of all sacrifices leading to the attainment of heaven, which you have undertaken for destroying your sins, is full of all desirable objects and approved by the Brahmavadins. The Sruti says that Ashwamedha is the best of sacrifices. This great Yajna, which is of the shape of a boar with golden horns, iron hoops and gait fleet like the mind, which has profuse gold and is the origin of the universe, is highly sacred. By performing this sacrifice a man rides the sacrificial horse and gets over his sins. The Vipras, well read in the Vedas, call this sacrificial horse fire. As the order of a householder is the best of all Ashramas, as the Brāhmanas are the best of mankind, as you are now the foremost of Asuras, so the horse-sacrifice is the best of all sacrifices."

Vaishampāyana said:—Hearing those words of the Dwarf, Bali, the king of Daityas, was highly pleased (3–8). Bali said:—"O foremost of the twice-born, who art thou? What dost thou want? What shall I give thee? May good betide thee. Do thou pray for thy wished-for object and thou shalt have it" (9). The Dwarf said:—"O Dānava, I do not pray for kingdom, conveyances, jewels or women. If you are pleased, if you have your mind fixed on virtue, I pray from you for ground covering three foot-steps for the construction of the sacrificial house of my preceptor. Grant me this which is the highest object I pray for" (10–11). Bali said:—"O foremost of orators, O best of Brāhmanas, what object of yours will be accomplished with ground covering three foot-steps. Pray for ground measuring hundreds and thousands of feet" (12). Shukra said:—"O you of large arms, O great Asura, do not promise him any gift; you do not know him. He is the Great Lord Hari. Having assumed the form of a dwarf through his Māyā he has come here to impose on you for the well-being of the king of gods. The Omnipotent Lord can assume various forms" (13–14). Thus addressed by Shukra Bali meditated for some time and then determining in his mind: "Where shall I do get a worthier person than he" he was filled with joy. Then holding up a golden grass he stood motionless there. Bali said:—"O foremost of Vipras having lotus eyes, sit down. I stand here with my face towards the east. Accept my gift saying 'give.' What lands will you take? What is the extent of your three feet? I will give it. Take up water, the words of your preceptor will not be falsified" (15-17). Shukra said:—"O Daitya-king, do not make him any present. Forsooth I have come to know that he is Vishnu. What wonderful devotion! You have been imposed upon." Bali said:—"I have not been deceived, the Lord himself, Vishnu has come to my sacrifice. I shall give unto this god of gods whatever he will ask of me. What worthier person can there be than Vishnu to whom I may make a gift?" Saying this Bali at once took water (18–20). The Dwarf said:—"O sinless king of the Dānavas, the land, covering my three foot-steps, will be enough for me. What I have said before is true. It can never be otherwise" (21).

Vaishampāyana said:—Hearing those words of the highly effulgent Dwarf, Virochana’s son Bali, the king of Daityas and the slayer of his enemies, threw an antelope skin on his person. And then saying 'let it be so' he touched a jar full of water. Desirous of destroying the Asura king the Dwarf too extended his hand destructive of Daityas. As the king of Dānavas, with his face towards east, was about to give him water Pralhāda prevented him. Beholding the un-foreseen form of the Great Hari, who was willing to steal the prosperity of the Asuras, the greatly wise Pralhāda said:—"Do not give any thing unto this dwarfish Brāhmana. It is he who formerly killed your great grandfather. This greatly wise Vishnu has come to impose on you" (22–28). Bali said:—"It is indeed a matter of great joy that I will be able to make gifts unto this Deity. I have obtained as an object of my gifts who is the lord of the universe, who shows such a favour and who is superior even to Bramhā. O foremost of Asuras, one, who has been initiated for sacrifice, must make gifts." Having thus expressed himself in the midst of the Asuras Virochana's son Bali granted the Lord Nārāyana land measuring three feet.

Pralhada said:—"O king of Dānavas, do not promise to give anything unto this Vipra. I do not consider him a Vipra youth. A Brāhmana is not like it. Beholding his form I think forsooth that the Man-lion has returned again." Thus addressed by Pralhāda of unlimited energy, Bali, as if remonstrating with him, said (29–34).

Bali said:—Misfortune of the person who prays for alms and that of the Asura who drives him away disappointed visit the latter. The man, who having made a promise unto a Brāhmana, does not satisfy it that sinful wight goes to hell with his friends and kinsmen. Afraid of suffering from poverty I am making a present of this earth to him; who is there a worthier Brāhmana than he? While there is none superior to him, I confer this earth to him. Seeing the twice-born one beg alms from me in the shape of a dwarf I have been highly pleased. I will therefore make him a gift: do not prevent me. Bali again said to that dwarfish Brahmana:—"O you of little understanding, what will you do with land covering three foot steps? I will confer on you the entire earth surrounded by the oceans." The dwarf said:—"O foremost of Dānavas, I do not pray for the entire earth. I am satisfied with land covering three foot-steps. This is what I like and pray for" (35–41).

Vaishampāyana said:—Having said "So be it" the Danava-king Bali made the Lord Nārāyana of unmeasured energy touch land covering three foot-steps. When his hand fell into water the Lord Dwarf considered himself insulted and displayed his universal form. The earth was his feet, the sky was his head, the sun and moon were his eyes, the Pishacas were the fingers of his feet and the Guhyakas were the fingers of his hands. The Vishwadevas were on his thighs, the Sāddhyas were on his knees and the Devas and Apsaras emanated from his nails. Lightning formed his vision, the rays of the sun were his hairs, the stars were the holes of the hairs of his body and the Rishis were those hairs. The two Ashwinis were his two feet, and the highly powerful Vayu was his nose. The contrary quarters were his arms and the quarters were his ears. The moon was his delightfulness, virtue was his mind, truth was his speech, the goddess Saraswati was his tongue, the great goddess Aditi was his neck, the effulgent sun was his throat, the gate of heaven was his navel, Mitras and Twastha were his two eye-brows, fire was his mouth, Prajāpati was his testes, Brahmā was his heart, and Kashyapa was his organ of pro-creation. Vasava was his back and the Maruts were his joints. The Vedas constituted his presence, lustre was his effulgence, Rudra was his breast, the great ocean was his patience, the highly powerful Gandhatvas and serpents were his belly, Lakshmi was his intelligence, Dhriti was his beauty, learning was his waist, and the seat of the soul was his fore-head. All the luminous bodies formed his ascetic penance, and the king of gods Sakra was his energy, on his breast and sides were the gods, sacrifices Ishti rites, the works of the twice-born and beasts. Beholding that universal form of Vishnu the great Asuras were worked up with anger. And like insects going to a fire they approached him (42-56).

Source: https://archive.org/details/AProseEnglishTranslationOfHarivamsh

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