Satisfying the Lord
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Bali Maharaj asked Vamanadev, "O brahman, what do you want? Tell me, and I can give You anything you wish."
Vamanadev replied, "I am a very small brahman, so I do not want so much. I know you have everything and can give Me so many things, even heaven. You took birth in the family of Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa, so your grandfather (Prahlad Maharaj) is a great personality, a maha-bhagavata; even your father, Virochan, has never disrespected brahmans although he is a demon. So, I know you are a great personality, but the truth is that I do not want anything big. I am a small brahman, and I want only something small."
"All right, what is it that You want?"
"I want tri-pad bhumi (three footsteps of land)."
"You are a batu-vaman (a dwarf brahman), so You are asking for such small things. I have so much and I can give You so many things, but you are asking only for a three-footstep land. I have promised to give donation to all brahmans today, so if I give you three footsteps of land today and it does not fulfil Your desire, then You will later go to another place and it will spoil my reputation (some disrespect will come to me). I can give You so much more, why do you want tri-pad bhumi? Your feet are so small, so You will not be able to even build a house on that land. What will you do with that three footsteps of land?"
"It does not matter, this is what I want. I do not want anything else."
Bali Maharaj tried to persuade Vamanadev to change His mind and ask for something more, but Vamanadev did not give in. In the end, Bali Maharaj promised Vamanadev, "All right, I will give You what You are asking for—I will give You three footsteps of land."
When Bali Maharaj said this, Sukracharya (Bali Maharaj's guru and the guru of all demons) was not there. He came just after Bali Maharaj had made the promise. When Sukracharya got to know what had happened, he said to Bali Maharaj,
"Bali, you do not know anything! You are a baby! You do not know who this is! Coming as a brahman in front of you, He is Vamanadev, the Lord Himself! You do not know what you have done, take your promise back."
"No," said Bali Maharaj, "I have made a promise to a brahman, and I will keep it. I will give Him three steps of land. What is the problem? What loss is it to me? I have so much land, I have so much opulence, if I give Him three steps of land, how will that affect me?"
"Bali, you do not understand who this is. He will take everything from you with His three steps! After that, you will not be able to give any donation to anyone else ever again! He is the Lord Himself."
"All right, if He is the Lord and the Lord comes to take everything from me with His three steps, what is the problem?"
Bali Maharaj did not listen to his guru and prepared to give the donation to Vamanadev. Now, Sukracharya possessed some mystic powers through which he managed to enter the kumandala (a pot used for auspicious ceremonies) and block the water from flowing outside. When Bali Maharaj was about to officially make the donation by pouring some water from the kumandala, he saw that the water was stuck inside, so he took a stick, or some straw, and poked it inside the kumandala. When he did that, Sukracharya became blind—he lost one of his eyes.
(You can understand that this is the result that comes if somebody tries to obstruct your service to the Lord, if somebody creates problems for your service to the Lord. Such people meet an accident; for example, they can lose eyes, a hand, a leg, etc.)
Bali Maharaj did not listen to his guru and kept his promise to Lord Vamanadev. When the water flowed from the kumandala, he said, "Om Vishnu, Om Vishnu," and officially declared that Vamanadev could take three steps of any of the land. After that, Vamanadev started to grow and grow until, to the astonishment of all the brahmans, His body became absolutely enormous. Assuming such form, He took all mortal planets (martya) with His first step, the heaven with His second step, and then, having nowhere to place His third step, He spoke to Bali Maharaj,
"Maharaj, you still have not kept your promise. You have given me only two steps of land, and I want the third step of land now! Where shall I place My foot now?"
Bali Maharaj replied, "Prabhu, I have nothing now. You have taken everything with Your two steps. I have nothing left..."
"Are you sure you have nothing? Think, think. Do you really have nothing?"
Bali Maharaj said again and again, "No, Prabhu, I am sure I have nothing else. What can I give You now? How will I give You the third step of land? You have taken everything with Your two steps..."
Then, Bali Maharaj's clever wife, Vindhyavali, said into her husband's ear, "You do not understand. The Lord has come to give you His mercy! Do you not understand it? You say you have given everything to Him, but have you given yourself to Him?"
Then Bali Maharaj understood it, "Oh yes! I forgot! I have not given myself!" Then, he said to Lord Vamanadev, "Prabhu, I am now giving myself to You." When Bali Maharaj paid a full dandavat at Lord Vamanadev's lotus feet, a third leg appeared from Lord Vamanadev's navel and the Lord put His third leg on Bali Maharaj's head. Then, Lord Vamanadev said, "Yes, now you have given Me everything! Now you have fulfilled your promise, and I am very happy with you. Now we will do the opposite."
"What do You mean 'the opposite'?"
"Up until now, you have been giving to Me and I have been taking, but now I will give something to you, and you will take it."
Bali Maharaj said, "No, no, Prabhu. You have already given Your mercy to me. I do not want anything. I do not want anything. You have appeared in front of me in this form, and this is sufficient for me, I do not want anything else."
"No, no. I have come and taken something from you, but now I will give something to you and you must take it."
Bali Maharaj kept refusing, and in the end Lord Vamanadev said, "All right, stay in Sutalpuri (a planet in Vaikuntha) with your grandfather, Prahlad Maharaj, then."
Jay Sri Vamanadev ki jay!
This is the pastimes of Lord Vamanadev's appearance day, which is today; and it is also Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu's appearance day today...
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