Lessons from Bali Maharaj – Part 3

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev.
We are continuing the topic on "Lessons from Bali Maharaj". The realization of Bali Maharaj on being arrested by the Lord is nicely expressed in seven transcendental gem of verses spoken by him in 8 Canto Chapter 22 – Verses 4 through 11. We have discussed verses 4 to 9 in the previous two offerings on this subject. We saw how Bali Maharaj logically and sequentially explains his realization and his reasons for surrendering his life to the Supreme Lord Krishna. We will see the next verse in this offering.

SB 8.22.10
ittham sa nishcitya pitaamaho mahaan
agaadha-bodho bhavatah paada-padmam
dhruvam prapede hy akutobhayam janaad
bheetah svapaksha-kshapanasya sattama

"My grandfather, the best of all men, who achieved unlimited knowledge and was worshipable for everyone, was afraid of the common men in this world. Being fully convinced of the substantiality afforded by shelter at Your lotus feet, He took shelter of Your lotus feet, against the will of his father and demoniac friends, who were killed by Your own self."
Bali Maharaj is expressing the reasons for surrendering his life to the Lord because there is real substance in this. How is it? He has got a proof that his grandfather Prahlad Maharaj surrendered to the lotus feet of the Lord and achieved three things.
1. Unlimited knowledge of everything
2. Worshipable for everyone
3. Fearlessness in material existence
1. Unlimited knowledge agaadha bodhah: In the material world everyone of us wanted to acquire unlimited knowledge of everything. But we can attain unlimited knowledge only when we become knowledgeable of the Absolute Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. Prahlad Maharaj attained this position by means of his unflinching devotional service unto the Supreme Lord.
2. Worshipable for everyone – mahaan: We want to be recognized by everybody and become famous all over the world. People have started creating temples for celebrities who might be famous in some specific field in this mundane world. But we can become famous in this world and become worshipable for everyone only if we worship the unlimited Supreme Lord. Prahlad Maharaj did not glorify anyone, even his own father who was terrorizing the entire universe. He simply glorified the Lord and the result is that he is glorified for millions of years, even today.
3. Fearlessness in material existence – akuto bhayam: When we realize our real position in this material world and that we as the eternal soul, eternal servant of Krishna exist eternally, then we will be free of the fear of death. Prahlad Maharaj was so transcendentally free from the bodily conception that even when his father was devising all means and ways to kill him, he did not budge an inch from his unflinching devotion to the Supreme Lord. The first and foremost effect of devotional service is that we become free from the fear of material existence.
We should realize that in the material world we can never acquire unlimited knowedge and even if we acquire such unlimited knowledge, we can become worshipable only as long as we are in this world. Once we exit, there is no question of remembrance at all. By the efflux of time everything is forgotten. We forget our own family members who have passed away after few years. Assuming that we get good knowledge and fame all over the world, still fearfulness will be there as to how to retain the knowledge and fame. There is a constant threat attached to it. We can never become fearless in material existence. Prahlad Maharaj was never fearful even he was to be dropped off from the cliff by his own father. He had firm faith in the eternal shelter of the Lord’s lotus feet. Thus by the example of his grand-father, Bali Maharaj is showing us the importance of surrendering unto the Lord under all circumstances.
We can see the classic example of Srila Prabhupada in the recent history who due to his unlimited knowledge is still famous all over the world and exhibited complete fearlessness in the material existence. He was fearless in preaching the Supreme Truth even to the extent of calling the leaders of the ‘so-called’ society as rascals and animals. He is worshiped 24 hours around the globe eventhough he has disappeared from this world 33 years before. Bali Maharaj’s realization that surrendering everything to the Supreme Lord never goes in vain but in actuality makes us gain unlimited knowledge, famous and fearless in material existence. Everyone of us from the core of heart as devotee has to admit that we have the desire of achieving these three things. Why not we surrender to the will of the Lord following the footsteps of great Mahajanas like Prahlad Maharaj, Bali Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada?
Krishna willing we will look at the next verse spoken by Bali Maharaj in the ensuing mail on this subject.
Thank you very much.

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