Lessons from Bali Maharaj – Part 1

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev.

In our life when reverses happen our immediate tendency is to blame the people around and if nobody is around then we blame the Lord squarely. We go to the extent of asking Him why He has put us in such a condition. This is a natural position of us. We are so much insignificant and inconsequential in this world. But we can see from the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam, Bali Maharaj who conquered the three world was arrested and punished by the Lord in front of so many people. It is really a embarrassing situation for the ruler of three worlds to be put in such a precarious condition. When Bali Maharaj was arrested by the Lord, he surrendered his life and manifested super wonderful glorious qualities which made him as one of the greatest Mahajanas. The realization of Bali Maharaj on being arrested by the Lord is nicely expressed in seven transcendental gem of verses quoted by him in 8 Canto Chapter 22 – Verses 4 through 11. We will discuss those gems and we can learn wonderful lessons from them for us to imbibe in our lives. Let us the discuss the lessons from each of these verses.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 8.22.4 he says,

pumsaam shlaaghyatamam manye / dandam arhattamaarpitam
yam na maataa pitaa bhraataa / suhrdash caadishanti hi

"Although a father, mother, brother or friend may sometimes punish one as a well-wisher, they never punish their subordinate like this. But because You are the most worshipable Lord, I regard the punishment You have given me as most exalted."

Bali Maharaj considers the punishment as most exalted because he understood that Lord is the most worshipable and he is the subordinate and therefore accepts the punishment as exalted. In our case we cannot even admit a single mistake forget about considering the punishment by the Lord as exalted. We have not yet realized that the Lord is the most worshipable and we are constant offenders at His lotus feet almost all the times because of our insubordination.

tvam nunam asuraanaam nah / paroksah paramo guruh
yo no ‘neka-madaandhaanaam / vibhramsham cakshur aadishat

"Since Your Lordship is indirectly the greatest well-wisher of us demons, You act for our best welfare by posing as if our enemy. Because demons like us always aspire for a position of false prestige, by chastising us You give us the eyes by which to see the right path."

Bali Maharaj is telling three things in this statement and accepting the chastisement.

1. Greatest well wisher
2. Acts on our Best welfare
3. Put us on the right path.

1.Greatest well wisher: When we are in difficulty, we dont understand the Lord extends His mercy so that we can go to Him and ask for forgiveness for our insubordination and rebellious nature. The difficulties are caused by our own past karmas or existing sinful activities. This repentance gives us a chance for us to elevate ourselves spiritually. Lord acts as the greatest well wisher. Also He is the greatest well wisher because we are His part and parcel. He is very much anxious for our liberation (alayaaya never inattentive or idle for our deliverance).

2.Acts on our best welfare: Sometimes we plan and desire to achieve something but finally it ends up in failure. We tend to get somewhat frustrated with the Lord in not reciprocating to us. But we do not know what is best for us, especially about the future. One of our godbrother got an offer from another company with double the salary, but he was cautious enough to consult our Gurudev who advised him not to pursue with the new offer. We might be thinking why our Gurudev is asking him to decline the offer as it is very clear that he is going to get double the salary and therefore may conclude that Gurudev or the Lord is not acting on our best welfare. But to the surprise after few months the new company who gave the offer had to close down due to recession and the godbrother would have lost the existing good job, had he not listened to Gurudev. So the Lord and Gurudev advised on the best welfare for our godbrother. This is so subtle that we are not able to understand these transcendental things beyond our vision. It is the always the best to act according to the instructions of our Gurudev or Krishna then there is no case of despondency and failure.

3. Put us on the right path: Bali Maharaj could understand the false ego is the most difficult to leave and that is the reason we are unable to understand the Lord and Gurudev are our greatest well wishers and acts on our best welfare. Unless we are convinced of this particular point, we will never be guided in the right spiritual path. We have to develop this conviction by studying the shaastras regularly and seriously.

Krishna willing, we will see the other exalted gems of realisations of Bali Maharaj in the ensuing mails.

Once one of the disciples of Srila Prabhupada quoted so many verses praising Srila Prabhupada and the Supreme Lord. But however he was not keeping the brahmachari room nicely. So Prabhupada immediately chastised him and said, "Mere repetition of verses and realization are not enough. This needs to be translated into action by keeping your room clean." Please forgive me for any inadequacies and pray for me to understand this gems from Srimad Bhagavatam and put them into practice.

Bali Maharaj ki Jai! Granthraj Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai !

Thank you very much,

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