Canto 8: Withdrawal of the Cosmic CreationsChapter 20: Bali Mahārāja Surrenders the Universe

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 8.20.12

yadyapy asāv adharmeṇa

māḿ badhnīyād anāgasam

tathāpy enaḿ na hiḿsiṣye

bhītaḿ brahma-tanuḿ ripum


yadyapi — although; asau — Lord Viṣṇu; adharmeṇa — crookedly, without reference to the straight way; māmme; badhnīyāt — kills; anāgasam — although I am not sinful; tathāpi — still; enam — against Him; na — not; hiḿsiṣyeI shall take any retaliation; bhītam — because He is afraid; brahma-tanum — having assumed the form of a brāhmaṇa-brahmacārī; ripum — even though He is my enemy.


Although He is Viṣṇu Himself, out of fear He has covered Himself in the form of a brāhmaṇa to come to me begging. Under the circumstances, because He has assumed the form of a brāhmaṇa, even if He irreligiously arrests me or even kills me, I shall not retaliate, although He is my enemy.


If Lord Viṣṇu as He is had come to Bali Mahārāja and asked him to do something, Bali Mahārāja certainly would not have refused His request. But to enjoy a little humor between Himself and His devotee, the Lord covered Himself as a brāhmaṇa-brahmacārī and thus came to Bali Mahārāja to beg for only three feet of land.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness