Glories of Bali Maharaj
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.85.41-43 - Glories of Bali Maharaj (download mp3)
by Radhika Vallabha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
nityam nibaddha-vairas te
vayam canye ca tadrsah
bhaktya kecana kamatah
na tatha sattva-samrabdhah
Many who had been constantly absorbed in enmity toward You ultimately became attracted to You, who are the direct embodiment of transcendental goodness and whose divine form comprises the revealed scriptures. These reformed enemies include Daityas, Danavas, Gandharvas, Siddhas, Vidyadharas, Caranas, Yaksas, Raksasas, Pisacas, Bhutas, Pramathas and Nayakas, and also ourselves and many others like us. Some of us have become attracted to You because of exceptional hatred, while others have become attracted because of their mood of devotion based on lust. But the demigods and others infatuated by material goodness feel no such attraction for You.
Srila Jiva Gosvami explains this passage as follows: The Gandharvas, Siddhas, Vidyadharas and Caranas are adversaries of the Supreme Lord when they follow the lead of the Daitya and Danava demons. The Yaksas, Raksasas, Pisacas and so on tend to be inimical because they are generally covered by ignorance. There are some rascals in the pure mode of ignorance, like Sisupala and Paundraka, who are totally absorbed in meditation on the Lord as their enemy, and this fixed consciousness earns them liberation. Others, in a mixed condition of passion and ignorance, associate with the Lord with a desire for position and prestige; Maharaja Bali sees himself as belonging to this category. Yet Lord Visnu favored Bali by becoming his doorkeeper in the subterranean region of Sutala, just as He favored the demons by killing and liberating them, and the Gandharvas by engaging them in singing His glories. On the other hand, the Lord awards sense gratification to those demigods who are proud of their being situated in the mode of goodness; thus they become deluded and forget Him.