Judge Not Lest Be Judged

Srimad Bhagavatam 08.23.11-14 - Judge Not Lest Be Judged (download mp3)
by Muralidhar Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 8.23.11-12
sri-suka uvaca
ajñam bhagavato rajan
prahrado balina saha
badham ity amala-prajño
murdhny adhaya krtañjalih
pranatas tad-anujñatah
pravivesa maha-bilam

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami said: Accompanied by Bali Maharaja, my dear King Pariksit, Prahlada Maharaja, the master of all the chiefs of the demons, took the Supreme Lord's order on his head with folded hands. After saying yes to the Lord, circumambulating Him and offering Him respectful obeisances, he entered the lower planetary system known as Sutala.

SB 8.23.13
athahosanasam rajan
harir narayano 'ntike
asinam rtvijam madhye
sadasi brahma-vadinam

Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, thereafter addressed Sukracarya, who was sitting nearby in the midst of the assembly with the priests [brahma, hota, udgata and adhvaryu]. O Maharaja Pariksit, these priests were all brahma-vadis, followers of the Vedic principles for performing sacrifices.

SB 8.23.14
brahman santanu sisyasya
karma-cchidram vitanvatah
yat tat karmasu vaisamyam
brahma-drstam samam bhavet

O best of the brahmanas, Sukracarya, please describe the fault or discrepancy in your disciple Bali Maharaja, who engaged in performing sacrifices. This fault will be nullified when judged in the presence of qualified brahmanas.

When Bali Maharaja and Prahlada Maharaja had departed for the planet Sutala, Lord Visnu asked Sukracarya what the fault was in Bali Maharaja for which Sukracarya had cursed him. It might be argued that since Bali Maharaja had now left the scene, how could his faults be judged? In reply to this, Lord Visnu informed Sukracarya that there was no need for Bali Maharaja's presence, for his faults and discrepancies could be nullified if judged before the brahmanas. As will be seen in the next verse, Bali Maharaja had no faults; Sukracarya had unnecessarily cursed him. Nonetheless, this was better for Bali Maharaja. Being cursed by Sukracarya, Bali Maharaja was deprived of all his possessions, with the result that the Supreme Personality of Godhead favored him for his strong faith in devotional service. Of course, a devotee is not required to engage in fruitive activities. As stated in the sastra, sarvarhanam acyutejya (SB 4.31.14). By worshiping Acyuta, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one satisfies everyone. Because Bali Maharaja had satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there were no discrepancies in his performance of sacrifices.