A Sadhaka's Struggle For Surrender

Srimad Bhagavatam 08.22.18-20 - A Sadhaka's Struggle For Surrender (download mp3)
by Vraja Bihari Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 8.22.18
sri-suka uvaca
tasyanusrnvato rajan
prahradasya krtañjaleh
hiranyagarbho bhagavan
uvaca madhusudanam

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: O King Pariksit, Lord Brahma then began to speak to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, within the hearing of Prahlada Maharaja, who stood nearby with folded hands.

SB 8.22.19
baddham viksya patim sadhvi
tat-patni bhaya-vihvala
prañjalih pranatopendram
babhase 'van-mukhi nrpa

But Bali Maharaja's chaste wife, afraid and aggrieved at seeing her husband arrested, immediately offered obeisances to Lord Vamanadeva [Upendra]. She folded her hands and spoke as follows.

Although Lord Brahma was speaking, he had to stop for a while because Bali Maharaja's wife, Vindhyavali, who was very agitated and afraid, wanted to say something.

SB 8.22.20
sri-vindhyavalir uvaca
kridartham atmana idam tri-jagat krtam te
svamyam tu tatra kudhiyo 'para isa kuryuh
kartuh prabhos tava kim asyata avahanti
tyakta-hriyas tvad-avaropita-kartr-vadah

Srimati Vindhyavali said: O my Lord, You have created the entire universe for the enjoyment of Your personal pastimes, but foolish, unintelligent men have claimed proprietorship for material enjoyment. Certainly they are shameless agnostics. Falsely claiming proprietorship, they think they can give charity and enjoy. In such a condition, what good can they do for You, who are the independent creator, maintainer and annihilator of this universe?

Bali Maharaja's wife, who was most intelligent, supported the arrest of her husband and accused him of having no intelligence because he had claimed proprietorship of the property of the Lord. Such a claim is a sign of demoniac life. Although the demigods, who are officials appointed by the Lord for management, are attached to materialistic enjoyment, they never claim to be proprietors of the universe, for they know that the actual proprietor of everything is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the qualification of the demigods. But the demons, instead of accepting the exclusive proprietorship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, claim the property of the universe for themselves through demarcations of nationalism. "This part is mine, and that part is yours," they say. "This part I can give in charity, and this part I can keep for my enjoyment." These are all demoniac conceptions. This is described in Bhagavad-gita (16.13): idam adya maya labdham imam prapsye manoratham. "Thus far I have acquired so much money and land. Now I have to add more and more. In this way I shall be the greatest proprietor of everything. Who can compete with me?" These are all demoniac conceptions.

Bali Maharaja's wife accused Bali Maharaja by saying that although the Supreme Personality of Godhead had arrested him, showing him extraordinary mercy, and although Bali Maharaja was offering his body to the Supreme Lord for the Lord's third step, he was still in the darkness of ignorance. Actually the body did not belong to him, but because of his long-standing demoniac mentality he could not understand this. He thought that since he had been defamed for his inability to fulfill his promise of charity, and since the body belonged to him, he would free himself from defamation by offering his body. Actually, however, the body does not belong to anyone but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by whom the body is given. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (18.61):

isvarah sarva-bhutanam
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
bhramayan sarva-bhutani
yantrarudhani mayaya

The Lord is situated in the core of everyone's heart, and, according to the material desires of the living entity, the Lord offers a particular type of machine—the body—through the agency of the material energy. The body actually does not belong to the living entity; it belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Under the circumstances, how could Bali Maharaja claim that the body belonged to him?

Thus Vindhyavali, Bali Maharaja's intelligent wife, prayed that her husband be released, by the Lord's causeless mercy. Otherwise, Bali Maharaja was nothing but a shameless demon, specifically described as tyakta-hriyas tvad-avaropita-kartr-vadah, a foolish person claiming proprietorship over the property of the Supreme Person. In the present age, Kali-yuga, the number of such shameless men, who are agnostics disbelieving in the existence of God, has increased. Trying to defy the authority of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, so-called scientists, philosophers and politicians manufacture plans and schemes for the destruction of the world. They cannot do anything good for the world, and unfortunately, because of Kali-yuga, they have plunged the affairs of the world into mismanagement. Thus there is a great need for the Krsna consciousness movement for the benefit of innocent people who are being carried away by propaganda of such demons. If the present status quo is allowed to continue, people will certainly suffer more and more under the leadership of these demoniac agnostics.