April 19, 2003
Des Plaines Mandira

In Vachanamrut Gadhada First 61, Swaminarayan Bhagwan extols the devotion of Bali Raja, Prahlad's grandson. Lord Swaminarayan explains, "A devotee [that is] staunch and desires nothing except God, is free of worldly desires and is an ekaantika devotee, then God Himself becomes bound by that devotee."

Described in the Shrimad Bhagavat 8/17 - 8/23, the king of the demons, Bali Raja had taken the vow that whenever anyone would approach him and beg for something, he would never neglect their request. Bali Raja had defeated the demigods many times, and they implored to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu thus took the form of a dwarf, Vaman, and approached Bali Raja for alms. He asked the king for the amount of land covered by three of his steps. Bali Raja was about to agree, when his guru Shukracharya warned him that this was no ordinary dwarf. Bali Raja replied that he too had realized this, but he was bound by his vow to fulfill every request. Thus, the king acquiesced to Vaman's request. Suddenly, Vaman assumed the gigantic Virat form. In two steps, he encompassed the entire pruthvee (earth) and svarga (heavens). There was no room left to place the third step and so Vaman turned to Bali Raja and asked how he would fulfill his promise. Bali Raja devoutly replied that the only remaining place for the Lord's third step was his own body. When Lord Vaman raised his foot above the king, Bali Raja suddenly stuck out his tongue. To make the world aware of Bali Raja's elevated understanding, Vaman paused and asked Bali Raja to explain the meaning of this action. Bali Raja answered that he did not want to hurt Vaman's soft, lotus-like feet with the sharp, demon hair on his chest. Lord Vishnu revealed that Bali Raja had bound him with his devotion. He thus gave Bali Raja the position of Indradev (in the next manvantara) and given in the Vachanamrut, "To this very day, God is forever standing at Bali's gate, never out of King Bali's sight even for a fraction of a second."



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