Lessons From Bali Maharaj

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

While explaining the pastimes of Vamanadev and Bali Maharaj to Maharaj Parikshit, Sukadev Goswami says in Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 8, Chapter 21 verse 8,

taṁ baddhaṁ vāruṇaiḥ pāśair bhagavān āha vāmanaḥ
naṣṭa-śriyaṁ sthira-prajñam udāra-yaśasaṁ nṛpa

O King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vamanadeva, then spoke to Bali Maharaja, the most liberal and celebrated personality whom He had arrested with the ropes of Varuna. Bali Maharaja had lost all bodily luster, but he was nonetheless fixed in his determination.

A very important quality to learn from life of Bali Maharaj is his fixed determination in serving Supreme Lord. What to speak of losing all our possessions, even if there are slight disturbances in our normal routine of life, mind becomes so disturbed. Yielding to tricky mind, we start using that disturbance as excuse for not doing our regular sadhana. Truth to be understood is all these happiness, distress, troubles are all passing clouds. They are not going to be same with us forever. Mere lamentation is not going to help us move even a inch. Difficult times are the ones in which we need to continue our devotional service with more dedication - for that alone is the protective shelter for us. By not performing our sadhana properly during difficult times, we are just adding more trouble to our miserable situations. Devotional service is eternal process and after getting this gift in this life time, we should ensure that we don't miss performing the service even a single day of our existence - just because our circumstances are not favorable.

In his purport to the above verse, Srila Prabhupada says - "A pure devotee is never deviated from the service of the Lord, despite all difficulties and impediments offered by the illusory energy...The Lord says, Yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ [SB 10.88.8]. As the first installment of His special favor, the Lord takes away all the 

possessions of His devotee. A devotee, however, is never disturbed by such a loss. He continues his service, and the Lord amply rewards him, beyond the expectations of any common man."

Life of Srila Prabhupada is very apt example for the last line in the above purport. He faced so many loss both in material life and when he was trying to start preaching activities initially both in India and in West, he faced so many insults, negligence and failures. But undeterred, he continued with faith and determination to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master and the Lord being pleased by his exemplary service, beyond the expectation of any common man blessed him the potency to establish this International Society of Krishna Consciousness - all over the world, build over 108 temples and translate and publish such voluminous literature around the world.

I pray at the lotus of feet of Gurudev and Srila Prabhupada that I don't fall a prey to my tricky mind and be negligent in performing devotional service. Rather by always meditating on the pastimes of pure devotees like Bali 

Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada, perform devotional service with determination under all circumstances.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Sudarshana devi dasi.