Narasimhadeva told Prahlad that 21 generations of his family had been delivered, then how did Bali become such a demon that Vamanadeva himself had to come to deliver him?

by Chaitanya Charan dasMay 14, 2014

Answer Podcast

Transcribed by: Shalini Ahluwalia

Question: Narasimhadeva says to Prahlad that 21 generations are delivered but then we have Bali, the grandson of Prahlad Maharaj, who is a demon who attacks devatas and the Lord Himself has to come to save him. What is the meaning of this statement?

Answer: See first of all the scriptures is trisaktapitahoota(??please check word ), it is not trisaktpitamukta. Hoota(??) is purified, 21 generations get purified. Now we use the word delivered, delivered is a very generic word. What does it mean? Delivered from sin, delivered from material existence, delivered from impersonalism, we have ?? missing Sanskrit phrase??. So delivered is a very generic word. And ultimately we also have to understand that Krishna does not interfere with the free will of anyone. So that means that if a family is of pure devotees that does not mean that automatically 21 generations will get liberated. Because in those 21 generations every soul has to choose, to want, to  desire to become liberated. If that person does not desire, Krishna is not going to impose on that person that you have to get liberated, that would be interfering with free will. Isn’t it? So Krishna doesn’t impose. So what does it mean when we say that they are purified? Trisaktapitahoota (??). It means that Krishna provides them with abundant opportunities for purification and liberation. The doors to liberation open. But it is for them to walk through it. They choose not to walk through it, Krishna will give them special mercy and Krishna will give them special opportunity by which they will get the impetus to walk through it. Krishna will not force anyone. We see this in the ChaitanyCharitamrita also, it is said that one of the sons of Advaitacharya became a Mayavadi. Now we may say Advaitacharya is one of the eternal associates of the Lord, how can his son become a Mayavadi. But the point is thats the nature of free will, somebody can misuse the free will. Ofcourse that Mayavad was quite different, his son thought that he is glorifying Advaitacharya. Because it was Advaitacharya who cause Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to appear therefore Advaitacharya is greater than Mahaprabhu. Advaitacharya is the real Supreme Personality of God and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is secondary. Therefore we should worship Advaitacharya not Mahaprabhu. So Advaitacharya himself rejected him for that. So the free will of the soul is never taken away but the doors to liberation are open and then the soul will have to specifically choose to walk. But Krishna will give more than average opportunity, much much more than average opportunity for that soul to walk through. So now in one sense we could say yes, Vamadeva had to come again to deliver Bali Maharaj. But another sense we understand that because Prahlad Maharaj was a devotee so ?? name not clear?? also says in his purport, that actually how is it that they have seen Bali who was fighting against the devatas, conquering them and driving them out of their kingdom, how did he get this desire, that if Vishnu comes I will offer my everything to him and how did he get the idea of offering such prayers and surrendering his whole existence to Vishnu? Even after he is arrested he does not become angry with Vishnu. I gave you so much still you are unfairly cheating me. He does not have that attitude. Why is that? So that is because, it is a dramatic transformation in Bali Maharaj that happens. So why does that happen? His demonic associates also are not able to understand the transformation. Thats why when he is arrested they all come to attack. They say our master has been cheated and arrested so we will defeat him. (sentence not clear??). And the Vishnudutas – Jay and Vijay – they start beating the demons and then Bali Maharaj says – Stop ! Don’t fight. So, basically, almost there is a complete change of consciousness. So what Vishwanath Chakravarthy explains is that the association of Prahlad from his childhood had planted the seed of bhakti in him, Bali Maharaj. But because of the demonic association and the demonic upbringing he was acting like a demon.But when he directly encountered the Lord and when the opportunity to surrender came to him, at that time the seed of bhakti suddenly blossomed and was just waiting for an opportune moment, so the sight of the Lord and the opportunity to surrender to the Lord caused it to blossom and then he surrendered. So he could say yes, he had to appear – Vamandev had to appear – but the very fact that Bali Maharaj accepted the mercy of Vamandev is extraordinary. A demon would be resentful, he is not resentful. So that is also due to Prahlad Maharaj. So its not simplistic that just because somebody becomes a pure devotee automatically everybody will get liberated. Everybody will get abundant opportunity for liberation and then after that they have to choose liberation. So thats why as devotees also you will see that many of our Prabhupada’s disciples, their parents, are becoming devotees but their sons are putting in efforts, sons or daughters, they have to put in efforts to try to get their parents to Krishna. So we understand in priniciple that Krishna will arrange for them also to be delivered. But at the same time we also have to know that the soul has to choose to use the free will properly and we know that they are connected with us and if we behave nicely with them and we encourage them somehow with our good behaviour and our being good sons then they can also come to Krishna consciousness through us. So its not just sort of waving a magic wand and everybody will be delivered. There is a process to be followed and that process may involve another incarnation of the Lord. The process may involve the active role of many devotees and the process has to involve that soul using free will properly to surrender to Krishna. So when we say Krishna is trisaktpitabhoota (??please check word) it means basically that abundant opportunity for purification, liberation is provided but when the doors of liberation open they have to walk through them.

Thank you, Hare Krishna!

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Chaitanya Charan das

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