from the Sri Caitanya Bhagavat, Antya-khanda, Chapter 6
by Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura
translated by Kusakrata dasa and adapted by Radha Damodar dasa
Vrndavan dasa Thakura: When Krsna and Balarma were about 12 years old, they left the great city of Mathura to reside at the asrama of Sanipani Muni to study. When Their education was complete, they approached Their guru:
Lord Krsna: It is an important Vedic injunction that a student satisfy his teacher with some gift or donation. This is called 'daksina.' What daksina shall We give?
Samdipani Muni: I know that both You and Balarama are the Supreme Personalities of Godhead. You can do anything - therefore, I have consulted with his wife as to the best daksina to ask of You. We have decided to ask You to return our dead sons to us.
Lord Caitanya: Then, Krsna and Balarama went to the abode of Yamaraja. By Krsna and Balarama's order, the karma of the dead sons was at once destroyed. Then, Krsna and Balarama took the dead sons from Yamaraja's abode and gave them to Their guru.
Hearing this very wonderful story, Devaki wanted to ask that her sons, killed by wicked Kamsa, be given to her. One day, Devaki called for Krsna and Balarama and told Them of her sufferings:
Devaki: Listen, listen, O Krsna and Balarama, O masters of the masters of yoga. Your forms are eternal, transcendental, and pure. You are the two fathers of all the universes. I know that You are the two causes of all existence. By a part of one of Your parts the universes are created, maintained, and destroyed. You have descended to this world and become my sons to break into pieces the burden of this earth.
My heart yearns to see my six sons that Kamsa killed. Even though they had been dead for some time, You had the power to bring back Your guru's sons. You gave Your guru's sons as daksina, taking them from Yamaraja's abode. Please fulfill my desire in the same way. Please give me my six dead sons.
Vrndavan dasa Thakura: Hearing Their mother's words, Krsna and Balarama at once went to Maharaja Bali's abode. Seeing the two Lords that were the objects of his worship, Maharaja Bali became plunged in an ocean of bliss. He at once placed the dead sons before the Lords' lotus feet.
His eyes filled with tears and the hairs of his body erect, Maharaja Bali joyfully offered prayers to the Lords' lotus feet. Then, he wept.
Maharaha Bali: Glory, glory to Balarama, who is Sankarsana and Ananta Sesa!
Glory, glory to Krsna, who is the ornament of Gokula!
Glory, glory to Balarama, the holder of the plow, the teacher of the gopas, friendship personified!
Glory, glory to Krsna, who is the wealth, thoughts, and life of His devotees!
Even though the demigods and sages in the mode of pure goodness find it very difficult to see You, You are merciful to me. Even though I am a demon in the mode of ignorance, You have come before my eyes. For You there are neither friends nor enemies. The Vedas describe this and now I see it with my own eyes!
Even though Putana came with poison-smeared breast to kill You, You still sent her to the world of Vaikuntha. Neither the Vedas nor the kings of yoga have the power to understand Your heart. Bewildered by Your Maya, even the kings of yoga do not understand You. How can I, a sinful demon, understand You?
O master of all the worlds, please be merciful to me! Please do not make me fall into the blind well of household life. I hold Your two lotus feet to my heart. Peaceful at heart, I fall down before You, who are like a kalpa-vrksa tree. Please make me Your servant. Please give me the association of Your devotees. Those are the only desires in my heart.
Vrndavan dasa Thakura: Holding Krsna and Balarama's lotus feet to his heart, Bali Maharaja prayed in this way. Assuming the form of the Ganga, the water that has washed Krsna and Balarama's feet purifies Brahmaloka and Sivaloka.
By drinking that sacred water and sprinkling it on their heads, Bali Maharaja and his associates became very fortunate. Offering fragrances, flowers, incense, lamps, garments, and ornaments, Bali Maharaja bowed down before Krsna and Balarama's lotus feet.
Maharaja Bali: O Lords, if in Your hearts You accept me as Your servant, Then, please give me a command, a command I may carry on my head. O Lords, anyone who follows Your command is beyond all ordinary commands or prohibitions.
Vrndavan dasa Thakura: Hearing Bali Maharaja's words, the two Lords became pleased. Then, they described the reason They had come.
Lord Krsna: Listen. Listen, O saintly Bali, to the reason We have come to your home. The sinner Kamsa killed Our mother's six sons. They died because of their past sins. Grieving over her dead sons, Our mother Devaki is very unhappy. She always weeps. Those six sons are now with you. Give them to please Our mother.
Lord Balarama: Those six souls were previously perfect demigods. They were grandsons of Lord Brahma. Please hear how they came to suffer:
Prajapati Marici was a son of Brahma. These six souls were previously the sons of Marici. By divine arrangement Brahma became bewildered, struck by one of Kamadeva's arrows. Throwing aside all shame, his heart yearned after his own daughter. Seeing that, these six souls mocked Brahma. For this offense, they fell down at once.
Because they mocked a great soul, they took birth from a demonic womb. Abandoning their demigod bodies, they took birth in the home of Hiranyakasipu, who hated the whole world.
Tortured in many ways by Indra's thunderbolt, these six demons died. Then, by the power of Yogamaya, they were brought down to earth and placed in Devaki's womb. Their sin was that they mocked Lord Brahma. For this they suffered in many ways.
Even though Devaki was his sister, King Kamsa killed them as soon as they were born. Devaki does not know these secrets about her sons. Taking them from your place, We will give these six sons to Devaki. `When they drink Devaki's breast milk, these six souls will at once be freed from the curse placed upon them.
Lord Krsna: Listen. Listen, O saintly Bali. Even a perfect demigod will suffer if he mocks a Vaisnava for his actions. How then can We describe how that offense will make an ordinary, imperfect person suffer?
An impious person who blasphemes a Vaisnava will suffer birth after birth. Listen, O Bali, and I will teach this to you. Never blaspheme or mock a Vaisnava.
If he blasphemes My devotee, even a person who worships Me and chants My holy names will find many obstacles placed before him. But anyone who loves My devotee will attain Me. This I say. It is true without any doubt. O Bali, you are My devotee; therefore, I have told this secret to you.
Vrndavana dasa Thakura: In the Varaha Purana it is said:
siddhir bhavati va neti
"They who serve the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead may or may not attain perfection. There is some doubt. But they who devotedly serve the Supreme Lord's devotees will certainly attain perfection. Of that there is no doubt."
This means that the Lord says: "Anyone who worships only Me, and does not worship My devotees also, is proud and arrogant. He does not attain My mercy."
In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya it is said:
tadiyan arcayanti ye
na te visnu-prasadasya
bhajanam dambhika janam
"Proud and arrogant persons who worship Lord Krsna but do not worship the Lord's devotees, do not attain Lord Krsna's mercy."
Vrndavan dasa Thakura: Hearing the Supreme Lord's instructions, saintly Bali became very happy at heart. Placing Lord Krsna's order on his head, Bali brought the six sons before Him. Krsna and Balarama at once took the six sons and brought them to Their mother. Seeing her previously dead infant sons, with a joyful heart and with great love Devaki at once offered them her breast.
Drinking from the breast that had once suckled the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sons at once attained transcendental knowledge. They all offered dandavat (prostrate) obeisances to the Lord. Then, the Lord placed His glance of mercy on them.
Lord Krsna: Go. Go, O demigods. Go to your own abodes. Do not again mock a great soul. Brahma is empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is equal to the Supreme Lord Himself. He never acts badly.
Because you mocked him, you suffered great torments. Do not again think as you did before. Go to Brahma and beg forgiveness for your offense. Then, you will again have My mercy in your hearts.
Vrndavan dasa Thakura: Hearing these words, the six souls very respectfully accepted the Lord's command. Bowing down before Krsna, Balarama, and their father and mother, the six souls returned to their own home among the demigods. Thus I have told you this story from Srimad-Bhagavatam.