SB 5.24.22


na vai bhagavān nūnam amuṣyānujagrāha yad uta punar ātmānusmṛti-moṣaṇaṁ māyāmaya-bhogaiśvaryam evātanuteti.


na—not; vai—indeed; bhagavan—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; nūnam—certainly; amuṣya—unto Bali Mahārāja; anujagrāha—showed His favor; yat—because; uta—certainly; punaḥ—again; atma-anusmṛti—of remembrance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; moṣaṇam—which robs one; maya-maya—an attribute of Māyā; bhoga-aiśvaryam—the material opulence; eva—certainly; ātanuta—extended; iti—thus.


The Supreme Personality of Godhead did not award His mercy to Bali Mahārāja by giving him material happiness and opulence, for these make one forget loving service to the Lord. The result of material opulence is that one can no longer absorb his mind in the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


There are two kinds of opulence. One, which results from one’s karma, is material, whereas the other is spiritual. A surrendered soul who fully depends upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not want material opulence for sense gratification. Therefore when a pure devotee is seen to possess exalted material opulence, it is not due to his karma. Rather, it is due to his bhakti. In other words, he is in that position because the Supreme Lord wants him to execute service to Him very easily and opulently. The special mercy of the Lord for the neophyte devotee is that he becomes materially poor. This is the Lord’s mercy because if a neophyte devotee becomes materially opulent, he forgets the service of the Lord. However, if an advanced devotee is favored by the Lord with opulence, it is not material opulence but a spiritual opportunity. Material opulence offered to the demigods causes forgetfulness of the Lord, but opulence was given to Bali Mahārāja for continuing service to the Lord, which was free from any touch of māyā.

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