Chapter 23 – The Slaying of the Demon Bala
The sages said:
1-2. O you best among speakers, you have told us this wonderful, meritorious, excellent tale, bringing about glory, and destroying all sins. Please tell us the propriety of the creation. O son of Sūta, tell us in detail, as to how the creation (took place) formerly.
3-5. I shall tell in detail the cause of creation and destruction, merely by hearing which a man would become omniscient. Hiraṇyakaśipu occupied the three worlds. Having propitiated Brahmā by penance, he obtained a boon, difficult to obtain, and also immortality from that noble god. He, having pervaded gods and the worlds secured mastery (over all).
6-9. Then gods with Gandharvas, sages who had mastered the Vedas, and Nāgas, Kinnaras, Siddhas, Yakṣas and others, led by Brahmā, went to lord Nārāyaṇa, who was enjoying his sleep at the end of a Yuga in the Milky Ocean. With the palms of their hands joined, the gods awakened him with (i.e. by singing) hymns of praise. When the lord of the gods awoke, O you very wise one(s), they told him the account of that wicked one (i.e. Hiraṇyakaśipu). Having heard it, the lord of the world, resorting to the form of Nṛsiṃha, killed Hiraṇyakaśipu.
10-15. Then with the Boar-form he killed the very powerful Hiraṇyākṣa. He lifted up the auspicious Earth, and killed that demon at that time. He also killed other fierce-looking demons. When thus the great demons had perished, when the others i.e. Diti’s sons had (also) perished, when the gods had attained great positions, when sacrifices and other religious rites had proceeded (i.e. were being performed), when all the worlds had well-settled, that Diti who was oppressed by grief, who was tormented by the bereavement of her sons, who cried ‘alas, alas,’, and had become senseless, devoutly saluted her husband Kaśyapa who resembled the sun, who was endowed with the lustre of penance, who was a donor and was magnanimous, and said to that very intelligent best brāhmaṇa:
16-20. “O revered sir, that god—the holder of the disc—has made me sonless. Gods have struck down all the sons of Diti (i.e. of me) and of Danu. O best sage, I am burnt by the fire of grief (due to the loss) of my sons. O lord, give me a son, who would delight (everyone), who would remove the lustre of all, who would be very powerful and charming in all limbs, who would be lustrous like the king of gods, who would be very intelligent and omniscient, who would be learned and wise, who would be endowed with the lustre of penance, who would be strong and would have auspicious marks, who would be well-versed in the Vedas, who would be knowing (i.e. possessing knowledge), who would honour gods and brāhmaṇas, who would be the conqueror of all worlds, and, who would, O brāhmaṇa, give me joy, and who would, O lord, be endowed with all (good) characteristics.”
21-23a. Having heard these excellent words of her, the noble Kaśyapa with his mindfull of pity and pleased with her who was grieved, who was helpless and whose mind had become distressed, and having put his hand through great love for her, on her head, said to her: “O glorious one, a son, as desired by you, will be (born to you).”
23b-28. Having said so, he went to Meru, the best mountain. He of a great vow, all alone practised great penance (there). In the meanwhile, she conceived an excellent embryo. That high-minded Diti, knowing all rules of conduct, doing good deeds, remained with a pure heart for a period of hundred years. She gave birth to a son who was endowed with Brāhmaṇic lustre. Then Kaśyapa, full of great joy, came there; (and) the best and intelligent one named him. He called his son ‘Bala’, who, the great one, was like (i.e. true to) his name. Thus he named him, and performed his thread-ceremony. He said to him: “O (my) glorious son, practise celibacy.”
29. (Bala said): “O best brāhmaṇa, I shall just do as you tell me. O best one, with (i.e. practising) celibacy, I would study the Vedas.”
30-31. Thus an entire century of years passed while he was practising penance. He, endowed with the lustre of penance, came to the presence of (i.e. came to) his mother. Diti, full of great joy saw the divine celibacy, full of the power of penance, of her magnanimous son.
32-35. She said to that son (of her) viz. Bala, who was magnanimous, who was possessed of penance, who was intelligent, who was great-souled, who was well-versed in judgement and knowledge: “O intelligent one, as long as you live, my sons like Hiraṇyakaśipu killed by him who holds a disc in his hand (i.e. by Viṣṇu), will live onward. O my boy, conclude the hostility (i.e. take revenge), kill in battle (our) enemies—the gods.” That Danu said to that very powerful Bala these words: “Son, first quickly kill Indra, the lord of gods. Then strike down gods, and after that (strike down him, whose vehicle is Garuḍa (i.e. Viṣṇu).”
36. Having heard (the words) of the two (i.e. Diti and Danu), Aditi, who looked upon her husband as a god, and who was full of great grief, said to her son, Indra:
37-38a. “Diti’s son, of a huge body, is increasing with brāhmaṇic lustre. For killing gods, he practised penance in (honour of) Śiva. Understand like this, O lord of gods, if you desire happiness here.”
38b-39. Having thus heard those words of his mother, Indra, the lord of gods, was extremely worried due to uneasiness. Being tormented by great grief, he then thought:
40-45. ‘How shall I kill this (Bala) who is polluting the piety of gods?’ Thus the lord of gods decided to kill Bala. Once that Bala resorted (i.e. went) to the ocean to offer his daily prayers. He shone with a divine skin of an antelop and a piece of stick, and with spotless merit and that (i.e. undescribable) celibacy. Indra saw him seated upon the seat meant for daily prayers, near the ocean, muttering prayers and extremely tranquil. That Diti’s son was hit (by Indra) with that divine thunderbolt. Seeing Bala fallen dead on the ground, the king of gods full of great joy was then delighted. The pious Indra, having thus struck down that demon, Diti’s son, ruled happily.
A son of Mayasura.
He lived in a place in the netherlands called Atala. He created ninetysix different kinds of magic and gave them to the asura magicians who by the use – of them gave the devas immense trouble.
Once when #Balasura yawned, three bad women, Svairini, Kamini and Pumscali were born. They had with them a potable substance called Hataka which they gave to men whom they liked and after enlivening the sex impulse in them enjoyed a sexual life with them to their heart’s content.
(Pancama Skandha, Bhagavata).
Once during a fight between Indra and Jalandhara, Bala defeated Indra in a pathetic way. Indra then sought refuge in him and praised him with songs. Flattered by this Bala asked #Indra to ask of him whatever he wanted and the sly Indra requested for the physical body of Bala. Without the least hesitation Bala cut his body into pieces and gave him. Indra threw away the cut pieces to different sides and all the places where these pieces fell were at once transformed into diamond mines.
After the death of Balasura his wife Prabhavati went to their preceptor (Kulaguru) Sukracarya and told him all that took place and requested to bring back to life her lost husband. But Sukracarya regretted that he could not give life again to her dead husband but could by his powers make her hear his voice again. Prabhavati agreed to that and then she heard her husband say
“Leave your body and join me”.
Prabhavati immediately courted death and joining Bala became a river.
(Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda, Chapter 6).
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