|Canto 5: The Creative Impetus||Chapter 24: The Subterranean Heavenly Planets|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.24.24
nūnaḿ batāyaḿ bhagavān artheṣu na niṣṇāto yo 'sāv indro yasya sacivo mantrāya vṛta ekāntato bṛhaspatis tam atihāya svayam upendreṇātmānam ayācatātmanaś cāśiṣo no eva tad-dāsyam ati-gambhīra-vayasaḥ kālasya manvantara-parivṛttaḿ kiyal loka-trayam idam
nūnam — certainly; bata — alas; ayam — this; bhagavān — very learned; artheṣu — in self-interest; na — not; niṣṇātaḥ — very experienced; yaḥ — who; asau — the King of heaven; indraḥ — Indra; yasya — of whom; sacivaḥ — the prime minister; mantrāya — for giving instructions; vṛtaḥ — chosen; ekāntataḥ — alone; bṛhaspatiḥ — named Bṛhaspati; tam — him; atihāya — ignoring; svayam — personally; upendreṇa — by means of Upendra (Lord Vāmanadeva); ātmānam — myself; ayācata — requested; ātmanaḥ — for himself; ca — and; āśiṣaḥ — blessings (the three worlds); no — not; eva — certainly; tat-dāsyam — the loving service of the Lord; ati — very; gambhīra-vayasaḥ — having an insurmountable duration; kālasya — of time; manvantara-parivṛttam — changed by the end of a life of a Manu; kiyat — what is the value of; loka-trayam — three worlds; idam — these.
Alas, how pitiable it is for Indra, the King of heaven, that although he is very learned and powerful and although he chose Bṛhaspati as his prime minister to instruct him, he is completely ignorant concerning spiritual advancement. Bṛhaspati is also unintelligent because he did not properly instruct his disciple Indra. Lord Vāmanadeva was standing at Indra's door, but King Indra, instead of begging Him for an opportunity to render transcendental loving service, engaged Him in asking me for alms to gain the three worlds for his sense gratification. Sovereignty over the three worlds is very insignificant because whatever material opulence one may possess lasts only for an age of Manu, which is but a tiny fraction of endless time.
Bali Mahārāja was so powerful that he fought with Indra and took possession of the three worlds. Indra was certainly very advanced in knowledge, but instead of asking Vāmanadeva for engagement in His service, he used the Lord to beg for material possessions that would lie finished at the end of one age of Manu. An age of Manu, which is the duration of Manu's life, is calculated to last seventy-two yugas. One yuga consists of 4,300,000 years, and therefore the duration of Manu's life is 309,600,000 years. The demigods possess their material opulence only until the end of the life of Manu. Time is insurmountable. The time one is allotted, even if it be millions of years, is quickly gone. The demigods own their material possessions only within the limits of time. Therefore Bali Mahārāja lamented that although Indra was very learned, he did not know how to use his intelligence properly, for instead of asking Vāmanadeva to allow him to engage in His service, Indra used Him to beg Bali Mahārāja for material wealth. Although Indra was learned and his prime minister, Bṛhaspati, was also learned, neither of them begged to be able to render loving service to Lord Vāmanadeva. Therefore Bali Mahārāja lamented for Indra.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness