1 Virochana (Bali’s father) said:—
My son, somewhere in this universe there is an extensive country with a spacious sky whose ample space is able to hold thousands of worlds and many more spheres in it. 2 It is without the wide oceans and seas and high mountains that are here on this earth. It has no forest, river or lake or any holy pilgrimage place as you see here below. 3 There is no land or sky. There is no heavenly body in its sky, nor are there these suns and moons, or the rulers of the spheres, or their inhabitants of gods and demons. 4 There are no races of yakshas and rakshas, or those tribes of plants and trees, woods or grass, or the moving and immovable beings as you see upon the earth. 5 There is no water, no land, no fire and no air. There are no sides of the compass, nor regions you call above and below. There is no light or shadow, nor are there any peoples, or the gods Vishnu, Indra and Shiva, nor any of the lesser gods or demigods there.
6 There is a great sovereign of that place who is full of indefinable light. He is the creator of all and pervades all, and is all in all, but quite quiescent in all places and things. 7 He elected a minister who was clever in administration, brought about what was impossible to be done, and prevented all mishaps from coming to pass. 8 The minister neither ate nor drank, nor did he know anything besides minding and doing his master’s commands. In all other respects he was as inactive as a block of stone. 9 He conducted every business for his master who remained quite retired from all business, enjoying his rest and ease in his seclusion and leaving all his concerns to be managed by his minister.
10 Bali said, “Tell me sage, what place is that which is devoid of all population and free from all disease and difficulty? Who knows that place and how can anyone reach it? 11 Who is that ruler of sovereign power and who is that minister of so great might? Who, being quite apart from the world, is inseparably connected with it and is invincible by our almighty demonic power? 12 Tell me, O terror of the gods, this marvelous story of the great might of that minister in order to remove the cloud of doubt from my mind. Why he is unconquerable by us?”
13 Virochana replied:—
Know my son, this mighty minister cannot be overcome even by a gigantic force of asura giants, even if they were aided by millions of demons fighting on their side. 14 He is invincible, my son, by the god of a thousand eyes (Indra), and also by the gods of riches (Kubera) and death (Yama) who conquer all. Neither immortals nor giants can ever overpower him by their might.
15 All weapons are defeated in their attempt to hurt him. Swords, mallets, spears, bolts, discs and cudgels hurled against him are broken to pieces as if striking against solid rock. 16 He is unapproachable by missiles, invulnerable to arms and weapons, and cannot be taken by the dexterity of warriors. It is by his resistless might that he has brought gods and demigods under his subjection.
17 It was he who defeated our forefathers, the mighty Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha, before they were destroyed by the great Vishnu who felled the giant asuras like a storm breaks down sturdy and rock-like oaks. 18 The gods Narayana and others (who had been the instructors of men) were all defeated by him and confined in their cells in the wombs of their mothers (by a curse of sage Bhrigu who denounced them to become incarnate in human forms). 19 It is by his favor that Kama, the god with his flower bow and five arrows, has been enabled to subdue and overcome the three worlds and boasts of being their sole emperor. 20 The gods and demigods, the intelligent and the foolish, the deformed and the irascible are all moved by his influence. 21 The repeated wars between the gods and demons are the sports of this minister.
22 This minister is only manageable by its lord, the silent soul, or else it is as dull as an immovable rock or restless as the wind. 23 For the soul’s advancement in spiritual knowledge, it feels a desire to subdue its minister who otherwise is uncontrollable through lenient measures.
24 You are said to be valiant if you can conquer this greatest of the giants in the three worlds who has been worrying all people out of their breath. 25 After the rising of consciousness, the world appears as a flower-garden, like a lake of blooming lotuses at sunrise. The setting of consciousness covers the world in darkness like at sunset. 26 It is only by the aid of your intellect and by removal of your ignorance that you can subdue this minister and be famed for your wisdom.
27 By subduing this minister, you become the conqueror of the world, though you are no victor of it. By not subjugating this minister, you can have no subjection over the world, though you may be the master of it. 28 Therefore to effect your perfect consummation and to secure your everlasting happiness, be diligent to overcome this minister by your best and most ardent exertions.
29 It is easy for he who has been able to subdue this minister by his superior might to overcome the triple world and keep all its beings of gods and demons, the bodies of naagas and men, the races of yakshas and rakshas, and the tribes of serpents and kinnaras.