26-09-2012 SB 8.22.1-2 Lessons From Lord Vamana, Midrand, South Africa
Hare Krishna, Thank you very much for coming, it’s very nice to be here with you all. Today is Sri Vamana Dvadasi. We hope you have had a nice Vamana Dvadasi observed as Ekadasi, but the appearance day of Lord Vamana and it’s really a wonderful pastime of the Lord and extremely instructive in different ways.
Incidentally can you all hear because this is now, it’s now pointed towards me actually, this speaker? Is it okay? No problem. Alright, so let’s just carry on.
Yes, it is Lord Vamana’s appearance day, so fasting till midday, always something nice to do and just help us to focus a little more. Chanting, dancing and fasting! And chanting, dancing and feasting!
So let us read a verse, you know there are so many verses here bringing out so many important points and wonderful points in all sorts of different ways and we can’t read them all. But let us read this one verse here, which is, you could say it is, like the culmination of the whole pastime. Well, let us read two verses.
om namo bhagavate vasudevaya!
om namo bhagavate vasudevaya!
om namo bhagavate vasudevaya!
The greater part of the 8th Canto is dedicated to the story of the appearance of Lord Vamana and his pastimes. Actually it is a long story and it begins quite some time before He appeared. Anyway we can mention a little about it as we go. But for the time being we will read Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 8, Chapter 22, “Bali Maharaja Surrenders His Life” Text 1 and 2.
evam viprakrto rajan
bhidyamäno ‘py abhinnätmä
Sukadeva Gosvämé said: O King, although the Supreme Personality of Godhead was superficially seen to have acted mischievously toward Bali Mahäräja, Bali Mahäräja was fixed in his determination. Considering himself not to have fulfilled his promise, he spoke as follows. (SB 8.22.1)
yady uttamasloka bhavän mameritam
vaco vyalikam sura-varya manyate
karomy rtam tan na bhavet pralambhanam
padam trtiyam kuru sirsni me nijam
Bali Mahäräja said: O best Personality of Godhead, most worshipable for all the demigods, if You think that my promise has become false, I shall certainly rectify matters to make it truthful. I cannot allow my promise to be false. Please, therefore, place Your third lotus footstep on my head. (SB 8.22.2)
PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada
Bali Mahäräja could understand the pretence of Lord Vämanadeva, who had taken the side of the demigods and come before him as a beggar. Although the Lord’s purpose was to cheat him, Bali Mahäräja took pleasure in understanding how the Lord will cheat His devotee to glorify the devotee’s position. It is said that God is good, and this is a fact. Whether He cheats or rewards, He is always good. Bali Mahäräja therefore addressed Him as Uttamaçloka. “Your Lordship,” he said, “You are always praised with the best of selected verses. On behalf of the demigods, You disguised Yourself to cheat me, saying that You wanted only three paces of land, but later You expanded Your body to such an extent that with two footsteps You covered the entire universe. Because You were working on behalf of Your devotees, You do not regard this as cheating. Never mind. I cannot be considered a devotee. Nonetheless, because although You are the husband of the goddess of fortune You have come to me to beg, I must satisfy You to the best of my ability. So please do not think that I wanted to cheat You; I must fulfil my promise. I have one possession, my body. I still have my body. When I place my body for Your satisfaction, please put Your third step on my head.” Since the Lord had covered the entire universe with two steps, one might ask how Bali Mahäräja’s head could be sufficient for His third step? Bali Mahäräja, however, thought that the possessor of wealth must be greater than the possession. Therefore although the Lord had taken all his possessions, the head of Bali Mahäräja, the possessor, would provide adequate place for the Lord’s third step.
Yes, so this is a very wonderful pastime, and very important pastime, which Srila Prabhupada refers to quite frequently, the appearance of Lord Vamanadeva. As we said it is a long story, and it goes back, quite some time and there are all sorts of twists and turns as the story develops. But it begins initially with the demons, well it actually begins with Lord Indra, the king of the demigods and king of the heavenly planets offending his spiritual master, Brhaspati and in that way losing his strength, losing his auspiciousness and, losing his strength and then being defeated by the demigods.
As we said, it is a long story and many different things happen, the churning of the ocean of milk happens, from it comes the goddess of fortune and the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the nectar of not exactly immortality but very powerful material nectar which the demigods got; as we said it is a long story. But the demigods got it and the Supreme Personality of Godhead incarnated as Mohini, to trick the demons and take that nectar from them but before she could take it, Rahu, one of the demons got a little bit of the nectar and the Lord decapitated him before he could swallow it but it was in his mouth so his head became, not exactly eternal but very long lived. His head is up there one of the planets and so the demigods then got the nectar, became powerful, defeated the demons and there is a very dramatic and vivid description of the battle between the demigods and the demons; amazing battle with some people riding on lions, some riding on giant rats. Oh! Hare Krishna. Some riding on humans; just an amazing battle and because the demigods got the nectar, they were able to defeat the demons. Indeed they killed Bali Maharaja, the king of the demons but then the relatives of Bali Maharaja approached Sukracarya, a brahmana, not a devotee, a materialistic brahmana that please revive our leader, Bali Maharaja. He brought him back to life. As a result Bali Maharaja and the demons became very dedicated to Sukracarya, because, well it works like that.
I was speaking with Deena Bandhu Prabhu from Vrndavana some years ago about the Kumba Mela which he had attended. He said at the Kumba Mela, everyone is a doctor, everyone is a financial adviser means all the sadhus and all these people because that what the people come and ask them about and they are sort of, the sadhus are market oriented and if the people are enquiring about something they will talk about that thing because people are interested in health and money. So, Deena Bandhu said “Everyone is a doctor; everyone is a financial advisor, all the sadhus.” If they are successful, giving you some good advice and then you become very healthy or you make a lot of money then the tendency often is you become dedicated to the person that helped you. This is what happened in Christianity, Jesus was healing the sick and doing things like that, bringing the dead back to life and they became very dedicated to him because they are very much on the material platform and if you can help them with their material things, they take you very seriously.
So the demons, when Sukracarya brought Bali Maharaja back to life, they thought he is wonderful and they became fully dedicated heart and soul to Sukracarya. Then as is the way of the demons, they then attacked the demigods again, and there is an interesting description some chapters back where the demons led by Bali Maharaja, they are assembling and encircling the palace of Lord Indra in the heavenly planets and Lord Indra is looking out and wondering what to do and how this has happened, we just defeated these people a little while ago and we just killed Bali Maharaja but here he is again. What is going on? And then Brhaspati, his spiritual master came and told him that Bali Maharaja has become undefeatable, even Yamaraja cannot deal with him now. Lord Indra asked, “How? How did he do this?” Brhaspati gave a very interesting example or answer. It is because he has become so dedicated to the brahmanas because Sukracarya, he was not a guru, a spiritual master; as we use the term and generally understand the term. Of course the term ‘guru’ can and is used in a broader sense. Dronacarya was the military guru of the Pandavas, so in that broader sense it means teacher, but of course we use the term ‘guru’, ‘spiritual master’ in a very spiritual way. So that Sukracarya, he was not that sort of guru. He wasn’t Krishna Conscious and that will become more clear as we go through the narration. But he was a brahmana maintaining the brahminical standards very rigorously and just fastidiously maintaining those brahminical standards of cleanliness and using mantra and sacrifice and teaching. These are brahminical activities.
So, Bali Maharaja and the demons who were now worshipping Sukracarya so steadfastly, Brhaspati explained that they have become empowered because of this, to the point, that they could not be even be defeated by or killed by Yamaraja. They are undefeatable, “You should just run and hide.”
Srila Prabhupada in the purport there, which I don’t know if I can find it, anyway in the purport there Srila Prabhupada discusses this point. Prabhupada applies it in a Krishna Conscious sense. Let us quickly see what Srila Prabhupada says.
“Brhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods, informed Indra, “Ordinarily, Bali and his forces could not achieve such strength, but it appears that the brähmana descendants of Bhrgu Muni, being pleased with Bali Mahäräja, endowed them with this spiritual power.” In other words, Båhaspati informed Indra that Bali Mahäräja’s prowess was not his own but that of his exalted guru, Sukräcärya. We sing in our daily prayers, yasya prasädäd bhagavat-prasädo yasyäprasädän na gatih kuto ‘pi. By the pleasure of the spiritual master, one can get extraordinary power, especially in spiritual advancement. The blessings of the spiritual master are more powerful than one’s personal endeavour for advancement.” (SB 8.15.28)
Prabhupada is applying it in, well both ways; you could say but particularly spiritually that Bali Maharaja, that he had become materially powerful. He had had not really become spiritually powerful but he had become physically, militarily, extremely powerful to the point of not being defeatable. So obviously this is material and it’s not really spiritual and he had achieved that by the mercy of his guru. So, as I said it’s a lengthy description. Srila Prabhupada at some other point, somewhere there makes the point that one becomes empowered by the blessings of superiors. In general, in Krishna Consciousness of course that point is there. Prabhupada mentioned that it is such an important point but even materially one becomes empowered by the blessing of seniors and superiors. This is what had happened to Bali Maharaja. So, it is a very important principle, and it’s something we should remember and particularly of course, its application in Krishna Consciousness. Prabhupada made the point, we read it, that it was not Bali Maharaja’s power, it was Sukracarya’s power but Bali Maharaja was endowed with that. So similarly spiritually if we become recipients of the mercy, empowerment of the spiritual master particularly, Srila Prabhupada then by that empowerment, we can do wonderful things in Krishna Consciousness, even we may be able to do the most amazing things, as is said in Caitanya Caritamrita, by the mercy of Lord Caitanya, a lame man can climb mountains, a blind man can see the stars in the sky and a child can understand the conclusive truths of the Vedic scriptures. So it is not that somehow or other through developing their own capacities that those people are able to achieve those things. They are blind, lame and just children, but they have become endowed with some empowerment from elsewhere, so it is not their own, and in that sense, the lame man should not, if he climbs the mountain, should not be come proud, and say, you know, just see even though I am lame, I climbed the mountain. The point is despite the fact that I am lame and hopeless in that regard, but by the mercy of Krishna, the mercy of Krishna is so great that despite that I did this. It applies in Krishna Consciousness ‘ Mükam karoti väcälam pangam langhayate girim.’ That if one is empowered like that in Krishna Consciousness, then one can do amazing things, and we see sometimes that devotees do amazing things.
I remember some several years ago, whatever, we were building/extending the temple room in Lenasia, for Sri Sri Nitai Gaura Hari. Who was the person who became empowered to raise so much laxmi? It was Mother Radha Kunda! You know a quiet lady. She is not you know one of these big dramatic ladies, walks in and everything stops. She is a quiet lady, humble lady but she became empowered and it happens in all sorts of ways. Devotees fundraising for Ratha Yatra! Devotees going out and distributing books and they struggle to do 1,2,3 books and then later when the marathon comes they doing a 100 books a day. So like this. Keseva Kashmiri thought he was so intelligent and he could speak about anything, anytime but suddenly the mercy was withdrawn and he started speaking some, just some mumbo jumbo actually, not just something wrong, but something crazy because he was functioning successfully, not on his own power, but on some borrowed power, some empowerment .
So whatever we can do, even if we can just chant nicely, chant our japa or speak nicely or cook nicely. I know particularly in Durban, I am sure not here, but in Durban, the ladies, the Indian ladies devotees. They all think, they can cook so nicely for Radha Radhanatha, and when some devotee who has experience with deity standards, comes to offer some cooking classes, you know like Vaisnava cooking skills, traditional. Then, many of the ladies turn their noses up in the air. They feel, they don’t need it, but actually even ladies, you know so many ladies are very practiced and competent at cooking. But though it’s really mercy which is coming, which makes the difference.
Or singing, singing, Manjari Bhava, was singing just now and I was listening to it and responding and thinking “How nice!” I really thought it was just really nice. But then I thought she mustn’t think that she is a nice singer. But she must just think, this is a service to the Lord and despite whatever I am, the Lord gives His mercy and then I can sing something. Ya, so this is the principle and it really applies across the board and it is so important, if one can take that position and keep the position, that I am just the instrument, it is not me. I am just the instrument and despite me because some mercy is coming, some empowerment is coming then despite me, I can do whatever it may be, that I am able to do. Yes.
So this is what happened to Bali Maharaja, because he became so dedicated and his followers to Sukracarya. They became empowered in that way, whereas Indra previously, He had actually offended his guru, Brhaspati. So like I said, it is a long story. But what happened was Brhaspati offered Indra his garland. Indra was sitting on top of an elephant, Brhaspati walked by and gave him his garland, Indra took he garland and being very distracted by whatever was going on, he didn’t really, it didn’t strike him “Oh a garland from my spiritual master or this is something special”. He thought, “Oh garland you know, what am I going to do with a garland, I’ll put it on the elephant”. So he put it on the elephant and the elephant became agitated with having this thing on his head, of course he did not understand and he just threw it off. Indra did not think “Oh what a mistake” and go and retrieve the garland and try and make up for things. He just left it and Brhaspati got so angry!
So, Bali Maharaja became very powerful, Indra lost his power and that brings us to the point that Aditi, the mother of the demigods, well basically you could say, she prays to Krishna, ”please do something, please incarnate Yourself so that my children, the demigods can be reinstated”. So the Lord appeared to her and agreed all right. “I will appear as Vamana”, and He did. Prabhupada sometimes uses the term “dwarf brahmana” but perhaps not exactly like a dwarf, because a dwarf is a little; you know physical features are not normal, but little boy, 5 years old, little brahmana boy, 5 years old dressed as a bramachari, looking very saintly and because He is a little boy, 5 years old looking very sweet just like Radha Ramana. Off course he is a bit older. How old is Radha Ramana now? 10! Oh okay, he’s getting old. But anyway very saintly and very sweet, just a captivating little boy and came there to Indraloka and just walked into the palace of Bali Maharaja. And Bali Maharaja, although he was king of the demons, but he had another side to him also, cause he was a descendant of Prahlad. Prahlad is also in the family of the demons, he is one of the sons of Hiranyakasipu, so that means the biggest demon family and Bali Maharaja is just a little bit after, not long, just a little bit after.
So on one hand, in the family of demons but connection to Prahlad, great, great devotee, so Bali also had a good side to him and that side was particularly in that, he had great respect for brahmanas, not so much devotees as such or the Lord as such, but brahmanas. So here, is this little brahmana boy and Bali Maharaja, it was his practice to, if any brahmana would come just tell the brahmana “What would you like?” and whatever the brahmana said, he would just give it. No questions asked. No conditions. So Bali Maharaja spoke like that to Lord Vamanadeva. And Vamana said”Oh! I’ll just take 3 steps of land! “. And Bali Maharaja was amused, “You are just a little boy, you don’t know the value of things.” You know sometimes little children, if you offer them 100 Rand note or one sweet as they would say in the old days in Chatsworth, oh I forget the exact term, it’s something like one cent sweet, one cent lolly. They are probably not one cent now, but just some cheap sweet it’s just, you know, not anything of value, “a dime, a dozen”. But the child may choose the sweet, because you can’t eat the 100 Rand note which is true, but of course you could buy a lot of sweets with it.
So, he thought, Bali Maharaja thought, that Vamanadeva is like this, he is just this innocent little child and He doesn’t understand the value of things so he actually tried to convince Him that, “Don’t be silly! Anyone who approaches me should never have to ask anyone for anything again for the rest of their lives. So you know 3 steps of land, what is that? I can give you a planet, take a planet. Take the Midstream Estate at least with all the houses and everything. At least take that!” Lord Vamana gave a very classic answer, “If I cannot be satisfied with 3 steps of land, then I could not be satisfied with the whole universe.” This is also a very important point for the devotees, very important point, that of course we have needs particularly as householders and for everybody. Some needs are definitely there in terms of bodily maintenance like that. So therefore, one has to acquire some things, somehow. It’s just to keep the body and soul together. However, at a certain point, at a certain point, you start going into, sort of you could say, “grey area”. “Do I really need it or do I not really need it?” And then as you go through that “grey area” where it may not be quite so clear where to draw the line that, I do need this but I don’t need that. As you pass through that “grey area”, you come to the other side and on the other side it is really just a matter of extravagance. Ya, that there’s so many things that I really don’t need but in material life, so many people, they are happy to accumulate those things.
And Prabhupada would give the example, if a bag of grain, a sack of grain falls off a cart into the street, and is lying there, the birds and other creatures will come and peck away and eat some of it and go. But the human will come, and pick up the whole bag and take it home. Yes, so the basic principle is that of course we need certain material things to a point and the point with one person may be different from the point of another person. Some people need to eat more. Some people need to eat less and you know like this. Different people have different needs but still for everybody there is point where it becomes extravagance, any more becomes extravagance and accumulating more does not make you happier. So this is what Lord Vamana said in that regard, “If I can’t be satisfied with 3 steps of land, I couldn’t be satisfied with the whole universe.” So yes, so this is something we should remember as devotees, very important point.
Anyway then Lord Vamana insisted. Bali Maharaja said “Well alright then, just take your 3 steps of land, and the Lord did. Well, in the meantime Sukracarya tried, he started to figure out what was going on and he tried to convince Bali Maharaja not to fulfil the promise that he had already made, that “You can have whatever you like” and give so many reasons. There is all sorts of fun reasons like,”If you make a promise but you do not say the word “Om” before you make the promise, the promise does not apply. Take or leave it if you want, if you want to uphold it, you can, if you prefer not to, don’t worry about it. If maintaining a promise, will be detrimental for you materially then it’s okay to break the promise,” so it’s you know, he’s got a whole lot of reasons why it is supposedly okay to break a promise and I mean there is some really colourful ones which I won’t even mention but and he tells him, “Look this is Vishnu and this is a trick and its specifically to take everything from you”. Of course, Srila Prabhupada makes the point that Sukracarya was very concerned that Bali Maharaja might lose everything material, because Sukracarya was completely materially dependent on Bali Maharaja and if Bali Maharaja became bankrupt by default, he became bankrupt himself. So yes, all these reasons and arguments were given and then, “It’s Vishnu, and Bali Maharaja said I don’t mind if its Vishnu and I don’t mind if He takes everything, it would be worse to become a liar. It would be worse than losing everything to become a liar so therefore I will uphold my promise” and so he told Lord Vamana, “Go ahead and take your three steps of land.”
Lord Vamana expanded His body, first step, He covered the lower and middle planetary systems, second step, He covered the upper planetary systems and then He turned around to Bali Maharaja and said, “What sort of person are you, you promised me three steps of land, you’ve only given me two, what am I meant to do about my third step?” So actually what He did, He arrested Bali Maharaja, “You’re a liar, you’ve broken your promise, you only gave me two steps of land, you have to go to hell!” So Bali Maharaja actually had to go to hell and as I recall, is still there. Although the Lord, it is a subterranean heavenly planet and the Lord is his guard and door keeper, so it’s a very special situation.
So, as we read, in the purport here, I mean at the beginning, Bali Maharaja could have felt and did feel cheated, that you know, it’s not fair, you’ve tricked me really, three steps of land and you know you do like this and, its dishonest, but then he thought about it and the Lord was telling him, “come on, where am I going to take my third step? Where will I put my foot for the third step?” And we read what Bali Maharaja said, “O best Personality of Godhead, most worshipable for all the demigods, if You think that my promise has become false, I shall certainly rectify matters to make it truthful. I cannot allow my promise to be false. Please, therefore, place Your third lotus footstep on my head.” (SB 8.22.2)
In this way Bali Maharaja surrendered his life and became famous for that. He is the example of the devotional process “atma nivedanam”. You know, shravanam kirtanam visnu smaranam päda-sevanam arcanam vandanam däsyam sakhyam ätma-nivedanam [SB 7.5.23].
Who was the person who did shravanam? Prime example. Men? Shravanam was hearing. Maharaja Parikshit.
Ladies, who was the person, who chanted, prime person? Sukadeva Goswami.
Who was the person who remembered, Men? Prahalad Maharaja.
çravaëaà kértanaà viñëoù smaraëaà
pada sevanam? Who was the person, ladies who served the lotus feet of the Lord? Laxmi.
archanam. Who was the person who did deity worship, Men? Prthu Maharaja.
Vandanam. Who was the person who offered prayers? Akrura.
dasyam. Who was the person who became the humble servant? Hanuman.
sakyam. Who was the person who became the friend? Arjuna.
And Bali Maharaja was the person who surrendered everything, his life and everything.
And who was the person who did all of them. “Srila Prabhupada.” “Thank you. That’s nice. Matajis? Radhika Prashad? 9th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. Maharaja Ambarish did all of them”
But Bali Maharaja particularly surrendered his life, you know despite everything, he surrendered his life completely. So it’s a nice day to meditate on this. The appearance day of Lord Vamana, very nice day for meditating on this and many lessons to learn as we mentioned, dedication, dedication to the spiritual master in our cases, in all our cases at least including or even particularly to Srila Prabhupada.
You know in ISKCON it’s very interesting, the situation, everybody has their spiritual master, I mean generally at least. I mean generally, people after some time become initiated, but it is not that when one is initiated by the spiritual master, that he is then, just everything in total, alone. Of course the relationship is very very important, not to be minimised or underestimated but in ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada is there. We are reading His books. We are following the program He gave us. We are living in or visiting His temples. We are in His society, not just “the guru’s temple or institution” but Prabhupada’s. We are spreading His message as He gave it, spreading the process and practicing the process as He gave it. And then on top of that, on top of that, there are other devotees, who give us support and some may give us huge support, in some cases. Others may give some nice support here and there, and that’s nice but some may give some great support, guidance, shelter, you know, some of the senior devotees. So, Guru in one sense, of course we do not want to depersonalise, and we are not really depersonalising but guru, in this sense is the principle. Guru is a principle, that principle of shelter, guidance, clarification and to some degree direction giving, like this and those things are coming through different people, in fact. And there isn’t one person in ISKCON who could accurately say that “I am only, wholly and solely dependent in all respects on my initiating spiritual master and nobody else amongst the devotees.” There is nobody who can say that, because it’s just not true. Ya so it is an interesting thing that we should also meditate upon. It will help us get out of what is sometimes called “guru clicks”. “My guru and your guru and for me mine is the best and yours is well I don’t know, something.” Help us get out of these clicks. We should be able to see, we should try to see, where we are getting mercy from and we’ll see we are getting mercy from different sources in Krishna Consciousness, and we have to recognise those sources. Ya, so that a very nice point in Krishna Consciousness and we are very much protected in that way, very much protected. You know in the modern day atomic family society, husband and wife and their children, they are in their place. The parent’s parents are in some other places, the parents’ brothers and sisters and so on, they are in other places. And you know if the children need some care, the parents are not able to give directly, it can be very hard to get that. But traditionally in India, and not just India, but Vedic society, you get these big joint families, then there is so much care of different types just available, grandma, aunty, uncle and so many, so much care is available anytime. So in ISKCON it is like that and it should be like that, it really should be. It doesn’t mean, certainly does not necessitate becoming impersonal or minimising one’s spiritual master, but it means recognising the reality of one’s situation and where and how guidance and mercy is coming to one.
This is very nice, very, very nice and off course in some cases, I remember having the experience myself, I have mentioned this many times, where we had, several years ago we had just, it was during Kartik, we had just completed Govardhana Parikrama more or less, we were sitting on the banks of Radha Kunda and we had started just outside Radha Kunda, so we were almost there. We were sitting there, it was the later afternoon and I thought “Oh, we did it again, another Govardhana Parikrama, pat on the back, we did it again” and just as I thought that, at that split second from this loud speaker system around Radha Kunda, a voice came repeating the verse, we just read some minutes ago read, “yasya prasädäd bhagavat-prasädo yasyäprasädän na gati kuto ‘pi.” That person by whose mercy, one gets the mercy of Krishna that person without whose mercy, one cannot make progress. I offer my respectful obeisances to the spiritual master. So it helped me to see that during the Govardhana Parikrama and getting the mercy of Govardhana Hill, it’s also by the mercy of Prabhupada. But you know it’s an intricate situation and one may also see indirectly or in transcendental terms, the hand of one’s spiritual master working through other people. acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva. Oneness and differences is there. So the mercy of one’s spiritual master runs through everything but at the same time, everything is everything and everything in whatever way, it helps, we have to recognise, give credit. Yes, so some lessons to learn and ultimately, even though the Lord is the husband of the goddess of fortune, He came as a beggar to Bali Maharaja although he is not a beggar in other words, He cheated him, He was being mischievous, tricky. Bali Maharaja took pleasure in understanding how the Lord will cheat His devotee to glorify the devotee. Just see! So He felt happy, I got cheated by the Lord. Thank you Lord and he didn’t become grumpy with Krishna. Why are you doing this Krishna? I am Your devotee, You must be nice to Your devotee.
Any comments or questions? Gentlemen or Ladies?
Devotee: Just the one pastime that came to mind about the Lord cheating His devotees, as Guru Maharaja was explaining just now was the pastime in Mahabharatha, where Krishna called Arjuna and asked him to retrieve those arrows that Bhismadeva had asked Duryodhana to set aside, so Bhismadeva was really pleased, that Krishna had cheated him.
Yes, that’s nice. Ladies, some comment or question?
Srila Prabhupada Ki Jay!!