By Your causeless mercy only are we demons in direct contact with Your personality. This contact is not possible even for the great demigods. No one knows how You act through Your yogamāyā potency. Even demigods cannot calculate the expanse of the activities of Your internal potency, so how is it possible for us to know it? I therefore place my humble prayers before You: Please be kind to me, who am fully surrendered unto You, and favor me with Your causeless mercy so that I may simply remember Your lotus feet, birth after birth. My only ambition is that I may live alone just like the paramahaṁsas who travel alone here and there in great peace of mind, depending simply upon Your lotus feet. I also desire that if I have to associate with anyone, I may associate only with Your pure devotees and no one else, for Your pure devotees are always well-wishers of all living entities.
“My dear Lord, You are the supreme master and director of the whole world. Please, therefore, engage me in Your service and let me thus become free from all material contaminations. You can purify me in that way because if someone engages himself in the loving service of Your Lordship, he is immediately freed from all kinds of regulative principles enjoined in the Vedas.”
The word paramahaṁsa mentioned here means “the supreme swan.” It is said that the swan can draw milk from a mixture of milk and water; it can take only the milk portion and reject the watery portion. Similarly, a person who can draw out the spiritual portion from this material world and who can live alone, depending only on the Supreme Spirit, not on the material world, is called a paramahaṁsa. When one achieves the paramahaṁsa platform, he is no longer under the regulative principles of the Vedic injunctions. A paramahaṁsa accepts only the association of pure devotees and rejects others, who are too much materially addicted. In other words, those who are materially addicted cannot understand the value of the paramahaṁsa, but those who are fortunate—who are advanced in a spiritual sense—take shelter of the paramahaṁsa and successfully complete the mission of human life.
After Lord Kṛṣṇa heard the prayers of Bali Mahārāja, He spoke as follows: “My dear King of the demons, in the millennium of Svāyambhuva Manu, the Prajāpati known as Marīci begot six sons, all demigods, in the womb of his wife, Ūrṇā. Once upon a time, Lord Brahmā became captivated by the beauty of his daughter and was following her, impelled by sex desire. At that time, these six demigods looked at the action of Lord Brahmā with abhorrence. This criticism of Brahma’s action by the demigods constituted a great offense on their part, and for this reason they were condemned to take birth as the sons of the demon Hiraṇyakaśipu. These sons of Hiraṇyakaśipu were thereafter put into the womb of mother Devakī, and as soon as they took their birth Kaṁsa killed them one after another. My dear King of the demons, mother Devakī is very anxious to see these six dead sons again, and she is very much aggrieved on account of their early death at the hand of Kaṁsa. I know that all of them are living with you. I have decided to take them with Me to pacify My mother, Devakī. After seeing My mother, all six of these conditioned souls will be liberated, and thus in great pleasure they will be transferred to their original planet. The names of these six conditioned souls are as follows: Smara, Udgītha, Pariṣvaṅga, Pataṅga, Kṣudrabhṛt and Ghṛṇī. They will be reinstated in their former position as demigods.”
After thus informing the King of the demons, Kṛṣṇa stopped speaking, and Bali Mahārāja understood the Lord’s purpose. He worshiped the Lord sufficiently, and thereafter Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Balarāma took away the six conditioned souls and returned to the city of Dvārakā, where Lord Kṛṣṇa presented them as little babies before His mother, Devakī. Mother Devakī was overwhelmed with joy and was so ecstatic in motherly feeling that milk immediately began to flow from her breasts, and she fed the babies with great satisfaction. She took them on her lap again and again, smelling their heads and thinking, “I have gotten my lost children back!” For the time being she was overpowered by the energy of Viṣṇu, and in great motherly affection she enjoyed the company of her lost children.
The milk from the breasts of Devakī was transcendental nectar because the same milk had been sucked by Lord Kṛṣṇa. As such, the babies who sucked the breasts of Devakījī, which had touched the body of Lord Kṛṣṇa, immediately became self-realized persons. The babies therefore began to offer their obeisances unto Lord Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma, their father Vasudeva and their mother Devakī. After this, they were immediately transferred to their respective heavenly planets.
After they departed, Devakī was stunned with wonder that her dead children had come back and had again been transferred to their respective planets. She could adjust the events only by thinking that Lord Kṛṣṇa can perform anything wonderful in His pastimes because His potencies are all inconceivable. Without accepting the inconceivable, unlimited potencies of the Lord, one cannot understand that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Soul. By His unlimited potencies He performs unlimited pastimes, and no one can describe them in full, nor can anyone know them all. Sūta Gosvāmī, speaking Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam before the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya, headed by Śaunaka Ṛṣi, gave his verdict in this connection as follows.
“Great sages, please understand that the transcendental pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa are all eternal. They are not ordinary narrations of historical incidents. Such narrations are identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Anyone, therefore, who hears such narrations of the Lord’s pastimes is immediately freed from the contamination of material existence. And those who are pure devotees enjoy these narrations as nectar entering into their ears.” Such narrations were spoken by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the exalted son of Vyāsadeva, and anyone who hears them, as well as anyone who repeats them for the hearing of others, becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious. And only the Kṛṣṇa conscious persons are eligible to go back home, back to Godhead.