बले: पदत्रयं भूमे: कस्माद्धरिरयाचत ।
भूतेश्वर: कृपणवल्लब्धार्थोऽपि बबन्ध तम् ॥ १ ॥
एतद् वेदितुमिच्छामो महत्कौतूहलं हि न: ।
याच्ञेश्वरस्य पूर्णस्य बन्धनं चाप्यनागस: ॥ २ ॥
baleḥ pada-trayaṁ bhūmeḥ
kasmād dharir ayācata
labdhārtho ’pi babandha tam
mahat kautūhalaṁ hi naḥ
bandhanaṁ cāpy anāgasaḥ
śrī-rājā uvāca — the King said; baleḥ — of Bali Mahārāja; pada-trayam — three steps; bhūmeḥ — of land; kasmāt — why; hariḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead (in the form of Vāmana); ayācata — begged; bhūta-īśvaraḥ — the proprietor of all the universe; kṛpaṇa-vat — like a poor man; labdha-arthaḥ — He got the gift; api — although; babandha — arrested; tam — him (Bali); etat — all this; veditum — to understand; icchāmaḥ — we desire; mahat — very great; kautūhalam — eagerness; hi — indeed; naḥ — our; yācñā — begging; īśvarasya — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pūrṇasya — who is full in everything; bandhanam — arresting; ca — also; api — although; anāgasaḥ — of he who was faultless.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit inquired: The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the proprietor of everything. Why did He beg three paces of land from Bali Mahārāja like a poor man, and when He got the gift for which He had begged, why did He nonetheless arrest Bali Mahārāja? I am very much anxious to know the mystery of these contradictions.