Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 8 - Chapter 1 - Verse 20


श्रीविन्ध्यावलिरुवाचक्रीडार्थमात्मन इदं त्रिजगत् कृतं तेस्वाम्यं तु तत्र कुधियोऽपर ईश कुर्यु: ।कर्तु: प्रभोस्तव किमस्यत आवहन्तित्यक्तह्रियस्त्वदवरोपितकर्तृवादा: ॥ २० ॥


śrī-vindhyāvalir uvācakrīḍārtham ātmana idaṁ tri-jagat kṛtaṁ tesvāmyaṁ tu tatra kudhiyo ’para īśa kuryuḥkartuḥ prabhos tava kim asyata āvahantityakta-hriyas tvad-avaropita-kartṛ-vādāḥ


Śrīmatī Vindhyāvali said: O my Lord, You have created the entire universe for the enjoyment of Your personal pastimes, but foolish, unintelligent men have claimed proprietorship for material enjoyment. Certainly they are shameless agnostics. Falsely claiming proprietorship, they think they can give charity and enjoy. In such a condition, what good can they do for You, who are the independent creator, maintainer and annihilator of this universe?


Bali Mahārāja’s wife, who was most intelligent, supported the arrest of her husband and accused him of having no intelligence because he had claimed proprietorship of the property of the Lord. Such a claim is a sign of demoniac life. Although the demigods, who are officials appointed by the Lord for management, are attached to materialistic enjoyment, they never claim to be proprietors of the universe, for they know that the actual proprietor of everything is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the qualification of the demigods. But the demons, instead of accepting the exclusive proprietorship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, claim the property of the universe for themselves through demarcations of nationalism. “This part is mine, and that part is yours,” they say. “This part I can give in charity, and this part I can keep for my enjoyment.” These are all demoniac conceptions. This is described in Bhagavad-gītā (16.13): idam adya mayā labdham imaṁ prāpsye manoratham. “Thus far I have acquired so much money and land. Now I have to add more and more. In this way I shall be the greatest proprietor of everything. Who can compete with me?” These are all demoniac conceptions. Bali Mahārāja’s wife accused Bali Mahārāja by saying that although the Supreme Personality of Godhead had arrested him, showing him extraordinary mercy, and although Bali Mahārāja was offering his body to the Supreme Lord for the Lord’s third step, he was still in the darkness of ignorance. Actually the body did not belong to him, but because of his long-standing demoniac mentality he could not understand this. He thought that since he had been defamed for his inability to fulfill his promise of charity, and since the body belonged to him, he would free himself from defamation by offering his body. Actually, however, the body does not belong to anyone but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by whom the body is given. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (18.61): The Lord is situated in the core of everyone’s heart, and, according to the material desires of the living entity, the Lord offers a particular type of machine — the body — through the agency of the material energy. The body actually does not belong to the living entity; it belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Under the circumstances, how could Bali Mahārāja claim that the body belonged to him? Thus Vindhyāvali, Bali Mahārāja’s intelligent wife, prayed that her husband be released, by the Lord’s causeless mercy. Otherwise, Bali Mahārāja was nothing but a shameless demon, specifically described as tyakta-hriyas tvad-avaropita-kartṛ-vādāḥ, a foolish person claiming proprietorship over the property of the Supreme Person. In the present age, Kali-yuga, the number of such shameless men, who are agnostics disbelieving in the existence of God, has increased. Trying to defy the authority of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, so-called scientists, philosophers and politicians manufacture plans and schemes for the destruction of the world. They cannot do anything good for the world, and unfortunately, because of Kali-yuga, they have plunged the affairs of the world into mismanagement. Thus there is a great need for the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement for the benefit of innocent people who are being carried away by propaganda of such demons. If the present status quo is allowed to continue, people will certainly suffer more and more under the leadership of these demoniac agnostics.