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kirtir jayo ’jayo mrtyuh
sarvesam syur anukramat
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Bali Maharaja replied: All those present on this battlefield are certainly under the influence of eternal time, and according to their prescribed activities, they are destined to receive fame, victory, defeat and death, one after another.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
If one is victorious on the battlefield, he becomes famous; and if one is not victorious but is defeated, he may die. Both victory and defeat are possible, whether on such a battlefield as this or on the battlefield of the struggle for existence. Everything takes place according to the laws of nature (prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah). Since everyone, without exception, is subject to the modes of material nature, whether one is victorious or defeated he is not independent, but is under the control of material nature. Bali Maharaja, therefore, was very sensible. He knew that the fighting was arranged by eternal time and that under time’s influence one must accept the results of one’s own activities. Therefore even though Indra threatened that he would now kill Bali Maharaja by releasing the thunderbolt, Bali Maharaja was not at all afraid. This is the spirit of a ksatriya: yuddhe capy apalayanam (Bg. 18.43). A ksatriya must be tolerant in all circumstances, especially on the battlefield. Thus Bali Maharaja asserted that he was not at all afraid of death, although he was threatened by such a great personality as the King of heaven.