Hinduism Balarama

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Forums -> Misc Topics -> Hinduism Balarama

Hinduism Balarama
Post # 1
Deity of the Week: Balarama

Balarama , also known as Baladeva , Balabhadra and Halayudha , is the elder brother of the divine being, Krishna in Hinduism. Within Vaishnavism Hindu traditions Balarama is identified and worshipped as an Avatar of Vishnu, and he is also listed as such in the Bhagavata Purana.The truth as given by Krshna Dwaipayaya Vyasa Mahabharata (original version of Mahabhrata written by Vyasa) it is clearly given in Swargarohana Parva that Balarama is an incarnation of Adishesha on which the Lord Vishnu rests. Within both the Vaishnava traditions and Hinduism generally he is known as being a manifestation of Shesha, the serpent on whom Vishnu rests.

The Bhagavata Purana describes Krishna as the original Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything else emanates. As part of this divine 'emanation', Krishna's very first expansion is Balarama, and from Balarama all other incarnations of God then appear. Of the three transcendental elements described in Sanskrit as sat, cit and ananda (eternity, knowledge and bliss), Balarama is in charge of eternity and knowledge . Hence he is worshipped as the supreme teacher or Adiguru [ citation needed ] .

Balarama was born as a son of Vasudeva. Kansa, the brother of Devaki and an evil king, was intent upon killing all the children of his sister because of a prediction that he would die at the hands of her eighth son. Kansa thus threw his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudeva into prison, and proceeded to kill each of their children as they were born. However, the seventh child was transferred miraculously from Devaki's womb to the womb of Vasudeva's other wife Rohini, who desired a child of her own. Thus Balarama's other name is also Sakaraa which describes the transfer of the child from the womb. Rohini gave birth to Balarama and raised him. The child was formally named Rama, but because of his great strength he was called Balarama (Strong Rama), Baladeva or Balabhadra. He was born under Shravana nakshatra on Shraavana Purnima or Raksha bandhan.

One day, Nanda Maharaja requested Gargamuni, the family priest to visit their home in order to give names to Krishna and Balarama. When Gargamuni arrived at his house Nanda Maharaja, received him very well and then requested him to perform the naming ceremony. Gargamuni then reminded Nanda Maharaja that Kasa was looking for the son of Devaki and said that if he performed the ceremony very opulently it would come to the notice of Kansa, who would then suspect that Krishna was the son of Devaki. Nanda Maharaja therefore asked Gargamuni to perform the ceremony in secret, and Gargamuni did so giving the reasons for Balarama's names as follows:

"Because Balarama, the son of Rohini, increases the transcendental bliss of others, His name is Rama, and because of His extraordinary strength, He is called Baladeva. He attracts the Yadus to follow His instructions, and therefore His name is Sankarshana." Bhagavata Purana 10.8.12

Balarama spent his childhood as a cowherd boy with his brother Krishna and friends. He killed Dhenukasura, an asura sent by King Kansa and later Mushtika, a wrestler of Kansa before Kansa's death. After Kansa's death, he and Krishna went to the sage Sandipani's ashrama at Ujjayini for study. He later married Revati, the daughter of King Kakudmi, ruler of Kuasthal or Anarta

Balarama famously taught both Duryodhana of the Kauravas and Bhima of the Pandavas the art of fighting with a mace. When war broke between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, Balarama was equally affectionate to both parties and so decided to be neutral. Eventually when Bhima (of greater strength) defeated Duryodhana (of greater skill) by dealing a blow below the navel with his mace (a move against the rules of mace combat), Balarama threatened to kill Bhima. This was only prevented when Krishna reminded Balarama of Bhima's vow to kill Duryodhana by crushing the very thigh he exposed to his wife Draupadi

In the Bhagavata Purana it is described that after Balarama took part in the battle that caused the destruction of the rest of the Yadu dynasty, and after he witnessed the disappearance of Krishna, he then sat down in a meditative state and departed from this world. In some accounts it is described that a great white snake left Balarama's mouth at this point in reference to his identity as Ananta-Sesha. And the place where he departed from this world is situated about 1km far from Somnath Temple in Gujarat. There is one cave at that place and the white snake who came out of Balarama's mouth got into that cave and went back to Paatal Lok as the local people of Veraval say. One of the early references of Balarama worship is found in Kautilya's Arthashastra (13.3) Early individual Balarama worship was followed by his worship along with Krishna by various Vaishnava sects.The most revered temple of Krishna & Balarama is in Jagannatha Puri.


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