Balarama

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 23 Jul 2011 08:46 and updated at 23 Jul 2011 08:46

VISHNU PURANA NOUN

vp.2.5 Below the seven Patalas is the form of Vishnu, proceeding from the quality of darkness, which is called sesha 4, the excellencies of which neither Daityas nor Danavas can fully enumerate. This being is called Ananta by the spirits of heaven, and is worshipped by sages and by gods. He has a thousand heads, which are embellished with the pure and visible mystic sign 5: and the thousand jewels in his crests give light to all the regions. For the benefit of the world he: deprives the Asuras of their strength. He rolls his eyes fiercely, as if intoxicated. He wears a single ear ring, a diadem, and wreath upon each brow; and shines like the white mountains topped with flame. He is clothed in purple raiment, and ornamented with a white necklace, and looks like another Kailasa, with the heavenly Ganga flowing down its precipices. In one hand he holds a plough, and in the other a pestle; and he is attended by Varuni (the goddess of wine), who is his own embodied radiance. From his mouths, at the end of the Kalpa, proceeds the venomed fire that, impersonated as Rudra, who is one with Balarama, devours the three worlds.
vp.4.1 Dynasties of kings. Origin of the solar dynasty from Brahma. Sons of the Manu Vaivaswata. Transformations of Ila or Sudyumna. Descendants of the sons of Vaivaswat; those of Nedishtha. Greatness of Marutta. Kings of Vaisali. Descendants of saryati. Legend of Raivata; his daughter Revati married to Balarama.
vp.4.1 of excessively lofty height, the chief, whose banner is a palm tree, shortened her with the end of his ploughshare, and she became his wife. Balarama having espoused, agreeably to the ritual, Revati, the daughter of Raivata, the king retired to the mountain Himalaya, and ended his days in devout austerities 33.
vp.4.13 Sons of Satwata. Bhoja princes of Mrittikavati. Surya the friend of Satrajit: appears to him in a bodily form: gives him the Syamantaka gem: its brilliance and marvellous properties. Satrajit gives it to Prasena, who is killed by a lion: the lion killed by the bear Jambavat. Krishna suspected of killing Prasena, goes to look for him in the forests: traces the bear to his cave: fights with him for the jewel: the contest prolonged: supposed by his companions to be slain: he overthrows Jambavat, and marries his daughter Jambavati: returns with her and the jewel to Dwaraka: restores the jewel to Satrajit, and marries his daughter Satyabhama. Satrajit murdered by satadhanwan: avenged by Krishna. Quarrel between Krishna and Balarama. Akrura possessed of the jewel: leaves Dwaraka. Public calamities. Meeting of the Yadavas. Story of Akrura s birth: he is invited to return: accused by Krishna of having the Syamantaka jewel: produces it in full assembly: it remains in his charge: Krishna acquitted of having purloined it.
vp.4.13 Being thus excited by his brother, Balarama engaged resolutely in the enterprise; but satadhanwan, being aware of their hostile designs, repaired to Kritavarman, and required his assistance. Kritavarman, however, declined to assist him, pleading his inability to engage in a conflict with both Baladeva and Krishna. satadhanwan thus disappointed, applied to Akrura; but he said, "You must have recourse to some other protector. How should I be able to defend you? There is no one even amongst the immortals, whose praises are celebrated throughout the universe, who is capable of contending with the wielder of the discus, at the stamp of whose foot the three worlds tremble; whose hand makes the wives of the Asuras widows, whose weapons no host, however mighty, can resist: no one is capable of encountering the wielder of the ploughshare, who annihilates the prowess of his enemies by the glances of his eyes, that roll with the joys of wine; and whose vast ploughshare manifests his might, by seizing and exterminating the most formidable foes." "Since this is the case," replied satadhanwan, "and you are unable to assist me, at least accept and take care of this jewel." "I will do so," answered Akrura, "if you promise that even in the last extremity you will not divulge its being in my possession." To this satadhanwan agreed, and Akrura took the jewel; and the former mounting a very swift mare, one that could travel a hundred leagues a day, fled from Dwaraka.
vp.4.13 When Krishna heard of satadhanwan s flight, he harnessed his four horses, saivya, Sugriva, Meghapushpa, and Balahaka, to his car, and, accompanied by Balarama, set off in pursuit. The mare held her speed,
vp.4.13 and accomplished her hundred leagues; but when she reached the country of Mithila, her strength was exhausted, and she dropped down and died. satadhanwan 11 dismounting, continued his flight on foot. When his pursuers came to the place where the mare had perished, Krishna said to Balarama, "Do you remain in the car, whilst I follow the villain on foot, and put him to death; the ground here is bad; and the horses will not be able to drag the chariot across it." Balarama accordingly stayed with the car, and Krishna followed satadhanwan on foot: when he had chased him for two kos, he discharged his discus, and, although satadhanwan was at a considerable distance, the weapon struck off his head. Krishna then coining up, searched his body and his dress for the Syamantaka jewel, but found it not. He then returned to Balabhadra, and told him that they had effected the death of satadhanwan to no purpose, for the precious gem, the quintessence of all worlds, was not upon his person. When Balabhadra heard this, he flew into a violent rage, and said to Vasudeva, Shame" light upon you, to be thus greedy of wealth! I acknowledge no brotherhood with you. Here lies my path. Go whither you please; I have done with Dwaraka, with you, with all our house. It is of no use to seek to impose upon me with thy perjuries." Thus reviling his brother, who fruitlessly endeavoured to appease him, Balabhadra went to the city of Videha, where Janaka 12 received him hospitably, and there he remained.
vp.4.15 Explanation of the reason why sisupala in his previous births as Hiranyakasipu and Ravana was not identified with Vishnu on being slain by him, and was so identified when killed as sisupala. The wives of Vasudeva: his children: Balarama and Krishna his sons by Devaki: born apparently of Rohini and Yasoda. The wives and children of Krishna. Multitude of the descendants of Yadu.
vp.4.15 When Devaki was pregnant the seventh time, Yoganidra (the sleep of devotion), sent by Vishnu, extricated the embryo from its maternal womb at midnight, and transferred it to that of Rohini; and from having been thus taken away, the child (who was Balarama) received the name of Sankarshana. Next, the divine Vishnu himself, the root of the vast universal tree, inscrutable by the understandings of all gods, demons, sages, and men, past, present, or to come, adored by Brahma and all the deities, he who is without beginning, middle, or end, being moved to relieve the earth of her load, descended into the womb of Devaki, and was born as her son Vasudeva. Yoganidra, proud to execute his orders, removed the embryo to Yasoda, the wife of Nanda the cowherd. At his birth the earth was relieved from all iniquity; the sun, moon, and planets shone with unclouded splendour; all fear of calamitous portents was dispelled; and universal happiness prevailed. From the moment he appeared, all mankind were led into the righteous path in him.
vp.5.5 Nanda returns with the infants Krishna and Balarama to Gokula. Putana killed by the former. Prayers of Nanda and Yasoda.
vp.5.6 At this time Krishna and Rama, accompanied by the cow boys, traversed the forests, that echoed with the hum of bees and the peacock s cry. Sometimes they sang in chorus, or danced together; sometimes they sought shelter from the cold beneath the trees; sometimes they decorated themselves with flowery garlands, sometimes with peacocks feathers; sometimes they stained themselves of various hues with the minerals of the mountain; sometimes weary they reposed on beds of leaves, and sometimes imitated in mirth the muttering of the thundercloud; sometimes they excited their juvenile associates to sing, and sometimes they mimicked the cry of the peacock with their pipes. In this manner participating in various feelings and emotions, and affectionately attached to each other, they wandered, sporting and happy, through the wood. At eveningtide came Krishna and Balarama, like two cow boys, along with the cows and the cowherds. At eveningtide the two immortals, having come to the cow pens, joined heartily in whatever sports amused the sons of the herdsmen.
vp.5.7 When the mighty son of Rohini, Balarama, heard these exclamations of the Gopis, and with disdainful glance beheld the cowherds overcome with terror, Nanda gazing fixedly upon the countenance of his son, and Yasoda unconscious, he spake to Krishna in his own character: "What is this, O god of gods! the quality of mortal is sufficiently assumed; dost thou not know thyself eternal? Thou art the centre of creation, as the nave is of the spokes of a wheel. A portion of thee have I also been born, as thy senior. The gods, to partake of thy pastimes as man, have all descended under a like disguise; and the goddesses have come down to Gokula to join in thy sports. Thou, eternal, hast last of all appeared below. Wherefore, Krishna, dost thou disregard these divinities, who, as cowherds, are thy friends and kin? these sorrowing females, who also are thy relations? Thou hast put on the character of man; thou hast exhibited the tricks of childhood: now let this fierce snake, though armed with venomed fangs, be subdued (by thy celestial vigour)."
vp.5.9 [paragraph continues] Balarama with Pralamba: the other boys were coupled with one another, and went leaping away. Govinda beat his companion, and Balarama his; and the boys who were on Krishna s side were also victorious. Carrying one another, they reached the Bhandira fig; and from thence those who were victors were conveyed back to the starting ground by those who were vanquished. It being Pralamba s duty to carry Sankarshana, the latter mounted upon his shoulders, like the moon riding above a dark cloud; and the demon ran off with him, but did not stop: finding himself, however, unable to bear the weight of Balarama, he enlarged his bulk, and looked like a black cloud in the rainy season, Balarama beholding him like a scorched mountain, his head crowned with a diadem, and his neck hung round with garlands, having eyes as large as cart wheels, a fearful form, and shaking the earth with his tread, called out, as he was carried away, to his brother, Krishna", Krishna, I am carried off by some demon, disguised as a cowherd, and huge as a mountain! What shall I do? Tell me, Madhusudana: the villain runs away with speed!" Krishna opened his mouth, smiling, for he well knew the might of the son of Rohini, and replied, "Why this subtle pretext of merely mortal nature? thou who art the soul of all the most subtile of subtile things. Remember yourself, the radical cause of the whole world; born before all cause, and all that is alone when the world is destroyed. Dost thou not
vp.5.9 eyes. The demon, vomiting blood from his mouth, and having his brain forced through the skull, fell upon the ground, and expired. The Gopas, beholding Pralamba slain, were astonished, and rejoiced, and cried out, "Well done," and praised Balarama: and thus commended by his playfellows, and accompanied by Krishna, Bala, after the death of the daitya Pralamba, returned to Gokula 3.
vp.5.15 Kansa informed by Narada of the existence of Krishna and Balarama: he sends Kesin to destroy them, and Akrura to bring them to Mathura.
vp.5.18 Grief of the Gopis on the departure of Krishna and Balarama with Akrura: their leaving Gokula. Akrura bathes in the Yamuna; beholds the divine forms of the two youths, and praises Vishnu.
vp.5.18 When Akrura beheld Balarama and Krishna in this situation, he was much amazed, and wondered how they could so quickly have got there from the chariot. He wished to ask them this, but Janarddana deprived him of the faculty of speech at the moment. Ascending then from the water, he repaired to the car, and there he found them both quietly seated in the same human persons as before. Plunging again into the water, there he again beheld them, hymned as before by the Gandharbas, saints, sages, and serpents. Apprehending, therefore, their real character, he thus eulogized the eternal deity, who consists of true knowledge:
vp.5.20 Krishna and Balarama meet Kubja; she is made straight by the former: they proceed to the palace. Krishna breaks a bow intended for a trial of arms. Kansa s orders to his servants. Public games. Krishna and his brother enter the arena: the former wrestles with Chanura, the latter with Mushtika, the king s wrestlers; who are both killed. Krishna attacks and slays Kansa: he and Balarama do homage to Vasudeva and Devaki: the former praises Krishna.
vp.5.24 Muchukunda goes to perform penance. Krishna takes the army and treasures of Kalayavana, and repairs with them to Dwaraka. Balarama visits Vraja: inquiries of its inhabitants after Krishna.
vp.5.25 Balarama finds wine in the hollow of a tree; becomes inebriated; commands the Yamuna to come to him, and on her refusal drags her out of her course: Lakshmi gives him ornaments and a dress: he returns to Dwaraka, and marries Revati.
vp.5.25 [paragraph continues] Rama in a rage took up his ploughshare, which he plunged into her bank, and dragged her to him, calling out, "Will you not come, you jade? will you not come? Now go where you please (if you can)." Thus saying, he compelled the dark river to quit its ordinary course, and follow him whithersoever he wandered through the wood. Assuming a mortal figure, the Yamuna, with distracted looks, approached Balabhadra, and entreated him to pardon her, and let her go: but he replied, "I will drag you with my ploughshare in a thousand directions, since you contemn my prowess and strength." At last, however, appeased by her reiterated prayers, he let her go, after she had watered all the country 3. When he had bathed, the goddess of beauty, Lakshmi, came and gave him a beautiful lotus to place in one ear, and an earring for the other; a fresh necklace of lotus flowers, sent by Varuna; and garments of a dark blue colour, as costly as the wealth of the ocean: and thus decorated with a lotus in one ear, a ring in the other, dressed in blue garments, and wearing a garland, Balarama appeared united with loveliness. Thus decorated, Rama sported two months in Vraja, and then returned to Dwaraka, where the married Revati, the daughter of king Raivata, by whom he had two sons, Nishatha and Ulmuka 4.
vp.5.26 Krishna carries off Rukmini: the princes who come to rescue her repulsed by Balarama. Rukmin overthrown, but spared by Krishna, founds Bhojakata. Pradyumna born of Rukmini.
vp.5.26 Bishmaka was king of Vidarbha, residing at Kundina 1. He had a son named Rukmin, and a beautiful daughter termed Rukmini. Krishna fell in love with the latter, and solicited her in marriage; but her brother who hated Krishna, would not assent to the espousals. At the suggestion of Jarasandha, and with the concurrence of his son, the powerful sovereign Bhishmaka affianced Rukmini to sisupala. In order to celebrate the nuptials, Jarasandha and other princes, the friends of sisupala, assembled in the capital of Vidarbha; and Krishna, attended by Balabhadra and many other Yadavas, also went to Kundina to witness the wedding. When there, Hari contrived, on the eve of the nuptials, to carry off the princess 2, leaving Rama and his kinsmen to sustain the weight of his enemies. Paundraka, the illustrious Dantavakra, Viduratha, sisupala, Jarasandha, salya, and other kings, indignant at the insult, exerted themselves to kill Krishna, but were repelled by Balarama and the Yadavas. Rukmin, vowing that he would never enter Kundina again until he had slain Kesava in fight, pursued and overtook him. In the combat that ensued, Krishna destroyed with his discus, as if in sport, the host of Rukmin, with all its horse, and elephants, and foot, and chariots, and overthrew him, and hurled him on the ground, and would have put him to death, but was withheld by the entreaties of Rukmini. "He is my only brother," she exclaimed, "and must not be slain by
vp.5.28 Wives of Krishna. Pradyumna has Aniruddha: nuptials of the latter. Balarama beat at dice, becomes incensed, and slays Rukmin and others.
vp.5.28 The heroic Pradyumna was chosen for her lord, at her public choice of a husband, by the daughter of Rukmin; and he had by her the powerful and gallant prince Aniruddha, who was fierce in fight, an ocean of prowess, and the tamer of his foes. Kesava demanded in marriage for him the granddaughter of Rukmin; and although the latter was inimical to Krishna, he betrothed the maiden (who was his son s daughter) to the son of his own daughter (her cousin Aniruddha). Upon the occasion of the nuptials Rama and other Yadavas attended Krishna to Bhojakata, the city of Rukmin. After the wedding had been solemnized, several of the kings, headed by him of Kalinga, said to Rukmin, "This wielder of the ploughshare is ignorant of the dice, which may be converted into his misfortune: why may we not contend with him, and beat him, in play?" The potent Rukmin replied to them, and said, "So let it be:" and he engaged Balarama at a game of dice in the palace. Balarama soon lost to Rukmin a thousand Nishkas 3: he then staked and lost another thousand; and then pledged ten thousand, which Rukmin, who was well skilled in gambling, also won. At this the king of Kalinga laughed aloud, and the weak and exulting Rukmin grinned, and said, Baladeva" is losing, for he knows nothing of the game; although, blinded by a vain passion for play, he thinks he understands the dice." Halayudha, galled by the broad laughter of the Kalinga prince, and the contemptuous speech of Rukmin, was exceedingly angry, and,
vp.5.28 not accept the pledge in words, he did so by his acts (having cast the dice)." Balarama thus excited, his eyes red with rage, started up, and struck Rukmin with the board on which the game was played, and killed him 4. Taking hold of the trembling king of Kalinga, he knocked out the teeth which he had shewn when he laughed. Laying hold of a golden column, he dragged it from its place, and used it as a weapon to kill those princes who had taken part with his adversaries. Upon which the whole circle, crying out with terror, took to flight, and escaped from the wrath of Baladeva. When Krishna heard that Rukmin had been killed by his brother, he made no remark, being afraid of Rukmini on the one hand, and of Bala on the other; but taking with him the newly wedded Aniruddha, and the Yadava tribe, he returned to Dwaraka.
vp.5.33 Bana solicits siva for war: finds Aniruddha in the palace, and makes him prisoner. Krishna, Balarama, and Pradyumna come to his rescue siva and Skanda aid Bana: the former is disabled; the latter put to flight. Bana encounters Krishna, who cuts off all his arms, and is about to put him to death. siva intercedes, and Krishna a spares his life. Vishnu and siva are the same.
vp.5.35 samba carries off the daughter of Duryodhana, but is taken prisoner. Balarama comes to Hastinapura, and demands his liberation: it is refused: in his wrath he drags the city towards him, to throw it into the river. The Kuru chiefs give up samba and his wife.
vp.5.35 Maitreya. I have a great desire to hear, excellent Brahman, some further account of the exploits of Balarama. You have related to me his dragging the Yamuna, and other mighty deeds, but you can tell me, venerable sir, some other of his acts.
vp.5.35 the Kauravas, then we must take away the white umbrella that he has usurped, and which is fit only for kings. Depart therefore, Balarama; you are entitled to our respect; but samba has been guilty of improper conduct, and we will not liberate him either at Ugrasena s commands or yours. The homage that is due to us, their superiors, by the Kukkura and Andhaka tribes, may not be paid by them; but who ever heard of a command issued by a servant to his master? Elevation to an equal seat has rendered you arrogant. We have committed a great mistake in neglecting, through our friendship for you, the policy (that teaches the danger of treating the abject with deference). Our sending you to day a respectful present was an intimation of (personal) regard, which it was neither fit for our race to have proffered, nor for your s to have expected."
vp.5.35 So saying, the wielder of the club, Baladeva, his eyes red with rage, plunged the blade of his ploughshare downwards, beneath the ramparts of the city, and drew them towards him. When the Kauravas beheld Hastinapura tottering, they were much alarmed, and called loudly on Rama, saying, Rama", Rama! hold, hold! suppress your wrath! have mercy upon us! Here is samba, and his wife also, delivered up to thee. Forgive our sins, committed in ignorance of thy wondrous power." Accordingly, issuing hurriedly from the city, the Kauravas delivered samba and his bride to the mighty Balarama, who, bowing to Bhishma, Drona, and Kripa, who addressed him in conciliatory language, said, "I am satisfied;" and so desisted. The city bears the marks of the shock it received, even to the present day such was the might of Rama proving both his strength and prowess. The Kauravas then offering homage to samba and to Bala, dismissed the former with his wife and a bridal portion 1.
vp.5.36 The Asura Dwivida, in the form of an ape, destroyed by Balarama.
vp.5.36 HEAR also, Maitreya, another exploit performed by the mighty Balarama. The great Asura, the foe of the friends of the gods, Naraka, had a friend of exceeding prowess in the monkey named Dwivida, who was animated by implacable hostility against the deities, and vowed to revenge on the whole of them the destruction of Naraka by Krishna, at the instigation of the king of the celestials, by preventing sacrifices, and effecting the annihilation of the mortal sphere. Blinded by ignorance, he accordingly interrupted all religious rites, subverted all righteous observances, and occasioned the death of living beings: he set fire to the forests, to villages, and to towns: sometimes he overwhelmed cities and hamlets with falling rocks; or lifting up mountains in the waters, he cast them into the ocean: then taking his place amidst the deep, he agitated the waves, until the foaming sea rose above its confines, and swept away the villages and cities situated upon its shores. Dwivida also, who could assume what shape he would, enlarged his bulk to an immense size, and rolling and tumbling and trampling amidst the corn fields, he crushed and spoiled the harvests. The whole world, disordered by this iniquitous monkey, was deprived of sacred study and religious rites, and was greatly afflicted.
vp.5.36 On one occasion Halayudha. was drinking in the groves of Raivata, along with the illustrious Revati and other beautiful females; and the distinguished Yadu, in whose praises songs were sung, and who was preeminent amidst graceful and sportive women, resembled Kuvera, the god of riches, in his palace. Whilst thus engaged, the monkey Dwivida came there, and stealing the ploughshare and the club of Baladeva, grinned at and mocked him, and laughed at the women, and threw over and broke the cups filled with wine. Balarama, becoming angry at this, threatened the monkey; but the latter disregarded his menaces, and made a chattering noise: on which Bala, starting up, seized his club in wrath;

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