(Last Updated on : 18/04/2018)
Lord Balarama is believed to be Lord Krishna
s second body who is the elder brother of Lord Krishna. In Hinduism
and especially in Vaishnava traditions
he is acknowledged as the manifestations of Shesha
, the divine serpent
on whom Lord Vishnu
rests. He is the source of the entire spiritual world and is the adi-guru, the original spiritual master.
Legends of Lord Balarama
Lord Balarama is particularly significant in the Jagannath
tradition, as one of the triad deities. He is also known as Baladeva, Balabhadra, Haladhara and Halayudha. He has strong relationships with farming
and farmers. Most legends and texts consider him as the manifestations of Shesha, the divine serpent of Lord Vishnu. Gitagovinda of Jayadeva explains him as the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu
. In Jainism
, he is known as Baladeva and has been a historically significant farmer-related deity.
He is being classified in the Vyuha
avatar where in Shesha is part of. He was the son of Vasudeva. When Balarama was conceived his origin was moved from Devaki
's womb into the womb of Rohini
. He grew up with his younger brother Krishna in the household of Yashoda
and Nanda. One day, Nanda requested the attendance of Sage Gargamuni to name the newborn Krishna and Balarama. When the Garga arrived, Nanda received him well. Gargamuni then reminded Nanda that Kansa was looking for the son of Devaki and if he performed the ceremony in affluence then it would come to his notice. Nanda therefore asked Garga to perform the ceremony in top secret. Balarama killed the asura Dhenuka sent by Kansa
as well as Pralamba and Mushtika wrestlers sent by Kansa.
Iconography of Balarama
Balarama is depicted as light skinned. His weapons are the plough and the gada. The plough is generally called Balachita. His hair is tied in a topknot and he wears earrings
, bracelets and armlets and is known for his strength.
Balarama in Kurukshetra war of Mahabharata
Balarama taught Duryodhana
the art of fighting with a mace. He went for a pilgrimage with his nephew Pradyumna and other Yadavas during the battle and returned on the last day. When Bhima defeated Duryodhana, Balarama threatened to kill Bhima.
Death of Balarama
Bhagavata Purana describes that after Balarama took part in the battle causing the devastation of the remainder of the Yadu dynasty; he sat down in a meditative state and departed from this world. The local people of Veraval
believe that in the cave near the temple place, the white snake that came out of Balarama's mouth got into that cave and went back to Patala Loka
Temples of Balarama
Six major Balarama temples
mentioned in the Puranas
are Unchagaon, Aring, Ram Ghat, Baldeo, Nari and Talvan. Others are Jagannath temples
, Baladevjew Temple, Ananta Vasudeva Temple, Revti Baladevji Mandir in Gujarat
, Shri Daau Ji Mandir in Haryana
, Shri Dauji Mandir in Mainpuri and Mazhoor Balarama Temple in Kerala