Lord Balarama The Seed and the Womb of the Universe
“Sri Baladeva is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. He is equal in supremacy to the Supreme Godhead, yet wherever Krsna appears, Sri Baladeva appears as Krsna’s brother, sometimes elder, sometimes younger”(SB 10.1.24p). “In His vaibhava-prakasa feature, Lord Krsna manifests Himself as Balarama. The Balarama feature is as good as Krsna Himself, the Only difference being that the bodily hue of Krsna is dark and that of Balarama is fair” (TLC Chap.7). ‘These two Lords, Krsna and Balarama, are each the seed and womb of the universe, the creator and His creative Potency. They enter the hearts of living being and control their Conditioned awareness. They are the primeval Supreme’ (SB10.46.31v.).
Sri Balarama – A Beautiful Brother
“Powerful Lord Balarama is Sixteen years old, full of the luster of youth and has a fair complexion the colour of crystal. Balarama wears blue garments and a garland of forest flowers. Baladeva’s handsome hair is tied in a graceful topknot. Splendid earrings adorn Balarama’s ears. Sri Baladeva’s neck is splendidly decorated with garlands of flowers and strings of jewels. Splendid bracelets and armlets ornament Douji’s graceful and very strong arms. Balarama’s feet are decorated with splendid jewelled anklets. Sri Baladeva is Sri Krsna’s dearest friend. Baladeva is a great reservoir of the nectar mellows of many kinds of transcendental pastimes” (RKG).
“Lord Balarama’s beauty is enhanced by the earrings touching His cheeks. Balarama’s face is decorated with tilaka made from musk, and Balarama’s broad chest is ornamented with a garland of gunja (small, red, black and white berries native to Vrindavana). Sri Baladeva’s complexion is as white as an autumn cloud, and He wears blue garments. Balarama’s voice is very grave and His arms are very long, touching His thighs” (NOD Chap. 4).
The Servitor Godhead
Balarama is the servitor Godhead who serves Lord Krsna in all affair of existence and knowledge. The transcendental abode exists by the energy of Lord Balarama. Krsna’s first expansion in a form for pastimes is Balarama. Balarama Himself helps in the pastimes of Lord Krsna and He does the work of creation in four other forms. In all forms Balarama tastes the transcendental bliss of serving Krsna” (CC Adi 4.8-11v.).
“If we develop consciousness of this fact, then we are in actual Krsna consciousness. We should always remember that Krsna is the only Supreme Master and that everyone else is His servant ekale isvarah krsna, ara saba bhrtya. Either Narayana or Lord Siva, everyone is subordinate to Krsna. Even Baladeva is subordinate to Krsna’ (SB 10.13.53p.). “1n the transcendental pastimes, Krsna is the chief hero, and Balarama provides additional help.” (SB 10.8. 27p.).
Sri Balarama Serves All Mellows
Lord Balarama is constantly serving Lord Krsna in every respect. In all of Krsna’s incarnations and pastimes Lord Balarama is always present serving Krsna in different forms and manifestations. In Rama-lila, Balarama serves Lord Ramacandra as His younger brother, Laxman. In Kali-yuga, Sri Balarama spreads the Sankirtan movement of Sri Caitanya as Lord Nityananda. Lord Balarama serves Sri Krsna in all the five rasas (mellows), from santa to madhurya rasa.
In santa rasa Lord Balarama fulfils Sri Krsna’s desires for blissful transcendental pastimes by expanding Himself as the holy dhama of Vraja Mandala. All of Krsna’s personal Possessions such as Krsna’s crown, bed, clothes, throne, ornaments; and any other object that Krsna utilises are all expansions of Lord Balarama.
As Krsna’s cowherd friend and elder brother in sakhya rasa, Sri Balarama sometimes accepts service from Krsna after defeating Him in a wrestling match. But generally, Balarama ‘s fraternal feelings are mixed with servitude (dasya rasa) and parental affection (vatsalya rasa). In the mood or vatsalya rasa, Sri Balarama sometimes protects Krsna as a parent or chastises Him as the elder brother. “Once Lord Balarama told Subala, ‘My dear friend, please inform Krsna not to go to Kaliya lake today. Today is Krsna’s birthday, and so I wish to go along with Mother Yasoda to bathe Him. Tell Krsna He should not leave the house today! This shows how Balarama, Krsna’s elder brother, took care of Krsna with parental love, within the scope of fraternal affection” (NOD Chap. 42).
“The splendor of Lord Balarama’s transcendental form eclipses many millions of glistening rising moons, and the slightest scent of His boundless strength is sufficient to destroy many armies of demons. Although He knows the supernatural power of His younger brother, Krsna, still, out of love for Him, Balarama never leaves Krsna alone in the forest even for a moment. I offer my prayers to Lord Balarama, the enemy of Dhenukasura” (WS)
Lord Balarama can expand Himself into unlimited and different forms. In order to serve Sri Krsna’s intimate conjugal pastimes in madhurya rasa, Lord Balarama expands Himself as Ananga Manjari. Ananga manjari wears beautiful clothing the colour of a blue lotus flower and She is especially dear to Lalita and Visakha.
Sri Balarama Chants Sri Krsna’s Glories
One time at Krsna- kunda in Madhuvana, Lord found the gopis suffering from intense pangs of separation from their beloved Krsna. To alleviate their distress Lord Balarama described the wonderful pastimes and glories of Krsna, and chanted Krsna’s transcendental names. Balarama became so absorbed in chanting that His complexion assumed Krsna’s blue color. (SVMP).
Lord Balarama’s Gopis
Lord Balarama journeyed from Dvaraka to Vrindavana to console Sri Krsna’s beloved girlfriends by delivering a confidential letter from Sri Krsna. Filled with pure love for the gopis, Sri Krsna’s charming message deeply touched their hearts.
After delivering Krsna’s message, Lord Balarama stayed in Vrindavana for two months enjoying conjugal pleasures with His own gopis. Together they performed rasa lila along the sandy banks of the Yamuna river. “Lord Balarama was enchanted by the charming pastimes of the beautiful young ladies of Vraja. Thus each night was a completely new experience and all the nights passed as if they were a single night” (SB lO.65.34p.).
According to Srila Jiva Gosvami and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur, Lord Balarama has His own group of gopis, completely different from the cowherd girlfriends of Sri Krsna. Lord Balarama respects Lord Krsna’s gopis, and is very careful to avoid mixing with them.
“If while walking on Govardhana Hill, Krsna’s elder brother Balarama, sees a series of golden stones, He thinks: ‘The daughter of King Vrsabhanu (Radharani) must have just walked before Me,’ and Balarama changes course to avoid an awkward situation. In the same way, if Radharani sees a series of crystal stones, She thinks: ‘Balarama must have just now walked before Me,’ and Radharani then changes Her course” (VRC).
Sleepiness In Ecstatic Love
“Once Lord Baladeva began to talk in His sleep as follows: ‘O lotus-eyed Krsna, Your childhood adventures are manifest simply according to Your own will. Therefore, please immediately dispose of the stabborn pride of this Kaliya serpent. ‘ By saying this Lord Balarama astonished the assembly of the Yadus and made them laugh for some time. Then yawning so hard as to make ripples on His abdomen, Lord Balarama, the bearer of the plow, returned to His deep sleep. This is an instance of sleepiness in ecstatic love’ (NOD Chap.31).
Sri Krsna For a Day
“Lord Balarama is called “Douji” (the elder brother who protects and cares for the younger brother). After lifting Govardhana Hill Lord Krsna killed a succession of ferocious demons including Sankasura and Aristasura. Balarama hadn’t killed a demon for a long time, and He was concerned about Hi duty of protecting Krsna as His elder brother. Desiring to dress like Krsna, Lord Balarama once asked Krsna if He could wear His peacock feather and play Krsna’s flute for just one day. Krsna, who dearly loved His elder brother, agreed and personally gave His peacock feather and flute to Balarama.
“ Krsna and Balarama warmly embraced and then Balarama laughing happily, ran away playing gaily on Krsna’s flute. Mean-while, in Mathura, the wicked King Kamsa was about to send the horse demon, Keshi, to Vrindavana in order to kill Krsna. The Keshi demon asked King Kamsa, “How will I recognise Krsna?” Kamsa told him that it would be easy to tell, because Krsna would be the only person wearing a peacock feather and playing a flute.
“While Balaramji was fully enjoying His pastime of being Krsna for the day, the fierce horse demon, Keshi, stormed into Vrindavana. Seeing Balarama wearing a peacock feather in His crown and playing a flute, matching the description King Kamsa had given of Krsna, the Keshi demon roared up and gave Balarama a mighty kick that could have killed a full-grown elephant. This kick totally knocked the wind out of Balarama, and sent Him tumbling far away out of the demon’s sight. Thinking that he had killed Krsna, the Keshi demon galloped away. Balaramji, picking Himself up, began to cry. Balarama’s chest still hurting from the demon’s kick and He was short of breath. Balarama was hungry, very tired and sore all over from tumbling so far.
“Reaching home, Balarama immediately went to Krsna and returned His flute and peacock feather. Balarama told Krsna that He never again wanted to wear them, and that a huge horse demon had just violently kicked Him; thinking He was Krsna. Then Balaramji met His mother Rohini and fell asleep in her arms.
“Krsna replaced the peacock feather in His crown, tucked the flute back in His belt and walked into the village. Then Sri Krsna met the horrible horse demon and effortlessly killed him” (SVMP).
“Srila Prabhupada writes, ‘Lord Balarama is the original Vishnu; therefore anyone remembering these pastimes of Lord Balarama in the morning and evening will certainly become a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus his life will become successful in all respects’ “(SB 1O.79.34p.)
Entering Vraja Rasa
“If anyone wants to attain the lotus feet of Sri-Sri Radha Krsna, and be able to taste and fully relish Their pastimes, one must first approach the lotus feet of Lord Balarama or Lord Nityananda. This is a mandatory prerequisite for only by receiving Their mercy can this realisation be possible.
“Because Lord Nityananda and Lord Balarama are non-different, the goswamis confirm that by getting Lord Nityananda’s mercy one becomes eligible to receive the ecstatic prema of Sri Radha and Krsna in Vraja. Lord Balarama and Lord Nityananda do not accept any offenses whatsoever and are so merciful that by simply worshipping Lord Nityananda one is automatically worshipping and pleasing Lord Balarama. It is described that Lord Nityananda and Lord Balarama are the friends of the most fallen and wretched.
Just as it is not possible to enter Lord Caitanya’s service without the mercy of Lord Nityananda, it is impossible to enter into Vraja rasa without the mercy of Lord Balarama, who is non-different from Lord Nityananda” (SVMP).
When he (the aspiring sadhaka) develops his love for Nityananda Prabhu, he is freed from all attachment to the material world, and at that time he becomes eligible to understand the Lord’s pastimes in Vrndavana. (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 7.17 purport)
“’This land of Vrndavana is glorified today because Your (Balarama’s) lotus feet have touched her earth and grass, Your fingernails have touched her trees and creepers, and Your merciful eyes have glanced upon her rivers, hills, birds and beasts.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 21.141)
When Balarama embraced His brother in a playful mood of ecstasy, Krsna looked like a blue jewel held within a conchshell. Seeing the mixture of Their brilliant effulgences, Yasoda could not tell Them apart. (Kavi-karnapura, Ananda-vrndavana-campu, Ch. 5 page 49)