Lord Balarama

BY: SUN STAFF - 30.8 2023

Balarama and Krsna

On the circumstances of Lord Balarama's Appearance; Balarama Purnima is observed on August 30th.

From Krsna Book Chapter 5 - 'Meeting of Nanda and Vasudeva':

"Rohinidevi, mother of Balarama, was the most fortunate wife of Vasudeva. She was away from her husband, yet just to congratulate Maharaja Nanda on the occasion of the birth ceremony of his son, Krsna, she dressed herself very nicely. Wearing a garland, a necklace and other bodily ornaments, she appeared on the scene and moved hither and thither. According to the Vedic system, a woman whose husband is not at home does not dress herself very nicely. But although Rohini's husband was away, she still dressed herself on this occasion.

From the opulence of the birth ceremony of Krsna, it is very clear that at that time Vrndavana was rich in every respect. Because Lord Krsna took birth in the house of King Nanda and mother Yasoda, the goddess of fortune was obliged to manifest her opulences in Vrndavana. It appeared that Vrndavana had already become a site for the pastimes of the goddess of fortune.

After the birth ceremony, Nanda Maharaja decided to go to Mathura to pay the annual tax to the government of Kamsa. Before leaving, he called for the able cowherd men of the village and asked them to take care of Vrndavana in his absence. When Nanda Maharaja arrived in Mathura, Vasudeva got the news and was very eager to congratulate his friend. He immediately went to the place where Nanda Maharaja was staying. When Vasudeva saw Nanda, he felt that he had regained his life. Nanda, overwhelmed with joy, immediately stood up and embraced Vasudeva. Vasudeva was received very warmly and offered a nice place to sit. At that time Vasudeva was anxious about his two sons who had been put under the protection of Nanda without Nanda's knowledge. With great anxiety, Vasudeva inquired about Them. Both Balarama and Krsna were the sons of Vasudeva. Balarama was transferred to the womb of Rohini, Vasudeva's own wife, but Rohini was kept under the protection of Nanda Maharaja. Krsna was personally delivered to Yasoda and exchanged with her daughter. Nanda Maharaja knew that Balarama was the son of Vasudeva, although he did not know that Krsna was also Vasudeva's son. But Vasudeva was aware of this fact and inquired very eagerly about Krsna and Balarama.

Vasudeva then addressed him, "My dear brother, you were old enough and very anxious to beget a son, and yet you had none. Now by the grace of the Lord you are fortunate to have a very nice son. I think that this incident is very auspicious for you. Dear friend, I was imprisoned by Kamsa, and now I am released; therefore this is another birth for me. I had no hope of seeing you again, but by God's grace I can see you." Vasudeva then expressed his anxiety about Krsna. Krsna was sent incognito to the bed of mother Yasoda, and after very pompously celebrating His birth ceremony, Nanda went to Mathura. So Vasudeva was very pleased and said, "This is a new birth for me." He never expected that Krsna would live because all his other sons were killed by Kamsa.

Vasudeva continued, "My dear friend, it is very difficult for us to live together. Although we have our family and relatives, sons and daughters, by nature's way we are generally separated from one another. The reason for this is that every living entity appears on this earth under different pressures of fruitive activities; although they assemble together, there is no certainty of their remaining together for a long time. According to one's fruitive activities, one has to act differently and thereby be separated. For example, many plants and creepers are floating on the waves of the ocean. Sometimes they come together and sometimes they separate forever: one plant goes one way and another plant goes another. Similarly, our family assembly may be very nice while we are living together, but after some time, in the course of the waves of time, we are separated."

The purport of this expression by Vasudeva is this: although he had eight sons born in the womb of Devaki, unfortunately they were all gone. He could not even keep his one son Krsna with him. Vasudeva was feeling His separation, but he could not express the real fact. "Please tell me about the welfare of Vrndavana," he said. "You have many animals--are they happy? Are they getting sufficient grass and water? Please also let me know whether the place where you are now living is undisturbed and peaceful." This inquiry was made by Vasudeva because he was very anxious about Krsna's safety. He knew that Kamsa and his followers were trying to kill Krsna by sending various kinds of demons. They had already resolved that all children born within ten days of the birthday of Krsna should be killed. Because Vasudeva was so anxious about Krsna, he inquired about the safety of His residence. He also inquired about Balarama and His mother Rohini, who were entrusted to the care of Nanda Maharaja. Vasudeva also reminded Nanda Maharaja that Balarama did not know His real father. "He knows you as His father. And now you have another child, Krsna, and I think you are taking very nice care for both of Them." It is also significant that Vasudeva inquired about the welfare of Nanda Maharaja's animals. The animals, and especially the cows, were protected exactly in the manner of one's children. Vasudeva was a ksatriya, and Nanda Maharaja was a vaisya. It is the duty of the ksatriya to give protection to the citizens of mankind, and it is the duty of the vaisyas to give protection to the cows. The cows are as important as the citizens. Just as the human citizens should be given all kinds of protection, so the cows also should be given full protection.

Vasudeva continued to say that the maintenance of religious principles, economic development and the satisfactory execution of meeting the demands of the senses depend on cooperation among relatives, nations and all humanity. Therefore, it is everyone's duty to see that his fellow citizens and the cows are not put into difficulty. One should see to the peace and comfort of his fellow man and the animals. The development of religious principles, economic development and sense gratification can then be achieved without difficulty. Vasudeva expressed his sorrow due to not being able to give protection to his own sons born of Devaki. He was thinking that religious principles, economic development and the satisfaction of his senses were therefore all lost.

On hearing this, Nanda Maharaja replied, "My dear Vasudeva, I know that you are very much aggrieved because the cruel king Kamsa has killed all your sons born of Devaki. Although the last child was a daughter, Kamsa could not kill her, and she has entered into the celestial planets. My dear friend, do not be aggrieved; we are all being controlled by our past unseen activities. Everyone is subjected to his past deeds, and one who is conversant with the philosophy of karma and its reaction is a man in knowledge. Such a person will not be aggrieved at any incident, happy or miserable."

Vasudeva then replied, "My dear Nanda, if you have already paid the government taxes, then return soon to your place, because I think that there may be some disturbances in Gokula."

After the friendly conversation between Nanda Maharaja and Vasudeva, Vasudeva returned to his home. The cowherd men headed by Nanda Maharaja, who had come to Mathura to pay their taxes, also returned.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Fifth Chapter of Krsna, "Meeting of Nanda and Vasudeva."