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Tuesday, July 26, 2011



While all avathars are incarnations of Lord Vishnu it is Adisesha the five hooded of snake on which Mahavishnu reclines in his 'yoganidhra' that incarnates as Balarama.

Balarama was born as a son of Vasudeva. Thus he becomes the elder brother of Lord Krishna. Kamsa, 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. Kamsa 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 Rohini, who had desired a child of her own. Thus Balarama's other name is also Saṃkarṣaṇa which describes the transfer of the child from the womb. The child was formally named Rama, but because of his great strength he was called Balarama (Strong Rama), Baladeva or Balabhadra. Thus, Rohini actually gave birth to Balarama and raised him.He was born under Shravana nakshatra in Shraavana purnima or Raksha bandhan.

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 Kuśasthalī or Anarta.

Balarama is pictured as carrying a plough on his shoulders.

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