Writings

My Class about Lord Balarama on His Appearance Day in Angarsk, Siberia

Lord BalaramaSo today is the most auspicious and wonderful occasion – the anniversary of appearance of Lord Balaramaa in this world. Sri Baladevji – ki jaya!!! Sri Sri Krishna Balaramaa – ki jaya!!! Yes, He is the most wonderful transcendental personality.

Krishna is svarat, He is independent, He is self-sufficient in and of Himself. He doesn’t need anyone to increase His pleasure, He doesn’t need any other thing to increase His pleasure. He is complete in Himself but still in order to increase His pleasure further He expands. He is complete already with His pleasure potency but He places that pleasure potency outside of Himself in the form of Srimati Radharani.

Srila Prabhupada sometimes would ask: “Who is God?”. And of course, the devotees, at least, would obviously say: “Krishna is God!!”. But sometimes Srila Prabhupada would say: “No!! Krishna is not God. Radha Krishna is God!!”. Because Radharani is not exactly another person, She is part of Krishna’s personality. But when Krishna places His pleasure potency outside of Himself and interacts with it in that way the pleasure increases. That pleasure potency takes on a nature apparently on its own. Radharani is doing so many things for Krishna’s pleasure and Krishna may not even know what she is doing, how she is doing the different things she does. He may not know what She is thinking of in order to increase His pleasure. So like this, even though Srimati Radharani is nothing other than part of Krishna, She is Krishna’s ability, capacity to enjoy. But when She is separate from Himself as another personality the pleasure, the enjoyment increases unlimitedly.

So then, Krishna does other things also to increase His enjoyment. He expands into us. Why do we exist? Not just so we can try and have a good time. We are also not some sort of experiment – let us see what they do. But we are Krishna’s marginal potency and we are specifically manifested by Krishna, specifically to further increase His pleasure. And therefore we have no business in life other than to render devotional service. That is what we are intended for. That is what we are designed for. And if we try to do something else, it cannot work, it does not work. We have all already had so much experience of that. So Krishna expands into an unlimited number of living entities like ourselves. And when we are properly situated in our proper position, then our entire lives are dedicated to giving Krishna pleasure. Then His pleasure increases unlimitedly again. Because there is an unlimited number of us.

Then Krishna does another thing to increase His pleasure – He expands Himself into other forms of Himself. So then there are two of Krishna. Each one is enjoying unlimitedly. So the pleasure has increased again and Krishna expands also into an unlimited number of forms of Himself. In this way His pleasure increases and becomes variegated in so many ways.

So the first expansion of Krishna Himself is Balarama. There are so many forms as we know and the most famous expansions we are aware of. We know about Lord Ramacandra, then we know about Lord Nrsingadeva, Lord Varaha, Lord Kurma. Of course we also know about Lord Caitanya. So these are all Krishna. Yes, They have Their own natures to some degree. This is all part of acintya bheda abheda tattva. But still They are Krishna, They are not some other persons. It is simply one person appearing in many forms.

Krishna is very expert in enjoying. We may also try to expand ourselves to enjoy. We get married, trying to double our pleasure, but it doesn’t really work that well. Have some children – double, triple the pleasure again. It doesn’t really work so well. Sometimes the children are nice children. Even if they are nice children they also have many problems. Some of them are not nice children and then there are real problems. So we are trying to imitate Krishna in these ways by expanding, hoping to expand our pleasure, but it doesn’t really work very well.

In South Africa we have one friend of our movement, named George. He is very enthusiastic in this regard. He has two wives, they all live together. From those two wives all together there are about 32 children. And they are also very enthusiastic. So recently, welli two years ago actually we had a big program. He bought a new property. He invited only direct family members.
There were 320 people. His children, the children of his children, some of their children. And in the middle of the program I asked him: “Do you know all these people?”. He said: “No! Most of them I don’t know, since even some of my own children I forget their names”. But Krishna, when He expands Himself in all these amazing ways, then it is very successful, and the pleasure does increase tremendously.

So, Lord Balarama is the first such expansion of Krishna Himself directly, and He is completely the same as Krishna. One little difference is difference of colour – Krishna is blackish, Balarama is whitish. Otherwise, there is no difference. Krishna has the 64 qualities, described in the Nectar of Devotion; Balarama has the 64 qualities also, to the same degree, as Krishna. Other forms of the Lord, generally, they are not exhibiting all of the qualities. Lord Ramacandra – He is not exhibiting all the qualities.
Lord Nrsingadeva, He is also very wonderful, but He is not exhibiting all the qualities – He does not have the Rasa dance. Balarama – He has Rasa dance. Lord Nrsingadeva does not play the flute, but Lord Balarama – He also plays the flute. So, there is actually no difference, just this little superficial, on the surface difference of colour.

Balarama – He is very, very wonderful, just like Krishna is wonderful.
However, internally there is another difference in mood. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He demonstrates that regularly. Lord Balarama – He is standing back a little bit. Just like we see in Srimad-Bhagavatam in the 10th canto, so many pastimes where Krishna is prominent. There are also some pastimes where Balarama is prominent, but they are not so many. There are many more pastimes where Krishna is prominent. When They were in Vrindavan They killed many demons. There is a description of 21 or 22 specific incidents in Vrindavan where generally some demon was killed. Not in every case, but in most cases someone of demonic mentality was killed. In some cases the person was not killed – Kaliya was not killed, and Lord Brahma in Brahma vimohana lila was not killed, and Lord Indra in Govardhan lila was not killed. Virtually all the others – they were killed.

So, in all these particular pastimes Krishna is the hero, but there are two demons killed by Balarama, out of a little over 20 – Dhenukasura and Pralambasura. Otherwise, all the others – they were killed by Krishna. So, 2 out of 20 something were killed by Balarama. And generally the pastimes are like that, in some sort of proportions like that. Krishna is much more prominent than Balarama.

We mentioned in our first session about Lord Ramacandra how when Lord Krishna returned to Goloka Vrindavana, after He had been here 5000 years ago, He was remembering how wonderful it was in the pastimes here, how He enjoyed being served by so many wonderful devotees, how much pleasure He was getting. But then some idea came to Him, that “the devotees were enjoying more than Me! They were trying to give Me pleasure and not get pleasure themselves, but they getting more pleasure than Me!” So, Krishna finds this point very intriguing. And then He thought about the gopis: they are the topmost devotees, they were enjoying so much more than Him. And then He thought about Radharani: She was enjoying ten million times more than Him.
So then a type of laulyam or greed, type of dynamic attraction arose in Krishna’s heart. “I want to enjoy like that! Hey, I am missing out. I have to become a devotee! This is the way to get a real nectar.” So, Krishna got the idea. Then He appeared as Lord Caitanya.

However, Lord Balarama understood this point a long time ago. And Krishna, He recently got the idea. He is a bit slow. Hare Krishna, excuse me! And Lord Balarama, He understood this millions and zillions of years ago. So what is Lord Balarama doing? He is always serving Krishna. Not just since recently like 5000 years ago. Practically eternally, He’s simply been serving Krishna. So, He has got the idea long ago. Therefore we find different places our acaryas refer to Balarama as the crest jewel of intelligence. He is the most intelligent person. And therefore His main characteristic is – He is a devotee.

When we analyze the activities of Lord Balarama, we see He is serving in all sorts of ways. First thing, Balarama expands Himself into Goloka Vrindavana.
Goloka Vrindavana is a form of Balarama. Then Krishna wants to enjoy more – Balarama expands into Vaikuntha, it is a form of Balarama. Then Balarama expands into material world. All these things are manifestations of Lord Balarama. And all the other expansions that exist, they don’t actually come from Krishna, they come from Balarama. In Goloka Vrindavana Balarama expands as Sankarsan. From that Sankarsan comes Vasudeva, Pradyumna and Aniruddha.
They are presiding deities of Svetadvip area, the outer area of Goloka Vrindavana. Then Lord Balarama, well, Sankarsan actually, expands as Maha-Sankarsan in the Vaikuntha realm, outside Goloka. And then He expands into another Vasudeva, Pradyumna and Aniruddha – They are the main presiding deities of Vaikuntha. And then from Maha-Sankarsan come all the other Visnu forms. Then from Maha-Sankarsan comes Maha-Visnu within the material sphere.
And from Maha-Visnu comes Garbadakasai-Visnu within each universe, Ksiradakasai-Visnu within every atom of the whole creation. Between these three forms, they are managing every aspect of this material world.

Balarama is a big devotee. He is serving in so many ways, doing all these things to expand the pleasure of Krishna, and all Krishna has to do is enjoy. Then Lord Balarama expands as Ananta Sesa. Ananta Sesa is a great, many-headed serpant. He is constantly chanting the glories of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada said that even though Ananta Sesa has millions of mouths and each mouth is repeating a different pastime simultaneously, but not one pastime has ever being repeated. How many pastimes do we know? Sometimes you can think about that how many pastimes do you really know so you can explain them fairly nicely? Not so many. But Ananta Sesa, who is a form of Balarama, He knows unlimited, unlimited pastimes. And He’s been chanting, reciting these pastimes eternally. So, He is also Balarama.

Then, whenever the Lord appears in different incarnations, then Balarama expands and appears with Him. When Lord Krishna appears as Lord Ramacandra, Balarama appears as Laksmana. When Krishna appears as Lord Caitanya, Balarama appears as Lord Nityananda. And we see, as Lord Nityananda He is always serving Lord Caitanya.

Like yesterday Prabhavisnu Maharaj referred to the delivering of Jagai and Madhai. Lord Caitanya is Patita-Pavana, He is the deliverer of the most fallen. But still Jagai and Madhai were so fallen, Lord Caitanya thought that “all I can do is kill them”, but Lord Nityananda intervened. He reminded Lord Caitanya: “My Lord, You have appeared as Patita-Pavana, and these two are actually the most fallen”. Sometimes devotees express themselves like that “I am the most fallen”. Of course, we are quite fallen, we are quite successful at becoming fallen, but we cannot compete with Jagai and Madhai. They are big-big specialists. So Lord Nityananda reminded Lord Caitanya like this. And He said: “You must now show how You are really Patita-Pavana. Please deliver these two.”

So Lord Caitanya realized: “Oh yes, you are right, ok” and He delivered them and then He handed them over to Lord Nityananda. “They are Yours now. You engage them as You see fit”. So but this is all Lord Balarama. Yes, Sri Krishna Caitanya Radha Krishna nahe anya – Lord Caitanya is non other than combined form of Radha and Krishna. And because Radharani is there, therefore Krishna as Lord Caitanya has become more merciful than when He is alone, so to speak, as Krishna. But Balarama hoilo nitai – Lord Nityananda is Balarama alone. But because He is in the mood of a devotee and He has been eternally, then sometimes He is even more merciful than Lord Caitanya.
So this Lord Balarama, He is a very deep transcendental personality. And like we mentioned, He’s expanded into all these various very important forms, presiding over the spiritual realm, the material realm.

But Balarama also expands into more intimate types of forms. He becomes Krishna’s house, He becomes Krishna’s chair, He is Krishna’s bed, He is Krishna’s shoes, He is Krishna’s clothes, He is Krishna’s ornaments, He is Krishna’s fan, He is Krishna’s umbrella, He is Krishna’s throne, Krishna’s pillow, and many many other objects. Of course in the kingdom of God there is no things. Every thing is a person. Completely conscious living active person. Even all those things we have just mentioned. Even He is also Krishna’s weapons. When Krishna kills the demons with His cakra or His club or whatever, then these weapons are forms of Lord Balarama. The bow of Lord Ram is Lord Balarama. So He is serving in the most incredible number of ways on different levels and as far as He is concerned that is His business.
Somehow find some ways, any ways to serve Krishna.

Even, you know, there’s that famous story, we’ve mentioned before – baby Krishna is lying on a banyan leaf, floating on the river. I’m sure you’ve seen some pictures of that at least. Baby Krishna lying on a banyan tree, floating and He is sucking one of His big toes. And one devotee asked Krishna there, in that situation: “Why are You sucking Your toe?” And Krishna said: “So many of My devotees keep saying My lotus feet are very sweet. So I wanted to see it for Myself. And I see that it is true”. So Krishna floated away on the banyan leaf, continuing to suck His toe. Jiva Goswami explains, that banyan leaf is Lord Balarama. He is expert at finding ways to get some service.

So this is very important point about Lord Balarama and we must learn from that ourselves. If anyone other than Krishna Himself is qualified to be an enjoyer, it is Balarama, but He is not doing that. He is simply serving. But we, we are so unqualified as enjoyers. Many lifetimes we have tried our best, but we failed miserably to really enjoy. And therefore, finally, we are trying to become qualified as devotees. But Balarama, He, even He has every right to just be a big enjoyer, but He is serving. So, in this sense we have to learn from Him and follow in His footsteps.

In Srimad-Bhagavatam amongst the different pastimes described in the 10th canto, like we said, in the great majority of pastimes Krishna is in the center. But there are a number of pastimes where Lord Balarama is the central figure. We mentioned killing Dhenukasura and killing Pralambasura.
Then there is the pastime when Rukmi, the brother of Rukmini was killed.
When Balarama returned to Vrindavan and gave His association to the brijabasis again, so, there, in this chapter, Balarama is the central figure. Then, in the killing of Dvivida gorilla, Balarama is the main person. Then dragging Hastinapur towards the Yamuna – Balarama is the main person there. And then the killing of Romaharsana Suta – Balarama is the main personality there. I think these are the main pastimes in the 10th canto, which I can remember, in which Balarama is really in the central position.

So, these pastimes of Balarama, they are also very wonderful, just like nectar. Like, for example, the killing of Dhenukasura. Dhenukasura, we know, he was in the form of a gigantic donkey. This pastime happened just after Krishna turned six. From zero to three Krishna was at home, from three to six they were herding the calves, from six onwards in Vrindavan they were herding the cows. So, this happened on one of the first days they started herding the cows.

They went a little southwards down through Talavan. And when they were passing Talavan they smelled a beautiful fragrance in the air – the smell of lots and lots of ripe fruits. So the cowherd boys, they all, called out:
“Krishna! Balarama! We want to eat these fruits! Please, come with us, help us to get these fruits.”

It might sound like the cowherd boys want to just enjoy some sense
gratification: “Let us just eat”. Even like ourselves perhaps, we may not really so consciously be aware of the transcendental nature of the prasadam and how spiritually significant it is. We may be more focused just on the eating experience. “Pass me another samosa, prabhu!” Anyway, we are fasting this morning.

So, are the cowherd boys like that? “We just want to eat! You’ve got to help us eat.” No, not at all, they wanted to offer those fruits to Krishna and Balarama. But they knew that if they told them that “please, come and help us, get these fruits, because we want to offer them to You”. They knew, Krishna and Balarama being very humble would say: “No, no, no, it’s all right, don’t worry. We have our lunchboxes”. As you know we’ve mentioned many times before Krishna has very amazing lunchbox, looks like ordinary size lunchbox, but you open it – it’s full of any preparations you can think of. Many subjis, many samosas, different types, many different types of pakoras and chutneys, many forms of rice and dahl, many different types of puris and capaties and so on. Many, many different types of sweets. All, not just little bits, but unlimited quantities. This is a special lunchbox.

So, they didn’t want these things to happen, so they expressed like “help US to get the fruits, so we can eat them”. Because Krishna and Balarama are devotees of the devotees. Then they went into Talavan forest and sure enough
– every tree was just full of fruits! No one had been picking the fruits.
This was because Dhenukasura was living in that forest, and he considered it is his forest. Actually Dhenukasura did not eat the fruits, he would eat people. Or even birds would come to eat the fruits on the trees, he killed them and ate them. So all the fruits would just become ripe and then overripe and fall off and go rotten – that was all. So, this Dhenukasura, he was not nice at all.

Anyway, there are Krishna and Balarama and the other cowherd boys, looking at these incredible trees full of amazing fruits. Lord Balarama grabbed one tree, a tal tree. It is a type of palm tree, but is produces also some fruits. Lord Balarama caught hold of the tal tree and shook it very violently, so there was an earthquake. The whole planet was shaking.

Dhenukasura was also in the forest nearby, but he was sleeping. Suddenly the whole planet started shaking, and he woke up: “What is happening in my forest!? Who is the rascal who is disturbing me?” He jumped to his feet and he made very powerful donkey noise. Can some one demonstrate? { devotees are trying to demonstrate}. Oh, not like that, that’s like a cat! Anyway, we will not try to imitate. But he made this big donkey noise. And he came running over to where Krishna and Balarama and the cowherd boys were.

He looked around: “Who is responsible for this nonsense?” And he saw Lord Balarama was still holding the tree. So, Dhenukasura thought: “Aha! Must be Him, the white-skinned boy”. So, he came running at Lord Balarama. Now, of course, there is a description there in the 10th canto of the Bhagavatam of what happened from that point. But, like many things in Srimad-Bhagavatam, it is very brief. In other sastras we find more extensive descriptions of the same pastimes, including this pastime.

There is a description that first of all Dhenukasura came running at Lord Balarama. But when he got right in front of Him, he spun around and kicked Balarama with both his rear legs. Normally when Dhenukasura did that with someone, they were finished. Normally they’d go flying through the air and all that would be left would be a dead body. But he kicked Lord Balarama as hard as he could, turned around – there is Lord Balarama just standing there like nothing happened at all! Dhenukasura could not understand this. So, he did it again; Lord Balarama caught his rear legs and threw him 12 kilometers. And he landed on his head.

Fortunately for him he has a very hard head. So it hurt his head badly but he recovered. But then he came racing back. Now, this time he thought: “This white-skinned boy is pretty tough, let me attack the other boys, the little boys”. So he attacked the cowherd boys. Little did he know, they are also very tough. Jiva Goswami says some of them are even more powerful than Krishna.

First of all he came racing at Sridama, the brother of Radharani. Sridama was fearless. His particular thing he carries is a stick. So, Dhenukasura was racing at him – Sridama just hit him on the head with his stick.
Dhenukasura was momentarily stunned. Subala came up, he punched Dhenukasura in the face. Dhenukasura was more stunned. Stoka Krishna came with his rope for herding cows, and he started whipping him with the rope.

There was one cowherd boy called Arjuna, not Arjuna from the Bhagavad-Gita, it’s another Arjuna. So, Arjuna and Amsu, they came over. Dhenukasura is sort of dizzy there trying to stand up. They picked him up over their heads and threw him on the ground. Now Dhenukasura is lying on the ground, but then Visala and Rsabha came running up and then kicked him in the face.
Tejasvi jumped on top of Dhenukasura and started strangling him. Devaprastha came over, and he slapped Dhenukasura, “Bang! Bang! Bang!” So, Dhenukasura by now he is quite incapacitated!

There was another little cowherd boy (there are many other cowherd boys), but there was one little cowherd boy. He was a new cowherd boy. His name is Varuthapa, he wanted to get into this too, but he did not know what to do.
But he had a ball, so he came running up and threw the ball at Dhenukasura!

Now Dhenukasura is lying there semiconscious. He got to his feet again somehow, and he thought: “Wow! These boys – they are really tough! This white boy, He is so tough. And these other little boys, they are also so tough”. But then he saw Krishna, and he thought: “Aha! Let me try this black-skinned boy”. So he came racing at Krishna. Krishna grabbed his front legs, and threw him from Talavan to Govardhan hill. This is about ten kilometers away at least, and he landed on his head. And he was unconscious for one hour.

Then he came racing over again to attack Krishna again. He swallowed Krishna, but Krishna became like a blazing fire in his throat, and the frightened demon vomited Him up. Then Dhenukasura grabbed Krishna and flew into the sky 1.2 million kilometers. And they were fighting in the sky.
Krishna punched him in the face – Dhenukasura felt down from 1.2 million kilometers and landed on his head again and fell unconscious again. But then he got up again.

Then Dhenukasura did a very amazing thing: he picked up Govardhan hill, he threw it at Krishna. But Krishna caught Govardhan hill and threw it back at Dhenukasura. And Dhenukasura caught the Govardhan hill and threw it back at Krishna, and Krishna caught it again and put it back.

Now Dhenukasura was thinking: “What to do with these boys? I never met boys like these in my life!” Then he thought: “Ok, ok, ok, I will attack the white-skinned boy again”. So he came racing again at Lord Balarama. And he was just coming like run over the top of Him, but Lord Balarama with one hand grabbed both his front feet and spun him around again, and again, and again. And just from centrifugal force of that spinning Dhenukasura left his body, and Balarama threw him into the top of one tree. He landed with great impact on top of the tree, knocked the tree over, but his body bounced on the top of the next tree, and knocked that tree over. And then it bounced on the top of the next tree! And again and again, one tree after another. And all these trees were just flat on the ground. Finally his body was lying there on the top of the last tree.

Then all his donkey friends attacked Krishna and Balarama. But They just destroyed them completely, spinning, same technique, just spinning them and throwing them. So, eventually the forest was just littered with these dead bodies of dead donkey demons.

And what about the fruits? Well, Krishna, Balarama and cowherd boys, they just left the forest, they didn’t even bother with the fruits. Because it was all now covered with the blood of the dead demons. So Krishna, Balarama and the cowherd boys, they didn’t take the fruits, but the local aboriginal people, tribal people, lower-class people, they all came and took the fruits.

Then there is very amazing description from one Vedic sastra, I’ll read it.
“Leaving his body Dhenukasura manifested a splendid and handsome dark form, wearing yellow garments and decorated with a forest flower garland. Then a chariot appeared from Goloka, filled with 100,000 of the Lord’s associates, decorated with 1000 flags, rumbling on 1000 wheels, pulled by 10,000 horses, glorious with 100,000 camaras, bedecked with gems, 12 kilometers long, traveling as fast as the mind. So, that chariot suddenly appeared on the scene. Then, in his spiritual form, Dhenuka circumambulated Krishna and Balaramaa, and, filling the directions with effulgence, he stepped onto the chariot and went to Goloka Vrindavana”.

Such is the mercy of Lord Balarama.

So, of course, there are many pastimes. We mentioned what appeared to be the main ones in the 10th canto, and we should read these and learn these pastimes and then regularly remember and meditate on these pastimes, how wonderful Lord Balarama is. Then by His mercy we can progress in Krishna consciousness.

Just one final point is that Balarama, because He is the first expansion of Krishna, He knows Krishna. There are two people who know Krishna – one is Balarama, and one is Srimati Radharani. Of course there are many devotees who know Krishna, but not like They know Krishna. So, Balarama, because He knows Krishna so closely, He is considered the original spiritual master. He is the original authority on Krishna and anything to do with Krishna. And the devotees who preach and educate people in Krishna consciousness, they are considered to be empowered by Balarama. And particularly the spiritual master is considered to be the external manifestation of Balarama. So, if we take shelter of the spiritual master, and if we take shelter of the senior devotees who can guide us in Krishna consciousness, this is how we can get the mercy of Lord Balarama all the time, and then by the mercy of Lord Balarama we will progress. And then, at the end of this life, by the mercy of Lord Balarama we can go to Goloka Vrindavana.

Hare Krishna! Sri Baladevji ki – jaya! Sri Balarama jayanti ki – jaya! Hare Krishna! Hare Rama!

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