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Balarama Jayanti

By Sacinandana Swami
August, 2020

Balarama removes burdens!

Brilliant Lord Balarama appears with two functions:

1) He makes all arrangements for Krishna’s comforts, and

2) He makes arrangements for the living entities to meet Krishna

He has a white complexion like a mountain of crystal and a very grave will. So attractive!

In his commentary on the Srimad Bhagavatam called Krama Sandarbha, Jiva Gosvami says,

“The all attractive Baladeva (or Balarama) who is also known as Sankarshana (the attracter) attracts Krishna by his mind and reveals Him (Krishna).”

Krama Sandarbha on Srimad Bhagavatam 10.65.16

And he manifests Krishna in the heart!

We learn from the Bhagavatam that,

“One cannot attain the goal of life without the mercy of Balarama… When one receives the mercy of Lord Balarama, Nityananda, one can attain the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna very easily.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.45 purport

The easiest way to get in contact with the Lord is to get in contact with someone who is very dear to Him, i.e. a pure devotee who acts as the spiritual master. Such a bonafide spiritual master is a representative of Lord Balarama. When one serves the guru, Balarama gives one strength – an experience all faithful disciples everywhere and at all times have made.

So, Balarama attracts us to Krishna. But, do we respond? Or are we too entangled in our own projects? Stuck?

People with Burdens

We all carry burdens! Burdens that keep us busy. Burdens that we seem to not get rid of on our own. In this regard our position is like that of the domesticized donkeys in the Himalayas, who are made to carry weights – much too heavy for them.

(Have you ever walked behind such donkeys or mules, that go with stumbling steps forward and you think to yourself, “If they walk one more step, they will fall – never to rise again.)

We have such “heavy” donkeys walking through our minds with self-inflicted burdens on their backs.

There is a pastime where Balarama confronts the “Lord of the donkeys” Dhenukasura, who is busily enjoying the stolen Tala fruits in the company of other subordinate donkeys. They represent ignorance of spiritual truth.

I always liked this pastime  because it reminds me of the ignorance in the heart of us, conditioned souls, which keeps us busy with things, that are actually burdens.

There is a poem written on a wall in China, in 828, which poignantly portrays the business of modern people:

BUSY

Ever since I was a young boy
Till now when I am ill and old
I have carried out many different things – at different times.
But one thing has never changed: Being busy.
Building houses, reading lots of books, chasing pleasures.
This and that – equally childish games.
Things whose substance change in a moment of time.
While the hands were busy,
The heart was watching and could not understand.

What happened when Balarama, the original guru stood before Dhenukasura? Well, he grabbed him by the hind legs, whirled him around and threw him away. Easily, effortlessly. That is the power of Krishna’s elder brother.

On Balarama’s appearance day I pray that Lord Balarama enters my heart, confronts my Dhenukasura-like ignorance, and delivers me from its tyrannical rule, so that I can fully serve Krishna – easy and naturally.

 

 

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