Srimad bhagavata by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyāsa

Chapter Seventy-Nine Lord Balarama Goes on Pilgrimage


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Chapter Seventy-Nine Lord Balarama Goes on Pilgrimage

1. Sukadeva Gosvami said: Then, on the new-moon day, O King, a fierce and frightening wind arose, scattering dust all about and spreading the smell of pus everywhere.

2. Next, onto the sacrificial arena came a downpour of abominable things sent by Balvala, after which the demon himself appeared, trident in hand.

3-4. The immense demon resembled a mass of black carbon. His topknot and beard were like molten copper, and his face had horrible fangs and furrowed eyebrows. Upon seeing him, Lord Balarama thought of His club, which tears to pieces His enemies’ armies, and His plow weapon, which punishes the demons. Thus summoned, His two weapons appeared before Him at once.

5. With the tip of His plow Lord Balarama caught hold of the demon Balvala as he flew through the sky, and with His club the Lord angrily struck that harasser of brahmanas on the head.

6. Balvala cried out in agony and fell to the ground, his forehead cracked open and gushing blood. He resembled a red mountain struck by a lightning bolt.

7. The exalted sages honored Lord Rama with sincere prayers and awarded Him infallible blessings. Then they performed His ritual bath, just as the demigods had formally bathed Indra when he killed Vrtra.

8. They gave Lord Balarama a Vaijayanti garland of unfading lotuses in which resided the goddess of fortune, and they also gave Him a set of divine garments and jewelry.

9. Then, given leave by the sages, the Lord went with a contingent of brahmanas to the Kausiki River, where He bathed. From there He went to the lake from which flows the river Sarayu.

10. The Lord followed the course of the Sarayu until He came to Prayaga, where He bathed and then performed rituals to propitiate the demigods and other living beings. Next He went to the asrama of Pulaha Rsi.

11-15. Lord Balarama bathed in the Gomati, Gandaki and Vipasa rivers, and also immersed Himself in the Sona. He went to Gaya, where He worshiped His forefathers, and to the mouth of the Ganges, where He performed purifying ablutions. At Mount Mahendra He saw Lord Parasurama and offered Him prayers, and then He bathed in the seven branches of the Godavari River, and also in the rivers Vena, Pampa and Bhimarathi. Then Lord Balarama met Lord Skanda and visited Sri-saila, the abode of Lord Girisa. In the southern provinces known as Dravida-desa the Supreme Lord saw the sacred Venkata Hill, as well as the cities of Kamakosni and Kanci, the exalted Kaveri River and the most holy Sri-ranga, where Lord Krsna has manifested Himself. From there He went to Rsabha Mountain, where Lord Krsna also lives, and to the southern Mathura. Then He came to Setubandha, where the most grievous sins are destroyed.

16-17. There at Setubandha [Ramesvaram] Lord Halayudha gave brahmanas ten thousand cows in charity. He then visited the Krtamala and Tamraparni rivers and the great Malaya Mountains. In the Malaya range Lord Balarama found Agastya Rsi sitting in meditation. After bowing down to the sage, the Lord offered him prayers and then received blessings from him. Taking leave from Agastya, He proceeded to the shore of the southern ocean, where He saw Goddess Durga in her form of Kanyakumari.

18. Next He went to Phalguna-tirtha and bathed in the sacred Pancapsara Lake, where Lord Visnu had directly manifested Himself. At this place He gave away another ten thousand cows.

19-21. The Supreme Lord then traveled through the kingdoms of Kerala and Trigarta, visiting Lord Siva’s sacred city of Gokarna, where Lord Dhurjati [Siva] directly manifests himself. After also visiting Goddess Parvati, who dwells on an island, Lord Balarama went to the holy district of Surparaka and bathed in the Tapi, Payosni and Nirvindhya rivers. He next entered the Dandaka forest and went to the river Reva, along which the city of Mahismati is found. Then He bathed at Manu-tirtha and finally returned to Prabhasa.

22. The Lord heard from some brahmanas how all the kings involved in the battle between the Kurus and Pandavas had been killed. From this He concluded that the earth was now relieved of her burden.

23. Wanting to stop the club fight then raging between Bhima and Duryodhana on the battlefield, Lord Balarama went to Kuruksetra.

24. When Yudhisthira, Lord Krsna, Arjuna and the twin brothers Nakula and Sahadeva saw Lord Balarama, they offered Him respectful obeisances but said nothing, thinking “What has He come here to tell us?”

25. Lord Balarama found Duryodhana and Bhima with clubs in their hands, each furiously striving for victory over the other as they circled about skillfully. The Lord addressed them as follows.

26. [Lord Balarama said:] King Duryodhana! And Bhima! Listen! You two warriors are equal in fighting prowess. I know that one of you has greater physical power, while the other is better trained in technique.

27. Since you are so evenly matched in fighting prowess, I do not see how either of you can win or lose this duel. Therefore please stop this useless battle.

28. [Sukadeva Gosvami continued:] They did not accept Lord Balarama’s request, O King, although it was logical, for their mutual enmity was irrevocable. Each of them constantly remembered the insults and injuries he had suffered from the other.

29. Concluding that the battle was the arrangement of fate, Lord Balarama went back to Dvaraka. There He was greeted by Ugrasena and His other relatives, who were all delighted to see Him.

30. Later Lord Balarama returned to Naimisaranya, where the sages joyfully engaged Him, the embodiment of all sacrifice, in performing various kinds of Vedic sacrifice. Lord Balarama was now retired from warfare.

31. The all-powerful Lord Balarama bestowed upon the sages pure spiritual knowledge, by which they could see the whole universe within Him and also see Him pervading everything.

32. After executing with His wife the avabhrtha ablutions, the beautifully dressed and ornamented Lord Balarama, encircled by His immediate family and other relatives and friends, looked as splendid as the moon surrounded by its effulgent rays.

33. Countless other such pastimes were performed by mighty Balarama, the unlimited and immeasurable Supreme Lord, whose mystic Yogamaya power makes Him appear to be a human being.

34. All the activities of the unlimited Lord Balarama are amazing. Anyone who regularly remembers them at dawn and dusk will become very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Visnu.

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