Bhagavatam - Tenth Skandha , Chapter 79

Pilgrimage of Balarama

Hearing about the preparations for war between Pandavas and Kauravas, and wanting to be neutral Lord Balaram left on the pretext of visiting holy places and doing pujas.


Pilgrimage of Balaram

Suka Deva continued:

Hearing about the preparation for the battle between Pandavas and Kauravas , wanting to be neutral Lord Balaram , indeed left Dwaraka on the pretext of visiting holy places and doing Pujas.

First he went to Prabhasa.

Having bathed at Prabhasa and having honored the Devas, sages and forefathers, then he went along the upstream of river Saraswati visiting holy places accompanied by Brahmans. He visited the large Bindusara lake, Tritakupa, Sudarsana, Visalam , Brahma tirtham. Then he went to Chakra tirtham where the river Saraswati turns east. He also visited holy spots on the banks of river Yamuna and Ganges. Finally he reached Naimisha forest where great sages were performing a sacrifice which was going on for a long period . The sages who had been engaged in a long sacrifice, recognizing Lord Balaram greeted him appropriately and bowed to him. They honored him by offering a seat at the sacrifice.

Thus seated Lord Balaram saw Sage Romaharshana , the disciple of Vyasa, who is also seated. He noticed that the sage Romaharshana did not get up to greet him , nor did he bow like others. He also noticed that Sage Romaharshana continued sitting that too at a higher position compared to all other Brahmans. Lord Balaram became extremely angry. Lord Balaram said to himself , ‘This person born of low caste sitting at a higher position, is showing no respect at all to the Brahmans and to us the protectors of Dharma . He deserves to die. Though being a disciple of Vyasa Bhagavan , having studied all books on Dharma , Puranas and Itihasa , he is vainly thinking himself to be a scholarly authority . He is just like an actor without self control who is not helped by the noble parts he plays. The purpose of my descent into this human form is to punish such evil people who pose as the keepers of Dharma'. Thus thinking although Lord Balaram was on pilgrimage to stay away from a war of violence , he picked up a Kusa grass and with the tip of the blade Killed Romaharshana , the great disciple of Vyasa Bhagavan.

Immediately all the sages were horrified . They told Balaram “ O Master you have committed a grave sin .”

They said .” It was we who offered him the seat of spiritual master at this sacrifice .We promised him freedom from physical troubles for the duration of the sacrifice. Though not knowing , what has been perpetrated by you is equal to killing of a Brahman. The Scriptural injunctions may not be applicable to you as the Supreme Lord, yet if you atone for this sin, the general people will be benefited by the example. “

Thus spoken to , Lord Balaram immediately agreed. “ I will undertake any atonement for this killing. I want to show the right path to people. Please prescribe what ever is to be done by me. Please instruct me , and I shall make it happen with my Yoga Maya. I shall even revive this Suta.”

Sages said ,” Oh Balaram , Do what is needed. Indeed do it in a way that the power of your weapon, our promise , and his death are all protected .”

Lord Balaram said ,” Vedas say that it is father himself who is born as son. So his son Bhurisravas will have long life , powerful mind and be a speaker of Puranas . O intelligent ones , please tell me what you desire I shall do the same . Please think of a proper atonement for my heinous act “.

The sages said , “ O Rama there is a demon named Balvala , who comes around full moon day. He commits acts of sacrilege disturbing the sacrifice . Please kill him. This is the best service you can do . There after you should go around this land of Bharat for twelve months bathing at holy places and you will be purified”.

Then on the full moon day the demon Valhalla came and committed unspeakable acts of sacrilege . Seeing this, the Lord remembered his two weapons. His mace which subdues armies and his plough with punished the demons. Both immediately appeared before him. With his plough he pulled Balvala from the sky and with his mace he hit on his head . Balvala cried in agony and died immediately.

Then the sages praised the Lord Balaram sincerely and gave him their benedictions.

Thereafter with the permission of the sages , Balaram continued his pilgrimage with a contingent of Brahmans.

First he went to Kausiki river. Having bathed there he went to the lake where river Sarayu starts. Lord Balaram followed Sarayu till it reached Prayaga . Then taking bath at Prayaga , he propitiated various Devas and went to the ashram of Rishi Pulaha.

Lord Balaram bathed in the rivers Gomati , Gandaki , Vipasa and Sona . Thereafter went to Gaya , where he propitiated his forefathers and other Devas. He went to the confluence of Ganga with the ocean . Thereafter he went to mount Mahendra. He saw Lord Parasurama offered him prayers. There after he bathed in the seven branches of Godavari and also the rivers Vema , Pampa and Bhimarathi . There after visiting Skandha , Lord Balaram went to Srisailam , the abode of Siva. Then in the Dravida country he saw the most pious hill of Venkatadri . Then he went to Kamakoshni , Kanchi and bathed in river Kaveri. Then he went to Srirangam , where Lord Hari manifested himself. Then he went to Rishabha mountain and Mathura of South. Then he came to the place Rameswaram where Seas are joined , and where all sins are destroyed.

At that point he gave away ten thousand cows and went to rivers of Kritamala and Tamraparni . Then he went on to Malaya mountains. Worshipping Sage Agastya there , he proceeded to the southern shores where he worshipped Durga known by the name Kanya .

Then he went to Phalguna Tirtha and bathed in the lake Panchapsarasas , where Lord Vishnu himself manifested. At this place also he gave away ten thousand cows. Then he traveled through the countries of Kerala and Trigartha and reached Gokarna a place sacred to Lord Siva where Siva manifested himself. Seeing the Goddess who resides on the island , he went Surparaka . There after touching the waters of Tapi, Prayosni , Nirvindhya , he entered Dandaka forest . Then he went to river Reva on whose banks stood city of Mahismati . Then bathing at Manu Tirtha , he reached Prabhasa again.

At Prabhasa he heard how the burden of the earth was reduced by the war between Pandavas and Kauravas .Then wanting to stop the fight between Bhim and Duryodhan , he went to Kurukshetra. Yudhistira , Lord Krishna , Arjun , Nakul and Sahadev welcomed him but remained silent wondering what Lord Balaram would say. Lord Balaram saw both Bhim and Duryodhan fighting furiously .

He addressed both of them. “ King Duryodhan and Bhim . I consider both of you equal and well matched . One is superior in strength and other in training . In a fight between equals there is no victory or loss. Please stop this fight .”

Suka Deva continued .

O King ! with remembrance of the past the two refused to heed the advice of Lord Rama.

Concluding that this attitude was dictated by past karma Lord Balaram went back to Dwaraka where he was warmly welcomed back by King Ugrasena .

Lord Balaram , once again went back to Naimisha forest , where he continued to participate in the sacrifices being conducted by the sages . Lord Balaram bestowed on them pure spiritual knowledge whereby they could see him as part of the universe and universe as part of him.

Indeed innumerable are the marvelous deeds performed by Balaram . Indeed who ever read these wonderful deeds of Lord Rama he will be very dear to Mahavishnu , the Supreme Lord.


Indeed who ever read these wonderful deeds of Lord Rama in the morning and in the evening , he will be very dear to Mahavishnu , the supreme Lord .