Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 10 Chapter 18
Lord Balarāma Slays the Demon Pralamba
atha kṛṣṇaḥ parivṛto
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; atha — next; kṛṣṇaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa; parivṛtaḥ — surrounded; jñātibhiḥ — by His companions; mudita-ātmabhiḥ — who were joyful by nature; anugīyamānaḥ — His glories being chanted; nyaviśat — entered; vrajam — Vraja; go-kula — by the herds of cows; maṇḍitam — decorated.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Surrounded by His blissful companions, who constantly chanted His glories, Śrī Kṛṣṇa then entered the village of Vraja, which was decorated with herds of cows.
vraje vikrīḍator evaṁ
grīṣmo nāmartur abhavan
vraje — in Vṛndāvana; vikrīḍatoḥ — while the two of Them were sporting; evam — in this way; gopāla — as cowherd boys; chadma — of the disguise; māyayā — by the illusion; grīṣmaḥ — summer; nāma — thus designated; ṛtuḥ — the season; abhavat — came about; na — not; ati-preyān — very much favored; śarīriṇām — by embodied beings.
While Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were thus enjoying life in Vṛndāvana in the guise of ordinary cowherd boys, the summer season gradually appeared. This season is not very pleasing to embodied souls.
sa ca vṛndāvana-guṇair
vasanta iva lakṣitaḥ
yatrāste bhagavān sākṣād
rāmeṇa saha keśavaḥ
saḥ — this (hot season); ca — nevertheless; vṛndāvana — of Śrī Vṛndāvana; guṇaiḥ — by the transcendental qualities; vasantaḥ — springtime; iva — as if; lakṣitaḥ — manifesting symptoms; yatra — in which (Vṛndāvana); āste — remains; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sākṣāt — personally; rāmeṇa saha — together with Lord Balarāma; keśavaḥ — Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Nevertheless, because the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally staying in Vṛndāvana along with Balarāma, summer manifested the qualities of spring. Such are the features of the land of Vṛndāvana.
yatra — in which (Vṛndāvana); nirjhara — of the waterfalls; nirhrāda — by the resounding; nivṛtta — stopped; svana — the sound; jhillikam — of the crickets; śaśvat — constant; tat — of those (waterfalls); śīkara — by the drops of water; ṛjīṣa — moistened; druma — of trees; maṇḍala — with the groups; maṇḍitam — decorated.
In Vṛndāvana, the loud sound of waterfalls covered the crickets’ noise, and clusters of trees constantly moistened by spray from those waterfalls beautified the entire area.
na vidyate yatra vanaukasāṁ davo
sarit — of the rivers; saraḥ — and the lakes; prasravaṇa — (coming into contact with) the currents; ūrmi — and waves; vāyunā — by the wind; kahlāra-kañja-utpala — of the kahlāra, kañja and utpala lotuses; reṇu — the pollen; hāriṇā — which was taking away; na vidyate — there was not; yatra — in which; vana-okasām — for the residents of the forest; davaḥ — tormenting heat; nidāgha — of the summer season; vahni — by forest fires; arka — and the sun; bhavaḥ — generated; ati-śādvale — where there was an abundance of green grass.
The wind wafting over the waves of the lakes and flowing rivers carried away the pollen of many varieties of lotuses and water lilies and then cooled the entire Vṛndāvana area. Thus the residents there did not suffer from the heat generated by the blazing summer sun and seasonal forest fires. Indeed, Vṛndāvana was abundant with fresh green grass.
dravat-purīṣyāḥ pulinaiḥ samantataḥ
na yatra caṇḍāṁśu-karā viṣolbaṇā
bhuvo rasaṁ śādvalitaṁ ca gṛhṇate
agādha — very deep; toya — whose water; hradinī — of the rivers; taṭa — upon the shores; ūrmibhiḥ — by the waves; dravat — liquefied; purīṣyāḥ — whose mud; pulinaiḥ — by the sandy banks; samantataḥ — on all sides; na — not; yatra — upon which; caṇḍa — of the sun; aṁśu-karāḥ — the rays; viṣa — like poison; ulbaṇāḥ — fierce; bhuvaḥ — of the earth; rasam — the juice; śādvalitam — the greenness; ca — and; gṛhṇate — take away.
With their flowing waves the deep rivers drenched their banks, making them damp and muddy. Thus the rays of the sun, which were as fierce as poison, could not evaporate the earth’s sap or parch its green grass.
vanaṁ kusumitaṁ śrīman
vanam — the forest; kusumitam — full of flowers; śrīmat — very beautiful; nadat — making sounds; citra — variegated; mṛga — animals; dvijam — and birds; gāyan — singing; mayūra — peacocks; bhramaram — and bees; kūjat — cooing; kokila — cuckoos; sārasam — and cranes.
Flowers beautifully decorated the forest of Vṛndāvana, and many varieties of animals and birds filled it with sound. The peacocks and bees sang, and the cuckoos and cranes cooed.
krīḍiṣyamāṇas tat krṣṇo
veṇuṁ viraṇayan gopair
go-dhanaiḥ saṁvṛto ’viśat
krīḍiṣyamāṇaḥ — intending to play; tat — that (Vṛndāvana forest); kṛṣṇaḥ — Kṛṣṇa; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bala-saṁyutaḥ — accompanied by Balarāma; veṇum — His flute; viraṇayan — sounding; gopaiḥ — by the cowherd boys; go-dhanaiḥ — and the cows, who are their wealth; saṁvṛtaḥ — surrounded; aviśat — He entered.
Intending to engage in pastimes, Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, accompanied by Lord Balarāma and surrounded by the cowherd boys and the cows, entered the forest of Vṛndāvana as He played His flute.
nanṛtur yuyudhur jaguḥ
pravāla — newly grown leaves; barha — peacock feathers; stabaka — bunches of small flowers; srak — garlands; dhātu — and colored minerals; kṛta-bhūṣaṇāḥ — wearing as their ornaments; rāma-kṛṣṇa-ādayaḥ — headed by Lord Balarāma and Lord Kṛṣṇa; gopāḥ — the cowherd boys; nanṛtuḥ — danced; yuyudhuḥ — fought; jaguḥ — sang.
Decorating themselves with newly grown leaves, along with peacock feathers, garlands, clusters of flower buds, and colored minerals, Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa and Their cowherd friends danced, wrestled and sang.
kṛṣṇasya nṛtyataḥ kecij
jaguḥ kecid avādayan
kṛṣṇasya nṛtyataḥ — while Kṛṣṇa was dancing; kecit — some of them; jaguḥ — sang; kecit — some; avādayan — accompanied musically; veṇu — with flutes; pāṇi-talaiḥ — and hand cymbals; śṛṅgaiḥ — with buffalo horns; praśaśaṁsuḥ — offered praise; atha — and; apare — others.
As Kṛṣṇa danced, some of the boys accompanied Him by singing, and others by playing flutes, hand cymbals and buffalo horns, while still others praised His dancing.
īḍire kṛṣṇa-rāmau ca
naṭā iva naṭaṁ nṛpa
gopa-jāti — as members of the cowherd community; praticchannāḥ — disguised; devāḥ — demigods; gopāla-rūpiṇau — who had assumed the forms of cowherd boys; īḍire — they worshiped; kṛṣṇa-rāmau — Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Rāma; ca — and; naṭāḥ — professional dancers; iva — just as; naṭam — another dancer; nṛpa — O King.
O King, demigods disguised themselves as members of the cowherd community and, just as dramatic dancers praise another dancer, worshiped Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, who were also appearing as cowherd boys.
bhramaṇair laṅghanaiḥ kṣepair
bhramaṇaiḥ — with whirling about; laṅghanaiḥ — jumping; kṣepaiḥ — throwing; āsphoṭana — slapping; vikarṣaṇaiḥ — and dragging; cikṛīḍatuḥ — They (Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma) played; niyuddhena — with fighting; kāka-pakṣa — the locks of hair on the sides of Their heads; dharau — holding; kvacit — sometimes.
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma played with their cowherd boyfriends by whirling about, leaping, hurling, slapping and fighting. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma would pull the hair on the boys’ heads.
kvacin nṛtyatsu cānyeṣu
gāyakau vādakau svayam
sādhu sādhv iti vādinau
kvacit — sometimes; nṛtyatsu — while they were dancing; ca — and; anyeṣu — others; gāyakau — the two of Them (Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma) singing; vādakau — both playing musical instruments; svayam — Themselves; śaśaṁsatuḥ — They praised; mahā-rāja — O great King; sādhu sādhu iti — “very good, very good”; vādinau — speaking.
While the other boys were dancing, O King, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma would sometimes accompany them with song and instrumental music, and sometimes the two Lords would praise the boys, saying, “Very good! Very good!”
kvacid bilvaiḥ kvacit kumbhaiḥ
kvacit — sometimes; bilvaiḥ — with bilva fruits; kvacit — sometimes; kumbhaiḥ — with kumbha fruits; kvaca — and sometimes; āmalaka-muṣṭibhiḥ — with palmfuls of āmalaka fruits; aspṛśya — with games such as tṛying to touch one another; netra-bandha — trying to identify another when one is blindfolded; ādyaiḥ — and so on; kvacit — sometimes; mṛga — like animals; khaga — and birds; īhayā — acting.
Sometimes the cowherd boys would play with bilva or kumbha fruits, and sometimes with handfuls of āmalaka fruits. At other times they would play the games of trying to touch one another or of trying to identify somebody while one is blindfolded, and sometimes they would imitate animals and birds.
kvacic ca dardura-plāvair
kvacit — sometimes; ca — and; dardura — like frogs; plāvaiḥ — with jumping; vividhaiḥ — various; upahāsakaiḥ — with jokes; kadācit — sometimes; syandolikayā — with riding in swings; karhicit — and sometimes; nṛpa-ceṣṭayā — with pretending to be kings.
They would sometimes jump around like frogs, sometimes play various jokes, sometimes ride in swings and sometimes imitate monarchs.
evaṁ tau loka-siddhābhiḥ
krīḍābhiś ceratur vane
kānaneṣu saraḥsu ca
evam — in this way; tau — the two of Them, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma; loka-siddhābhiḥ — which are well known in human society; krīḍābhiḥ — with games; ceratuḥ — They wandered; vane — in the forest; nadī — among the rivers; adri — mountains; droṇi — valleys; kuñjeṣu — and groves; kānaneṣu — in the smaller forests; saraḥsu — along the lakes; ca — and.
In this way Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma played all sorts of well-known games as They wandered among the rivers, hills, valleys, bushes, trees and lakes of Vṛndāvana.
paśūṁś cārayator gopais
gopa-rūpī pralambo ’gād
paśūn — the animals; cārayatoḥ — while the two of Them were herding; gopaiḥ — along with the cowherd boys; tat-vane — in that forest, Vṛndāvana; rāma-kṛṣṇayoḥ — Lord Rāma and Lord Kṛṣṇa; gopa-rūpī — assuming the form of a cowherd boy; pralambaḥ — Pralamba; agāt — came; asuraḥ — the demon; tat — Them; jihīrṣayā — with the desire of kidnapping.
While Rāma, Kṛṣṇa and Their cowherd friends were thus tending the cows in that Vṛndāvana forest, the demon Pralamba entered their midst. He had assumed the form of a cowherd boy with the intention of kidnapping Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.
taṁ vidvān api dāśārho
vadhaṁ tasya vicintayan
tam — him, Pralambāsura; vidvān — knowing quite well; api — even though; dāśārhaḥ — the descendant of Daśārha; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sarva-darśanaḥ — the omniscient; anvamodata — accepted; tat — with him; sakhyam — friendship; vadham — the killing; tasya — of him; vicintayan — meditating upon.
Since the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, who had appeared in the Daśārha dynasty, sees everything, He understood who the demon was. Still, the Lord pretended to accept the demon as a friend, while at the same time seriously considering how to kill him.
kṛṣṇaḥ prāha vihāra-vit
he gopā vihariṣyāmo
tatra — thereupon; upāhūya — calling; gopālān — the cowherd boys; kṛṣṇaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa; prāha — spoke; vihāra-vit — the knower of all sports and games; he gopāḥ — O cowherd boys; vihariṣyāmaḥ — let us play; dvandvī-bhūya — dividing into two groups; yathā-yatham — suitably.
Kṛṣṇa, who knows all sports and games, then called together the cowherd boys and spoke as follows: “Hey cowherd boys! Let’s play now! We’ll divide ourselves into two even teams.”
tatra cakruḥ parivṛḍhau
āsan rāmasya cāpare
tatra — in that game; cakruḥ — they made; parivṛḍhau — the two leaders; gopāḥ — the cowherd boys; rāma-janārdanau — Lord Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa; kṛṣṇa-saṅghaṭṭinaḥ — members of Kṛṣṇa’s party; kecit — some of them; āsan — became; rāmasya — of Balarāma; ca — and; apare — others.
The cowherd boys chose Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma as the leaders of the two parties. Some of the boys were on Kṛṣṇa’s side, and others joined Balarāma.
ācerur vividhāḥ krīḍā
vahanti ca parājitāḥ
āceruḥ — they performed; vividhāḥ — various; krīḍāḥ — sports; vāhya — by the carried; vāhaka — the carrier; lakṣaṇāḥ — characterized; yatra — in which; ārohanti — climb; jetāraḥ — the winners; vahanti — carry; ca — and; parājitāḥ — the defeated.
The boys played various games involving carriers and passengers. In these games the winners would climb up on the backs of the losers, who would have to carry them.
vahanto vāhyamānāś ca
cārayantaś ca go-dhanam
bhāṇḍīrakaṁ nāma vaṭaṁ
vahantaḥ — carrying; vāhyamānāḥ — being carried; ca — and; cārayantaḥ — tending; ca — also; go-dhanam — the cows; bhāṇḍīrakam nāma — named Bhāṇḍīraka; vaṭam — to the banyan tree; jagmuḥ — they went; kṛṣṇa-puraḥ-gamāḥ — led by Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Thus carrying and being carried by one another, and at the same time tending the cows, the boys followed Kṛṣṇa to a banyan tree known as Bhāṇḍīraka.
krīḍāyāṁ jayinas tāṁs tān
ūhuḥ kṛṣṇādayo nṛpa
rāma-saṅghaṭṭinaḥ — the members of Lord Balarāma’s party; yarhi — when; śrīdāma-vṛṣabha-ādayaḥ — Śrīdāmā, Vṛṣabha and others (such as Subala); krīḍāyām — in the games; jayinaḥ — victorious; tān tān — each of them; ūhuḥ — carried; kṛṣṇa-ādayaḥ — Kṛṣṇa and the members of His party; nṛpa — O King.
My dear King Parīkṣit, when Śrīdāmā, Vṛṣabha and the other members of Lord Balarāma’s party were victorious in these games, Kṛṣṇa and His followers had to carry them.
uvāha kṛṣṇo bhagavān
vṛṣabhaṁ bhadrasenas tu
uvāha — carried; kṛṣṇaḥ — Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; śrīdāmānam — His devotee and friend Śrīdāmā; parājitaḥ — being defeated; vṛṣabham — Vṛṣabha; bhadrasenaḥ — Bhadrasena; tu — and; pralambaḥ — Pralamba; rohiṇī-sutam — the son of Rohiṇī (Balarāma).
Defeated, the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa carried Śrīdāmā. Bhadrasena carried Vṛṣabha, and Pralamba carried Balarāma, the son of Rohiṇī.
vahan drutataraṁ prāgād
aviṣahyam — invincible; manyamānaḥ — considering; kṛṣṇam — Lord Kṛṣṇa; dānava-puṅgavaḥ — that foremost demon; vahan — carrying; druta-taram — very quickly; prāgāt — he went off; avarohaṇataḥ param — beyond the place marked for climbing down.
Considering Lord Kṛṣṇa invincible, that foremost demon [Pralamba] quickly carried Balarāma far beyond the spot where he was supposed to put his passenger down.
tam udvahan dharaṇi-dharendra-gauravaṁ
mahāsuro vigata-rayo nijaṁ vapuḥ
sa āsthitaḥ puraṭa-paricchado babhau
taḍid-dyumān uḍupati-vāḍ ivāmbudaḥ
tam — Him, Lord Baladeva; udvahan — carrying high; dharaṇi-dhara-indra — like the king of the mountains, Sumeru; gauravam — whose weight; mahā-asuraḥ — the great demon; vigata-rayaḥ — losing his momentum; nijam — his original; vapuḥ — body; saḥ — he; āsthitaḥ — becoming situated in; puraṭa — golden; paricchadaḥ — having ornaments; babhau — he shone; taḍit — like lightning; dyu-mān — flashing; uḍu-pati — the moon; vāṭ — carrying; iva — just as; ambu-daḥ — a cloud.
As the great demon carried Balarāma, the Lord became as heavy as massive Mount Sumeru, and Pralamba had to slow down. He then resumed his actual form — an effulgent body that was covered with golden ornaments and that resembled a cloud flashing with lightning and carrying the moon.
nirīkṣya tad-vapur alam ambare carat
tviṣādbhutaṁ haladhara īṣad atrasat
nirīkṣya — seeing; tat — of Pralambāsura; vapuḥ — the body; alam — quickly; ambare — in the sky; carat — moving; pradīpta — blazing; dṛk — his eyes; bhru-kuṭi — of his frown upon his eyebrows; taṭa — on the edge; ugra — terrible; daṁṣṭrakam — his teeth; jvalat — fiery; śikham — hair; kaṭaka — of his armlets; kirīṭa — crown; kuṇḍala — and earrings; tviṣā — by the effulgence; adbhutam — astonishing; hala-dharaḥ — Lord Balarāma, the carrier of the plow weapon; īṣat — a little; atrasat — became frightened.
When Lord Balarāma, who carries the plow weapon, saw the gigantic body of the demon as he moved swiftly in the sky — with his blazing eyes, fiery hair, terrible teeth reaching toward his scowling brows, and an amazing effulgence generated by his armlets, crown and earrings — the Lord seemed to become a little frightened.
athāgata-smṛtir abhayo ripuṁ balo
vihāya sārtham iva harantam ātmanaḥ
ruṣāhanac chirasi dṛḍhena muṣṭinā
surādhipo girim iva vajra-raṁhasā
atha — then; āgata-smṛtiḥ — remembering Himself; abhayaḥ — without fear; ripum — His enemy; balaḥ — Lord Balarāma; vihāya — leaving aside; sārtham — the company; iva — indeed; harantam — kidnapping; ātmanaḥ — Himself; ruṣā — angrily; ahanat — He struck; śirasi — upon the head; dṛḍhena — hard; muṣṭinā — with His fist; sura-adhipaḥ — the king of the demigods, Indra; girim — a mountain; iva — just as; vajra — of his thunderbolt weapon; raṁhasā — with the swiftness.
Remembering the actual situation, the fearless Balarāma understood that the demon was tṛying to kidnap Him and take Him away from His companions. The Lord then became furious and struck the demon’s head with His hard fist, just as Indra, the king of the demigods, strikes a mountain with his thunderbolt weapon.
sa āhataḥ sapadi viśīrṇa-mastako
mukhād vaman rudhiram apasmṛto ’suraḥ
mahā-ravaṁ vyasur apatat samīrayan
girir yathā maghavata āyudhāhataḥ
saḥ — he, Pralambāsura; āhataḥ — struck; sapadi — at once; viśīrṇa — split; mastakaḥ — his head; mukhāt — from his mouth; vaman — vomiting; rudhiram — blood; apasmṛtaḥ — unconscious; asuraḥ — the demon; mahā-ravam — a great noise; vyasuḥ — lifeless; apatat — he fell; samīrayan — sounding; giriḥ — a mountain; yathā — as; maghavataḥ — of Lord Indra; āyudha — by the weapon; āhataḥ — hit.
Thus smashed by Balarāma’s fist, Pralamba’s head immediately cracked open. The demon vomited blood from his mouth and lost all consciousness, and then with a great noise he fell lifeless on the ground, like a mountain devastated by Indra.
dṛṣṭvā pralambaṁ nihataṁ
gopāḥ su-vismitā āsan
sādhu sādhv iti vādinaḥ
dṛṣṭvā — seeing; pralambam — Pralambāsura; nihatam — killed; balena — by Lord Balarāma; bala-śālinā — who is by nature very powerful; gopāḥ — the cowherd boys; su-vismitāḥ — most astonished; āsan — became; sādhu sādhu — “very wonderful, very wonderful”; iti — these words; vādinaḥ — speaking.
The cowherd boys were most astonished to see how the powerful Balarāma had killed the demon Pralamba, and they exclaimed, “Excellent! Excellent!”
āśiṣo ’bhigṛṇantas taṁ
āśiṣaḥ — benedictions; abhigṛṇantaḥ — offering profusely; tam — to Him; praśaśaṁsuḥ — they praised; tat-arhaṇam — Him who was worthy of such; pretya — having died; āgatam — come back; iva — as if; ālingya — embracing; prema — out of love; vihvala — overwhelmed; cetasaḥ — their minds.
They offered Balarāma profuse benedictions and then glorified Him, who deserves all glorification. Their minds overwhelmed with ecstatic love, they embraced Him as if He had come back from the dead.
pāpe pralambe nihate
abhyavarṣan balaṁ mālyaiḥ
śaśaṁsuḥ sādhu sādhv iti
pāpe — the sinful; pralambe — Pralambāsura; nihate — being killed; devāḥ — the demigods; parama — extremely; nirvṛtāḥ — satisfied; abhyavarṣan — showered; balam — Lord Balarāma; mālyaiḥ — with flower garlands; śaśaṁsuḥ — they offered prayers; sādhu sādhu iti — crying “excellent, excellent”.
The sinful Pralamba having been killed, the demigods felt extremely happy, and they showered flower garlands upon Lord Balarāma and praised the excellence of His deed.