Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 10 Chapter 79
Lord Balarāma Goes on Pilgrimage
tataḥ parvaṇy upāvṛtte
bhīmo vāyur abhūd rājan
pūya-gandhas tu sarvaśaḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; tataḥ — then; parvaṇi — the new-moon day; upāvṛtte — when it came; pracaṇḍaḥ — fierce; pāṁśu — dust; varṣaṇaḥ — raining; bhīmaḥ — frightening; vāyuḥ — a wind; abhūt — arose; rājan — O King (Parīkṣit); pūya — of pus; gandhaḥ — the smell; tu — and; sarvaśaḥ — all over.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī 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.
tato ’medhya-mayaṁ varṣaṁ
so ’nvadṛśyata śūla-dhṛk
tataḥ — then; amedhya — abominable things; mayam — full of; varṣam — a rain; balvalena — by Balvala; vinirmitam — produced; abhavat — occurred; yajña — of the sacrifice; śālāyām — upon the arena; saḥ — he, Balvala; anvadṛśyata — appeared after this; śūla — a trident; dhṛk — carrying.
Next, onto the sacrificial arena came a downpour of abominable things sent by Balvala, after which the demon himself appeared, trident in hand.
taṁ vilokya bṛhat-kāyaṁ
sasmāra mūṣalaṁ rāmaḥ
halaṁ ca daitya-damanaṁ
te tūrṇam upatasthatuḥ
tam — him; vilokya — seeing; bṛhat — immense; kāyam — whose body; bhinna — broken; añjana — of black eye-makeup; caya — a pile; upamam — resembling; tapta — burning; tāmra — (colored like) copper; śikhā — whose topknot; śmaśrum — and beard; daṁṣṭrā — with its teeth; ugra — fearsome; bhru — of eyebrows; kuṭī — with furrows; mukham — whose face; sasmāra — remembered; mūṣalam — His club; rāmaḥ — Lord Balarāma; para — opposing; sainya — armies; vidāraṇam — which tears asunder; halam — His plow; ca — and; daitya — demons; damanam — which subdues; te — they; tūrṇam — at once; upatasthatuḥ — presented themselves.
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 Balarāma 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.
tam ākṛṣya halāgreṇa
mūrdhni brahma-druhaṁ balaḥ
tam — him; ākṛṣya — pulling toward Him; hala — of His plow; agreṇa — with the front end; balvalam — Balvala; gagane — in the sky; caram — who was moving; mūṣalena — with His club; ahanat — struck; kruddhaḥ — angry; mūrdhni — on the head; brahma — of brāhmaṇas; druham — the harasser; balaḥ — Lord Balarāma.
With the tip of His plow Lord Balarāma caught hold of the demon Balvala as he flew through the sky, and with His club the Lord angrily struck that harasser of brāhmaṇas on the head.
so ’patad bhuvi nirbhinna-
lalāṭo ’sṛk samutsṛjan
muñcann ārta-svaraṁ śailo
yathā vajra-hato ’ruṇaḥ
saḥ — he, Balvala; apatat — fell; bhuvi — to the ground; nirbhinna — cracked open; lalāṭaḥ — his forehead; asṛk — blood; samutsṛjan — gushing; muñcan — releasing; ārta — of agony; svaram — a sound; śailaḥ — a mountain; yathā — like; vajra — by a lightning bolt; hataḥ — struck; aruṇaḥ — reddish.
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.
saṁstutya munayo rāmaṁ
vṛtra-ghnaṁ vibudhā yathā
saṁstutya — sincerely praising; munayaḥ — the sages; rāmam — Lord Balarāma; prayujya — awarding; avitatha — infallible; āśiṣaḥ — benedictions; abhyaṣiñcan — ceremoniously bathed; mahā-bhāgāḥ — the great personalities; vṛtra — of Vṛtrāsura; ghnam — the killer (Lord Indra); vibudhāḥ — the demigods; yathā — as.
The exalted sages honored Lord Rāma 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 Vṛtra.
vaijayantīṁ dadur mālāṁ
rāmāya vāsasī divye
divyāny ābharaṇāni ca
vaijayantīm — named Vaijayantī; daduḥ — they gave; mālām — the flower garland; śrī — of the goddess of fortune; dhāma — the abode; amlāna — unfading; paṅkajām — made of lotus flowers; rāmāya — to Lord Balarāma; vāsasī — a pair of (upper and lower) garments; divye — divine; divyāni — divine; ābharaṇāni — jewelry; ca — and.
They gave Lord Balarāma a Vaijayantī garland of unfading lotuses in which resided the goddess of fortune, and they also gave Him a set of divine garments and jewelry.
atha tair abhyanujñātaḥ
kauśikīm etya brāhmaṇaiḥ
snātvā sarovaram agād
yataḥ sarayūr āsravat
atha — then; taiḥ — by them; abhyanujñātaḥ — given leave; kauśikīm — to the Kauśikī River; etya — coming; brāhmaṇaiḥ — with brāhmaṇas; snātvā — bathing; sarovaram — to the lake; agāt — went; yataḥ — from which; sarayūḥ — the Sarayū River; āsravat — flows out.
Then, given leave by the sages, the Lord went with a contingent of brāhmaṇas to the Kauśikī River, where He bathed. From there He went to the lake from which flows the river Sarayū.
prayāgam upagamya saḥ
snātvā santarpya devādīn
anu — following; srotena — its current; sarayūm — along the Sarayū; prayāgam — to Prayāga; upagamya — coming; saḥ — He; snātvā — bathing; santarpya — propitiating; deva-ādīn — the demigods and so on; jagāma — He went; pulaha-āśramam — to the hermitage of Pulaha Ṛṣi.
The Lord followed the course of the Sarayū until He came to Prayāga, where He bathed and then performed rituals to propitiate the demigods and other living beings. Next He went to the āśrama of Pulaha Ṛṣi.
gomatīṁ gaṇḍakīṁ snātvā
vipāśāṁ śoṇa āplutaḥ
gayāṁ gatvā pitṝn iṣṭvā
rāmaṁ dṛṣṭvābhivādya ca
pampāṁ bhīmarathīṁ tataḥ
skandaṁ dṛṣṭvā yayau rāmaḥ
dṛṣṭvādriṁ veṅkaṭaṁ prabhuḥ
kāma-koṣṇīṁ purīṁ kāñcīṁ
kāverīṁ ca sarid-varām
yatra sannihito hariḥ
ṛṣabhādriṁ hareḥ kṣetraṁ
dakṣiṇāṁ mathurāṁ tathā
sāmudraṁ setum agamat
gomatīm — at the Gomatī River; gaṇḍakīm — the Gaṇḍakī River; snātvā — bathing; vipāśām — at the Vipāśā River; śoṇe — in the Śoṇa River; āplutaḥ — having immersed Himself; gayām — to Gayā; gatvā — going; pitṝn — His forefathers; iṣṭvā — worshiping; gaṅgā — of the Ganges; sāgara — and the ocean; saṅgame — at the confluence; upaspṛśya — touching water (bathing); mahā-indra-adrau — at the Mahendra Mountain; rāmam — Lord Paraśurāma; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; abhivādya — honoring; ca — and; sapta-godāvarīm — (going) to the convergence of the seven Godāvarīs; veṇām — the Veṇā River; pampām — the Pampā River; bhīmarathīm — and the Bhīmarathī River; tataḥ — then; skandam — Lord Skanda (Kārttikeya); dṛṣṭvā — seeing; yayau — went; rāmaḥ — Lord Balarāma; śrī-śailam — to Śrī-śaila; giri-śa — of Lord Śiva; ālayam — the residence; draviḍeṣu — in the southern provinces; mahā — most; puṇyam — pious; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; adrim — the hill; veṅkaṭam — known as Veṅkaṭa (the abode of Lord Bālajī); prabhuḥ — the Supreme Lord; kāma-koṣṇīm — to Kāmakoṣṇī; purīm kāñcīm — to Kāñcīpuram; kāverīm — to the Kāverī; ca — and; sarit — of rivers; varām — the greatest; śrī-raṅga-ākhyam — known as Śrī-raṅga; mahā-puṇyam — most pious place; yatra — where; sannihitaḥ — manifested; hariḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa (in the form of Raṅganātha); ṛṣabha-adrim — the Ṛṣabha Mountain; hareḥ — of Lord Viṣṇu; kṣetram — the place; dakṣiṇām mathurām — the southern Mathurā (Madurai, the abode of Goddess Mīnākṣī); tathā — also; sāmudram — on the ocean; setum — to the bridge (Setubandha); agamat — He went; mahā — the greatest; pātaka — sins; nāśanam — which destroys.
Lord Balarāma bathed in the Gomatī, Gaṇḍakī and Vipāśā rivers, and also immersed Himself in the Śoṇa. He went to Gayā, where He worshiped His forefathers, and to the mouth of the Ganges, where He performed purifying ablutions. At Mount Mahendra He saw Lord Paraśurāma and offered Him prayers, and then He bathed in the seven branches of the Godāvarī River, and also in the rivers Veṇā, Pampā and Bhīmarathī. Then Lord Balarāma met Lord Skanda and visited Śrī-śaila, the abode of Lord Giriśa. In the southern provinces known as Draviḍa-deśa the Supreme Lord saw the sacred Veṅkaṭa Hill, as well as the cities of Kāmakoṣṇī and Kāñcī, the exalted Kāverī River and the most holy Śrī-raṅga, where Lord Kṛṣṇa has manifested Himself. From there He went to Ṛṣabha Mountain, where Lord Kṛṣṇa also lives, and to the southern Mathurā. Then He came to Setubandha, where the most grievous sins are destroyed.
tatrāyutam adād dhenūr
malayaṁ ca kulācalam
yojitas tena cāśīrbhir
anujñāto gato ’rṇavam
dakṣiṇaṁ tatra kanyākhyāṁ
durgāṁ devīṁ dadarśa saḥ
tatra — there (at Setubandha, known also as Rāmeśvaram); ayutam — ten thousand; adāt — He gave away; dhenūḥ — cows; brahmaṇebhyaḥ — to brāhmaṇas; hala-āyudhaḥ — Lord Balarāma, whose weapon is the plow; kṛtamālām — to the Kṛtamālā River; tāmraparṇīm — the Tāmraparṇī River; malayam — Malaya; ca — and; kula-acalam — the principal mountain range; tatra — there; agastyam — to Agastya Ṛṣi; samāsīnam — sitting (in meditation); namaskṛtya — bowing down; abhivādya — glorifying; ca — and; yojitaḥ — granted; tena — by him; ca — and; āśīrbhiḥ — blessings; anujñātaḥ — given permission to leave; gataḥ — He went; arṇavam — to the ocean; dakṣiṇam — southern; tatra — there; kanyā-ākhyām — known as Kanyā-kumārī; durgām devīm — Goddess Durgā; dadarśa — saw; saḥ — He.
There at Setubandha [Rāmeśvaram] Lord Halāyudha gave brāhmaṇas ten thousand cows in charity. He then visited the Kṛtamālā and Tāmraparṇī rivers and the great Malaya Mountains. In the Malaya range Lord Balarāma found Agastya Ṛṣi 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 Durgā in her form of Kanyā-kumārī.
tataḥ phālgunam āsādya
viṣṇuḥ sannihito yatra
tataḥ — then; phālgunam — Phālguna; āsādya — reaching; pañca-apsarasam — the lake of the five Apsarās; uttamam — exalted; viṣṇuḥ — the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu; sannihitaḥ — manifested; yatra — wherein; snātvā — bathing; asparśat — He touched (as part of the ritual in giving as charity); gava — cows; ayutam — ten thousand.
Next He went to Phālguna-tīrtha and bathed in the sacred Pañcāpsarā Lake, where Lord Viṣṇu had directly manifested Himself. At this place He gave away another ten thousand cows.
tato ’bhivrajya bhagavān
keralāṁs tu trigartakān
sānnidhyaṁ yatra dhūrjaṭeḥ
āryāṁ dvaipāyanīṁ dṛṣṭvā
śūrpārakam agād balaḥ
tāpīṁ payoṣṇīṁ nirvindhyām
praviśya revām agamad
yatra māhiṣmatī purī
prabhāsaṁ punar āgamat
tataḥ — then; abhivrajya — traveling; bhagavān — the Supreme Lord; keralān — through the kingdom of Kerala; tu — and; trigartakān — Trigarta; gokarṇa-ākhyam — named Gokarṇa (on the coast of the Arabian Sea in northern Karnataka); śiva-kṣetram — the place sacred to Lord Śiva; sānnidhyam — manifestation; yatra — where; dhūrjaṭeḥ — of Lord Śiva; āryām — the honored goddess (Pārvatī, wife of Lord Śiva); dvaipa — on an island (off the coast near Gokarṇa); ayanīm — who resides; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; śūrpārakam — to the holy district of Śūrpāraka; agāt — went; balaḥ — Lord Balarāma; tāpīm payoṣṇīm nirvindhyām — to the Tāpī, Payoṣṇī and Nirvindhyā rivers; upaspṛśya — touching water; atha — next; daṇḍakam — the Daṇḍaka forest; praviśya — entering; revām — to the Revā River; agamat — He went; yatra — where; māhiṣmatī purī — the city of Māhiṣmatī; manu-tīrtham — to Manu-tīrtha; upaspṛśya — touching water; prabhāsam — to Prabhāsa; punaḥ — again; āgamat — He came.
The Supreme Lord then traveled through the kingdoms of Kerala and Trigarta, visiting Lord Śiva’s sacred city of Gokarṇa, where Lord Dhūrjaṭi [Śiva] directly manifests himself. After also visiting Goddess Pārvatī, who dwells on an island, Lord Balarāma went to the holy district of Śūrpāraka and bathed in the Tāpī, Payoṣṇī and Nirvindhyā rivers. He next entered the Daṇḍaka forest and went to the river Revā, along which the city of Māhiṣmatī is found. Then He bathed at Manu-tīrtha and finally returned to Prabhāsa.
śrutvā dvijaiḥ kathyamānaṁ
bhāraṁ mene hṛtaṁ bhuvaḥ
śrutvā — hearing; dvijaiḥ — by brāhmaṇas; kathyamānam — being related; kuru-pāṇḍava — between the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas; saṁyuge — in the battle; sarva — of all; rājanya — kings; nidhanam — the annihilation; bhāram — the burden; mene — He thought; hṛtam — removed; bhuvaḥ — of the earth.
The Lord heard from some brāhmaṇas how all the kings involved in the battle between the Kurus and Pāṇḍavas had been killed. From this He concluded that the earth was now relieved of her burden.
gadābhyāṁ yudhyator mṛdhe
saḥ — He, Lord Balarāma; bhīma-duryodhanayoḥ — Bhīma and Duryodhana; gadābhyām — with clubs; yudhyatoḥ — who were fighting; mṛdhe — on the battlefield; vārayiṣyan — intending to stop; vinaśanam — to the battlefield; jagāma — went; yadu — of the Yadus; nandanaḥ — the beloved son (Lord Balarāma).
Wanting to stop the club fight then raging between Bhīma and Duryodhana on the battlefield, Lord Balarāma went to Kurukṣetra.
yudhiṣṭhiras tu taṁ dṛṣṭvā
yamau kṛṣṇārjunāv api
kiṁ vivakṣur ihāgataḥ
yudhiṣṭhiraḥ — King Yudhiṣṭhira; tu — but; tam — Him, Lord Balarāma; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; yamau — the twin brothers, Nakula and Sahadeva; kṛṣṇa-arjunau — Lord Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna; api — also; abhivādya — offering obeisances; abhavan — they were; tuṣṇīm — silent; kim — what; vivakṣuḥ — intending to say; iha — here; āgataḥ — has come.
When Yudhiṣṭhira, Lord Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna and the twin brothers Nakula and Sahadeva saw Lord Balarāma, they offered Him respectful obeisances but said nothing, thinking “What has He come here to tell us?”
gadā-pāṇī ubhau dṛṣṭvā
carantāv idam abravīt
gadā — with clubs; pāṇī — in their hands; ubhau — both of them, Duryodhana and Bhīma; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; saṁrabdhau — furious; vijaya — victory; eṣiṇau — striving for; maṇḍalāni — circles; vicitrāṇi — artistic; carantau — moving in; idam — this; abravīt — He said.
Lord Balarāma found Duryodhana and Bhīma with clubs in their hands, each furiously striving for victory over the other as they circled about skillfully. The Lord addressed them as follows.
yuvāṁ tulya-balau vīrau
he rājan he vṛkodara
ekaṁ prāṇādhikaṁ manye
yuvām — you two; tulya — equal; balau — in prowess; vīrau — warriors; he rājan — O King (Duryodhana); he vṛkodara — O Bhīma; ekam — one; prāṇa — in terms of vital force; adhikam — greater; manye — I consider; uta — on the other hand; ekam — one; śikṣayā — in terms of training; adhikam — greater.
[Lord Balarāma said:] King Duryodhana! And Bhīma! 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.
na lakṣyate jayo ’nyo vā
viramatv aphalo raṇaḥ
tasmāt — therefore; ekatarasya — of either of the two; iha — here; yuvayoḥ — of you; sama — equal; vīryayoḥ — whose prowess; na lakṣyate — cannot be seen; jayaḥ — victory; anyaḥ — the opposite (defeat); vā — or; viramatu — it should stop; aphalaḥ — fruitless; raṇaḥ — the battle.
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.
na tad-vākyaṁ jagṛhatur
duruktaṁ duṣkṛtāni ca
na — not; tat — His; vākyam — words; jagṛhatuḥ — the two of them accepted; baddha — fixed; vairau — whose enmity; nṛpa — O King (Parīkṣit); artha-vat — sensible; anusmarantau — continuing to remember; anyonyam — about each other; duruktam — the harsh words; duṣkṛtāni — the misdeeds; ca — also.
[Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued:] They did not accept Lord Balarāma’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.
diṣṭaṁ tad anumanvāno
rāmo dvāravatīṁ yayau
diṣṭam — fate; tat — that; anumanvānaḥ — deciding; rāmaḥ — Lord Balarāma; dvāravatīm — to Dvārakā; yayau — went; ugrasena-ādibhiḥ — headed by Ugrasena; prītaiḥ — delighted; jñātibhiḥ — by His family members; samupāgataḥ — greeted.
Concluding that the battle was the arrangement of fate, Lord Balarāma went back to Dvārakā. There He was greeted by Ugrasena and His other relatives, who were all delighted to see Him.
taṁ punar naimiṣaṁ prāptam
ṛṣayo ’yājayan mudā
kratv-aṅgaṁ kratubhiḥ sarvair
tam — Him, Lord Balarāma; punaḥ — again; naimiṣam — at Naimiṣāraṇya; prāptam — arrived; ṛṣayaḥ — the sages; ayājayan — engaged in performing Vedic sacrifices; mudā — with pleasure; kratu — of all sacrifices; aṅgam — the embodiment; kratubhiḥ — with ritualistic performances; sarvaiḥ — all varieties; nivṛtta — who had renounced; akhila — all; vigraham — warfare.
Later Lord Balarāma returned to Naimiṣāraṇya, where the sages joyfully engaged Him, the embodiment of all sacrifice, in performing various kinds of Vedic sacrifice. Lord Balarāma was now retired from warfare.
tebhyo viśuddhaṁ vijñānaṁ
bhagavān vyatarad vibhuḥ
yenaivātmany ado viśvam
ātmānaṁ viśva-gaṁ viduḥ
tebhyaḥ — upon them; viśuddham — perfectly pure; vijñānam — divine knowledge; bhagavān — the Supreme Lord; vyatarat — bestowed; vibhuḥ — the Almighty; yena — by which; eva — indeed; ātmani — within Himself, the Supreme Lord; adaḥ — this; viśvam — universe; ātmānam — Himself; viśva-gam — pervading the universe; viduḥ — they could perceive.
The all-powerful Lord Balarāma bestowed upon the sages pure spiritual knowledge, by which they could see the whole universe within Him and also see Him pervading everything.
su-vāsāḥ suṣṭhv alaṅkṛtaḥ
sva — together with His; patyā — wife; avabhṛtha — with the avabhṛtha ritual, which marks the end of sacrificial initiation; snātaḥ — having bathed; jñāti — by His immediate family members; bandhu — other relatives; suhṛt — and friends; vṛtaḥ — surrounded; reje — He appeared splendid; sva-jyotsnayā — with its own rays; iva — as; induḥ — the moon; su — well; vāsāḥ — dressed; suṣṭhu — nicely; alaṅkṛtaḥ — adorned.
After executing with His wife the avabhṛtha ablutions, the beautifully dressed and ornamented Lord Balarāma, encircled by His immediate family and other relatives and friends, looked as splendid as the moon surrounded by its effulgent rays.
māyā-martyasya santi hi
īdṛk-vidhāni — of this sort; asaṅkhyāni — uncountable; balasya — of Lord Balarāma; bala-śālinaḥ — mighty; anantasya — unlimited; aprameyasya — immeasurable; māyā — by His illusory energy; martyasya — who appears as if a mortal; santi — there are; hi — indeed.
Countless other such pastimes were performed by mighty Balarāma, the unlimited and immeasurable Supreme Lord, whose mystic Yoga-māyā power makes Him appear to be a human being.
yo ’nusmareta rāmasya
sāyaṁ prātar anantasya
viṣṇoḥ sa dayito bhavet
yaḥ — whoever; anusmareta — regularly remembers; rāmasya — of Lord Balarāma; karmāṇi — the activities; adbhuta — amazing; karmaṇaḥ — all of whose activities; sāyam — at dusk; prātaḥ — at dawn; anantasya — who is unlimited; viṣṇoḥ — to the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu; saḥ — he; dayitaḥ — dear; bhavet — becomes.
All the activities of the unlimited Lord Balarāma are amazing. Anyone who regularly remembers them at dawn and dusk will become very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Viṣṇu.