Lord Balaräma Balaräma Lord The Original Bhakta-Avatära
ÇRÉ ÇRÉmAd GOUR GOVINDA SWAMI MAHÄRÄJA
The Original Bhakta-Avat채ra
Table of Contents Maìgaläcaraëa
Glorification of Çrémad-Bhägavatam
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära Part One The Appearance of Lord Balaräma Balaräma Serves Kåñëa by Assuming Ten Forms Devaké’s Womb Remained Untouched What Is the Mystery? The Six Enemies Rohiëé’s Womb Became Ananta Dhama Baladeva Appeared on Çrävaëa Pürëimä Balaräma Serves in Five Other Forms The Three Puruña-Avatäras Mahä-Saìkarñaëa Is the Shelter of All Jévas
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära Part Two Lord Balaräma’s Inconceivable Strength Çré Baladeva Praëäma The Three Names of Balaräma The Original Cause of Kåñëa-Kathä The Four Anarthas The Lord of Sandhiné-Çakti Balaräma Is Nityänanda — balaräma ha-ila nitäi You Cannot Obtain Kåñëa by Your Own Effort The Root Cause of All Spiritual Strength Front cover painting, inside painting and watermark © Vrindavan Das. Used with permission.
1 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 12 13
15 15 16 17 18 19 20 20 21
The Original Saìkarñaëa 21 The Strength of the Lord’s Incarnations 22 Lord Balaräma Gives Us Strength 23 Lord Balaräma Is the Second Body of Kåñëa 24 Why Did He Come in the Womb of Devaké? 24 Viñëu-Vaiñëava-Vidveñé 25 Balaräma Exposes Hypocrites Who Pose as Vaiñëavas 25 Gurudeva Is Lord Balaräma’s Manifestation 26 The Dharma of All Jévas — Offer Worship to Lord Balaräma 26 There Is No Other Way 26 First Baladeva and Then Kåñëa Will Appear in Your Heart 27 Baladeva’s Kåpä Is Our Only Requirement 28 How to Take Part in Kåñëa-Janmotsava 28 The Manifestation of Balaräma’s Mercy Is Gurudeva 29 Is There Anyone Who Is Not Kåñëa-Dasa? 30 The Premé-Bhakta Is Most Dear to Kåñëa 31 Only a Bhakta Can Relish Kåñëa-Mädhurya 33 Become a Devotee and Relish More 35
Questions & Answers Without Balaräma’s Mercy There Is No Hope Guru-Kåpä Is Our Only Asset Guru’s Merciful Glance
36 36 37
The Original Bhakta-Avatära
ÇRÉ ÇRÉmad GOUR GOVINDA SWAMI MAHÄRÄJA
Part one is a morning lecture and part two an evening lecture delivered by Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami Mahäräja on 21st September 1994, Barcelona, Spain.
Glorification of Çrémad-Bhägavatam
näräyaëaà namaskåtya naraà caiva narottamam devéà sarasvatéà vyäsaà tato jayam udérayet “Before reciting this Çrémad-Bhägavatam, which is the very means of conquest, one should offer respectful obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Näräyaëa, unto Nara-näräyaëa Åñi, the supermost human being, unto mother Sarasvaté, the goddess of learning, and unto Çréla Vyäsadeva, the author.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 1.2.4)
vede rämäyaëe caiva puräëe bhärate tathä ädäv ante ca madhye ca hariù sarvatra géyate “In the Vedic literature, including the Rämäyaëa, Puräëas and Mahäbhärata, from the very beginning (ädau) to the end (ante ca), as well as within the middle (madhye ca), only Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is explained.” (Harivaàça, cited in Çré Caitanya-caritämåta, ädi-lélä 7.131 purport)
mükaà karoti väcälaà paìguà laìghayate girim yat-kåpä tam ahaà vande paramänanda-mädhavam “The Supreme Personality of Godhead has the form of saccid-änanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]—transcendental bliss, knowledge and eternity. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him, who turns the dumb into eloquent speakers and enables the lame to cross mountains. Such is the mercy of the Lord.” (Caitanyacaritämåta, Madhya-lélä 17.80)
paramänanda he mädhava padungäluci makaranda se-makaranda päna-kari anande bolo hari hari harinka näme vanda velä päri karive cäkä-dolä se cäkä-dloänka-payare mano-mo rahu nirantare mano mo nirantare rahu hä-kåñëa boli jéva jäu hä-kåñëa bali jäu jéva mote udhara rädhä-dhava mote uddhara rädhä-dhava mote udhara rädhä-dhava
“O supremely blissful Mädhava! The nectar is coming from Your lotus feet. Drinking that nectar, I blissfully sing ‘Hari! Hari!’ Taking the name of Hari, I am binding a raft on which Lord Jagannätha will ferry me across this ocean of material existence. May my mind always remain at the lotus feet of that Lord Jagannätha who has very large round eyes. In this way, I call out, ‘Alas! Kåñëa!’ and give up my life. O husband of Rädhäräëé, please deliver me.”
dharmaù projjhita-kaitavo’ tra paramo nirmatsaräëäà satam vedyaà västavam atra vastu çivadaà täpa-trayonmülanam çrémad-bhägavate mahä-muni-kåte kim vä parair éçvaraù sadyo hådy avarudhyate’ tra kåtibhiù çuçrüñubhis tat-kåsaëät “Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhägavata Puräëa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhägavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyäsadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realisation. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhägavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 1.1.2)
nigama-kalpa-taror galitaà phalaà çuka-mukhä amåta-drava-saàyutam pibata bhägavataà rasam älayam muhur aho rasikä bhuvi bhävukäù “The Çrémad-Bhägavatam is the essence of all Vedic literatures, and it is considered the ripened fruit of the wishfulfilling tree of Vedic knowledge. It has been sweetened by
emanating from the mouth of Çukadeva Gosvämé. You who are thoughtful and who relish mellows should always try to taste this ripened fruit. O thoughtful devotees, as long as you are not absorbed in transcendental bliss, you should continue tasting this Çrémad-Bhägavatam, and when you are fully absorbed in bliss, you should go on tasting its mellows forever.” (ÇrémadBhägavatam 1.1.3)
anarthopaçamaà säkñäd bhakti-yogam adhokñaje lokasyäjänato vidväàç cakre sätvata-saàhitäm “The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyäsadeva compiled this Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 1.7.6)
yasyäà vai çrüyamäëäyäà kåñëe parama-püruñe bhaktir utpadyate puàsaù çoka-moha-bhayäpahä “Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for loving devotional service to Lord Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion and fearfulness.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 1.7.7)
çrémad-bhägavataà puräëam amalaà yad vaiñëavänäà priyaà yasmin päramahaàsyam ekam amalaà jïänaà paraà géyate
tatra jïäna-viräga-bhakti-sahitaà naiñkarmyam äviskåtaà tac chåëvan su-paöhan vicäraëa-paro bhaktyä vimucyen naraù “Çrémad-Bhägavatam is the spotless Puräëa. It is most dear to the Vaiñëavas because it describes the pure and supreme knowledge of the paramahaàsas. This Bhägavatam reveals the means for becoming free from all material work, together with the processes of transcendental knowledge, renunciation and devotion. Anyone who seriously tries to understand ÇrémadBhägavatam, who properly hears and chants it with devotion, becomes completely liberated.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 12.13.18)
artho ‘yam brahma-süträëäm bhäratärtha-vinirëayaù gäyatré-bhäñya-rüpo ‘sau vedärtha-paribåàhitaù “The meaning of the Vedänta-sütras, the full purport of the Mahäbhärata, the commentary on Brahma-gäyatré, and the fully expanded knowledge of the Vedas are all present in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam.” (Garuòa Puräëa)
sarva-vedetihäsänäà säraà säraà samuddhåtam “The essence of all Vedic literature and all histories has been collected in Çrémad-Bhägavatam.” (from ÇrémadBhägavatam 1.3.41)
sarva-vedänta-säraà hi çré-bhägavatam iñyate tad-rasämåta-tåptasya nänyatra syäd ratiù kvacit v
“Çrémad-Bhägavatam is declared to be the essence of all Vedänta philosophy. One who has felt satisfaction from its nectarean mellow will never be attracted to any other literature.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 12.13.15)
’kåñëa-bhakti-rasa-svarüpa’ çré-bhägavata täte veda-çästra haite parama mahattva “Çrémad-Bhägavatam gives direct information of the mellow derived from service to Kåñëa. Therefore Çrémad-Bhägavatam is above all other Vedic literatures.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Madhya-lélä 25.150)
cäri-veda-upaniñade yata kichu haya tära artha laïä vyäsa karilä saïcaya “Vyäsadeva collected whatever Vedic conclusions were in the four Vedas and 108 Upaniñads and placed them in the aphorisms of the Vedänta-sütra.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Madhya-lélä 25.98)
yei sütre yei åk-viñaya-vacana bhägavate sei åk çloke nibandhana “In the Vedänta-sütra, the purport of all Vedic knowledge is explained, and in Çrémad-Bhägavatam the same purport has been explained in eighteen thousand verses.” (Caitanyacaritämåta, Madhya-lélä 25.99)
jévera nistära lägi’ sütra kaila vyäsa mäyävädi-bhäñya çunile haya sarva-näça
“Çréla Vyäsadeva presented the Vedänta philosophy for the deliverance of conditioned souls, but if one hears the commentary of Çaìkaräcärya, everything is spoiled.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Madhya-lélä 6.169)
yäha, bhägavata paòa vaiñëavera sthäne ekänta äçraya kara caitanya-caraëe “If you want to understand Çrémad-Bhägavatam,” he said, “you must approach a self-realised Vaiñëava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.” (Caitanyacaritämåta, Antya-lélä 5.131)
bhägavata ye nä mäne, se—yavana-sama tära çästä äche janme-janme prabhu yama “One who does not accept Çrémad-Bhägavatam is no better than a Yavana, and Lord Yamaräja punishes him birth after birth.” (Caitanya-bhägavata, Ädi-khaëòa 1.39)
hare kåñëa hare kåñëa kåñëa kåñëa hare hare hare räma hare räma räma räma hare hare
The Original Bhakta-Avatära
The Appearance of Lord Balaräma
te péòitä niviviçuù kuru-païcäla-kekayän çälvän vidarbhän niñadhän videhän koçalän api “Persecuted by the demoniac kings, the Yädavas left their own kingdom and entered various others, like those of the Kurus, Païcälas, Kekayas, Çälvas, Vidarbhas, Niñadhas, Videhas and Koçalas.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 10.2.3)
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära
eke tam anurundhänä jïätayaù paryupäsate hateñu ñaösu bäleñu devakyä augraseninä saptamo vaiñëavaà dhäma yam anantaà pracakñate garbho babhüva devakyä harña-çoka-vivardhanaù “Some of their relatives, however, began to follow Kaàsa’s principles and act in his service. After Kaàsa, the son of Ugrasena, killed the six sons of Devaké, a plenary portion of Kåñëa entered her womb as her seventh child, arousing her pleasure and her lamentation. That plenary portion is celebrated by great sages as Ananta, who belongs to Kåñëa’s second quadruple expansion.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 10.2.4-5) Some of the chief devotees, such as Akrüra, stayed with Kaàsa to satisfy him. This they did for various purposes. They all expected the Supreme Personality of Godhead to appear as the eighth child as soon as Devaké’s other children were killed by Kaàsa, and they were eagerly awaiting His appearance. By remaining in Kaàsa’s association, they would be able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead take birth and display His childhood pastimes, and Akrüra would later go to Våndävana to bring Kåñëa and Balaräma to Mathurä. The word paryupäsate is significant because it indicates that some devotees wanted to stay near Kaàsa in order to see all these pastimes of the Lord. The six children killed by Kaàsa had formerly been sons of Maréci, but because of having been cursed by a brähmaëa, they were obliged to take birth as grandsons of Hiraëyakaçipu. Kaàsa had taken birth as Kälanemi, and now he was obliged
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära to kill his own sons. This was a mystery. As soon as the sons of Devaké were killed, they would return to their original place. The devotees wanted to see this also. Generally speaking, no one kills his own nephews, but Kaàsa was so cruel that he did so without hesitation. Ananta, Saìkarñaëa, belongs to the second catur-vyüha, or quadruple expansion. This is the opinion of experienced commentators. (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 10.2.4-5 purport)
Some of the chief devotees such as Akrüra stayed with Kaàsa to satisfy him. Kaàsa had already killed Devaké’s six sons when the seventh pregnancy arrived, which gave her simultaneously pleasure and lamentation. The plenary portion who belongs to Kåñëa’s second quadruple expansion is celebrated by great sages as Ananta. When Devaki’s seventh pregnancy came, Vasudeva’s second wife Rohiëé was also pregnant. When Vasudeva saw that Rohiëé was pregnant he sent her to Nanda-gokula. It is stated in the tenth canto, gaccha devi vrajaà bhadre gopa-gobhir alaìkåtam rohiëé vasudevasya bhäryäste nanda-gokule anyäç ca kaàsa-saàvignä vivareñu vasanti hi The Lord ordered Yogamäyä, “O My potency, You are worshipable for the entire world and Your nature is to bestow good fortune upon all living entities. Go to Vraja, where there live many cowherd men and their wives. In that very beautiful land, where many cows reside, Rohiëé, the wife of Vasudeva, is living at the home of Nanda Mahäräja. Other wives of
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära Vasudeva are living there incognito also, because of fear of Kaàsa. Please go there.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 10.2.7)
devakyä jaöhare garbhaà çeñäkhyaà dhäma mämakam tat sannikåñya rohiëyä udare sanniveçaya “Within the womb of Devaké is My partial plenary expansion known as Saìkarñaëa or Çeña. Without difficulty, transfer Him into the womb of Rohiëé.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 10.2.8)
The partial expansion of Kåñëa is Saìkarñaëa or Çeña. Çeña carries the material universe on one of His hoods as though it is a mustard seed. He is also known as Anantadeva who carries unlimited brahmäëòas on His hoods. Anantadeva always speaks kåñëa-katha and glorifies Kåñëa with His unlimited mouths, ananta-mukha. He has been doing this since time immemorial, but He has not finished yet. Lord Balaräma is the eternal son of Rohiëé. However, He appeared first in the womb of Devaké before being transferred by Yogamäyä from Devaké’s womb to Rohiëé’s womb. Why did He appear first in the womb of Devaké? Why did He not appear directly in the womb of Rohiëé? Why was Yogamäyä directed to transfer Him? That is the question. Can anyone answer? Devotee: He prepared the womb of Devaké for Kåñëa’s descent? Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Why did Balaräma prepare the womb? Why not someone else? Devotee: Balaräma is in the mood of däsya-rasa to Kåñëa, so He comes and makes all preparations for Kåñëa’s arrival, and He does this in the mood of a servant.
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Balaräma is always in the mood of däsya-rasa. There are two rasas; sakhya and däsya. He is the elder brother of Kåñëa. It is said in Caitanya-caritämåta: änera ki kathä, baladeva mahäçaya yäìra bhäva—çuddha-sakhya-vätsalyädi-maya “What to speak of others, even Lord Baladeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is full of emotions like pure friendship and paternal love.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.76)
teìho äpanäke karena däsa-bhävanä kåñëa-däsa-bhäva vinu äche kona janä “He also considers Himself a servant of Lord Kåñëa. Indeed, who is there who does not have this conception of being a servant of Lord Kåñëa?” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.77)
Balaräma thinks Himself to be a servant of Kåñëa, and therefore He always serves Kåñëa.
Balaräma Serves Kåñëa by Assuming Ten Forms sahasra-vadane yeìho çeña-saìkarñaëa daça deha dhari’ kare kåñëera sevana “He who is Çeña, Saìkarñaëa, with His thousands of mouths, serves Çré Kåñëa by assuming ten forms.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.78)
Balaräma assumes ten forms for the service of Kåñëa as His bed, äsana, cushion, cämara, shoes, fan, umbrella, garments,
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära ornaments and sacred thread. In these ten forms He serves Krsna. He appeared first in the womb of Devaké to serve as a bed. It was by the indication of Kåñëa that He came into her womb. He came to purify her womb and to spread a bed for Kåñëa. Then Kåñëa ordered Yogamäyä to transfer Him from Devaké’s womb to Rohiëé’s womb, and thus He was transferred by Yogamäyä.
How Can Six Material Sons Appear in Devaké’s Womb? When Devaké was pregnant for the seventh time, Rohiëé was also pregnant. When Yogamäyä transferred Balaräma into her womb, Rohiëé felt it to be just like a dream. They both could not feel anything. A question arises here. Devaké is the mother of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, so her womb is not a material womb. Devaké is çuddha-sattva-maya [of purely spiritual existence]. How is it that six material sons appeared in her womb to be later killed by Kamsa? Can you answer this question? Devotee: These sons represent the six bad qualities. Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: What are those bad qualities? Devotee: Anger, lust, illusion, greed, envy, madness. Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: No, that is not a fact. I will speak about this later, but my question is different: How is it possible that six material sons came and entered Devaké’s womb, which is çuddha-sattva-mäyä?
Devaké’s Womb Remained Untouched Devotee: The womb of Devaké was untouched just like the body of Mahä-Viñëu is untouched by the jévas that enter into Him at 6
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära the time of annihilation. Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: That is the answer. He knows the answer. When there is a mahä-pralaya, or complete annihilation, the jévas and material nature enter into the body of Mahä-Viñëu, yet He remains untouched. Similarly these six material sons entered into the womb of Devaké yet her çuddha-sattva-maya womb remained untouched. This is possible by the yogaiçvarya of Bhagavän. In Bhagavad-gétä in the ninth chapter Kåñëa has said, mayä tatam idaà sarvaà jagad avyakta-mürtinä mat-sthäni sarva-bhütäni na cähaà teñv avasthitaù “All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.” They are there, but Kåñëa has no connection with the jévas, He is always in the spiritual kingdom. Similarly the six sons came into the womb of Devaké but she remained untouched and had no connection with them.
What Is the Mystery? So who are the six sons of Devaké? Why did they come there? Çréla Prabhupäda states in his purport that this is a mystery, “The six children killed by Kaàsa had formerly been sons of Maréci, but because of having been cursed by a brähmaëa, they were obliged to take birth as grandsons of Hiraëyakaçipu. Kaàsa had taken birth as Kälanemi, and now he was obliged to kill his own sons. This was a mystery.” What is the mystery?
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära An asura named Kälanemi, who later took birth as Kaàsa, had six sons. Their names were Haàsa, Suvikrama, Krätha, Damana, Ripurmardana and Krodhahantä. They were known as ñaò-garbhas, six garbhas. They were very powerful and expert in military affairs. These six garbhas gave up the association of Hiraëyakaçipu, their grandfather, and underwent austerities to satisfy Lord Brahmä. Brahmä-ji asked them what boon they wanted. The ñaò-garbhas replied, “Dear Brahmä, if you want to give us a benediction please give us the boon that we will not be killed by any demigods, mahäroga, Yakña, Gandharva-pati, Siddha, Cäraëa or human being, nor by any great sages.” They asked for this boon and Brahma said, “All right, tathästu, granted.” Hiraëyakaçipu came to know this and became very angry with his grandsons. He said to them, “You have given up my association and gone to worship Lord Brahmä. I no longer have any affection for you. You have tried to save yourselves from the hands of demigods but I curse you that your father will take birth as Kaàsa and kill you, therefore you will take birth as the sons of Devaké.” Because of this curse the ñaò-garbhas had to take birth in the womb of Devaké and were killed by Kaàsa who was previously their father Kälanemi, the son of Hiraëyakaçipu. This is mentioned in the Hari-vaàça and Viñëu-parva. According to the comments of Vaiñëava-toñaëé by Çréla Jéva Gosvämé the sons of Devaké were in their first incarnation the sons of Maréci. In their second incarnation they were the sons of Kälanemi and in the third incarnation they were the sons of Devaké. When they were killed, where did they go? They went to the planet Sutala, the abode of Bali Mahäräja. When Akrüra brought Räma and Kåñëa to Mathurä, Devaké said to Them, “I want to see my six sons”. So, Räma and Kåñëa went to that padam, Bali Mahäräja’s residence, and brought back 8
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära Their six brothers and offered them to mother Devaké. At that time, out of affection, Devaké allowed her youngest son Kåñëa to suck her breast. Previously in the prison house of Kaàsa, Kåñëa had appeared in His four handed form; Vasudeva form. Devaké offered prayers and requested Him, “Please become a little child.” Then He became a child and ordered, “Take Me to Nanda-gokula”. At that time He had not sucked the breast of Devaké. Kåñëa is originally the son of Yaçodä-mata, known as Yaçodä-nandana, so He used to suck the breast of Yaçodä, but now He was sucking the breast of Devaké. Thus when Räma and Kåñëa brought back Their six brothers from Sutala, Devaké first allowed her youngest son Kåñëa to suck her breast. Then she allowed her six other sons to suck her breast. They were having the breast milk, which was first taken by Kåñëa and therefore was Kåñëa’s remnants. By taking the remnants of Kåñëa they went back to the planet of the demigods.
The Six Enemies In their first incarnation they were the sons of Maréci. Their father Maréci was the son of Lord Brahmä. He was born from his mind. These six sons of Maréci are the six enemies, which are present in the mind. It is said that they are six types of material enjoyment, sad viñaya-bhoga. What are they? They are the païca-tanmäträ; çabda, sparça, rüpa, rasa, and gandhaù. Do you understand what the païca-tanmäträ is? They are the five objects of sense enjoyment, sound, touch, form, taste and smell. They are enjoyed in the mind, and these five objects plus the mind makes six, sad viñaya-bhoga. Devaké was a bhakta-avatära and the Supreme Lord appeared in her womb. Whereas Kaàsa was always afraid of Kåñëa, as though Kåñëa was time Himself, coming to devour and kill him. When
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära Kaàsa heard the name of Kåñëa he would become so afraid. Kaàsa is bhaya-avatära, the incarnation of fear. When Kaàsa killed the six sons, who are the representatives of sad viñaya-bhoga, then Devaké’s womb became çuddha-sattvamaya. Similarly, when the sad viñaya-bhoga, the five objects of enjoyment, plus the stupid mind are dead, then pure devotion arises. By hearing from the lips of a bona fide sädhu guru and by chanting what you have heard, these sad viñaya-bhoga will gradually be diminished and at last will be completely done away with. Then çuddha-bhakti arises. When the six sons of Devaké will be destroyed, the seventh pregnancy will be Anantadeva or Baladeva. He, who takes the form of a bed for Kåñëa. Then the eighth pregnancy is the one in which the Supreme Lord appears.
Rohiëé’s Womb Became Ananta Dhama When Rohiëé was three months pregnant Vasudeva sent her to Nanda-gokula very secretly. No one knew of it. He sent her on an evening in the month of Çrävaëa. Today is the full moon day of that month; Çrävaëa Pürëimä. On this day Balaräma appears. Rohiëé came to the house of Nanda Mahäräja riding on a horse. As soon as Rohini came to the residence of Nanda Maharaja all auspiciousness came also. All of Nanda’s family members and the cowherd men were very joyful and Yaçodä and all the other gopés, cowherd women, were also very glad and joyful. Yaçodä and Rohiëé were very intimate friends. The fact that Rohiëé had been pregnant for three months when she came to Nanda-gokula is mentioned in Jéva Gosvämé’s Gopäla-campü. Kåñëa appeared in the womb of Yaçodä in the month of Mägha, in the first day of the dark fortnight. He appeared at that time with Yogamäyä.
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära In the seventh month of Rohiëé’s pregnancy Yogamäyä arranged for Devaké to appear to have a miscarriage and Balaräma was taken and placed in the womb of Rohiëé. When Balaräma was transferred to Rohiëé’s womb she was in a deep sleep and it felt just like a dream to her. Rohiëé’s womb had become Ananta Dhama and Nanda-gokula manifested many auspicious signs as a result. From the day Rohiëé arrived, there were daily great festivals in Nanda Mahäräja’s residence. All the cowherd men and women were feeling great and wonderful joyfulness within their minds.
Baladeva Appeared on Çrävaëa Pürëimä Calculate how many months it took before Balaräma came out of the womb of Rohiëé. Up to the month of Mägha it was a seven-month pregnancy, but Baladeva appeared in this month, on Çrävaëa Pürëimä. Seven months plus Mägha, Phälguna, Caitra, Vaiçäkha, Jyaiñöha, Äñäòha, Çrävaëa, makes it fourteen months of pregnancy when Balaräma appeared. It was an all-auspicious moment during the nakñatra of Çrävaëa that the child appeared on this full moon day. The whole of Gokula was very joyful and blissful. Baby Balaräma’s bodily complexion was as white as the full moon. His arms were very long, äjänu-lambita-bhujau. His eyes were like fully blossomed lotuses. His nose was prominent; all the symptoms of a Mahäpuruña were there in His body. When Lord Balaräma came out from the womb of Rohiëé, the demigods and the demigoddesses from their heavenly planets said, “Jaya, jaya Balaräma!” They played kettledrums and many other musical instruments and showered flowers on the residence of Nanda Mahäräja. After the appearance of Balaräma the whole of Gokula was filled with all kinds of opulence. When a child is born one type
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära of purificatory ceremony takes place, known as jäta-saàskära. Vasudeva sent brähmaëas to Nanda Mahäräja’s residence in Gokula to perform that saàskära.
Balaräma Serves in Five Other Forms Balaräma serves Çré Kåñëa by assuming ten forms, daça deha dhari’ kare kåñëera sevana, but it is also said that Balaräma in five other forms, païca-rüpa, always helps Kåñëa in His léläs. These five forms are Saìkarñaëa, Ananta Çeña, and the three puruña-avatäras Käraëodakaçäyé Viñëu, Garbhodakaçäyé Viñëu and Kñérodakaçäyé Viñëu. Balaräma is the original Saìkarñaëa, Müla-saìkarñaëa. He always stays with Kåñëa in Mathurä and Dvärakä and serves Kåñëa as the original Saìkarñaëa. As Ananta Çeña since time immemorial, He has been singing the glories of Kåñëa, kåñëa-kathä, bhägavat-kathä, and has not come to the end of those glories. Also, as Ananta Çeña, He holds unlimited brahmäëòas on His hoods. In the form of the three puruña-avatäras He serves Kåñëa in His såñöilélä [the pastime of creation] in this material world.
The Three Puruña-Avatäras The first puruña-avatära Käraëodakaçäyé Viñëu, or Mahä-Viñëu, is the prakåti-antaryämé-puruña. While lying on the Käraëa Ocean He casts His glance on the material nature and thereby impregnates it. Unlimited brahmäëòas come out from the pores of His skin at that time. As the second puruña-avatära, Garbhodakaçäyé Viñëu, He enters into each brahmäëòa, and is known as brahmäëòaantaryämé. As the third puruña-avatära, Kñérodakaçäyé Viñëu, He enters into the heart of all living entities as Paramätmä and is known at that time as bhüta-antaryämé. In this way He helps Kåñëa 12
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära perform His léläs in five different forms. Though these three puruñaavatäras, Käraëodakaçäyé, Garbhodakaçäyé and Kñérodakaçäyé Viñëu deal with mäyä, the material energy, still, they are not in touch with mäyä.
Mahä-Saìkarñaëa Is the Shelter of All Jévas Baladeva is Müla-saìkarñaëa, the original Saìkarñaëa, and His expansion that lives in Vaikuëöha is called Mahä-saìkarñaëa. The jévas take shelter of Mahä-saìkarñaëa. Çréla Kåñëadäsa Kaviräja Gosvämé has mentioned this and Çréla Jéva Gosvämé has also mentioned it in the Sandarbhas. ‘jéva’-näma taöasthäkhya eka çakti haya mahä-saìkarñaëa—saba jévera äçraya “There is one marginal potency, known as the jéva. Mahäsaìkarñaëa is the shelter of all jévas.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädilila 5.45)
One of the potencies or energies of the Lord is known as the taöasthä-çakti, marginal potency, or jéva çakti. Mahä-saìkarñaëa— saba jévera äçraya, the taöasthä-jévas take shelter of Mahäsaìkarñaëa. In the Sandarbha Çréla Jéva Gosvämé has mentioned that the taöasthä-çakti jévas are paramätmä-vaibhava of Paramätmä. The jévas are mamaiväàço jéva-loke, an amsa, part and parcel, of Paramätmä. Thus Balaräma helps Kåñëa in all His léläs including His såñöilélä. He helps Krsna in His våndävana-lélä, in His mathurä-lélä, in His dvärakä-lélä, in His vaikuëöha-lélä and såñöi-lélä, in all these 13
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära different forms just mentioned. In Dvärakä He is Ädi Caturvyüha, in Mathurä He is Mülasaìkarñaëa. In the form of Müla-saìkarñaëa, as the first quadruple expansion, He always stays with Krsna in Mathurä and Dvärakä. As Mahä-saìkarñaëa, the second quadruple expansion He stays in Vaikuëöha and expands as Vasudeva, Saìkarñaëa, Aniruddha and Pradumnya, and in nitya Gokula He stays in the form of Balaräma.
The Original Bhakta-Avatära
Lord Balaräma’s Inconceivable Strength Thank you, one and all, for giving me an opportunity to speak hari-kathä, especially about Çré Çré Balarämajé. Today is a most auspicious day, the day that Lord Balaräma appeared. This morning we discussed something about Lord Balaräma however I did not finish; there is something more I would like to speak on Balaräma.
Çré Baladeva Praëäma First we will offer praëäma to Balaräma. I will recite this mantra, and request one and all to repeat it: nämas te halägraha nämas te muñaläyudha nämas te revaté-känta nämas te bhakta-vatsala
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära nämas te balanäà çreñöha nämas te dharaëé-dhara pralambäre nämas te ‘stu trähi maà kåñëa-pürvaja “Obeisances to You, O holder of the plow. Obeisances to You, O wielder of the club. Obeisances to You, O beloved of Revaté. Obeisances to You, O most affectionate to Your devotees. Obeisances to You, O upholder of the earth. Obeisances to You, O strength of the strong. Obeisances to You, O enemy of Pralamba. Please be merciful and protect me, O elder brother of Kåñëa.”
Çré Balarämajé ki-jaya! Balarämajé subha-ävirbhäva tithi ki-jaya!
The Three Names of Balaräma This morning I was speaking about how Vasudeva sent brähmaëas to Vrajabhümi to perform Balaräma’s name-giving purificatory ceremony. Gargamuni gave three names to Balaräma, the first name is Räma, second is Saìkarñaëa, and the third name is Balabhadra. In the tenth canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam it has been stated, garbha-saìkarñaëät taà vai prähuù saìkarñaëaà bhuvi rämeti loka-ramaëäd balabhadraà balocchrayät “The son of Rohiëé will also be celebrated as Saìkarñaëa because of being sent from the womb of Devaké to the womb of Rohiëé. He will be called Räma because of His ability to
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära please all the inhabitants of Gokula, and He will be known as Balabhadra because of His extensive physical strength.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 10.2.13)
He is garbha-saìkarñana, which means that Yogamäyä took Him from the womb of Devaké and put Him in the womb of Rohiëé. Therefore, His name is Saìkarñaëa. The name “Räma” also means “one who gives pleasure to one and all”. Especially Lord Balaräma instills kåñëa-rati, kåñëa-prema in the devoted bhaktas, especially those who are greatly devoted to Lord Balaräma and Lord Kåñëa. Therefore He is known as Räma. He is known as Balabhadra, bala-ucchrayät, because of His extensive bodily strength. He is very strong. No one can equal Him in physical strength. Baladeva is the original Saìkarñaëa, and His plenary portion, Mahä-Saìkarñaëa, lives in Vaikuëöha. In Pätäla, there is another portion, plenary portion of Baladeva known as Saìkarñaëa or Çeña. That Çeña is also known as Anantadeva, who has unlimited hoods. That Anantadeva, Çeña carries this material universe, as if it were a mustard seed, on one of His hoods. Therefore He is known as Dharaëi-dhara; dharaëi means earth. One who carries the earth He is Dharaëi-dhara.
The Original Cause of Kåñëa-Kathä This saìkarñaëa-avatära, Çeña, is a wonderful and extremely great orator. He has been speaking bhägavata-kathä, kåñëakathä from time immemorial and has not yet finished. The four Kumäras lead by Sanaka are hearing Çrémad-Bhägavatam from Him. Those Vaiñëavas who do hari-kértana and speak kåñëa-kathä very eloquently, obtain their strength from this great orator Çeña Prabhu, Anantaçeña, who is a plenary portion of Balaräma. Thus saìkarñaëa-avatära, Çeña Prabhu, is the original cause of this 17
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära oration of kåñëa-kathä. In the material world there are many people who speak very eloquently on material topics, and that power of oration is the perverted reflection of the original orator, Çeña Prabhu. If one is fortunate and obtains the mercy of Balaräma, his anarthas, especially the anartha known as hådaya-daurbalya, will be destroyed and he will develop rati, prema towards Kåñëa.
The Four Anarthas According to Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu, written by Çréla Rupa Gosvämé, there are four types of anarthas. 1. asat-tåñëä 2. hådaya-daurbalya 3. viñamayä-aparädha 4. svarüpa-bhrama, or tattva-bhrama. The anartha asat-tåñëä means cherishing desires separate from Kåñëa. Asat-tåñëä has four types: pära-trikeñu caiñaëä, desiring material enjoyment in this life; aihikeñvaiñaëä, desiring enjoyment in the next life; bhukti-käma, desire for mystic powers; mukti-käma, desiring liberation. The second anartha is hådaya-daurbalya. I speak about hådayadaurbalya in particular because Balaräma Prabhu especially destroys this anartha. It has four types: kåñëe tara-viñaya açakti, attachments separate from Kåñëa; kuöinäöé, that means käpaöya, duplicity, crookedness, faultfinding nature; parasåkätra or mätsarya, envy; and pratiñöhäçä, desiring name, fame and adoration. Balaräma Prabhu especially destroys this hådaya-daurbalya anartha.
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära The third anartha is viñamayä-aparädha, offences. This anartha also has four types: näma-aparädha, svarüpa-aparädha, vaiñëavaaparädha, and aparädha committed with other persons. The fourth anartha is svarüpa-bhrama or tattva-bhrama, misconception about tattva. There are also four types: 1. sva-tattve-bhrama: the misconception of one’s own identity, jéva-tattva. 2. krsna-tattve-bhrama: the misconception of kåñëa-tattva. 3. sädhya-sädhana-tattve-bhrama: the misconception about the processes of sädhana and prema-bhakti. 4. virodhé-viñaya-bhrama: the misconception of opposing tattva. Balaräma Prabhu especially destroys hådaya-daurbalya anartha. That is kuöinäöé or käpaöya, crookedness, faultfinding nature; mätsarya, envy; pratiñöhäçä, desiring name, fame and adoration. When a devotee is very, very fortunate, Balaräma showers His mercy upon him and this anartha is destroyed, as a result kåñëarati, kåñëa-prema arises in the heart. Therefore He is known as Räma.
The Lord of Sandhiné-Çakti The Supreme Lord’s internal potency is divided into three divisions: sat, cit, änanda — sad-aàçe-sandhiné, cid-aàçe-saàvit, änandäàçe-hlädiné. Sandhiné, saàvit, and hlädiné. Lord Balaräma, in particular, is the Lord of sandhiné-çakti. Unless one receives the mercy from Lord Balaräma, who is the Lord of sandhiné-çakti, he or she cannot develop rati, prema towards Rädhä-Govinda.
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära
Balaräma Is Nityänanda balaräma ha-ila nitäi
Therefore, in his Prärthanä song, Nitäi-pada-kamala, Narottama däsa Öhäkura sings: hena nitäi bine bhäi rädhä-kåñëa päite näi dåòha kari dhara nitäiyera päya Nityänanda is Balaräma, balaräma ha-ila nitäi. He, who is Balaräma with Kåñëa, is Nityänanda with Gaura. Therefore, hena nitäi bine bhäi rädhä-kåñëa päite näi, without the mercy of Nityänanda-Räma no one can get Rädhä-Kåñëa. Therefore Narottama däsa Öhäkura requests everyone to clasp tightly the two lotus feet of Nityänanda.
You Cannot Obtain Kåñëa by Your Own Effort Lord Balaräma is the Lord of sandhiné-çakti. Therefore, by receiving His mercy one will acquire kåñëa-sandhäna. That means, if someone is fortunate, Balaräma inculcates çakti unto him and receiving that mercy will give him the clue on how to find Kåñëa. You cannot find or obtain Kåñëa by your own effort. Those people who try to find Kåñëa or try to understand Kåñëa through their own effort are called avaroha-vädés. That means they accept the ascending process. Generally they are Mäyävädés or Brahmavädés. What is their fate or destination? They become nirviçeña-vädi, impersonalists. They fall down and enter into lower species, and take birth as trees or mountains, sthävarä yoni. Vaiñëavas accept Lord Balaräma and beg for His mercy. Being in receipt of Lord Balaräma’s mercy they adopt the descending process, and as a 20
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära consequence they obtain the clue, how they can catch hold of the lotus feet of Kåñëa.
The Root Cause of All Spiritual Strength Because of His extensive physical strength, balabhadraà balocchrayät, Balaräma’s third name és Balabhadra. No one is as strong as Balaräma or Balabhadra. He is the original, root cause of all spiritual strength. Even His aàçäàça-kalä, portion of a portion of a portion, exhibits uncommon, extraordinary strength. An ordinary materialistic person, who is very puffed up because of possessing material knowledge or material strength, cannot exhibit such strength. What to speak of exhibiting strength, he cannot even conceive of such strength.
The Original Saìkarñaëa The original Saìkarñaëa is Balaräma. His expansion is Mahä-Saìkarñaëa, who lives in Vaikuëöha. Mahä-Saìkarñaëa’s plenary portion is Käraëodakaçäyé Viñëu or Mahä-viñëu, or the first puruña-avatära. From Him comes the second puruña-avatära, Garbhodakaçäyé Viñëu, and from Kñérodakaçäyé Viñëu all the incarnations come: Matsya, Kürma, Varäha, Räma, Nåsiàha, Hayaçérña, Paraçuräma, Kalki etc. Therefore all these avatäras are the portion of a portion of a portion of Lord Balaräma, aàça and kalä. Aàçäàça, the portion of a portion is known as a kalä. You cannot fathom, you cannot conceive of the strength They possess. Is there any person in the three planetary systems that can conceive of Their strength? Then what to speak of Balabhadra’s strength?
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära
The Strength of the Lord’s Incarnations An example is Matysa-deva, the fish incarnation. In the Sväyambhuva-manvantara He appeared and killed a very fearful and powerful demon known as Hayagréva who stole all the Vedas. Then take the example of Kürma-deva, the tortoise incarnation. The demigods and demons were churning the Milk Ocean. At that time the tortoise incarnation came and carried the mountain Mandaräcala on His back. It was so big no one else could carry it. Therefore what great strength He possesses! Another example is Lord Varäha, the boar incarnation. In the Sväyambhuva-manvantara when the earth was gliding down to the lowest region, rasätala, Varähadeva appeared and lifted the earth. Who can lift the earth? Therefore, what strength does He possess? No one can conceive of such strength. Again Varähadeva came in the sixth Cakñuñä-manvantara and killed the powerful demon Hiraëyäkña, the brother of Hiraëyakaçipu. So what strength He possesses! Then Lord Rämacandra came, who killed the ten-headed Rävaëa, who was so powerful He conquered the three planetary systems and who was engaging the demigods as his servants. So what immense strength He possesses! Another example is Lord Nåsiàhadeva, who killed Hiraëyakaçipu. Hiraëyakaçipu had great strength and was extremely powerful; he had conquered the three worlds. He said, “I am tri-lokadhéçaù, I am the lord of tri-loka, the three worlds.” Prahläda, his five or six-year-old son, was a great devotee of the Lord. When he spoke about Bhagavän Näräyaëa, Kåñëa, his father became his enemy and tried to kill him in so many ways. Such a powerful father could not kill his five or six-year-old son,
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära Prahläda. Why wasn’t he able to do so? He was not able to kill him because Prahläda was a dear devotee of the Lord and a devotee is always protected by the Lord. Kalä, the portion of a portion of a portion of Balaräma is Nåsiàhadeva. He infused great spiritual strength into the heart of His dear devotee Prahläda, therefore such a powerful demon as Hiraëyakaçipu could not kill him. Another example is the Hayaçérña incarnation. In that incarnation He killed the two demon brothers Madhu and Kaitava. They were extraordinarily powerful and were feared by everyone, hence in His Hayaçérña-avatära, Lord Viñëu killed them and also rescued the Veda from them. So what strength He demonstrated thereby! Then there is the example of the Paraçuräma incarnation, who killed twenty-one generations of powerful kñatriyas because they were opposing brahminical culture. He was so powerful He freed the world of kñatriyas for twenty-one generations. The last example is Kalki. The Kalki-avatära descends to kill the atheists, people who do not admit the existence of the Lord, and He kills the thieves and murderers. They are very puffed up because of their physical strength. Therefore, when you analyse it in this way, you can understand, that if the plenary portions, the portions of the portions, aàça kalä of Lord Balaräma have such extraordinary and uncommon strength, then how great is the strength of the original Saìkarñaëa, Lord Balaräma?
Lord Balaräma Gives Us Strength I was also speaking this morning about the third puruñaavatära, Kñérodakaçäyé Viñëu, who remains in the heart of all jévas as dveñöi antaryämé, and is a portion of the portion of the portion
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära of the portion of Balaräma. Because He resides in our heart and gives us strength, we are able to exhibit some strength. That is the merciful strength of Lord Balaräma. If He would not reside in our heart, where would we gain strength? If He withdraws that strength then where is your strength? Your whole body will be paralysed and you will not be able to lift even a tiny piece of grass.
Lord Balaräma Is the Second Body of Kåñëa Lord Balaräma is the first expansion of Kåñëa. It is mentioned that balaräma kåñëer dvitéya-deha, Lord Balaräma is the second body of Kåñëa, and Balaräma is always with Kåñëa. Varëa-mätrabheda, the only difference is the bodily complexion; Kåñëa is çyäma, black, and Lord Balaräma is çukla, white. Otherwise He is the same as Kåñëa.
Why Did He Come in the Womb of Devaké? This morning we were discussing the verse devakyä harñaçoka-vivardhanaù from the tenth canto. After Kaàsa, the son of Ugrasena, killed the six sons of Devaké, a plenary portion of Kåñëa entered her womb as her seventh child, arousing her pleasure and her lamentation. Simultaneously she experienced harña, pleasure, joyfulness, and çoka, lamentation. Balaräma is the original son of Rohiëé, rohini-nandana, rohinisüta. We discussed why He came in the womb of Devaké. He came just to purify the womb of Devaké, and to prepare the bed for Kåñëa. Balaräma serves Kåñëa assuming ten forms. Then He left the portion of His portion, Çeñadeva, Anantadeva there, who serves as the bed of Kåñëa. Therefore He came. 24
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära
Viñëu-Vaiñëava-Vidveñé Balaräma killed many demons during His bhauma-lélä, pastimes on this earth planet, asamordhva-lélä. They were killed through His aàça, a portion of His portion. Balaräma killed Rukmi, who was Çiçupäla’s friend, during a game of dice. Rukmi was an enemy to Kåñëa, who was always blaspheming Kåñëa and therefore was a great offender. Consequently Balaräma killed him with His club, whereby He exhibited that those who oppose Viñëu and the Vaiñëavas will be killed by Lord Balaräma. You should understand this point; viñëu-vaiñëava-vidveñé, people who oppose Viñëu and the Vaiñëavas, blaspheming and offending them, will eventually be killed by Lord Balaräma. Lord Balaräma exhibited that lélä.
Balaräma Exposes Hypocrites Who Pose as Vaiñëavas
When Lord Balaräma went on pilgrimage, visiting öhe térthas, holy places, tértha padayäträ-lélä, He killed Romaharñaëa Süta with a blade of grass in Naimiñäraëya. Romaharñaëa was seated on his vyäsäsana when Lord Balaräma came, and he was so puffed up he refused to get up from his seat to greet Him, therefore Lord Balaräma struck him with a blade of grass and killed him. Thereby Lord Balaräma exposes the hypocrites who externally pose as Vaiñëavas, but internally are not Vaiñëavas. They are great hypocrites, known as dharmadvajé, dambhika, extremely puffed up people, “Don’t you know who I am? I am a great sädhu, a great äcärya, a great Vaiñëava. Don’t you know that?” The pride of such puffed up fellows and hypocrites, will be crushed by Balaräma, as Lord Balaräma crushed the pride of Roma-süta and killed him.
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära
Gurudeva Is Lord Balaräma’s Manifestation Lord Balaräma, as the Lord of sandhiné-çakti, provides the clue, how we can find Kåñëa, get Kåñëa. He serves Kåñëa in ten forms. Therefore His manifestation is Gurudeva, who serves Kåñëa in different forms.
The Dharma of All Jévas
Offer Worship to Lord Balaräma In order to glorify Kåñëa’s unlimited qualities, with unlimited mouths, Balaräma, through His aàça kalä, a portion of a portion, has assumed the form of Anantadeva. That Anantadeva carries this universe on one of His hoods as though it were no heavier than a mustard seed. Therefore, He is known as Dharaëi-dhara. All the spiritual strength we get is from Balaräma. That is merciful strength. Therefore it is the dharma of all jévas of this world to offer worship to Lord Balaräma. What doubt is there? This worship of Lord Balaräma should be introduced throughout the world. If Lord Balaräma is pleased then He inculcates spiritual strength unto one and all, then everyone becomes spiritually strong. If the people of the world can learn this truth, especially on this auspicious appearance day of Lord Balaräma and begin offering worship to Lord Balaräma, they will receive His mercy, thereby they will get spiritual strength, and their life will be successful.
There Is No Other Way If they are wise and intelligent, everyone: man and woman, young and old, all the inhabitants of the universe should act upon this lesson and offer worship to Lord Balaräma. Then they will get
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära cit-bala: the spiritual strength that Balaräma is giving. They will be strong and they will be given the clue of how to find Kåñëa. There is no doubt in it. Nänyaù panthä vidyate ’yanäya, there is no other way. On this auspicious day, Lord Balaräma’s appearance day, we the Vaiñëavas forcefully declare, “Let all who offer worship to Lord Balaräma, get His mercy and become spiritually strong!” There is no other way to understand Kåñëa, to get the clue of how to get Kåñëa, and to find Kåñëa, without the mercy of Balaräma. Therefore Çré Våndävana däsa Öhäkura, who is the Vyäsa of caitanya-lélä, has sung: saàsärera pära hai’ bhaktira sägare ye òubibe, se bhajuka nitäi-cäìdere “Those who wish to cross the ocean of material existence and drown in the ocean of devotional service should worship Lord Nityänanda.”
One, who is very serious to know how to cross over this dreadful ocean of material existence and drown in the ocean of bhakti, should do the bhajana of Nitäicand, who is NityänandaRäma, who is Balaräma.
First Baladeva and Then Kåñëa Will Appear in Your Heart
We are observing this appearance day of Lord Balaräma just eight days before Kåñëa’s appearance. Why is that? That is because: first we must get the mercy from Lord Balaräma. Then all our anarthas will be destroyed, especially that third type of anartha,
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära hådaya-daurbalya: kuöinäöé, crookedness; mätsarya, enviousness; pratiñöhäçä, fault-finding. When all of these anarthas are destroyed, the heart will be purified and we will get spiritual strength. That means that first Lord Baladeva will appear, and then Kåñëa will appear in your heart. Otherwise there is no question of Kåñëa appearing in your heart. That is why Lord Baladeva first came into the womb of Devaké, and then Kåñëa came. This is tattva. Without the appearance of Baladeva, there is no question of the appearance of Kåñëa. Therefore without the mercy of Baladeva, no one can get the mercy of Rädhä-Govinda.
Baladeva’s Kåpä Is Our Only Requirement Baladeva is also known as Nityänanda-Räma, and Gurudeva is the manifestation of Nityänanda-Räma. Without the mercy of Gurudeva your heart cannot be purified, the anarthas will not be destroyed; therefore you will not be able to make Kåñëa appear in your heart. This is our tattva. Baladeva’s kåpä is our only requirement, and what a great asset it is; the kåpä of Balaräma! Therefore on this occasion, especially Baladeva’s kåpä, which is the manifestation of guru-kåpä, is our only requirement.
How to Take Part in Kåñëa-Janmotsava Nanda and Vasudeva had arranged a grand festival on the occasion of the appearance of Kåñëa, kåñëa-avirbhava-utsava, for Kåñëa’s pleasure and enjoyment. We also arrange festivals. What is our purpose in arranging festivals? Devotee: For the pleasure of Kåñëa. Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Äre bäbä, for materialists? 28
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära Devotee: For our sense gratification. Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Yes. It is all external, all for giving pleasure to their own senses. We should understand that we are not able to take part in this great festival, kåñëa-ävirbhäva festival, unless great devotees who are completely surrendered at the lotus feet of guru-päda-padma arrange it. A materialistic person cannot understand the joyfulness, the happiness and the blissfulness that there is in the appearance of Kåñëa. Only the Vrajaväsés, dear devotees like Nanda-Vasudeva, can understand this, otherwise no one can understand it. Kåñëa appeared in His four-handed form in Kaàsa’s prison where Vasudeva was held captive. Vasudeva made a festival in his mind. The real janmotsava was a completely blossoming festival for Kåñëa in Nanda-gokula, where all the Vrajaväsés took part. The Vrajaväsés are completely surrendered unto the lotus feet of Kåñëa, and in body, mind and speech are always engaged in giving pleasure to the senses of Kåñëa. Not to their senses. Only such devotees can make a festival, nandotsava. No one else can.
The Manifestation of Balaräma’s Mercy Is Gurudeva Therefore, we take part today in observing the auspicious day of the appearance of Lord Balaräma. We are begging Him to shower His mercy on us; to infuse that spiritual strength into our hearts, to destroy and completely root out all our anarthas and to enable us to take part in kåñëa-janmotsava. Otherwise we have no hope at all of taking part in kåñëa-janmotsava. Let this kåpä, this mercy of Balaräma, in other words, the mercy whose manifestation is Gurudeva, guru-kåpä, be our only asset.
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära
Is There Anyone Who Is Not Kåñëa-Dasa? Devotee: It says that guru is the direct manifestation of Balaräma. Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, Nityänanda-Räma. Devotee: So you were explaining that from Balaräma there are so many aàça and kalä. So the guru, is he aàça kalä or full? Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Full! Not aàça kalä. He is the manifestation of Nityänanda-Räma, not a manifestation of aàça and kalä. No. kåñëera samatä haite baòa bhakta-pada ätmä haite kåñëera bhakta haya premäspada “The position of being a devotee is higher than that of equality with Lord Kåñëa, for the devotees are dearer to Lord Kåñëa than His own self.” (Caitanya-caritämåta Ädi-lélä 6.100)
No one will be equal to Kåñëa. He said that in Bhagavad-gétä, mattaù parataraà nänyat kiïcid asti dhanaïjaya, “No one is equal to Me, no one is superior to Me.” This is asamordhva-tattva, asamaürdhva, unequalled and unsurpassed, no equal, and no superior. I spoke about this earlier, it is mentioned in Çré Caitanya-caritämåta Ädi-lélä, änera ki kathä, baladeva mahäçaya yäìra bhäva—çuddha-sakhya-vätsalyädi-maya “What to speak of others, even Lord Baladeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is full of emotions like pure friendship and paternal love.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.76)
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära teìho äpanäke karena däsa-bhävanä kåñëa-däsa-bhäva vinu äche kona janä “He also considers Himself a servant of Lord Kåñëa. Indeed, who is there who does not have this conception of being a servant of Lord Kåñëa?” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.77)
Even Balaräma, who is the second body of Kåñëa, the first expansion of Kåñëa, thinks, “I am the servant of Kåñëa.” His mood is çuddha-sakhya-vätsalya. If Balaräma serves Kåñëa in ten different forms then what to speak of others? Kåñëa-däsa-bhäva vinu äche kona janä, is there anyone who is not kåñëa-dasa? keha mäne, keha nä mäne, saba täora däsa ye nä mäne, tära haya sei päpe näça “Some accept Him, whereas others do not, yet everyone is His servant. One who does not accept Him, however, will be ruined by his sinful activities.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.85)
The Premé-Bhakta Is Most Dear to Kåñëa The bhaktas, Vaiñëavas they know, “Yes, we are kåñëa-däsa.” They accept it, but the atheists, the materialists, do not accept it. Those who do not accept commit aparädha, päpa, sinful activity therefore they are completely vanquished because of their offence and päpa. In Caitanya-caritämåta it is mentioned, kåñëera samatä haite baòa bhakta-pada ätmä haite kåñëera bhakta haya premäspada
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära “The position of being a devotee is higher than that of equality with Lord Kåñëa, for the devotees are dearer to Lord Kåñëa than His own self.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.100)
ätmä haite kåñëa bhakte baòa kari’ mäne ihäte bahuta çästra-vacana pramäëe “Lord Kåñëa considers His devotees greater than Himself. In this connection the scriptures provide an abundance of evidence.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.101)
No one will be equal to Kåñëa, but if you will become His dear devotee, Kåñëa will make you greater than Him, ätmä haite kåñëera bhakta haya premäspada, for the devotees are dearer to Lord Kåñëa than His own self. Kåñëa has said that. The premé-bhakta is so dear. The following are Kåñëa’s own words, na tathä me priyatama ätma-yonir na çaìkaraù na ca saìkarñaëo na çrér naivätmä ca yathä bhavän (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 11.14.15)
Kåñëa said to Uddhava, “Ätma-yonir, Brahmä is not so dear to Me, Saìkara is not so dear to Me, Çivajé is not so dear to Me, My brother Saìkarñana is not so dear to Me, My wife Lakñmé is not so dear to Me, naivätmä, Ày ätma is not so dear to Me, I Myself am not so dear to Me as you are dear.” Kåñëa’s bhakta, premé-bhakta is so dear. These are Kåñëa’s own words. In the ninth canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam Kåñëa has said,
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära sädhavo hådayaà mahyaà sädhünäà hådayaà tv aham mad-anyat te na jänanti nähaà tebhyo manäg api “The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart, and I am always in the heart of the pure devotee. My devotees do not know anything else but Me, and I do not know anyone else but them.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 9.4.68)
Those sädhus are My heart. I am the heart of those sädhus. They do not know anything but Me, I do not know anything but them. All premé-bhaktas, dear devotees relish the bhakti-rasa, the mellow of bhakti, as the mellow emanates from the beauty of Kåñëa, kåñëamädhurya.
Only a Bhakta Can Relish Kåñëa-Mädhurya All premé-bhaktas, dear devotees relish the bhakti-rasa, the mellow of bhakti, as the mellow emanates from the beauty of Kåñëa, kåñëa-mädhurya. Therefore Kåñëa, accepting the mood of a bhakta, came as Gauräìga in order to relish His own mellow, His own beauty. So all these avatäras, including Balaräma have all accepted bhakta-bhäva, in order to relish kåñëa-mädhurya. This is mentioned in Caitanya-caritämåta: bhakta-bhäva aìgékari’ balaräma, lakñmaëa advaita, nityänanda, çeña, saìkarñaëa kåñëera mädhurya-rasämåta kare päna sei sukhe matta, kichu nähi jäne äna (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.105–106)
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära Çréla Kaviräja Gosvämé has said that Balaräma, Lakñmaëa, Advaita, Nityänanda, Çeña, Saìkarñaëa, all have accepted the mood of a bhakta, bhakta-bhäva aìgékara, in order to relish kåñëamädhurya, and they are so intoxicated that they do not know anything else. Then Kåñëa Himself developed greed for it, “How can I relish My own mädhurya? Without accepting bhakta-bhäva it is impossible. Therefore He accepted bhakta-bhäva and came as Gauräìga. In Caitanya-caritämåta it is also mentioned, bhakta-bhäva aìgékari’ hailä avatérëa çré-kåñëa-caitanya-rüpe sarva-bhäve pürëa “Therefore Kåñëa Himself, accepting bhakta-bhäva, the mood of a bhakta, appeared here in the form of Çré Kåñëa Caitanya.” (Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.109)
avatära-gaëera bhakta-bhäve adhikära bhakta-bhäva haite adhika sukha nähi ära “All the incarnations are entitled to the emotions of devotees. There is no higher bliss than this.” (Caitanyacaritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.111)
All the avatäras have assumed the mood of bhakta, bhaktabhäva, because the bhakta, devotee, relishes more than Bhagavän. Bhakta-bhäva haite adhika sukha nähi ära, Kåñëa is the enjoyer, He gets enjoyment and pleasure, but the bhakta, rendering service unto Kåñëa gets more pleasure. That is why Kåñëa then developed greed, “What is that which they are receiving more than I am? How can I get it? I must go there as a bhakta.” So He came as
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära bhakta Gauräìga Mahäprabhu. A bhakta’s relishment is greater than Bhagavän’s. Therefore it is said, müla bhakta-avatära çré-saìkarñaëa bhakta-avatära taìhi advaite gaëana “The original bhakta-avatära is Lord Balaräma, the original Saìkarñaëa, and Advaita is also bhakta-avatära.” (Caitanyacaritämåta, Ädi-lélä 6.112)
Become a Devotee and Relish More All these avatäras of Kåñëa have the right to accept bhaktaavatära and descend here because thereby they relish more. Instead of being Bhagavän, be a bhakta. Then you will get more relishment. Those who want to be Bhagavän they are fools, rascals. They are fools! They are fools! The Brahmavädés, Mäyävädés want to be one with the Lord. They are fools! Rascals! If you become a devotee then you can relish more. This is our teaching on this day. Lord Balaräma ki jaya! Balaräma çubha ävirbhäva tithi ki jaya ! Samäveta bhakta-vånda ki jaya! Gaura premanande hari haribol!
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära
Questions & Answers
Without Balaräma’s Mercy There Is No Hope Devotee: Is it that the arca-vigraha form is a manifestation of Kñérodakaçäyé Viñëu? Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Çacénandana tumi vrajendranandana, You are not a deity, You are directly the son of Nanda Mahäräja. Kåñëa’s arca means Kåñëa, directly Kåñëa. Devotee: As fervently as we are able we can pray to Lord Balaräma to develop this mood, real mood of bhakta-bhäva. Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, yes, and get His mercy. Let Him shower His causeless mercy on us to develop bhakti and get Kåñëa, otherwise we have no hope. Without His mercy there is no hope of getting Kåñëa. Devotee: He is the manifestation of Balaräma? Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Balaräma, Nityänanda-Räma, yes.
Guru-Kåpä Is Our Only Asset Devotee: So all that power that is in Balabhadra, our guru, he is carrying that? Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: That is true guru, yes, yes, gurukåpä, yes. How can we survive? Without guru-kåpä that surviving is a dead body. Though breathing we are a dead body, like the breathing of the blacksmiths bellows. It is like that. Otherwise how can you survive? That guru-kåpä is our only asset, sambala. Devotee: So we can pray to Lord Balaräma today for guru-kåpä? Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, especially this is the day 36
Lord Balaräma - The Original Bhakta-Avatära to offer prayer. Yes, beg for His mercy; sandhiné-çakti éçvara, He is the Lord of sandhiné-çakti because He gives kåñëa-sandhäna, He reveals to us the clue, how to get kåñëa-sandhäna. Therefore He is the Lord of sandhiné-çakti.
Guru’s Merciful Glance Devotee: If I have understood correctly there are two types of kåpä: kåpä through the instruction of the guru, and direct kåpä, direct mercy? Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: How can you get direct mercy? Devotee: By the merciful glance of guru? Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: That merciful glance, whose merciful glance? Devotee: Guru’s glance. Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: Then? Devotee: Free from instruction. Çré Çrémad Gour Govinda Swami: But how can you understand his instruction unless you get his merciful glance? Can you? Then you add your own deliberation to it. You twist it. “Yes, Gurudeva said this, and that means it is like this.” Most of us do like that, therefore we are bereft of kåpä. We are very interested in our own affairs. “I have very important business, I must go to my office otherwise I may lose my job. Gurudeva, please excuse me, let me go. I received an emergency call, I must go.” “All right, go.” We do like that. We cannot understand things; we are so foolish.
Lord Balaräma The Original Bhakta-Avatära
ven Balaräma, who is the second body of Kåñëa, the first expansion of Kåñëa, thinks, “I am the servant of Kåñëa.” His mood is çuddha-sakhya-vätsalya. If Balaräma serves Kåñëa in ten different forms then what to speak of others? Kåñëa-däsa-bhäva vinu äche kona janä, is there anyone who is not kåñëa-dasa?”
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