DASAAVATAARA STOTRAM OF SWAMI DESIKA “SRI BALARAMA AVATARAM” (RAMA WITH THE PLOUGH)
by Mantra & shlokas on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 3:16pm
Pakkath Kowrava paTTaNa prabruthaya: praastha pralambaadaya:
Thaalaankasya tathaa vidhaa vihruthayas thanvanthu bhadraaNi na: /
Ksheeram Sarkara yEva yaabhir apruthak boothaa: prabhoothair guNai:
Aa-kowmaarakam aswadantha jagathE krishNasya thaa: kELaya: //
“May the exploits of Sri Balarama like his turning upside down Hastinaapura, the capital of the Kauravas, his wiping out the Rakshasas like Pralambasura do us all the good. Right from childhood, Balarama was inseparably involved in the sporting activities of Sri Krishna making them more enjoyable, like the inseparable sugar dissolved in milk therby heightening its taste.”
This Avatar and that of Sri KRISHNA happened in Dvaparyuga. Vasudeva's first wife was Rohini. The second wife was Devaki. For the seventh time Devaki conceived and it was Balarama. But, Lord through His `Yogamaya' had the fetus transferred from the womb of Devaki to that of Rohini. Balarama was the aspect of Adisesha, just as Lakshmana was in Ramaavatara.
Balarama was fair in color and he had a palm tree inscribed on his flagstaff. Balarama's weapon was the Hala (plough).
SWAMI SRI DESIKA calls him HELAHALIN - One who wields the plough as his weapon. BALARAMA married REVATI, daughter of Raivata. He killed `RUKMI' brother of Rukmini when he exceeded his limits in his misbehavior. Once he dragged the entire HASTINAPURA with his plough when the Kauravas refused to free SAMBHAN son of JAMBAVATI (one of the wives of Krishna). When the Kauravas surrendered he also released Hastinaapura.
During the Mahabharata war he did not join either Kauravas or PaaNDavas but left on a pilgrimage along with VIDHURA because both sides were his close relatives.
After the destruction of the Yadhavas, he took his serpent form, entered the sea and disappeared. Some scholars say that BALARAMA AVATAR was not a PURNA AVATAR.
1. There is a Slokam, which says that the same Adhisesha of Krita yuga took the form of Lakshmana during Treta yuga, Balarama in Dwapara Yuga, and Bhagavad Ramanuja in Kaliyuga.
Anantha: prathamam roopam Lakshmanasthu tatha: param/
TriteeyO Balabadras thu Kalou Raamaanuja Smritah//
2. ANDAL calls him “Sempor kazhal aDi selvaa, baladEvaa” The reason for this is explained by Poorvacharyas as follows:
All the earlier babies born to Devaki met with death. It was only because of the conception of Balarama in Devaki’s womb immediately before His own that a kind of protection arose so that when KrishNa was born he could survive and have a safe passage too!
3. Some substitute Buddha in the place of Balarama. This is not correct and Buddha is NOT recognized as one of the 10 main Avataras. In Mahabaratham Santhi Parva (46.107) Bhishma tells that Krishna would take the form of an
auxiliary Avatara as “Aadhi Buddha” and mislead the non- believers. This “Aadhi Buddha” is different from the Siddartha Goutama Buddha of historical fame.
4. Balarama is also considered to be the reincarnation of “Samkarshana”, the first of the 4 the Vyuha murthis next only to Paravaasudeva. Patanjali in his Mahabashyam refers to this aspect when he says ‘Samkarshana-Vaasudevou”
5. Praastha Pralambaadhaya: thathaa vidhaa: vihrutayah = That he did so many feats along with Krishna is indicated by this “aadhaya:”
6. Aa-koumarakam = from childhood days
7. Ksheeram Sarkarayaa iva apruthak bhoothaah = Krishna and Balarama were always together like milk and sugar mixed
8. In 12th Sloka, SD calls him “Helaahalin” – The plough was both for fun (leela) and as weapon. Wielding weapon was itself a leela.