Sunday, December 23, 2012

63 Bhagavatha - Balarama triumphantly diverts Yamuna's course

Balarama was eager to meet his friends and relations in Vraja. He rides on his chariot to Gokula and is affectionately welcomed by his foster parents Nanda and Yashoda and his friends. He greets all of them and enquires about their well-being.  The gopis are happy to meet Balarama. They smilingly ask him about Krishna, recalling their blissful pastimes and also the painful separation from him. Sankarshana (Balarama),  pacifies those gopis with Krishna's messages, pleasing their hearts. He stays in Gokula for a couple of months, bringing joy to the denizens of Gokula. His exploits were sung by the gopis.
It was a full moon night. A gentle wind wafted across, spreading the smell of varuni (a celestial beverage flowing from the hollow of a tree) across the forest. Balarama was sporting in the banks of the Yamuna along with the gopis. He was adorned with the Vyjayanthimala (garland of forest flowers), an ear ring in one of his ears, and intoxicated by varuni. He summons Yamuna to come near him, to enable him to play in the waters. Yamuna ignores him, taking him to be under the spell of varuni. Enraged by Yamuna's indifference, Balarama drags the river with the point of his plough: "O sinful one! You have disobeyed me. I shall make you taste the fruit of your waywardness. I shall split you into a  hundred streams with my plough." Trembling with fear, Yamuna falls at his feet and seeks pardon: "O Rama! I had forgotten your strength and your transcendant glory. As part manifestation of Sesha (the serpent), you support the entire universe. I seek refuge in you. Kindly give me freedom to flow." Thus entreated, Balarama releases Yamuna from his plough and sports in the river to his heart's content.
Sage Sukha continues his narration: "O parikshit, even to this day, the Yamuna is seen flowing through the course it took after being dragged by Balarama. Balarama enjoys his stay in Gokula, losing all sense of time..."

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Srimad Bhagavatham