All posts in Stories of Balarama in Mahabharata

Story – When Jarasandha provoked Kalayavana to attack Krishna & Balarama

Jarasandha attacked Mathura and the Yadavas seventeen times but was defeated by Krishna and Balarama. Then Jarasandha resorted to a cunning strategy. He provoked Kala Yavana, the king of Mlechchas to attack Yadavas. In the war that followed Yadavas, efficiently led by Balarama and Krishna routed Yavanas, killing Kalayavana. As Yadavas were returning after this great victory, suddenly Magadha forces attacked. Exhausted Yadavas being unable to withstand this sudden treacherous attack fled to Dwarka safely being led by Krishna and Balarama.

Story – When Krishna tricked Kalayavan and took him to the cave where Muchukunda was sleeping

Jarasandha, the mighty king of Magadha forges alliance with Kal Yavana after suffering numerous defeats from Krishna-Balarama led Yadavas. Lord Shri Krishna to save humanity from the evils of an yet another imminent battle with combined forces of mighty Jarasandha and Kalyavana moves his kingdom to newly built Dwarka. Kalayavana, who stood by Jarasandha chases Shri Krishna to Dwarka. Pretending to flee yet again from war field, Shri Krishna lures Kalayavana into the cave where the great king of Treta yuga, Muchukunda, one of the forefathers of Lord Shri Rama was in a deep slumber of thousands of years after helping devas in an epic war with asuras. Contemplating an absolutely undisturbed sleep he was given a boon by Lord Indra that anyone who dared to disturb his sleep would get burnt to ashes immediately. Fast forward to Dwapara yuga, in the darkness deep inside the cave, Kalayavan mistakenly wakes up Muchukunda from his sleep, and sure to Muchukunda’s powers Kalayavan was decimated into ashes instantaneously with a fiery glance. This was followed by Shri Krishna & Balarama destroying Kalayavana’s armies. Jarasandha tried to attack tired Yadava armies but Krishna using his yogic power took all his comrades to Dwaraka thereby avoiding mass destruction. And then Muchukunda was delighted to see Lord Shri Krishna there, who was none other than Lord Vishnu. Sri Krishna advises him to perform Tapas to cleanse the accumulated sins to attain Moksha (liberation). After meeting with lord, Muchukunda sets out of the cave. And the story narrates that he is astonished to see that all creatures had shrunken in size over time while he rested in cave, indicating long ages gone by. Muchukunda then goes north to Gandamadana Mountain and from there to Badrikashrama for doing penance and finally achieves liberation, the Moksha.

Story – When Krishna advices Arjuna to kidnap Subhadra

When Subhadra becomes of age, Balarama suggests her as a bride to Duryodhana who was his favourite pupil. Krishna tells Arjuna that he should forcibly take her away as there was no certainty that she would choose Arjuna at the self-choice ceremony. Subhadra was kidnapped by Arjuna. Arjuna was in the midst of self-imposed pilgrimage, for breaking terms of the agreement he had with his brothers regarding private time with their common wife Draupadi. He reached the city of Dwarka and meets Krishna with whom he spends time. Later he attends a festival held at Raivata mountain alongside Krishna. Other Yadava women including Subhadra was also there to see the festival. After seeing Subhadra, Arjuna is smitten by her beauty and wishes to marry her.The two or duo of all sattva guna and provide heaven and great pleasure to both and world. That’s why lord Krishna advises Arjuna to Kidnap Subhadra saying in the case of Kshatriyas that are brave, a forcible abduction for purposes of marriage is applauded, as the learned have said. Thus, Arjuna abducts Subhadra. But Balarama and other Yadavas are angered by this and decide to pursue Arjuna. But they are dissuaded by Krishna from attacking Arjuna. Finally, Balarama consents and conduct the marriage of Subhadra with Arjuna.

Story of marriage of Balarama & Revati’s Daughter in Mahabharata causes tussle between Abhimanyu & Laxman Kumara (Duryodhana’s Son)

Vatsala (Sashirekha), the daughter of Balarama is betrothed to the Pandava prince Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu is the son of (Balarama and Krishna’s sister) Subhadra and (Krishna’s close friend) the Pandava prince Arjuna. So initially the marriage of Vatsala is to be performed with Abhimanyu but when Abhimanyu’s father Arjuna goes into exile Balarama’s wife Revati says that Arjuna has no kingdom left and a prince without a kingdom may well be a commoner. Balarama thinks about it and feels that his wife is right and that he is supposed to think about the welfare of his daughter breaks off the marriage with Abhimanyu. Balarama arranges it instead with Duryodhana’s son Laxman. When Abhimanyu comes to know about and is annoyed. Abhimanyu asks his maternal uncle- Balarama’s brother and Arjuna’s ally, Krishna to intervene. Krishna says he cannot do so but he should ask help from his first cousin Ghatotkacha – the half demon son of Arjuna’s brother Bhima who lives in Varnavat. Abhimanyu sets out to Varnavat and meets his cousin brother and tells him why he seeks his help. Ghatotkacha is furious at Balarama because he wants to keep an alliance with the very people who were the cause of the Pandavas’ misery. Meanwhile, the marriage preparations take place at Balarama’s house. Ghatotkacha hatches a plan to get Vatsala and Abhimanyu married. Ghatotkacha goes disguised as Vatsala to the marriage ceremony. He frightens the hell out of Laxman who promptly faints. Laxman vows never to marry. The real Vatsala has been transported by Ghatotkacha to Varnavat where Abhimanyu awaits. The couple’s marriage is celebrated. When Duryodhana learns that Abhimanyu has married Vatsala, he is infuriated and thus his anger toward the Pandavas is further fuelled.

Story of Revati & Balarama’s Marriage and their end in Mahabharata

Kakudmi and Revati found Balarama and proposed the marriage. Because she was from an earlier yuga, Revati was far taller and larger than her husband-to-be, but Balarama, tapped his plough (his characteristic weapon) on her head or shoulder and she shrunk to the normal height of people in Balarama’s age. The marriage was then duly celebrated. Revati bore her husband two sons, Nisatha and Ulmuka. Both her sons Nisatha and Ulmuka were killed in the Yadu fratricidal war after which Balarama also ended his earthly incarnation in meditation by the sea.[4] At his funeral ceremony, Revati ascended onto his funeral pyre and was immolated with him.

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