Essay on Lord “Balaram” and “Krishna”
Krishna is not regarded as just an Ansh of Vishnu but Vishnu is full form with all the sixteen Kalas attributed to God. In no other avtar does Vishnu came in full form, therefore, Krishna is not counted as an ‘Avtar’ but the coming of God himself. Ram had fourteen Kalas but Krishna had sixteen, the extra two were trickery and corruption (chhal and kapat) which are also an essential part of the Almighty.
Krishna was born as the absolute image of Vishnu with four hands holding the four symbols but soon he became an ordinary baby thereby establishing himself as ‘God incarnate’. He had come to kill his maternal uncle Kans who had wrought destruction and evil into the kingdom which he ruled.
Kans was a very powerful king and had imprisoned his own father Ugarsen and usurped the throne. He was immensely disliked and everyone prayed for deliverance from him, hence Vishnu who had in some previous birth promised Deviki that he will be born as her son when the time came to spread light in the world, which would be in sore need of it.
He came to Deviki — a cousin sister of Kans — and her husband Vasudev to rid the world of a vicious king and to give the message of the ‘Bhagwat Gita’ to the people who were to soon face the fourth and worst quarter of time ‘Kal Yug’. The lesson of the Gita became an anchor for the people of this earth. No one can change the coming of the Yugs at their appointed time and the fourth quarter with very little good left in people, would require something for people to cling to for salvation.
Kans was told by the soothsayers that his cousin sister Deviki would be the one whose eighth child would destroy him. Narad Muni fanned the fire by showing Kans a eight- leafed lotus and told Kans that in a situation like this no one was sure which the eighth child. Narad wanted Deviki to quickly have the eighth child and encouraged Kans to kill every child of hers, so that she did not waste time nursing one child after another and thus delaying the process of an early birth of the eighth child.
So it was that Kans imprisoned his cousin and her husband in his capital Mathura and killed each child as soon as it was born. But the seventh child was to be Adishesh in the form of Balram and had to be saved. Krishna asked a denizen of heaven named jog Maya to come down to earth and remove the child from the womb of Deviki and take it to Gokul where one of the seven wives of Vasudev named Rohini was left in the care of Nand, a cowherd leader of that place and a great friend of Vasudev.
Jog Maya was asked to put the baby in the womb of Rohini. Krishna made sure that everyone would go to sleep at the time this was being done. So it was that Balram was born to Rohini although conceived by Deviki. People were puzzled when it was discovered that Deviki was no more pregnant.
1Jog Maya was also asked to be born to Yashoda, the wife of Nand, and was to be exchanged with Krishna and it was she who flew out of the hands of Kans announcing the birth of his destroyer elsewhere. Krishna had told her that she would then be worshipped as Durga — Devyani — Ishani and in all the other names of the Goddess in various parts of the sub-continent.
It happened so that when Krishna was born on the dark Ashtmi of the month of ‘Bhado’ everyone guarding the prison went to sleep and the door opened by themselves and Vasudev took the baby across the river Yamuna to Gokul to the house of Nand and exchanged the baby Krishna with the daughter of his friend. Next day Kans heard of the baby’s birth and came to kill it but Jog Maya flew into the sky as a streak of lightning and in a loud voice told Kans that his destroyer had been born and was safe on this earth.
Kans guessed that somehow the child at Nand’s house was Deviki’s son, but the people there aknowledged ‘Him’ as Nand and Yashodas’ son. Kans tried his best to get him killed by sending a few rakshas, but each time Krishna killed the rakshas, without letting anyone know how it all happened and everyone was puzzled to find huge rakshasas lying dead in their town.
Krishna and Balram together played havoc amongst the local people by their pranks in collusion with all the little cowherds. Krishna played the flute so very well that the young women would leave off their work and run to the banks of the river Yamuna where he would be grazing his cows and playing his flute.
As very young boys they would steal fresh butter from the churning pot of homes and when confronted deny having taken it! When Yashoda Maiyya asked him to open his mouth she would see the whole world in it and she would suddenly become conscious of the true identity of her son, but would soon forget it as was ordained by Krishna.
As the brothers grew up all the young women of the town would run up to where Krishna was playing the flute — leaving their chores unfinished and-dance with the cowherds, thereby getting scolded by their mothers and mothers-in-law. Krishna developed a very deep attachment to a young married woman ‘Radha’ who became the true love of his life and a deep bond between them, which is till today sung in various songs. She became a part of his soul and has remained the one and only.
Although he married several times later on and never did meet Radha after their youthful romance at Gokul-Brindaban and Barsana. The young people frolicked on the banks of the river and lived a life of abandon and happiness when Krishna was called to Mathura by Kans and fought an elephant and two wrestlers to show his power to the king and the people. He soon killed Kans and got his grandfather’s brother Ugarsen out of prison and made him the king. He himself became the King of Dwarka and was aknowledged as the greatest of men of all times.
The great Mahabharat was fought between his cousins, the five sons of Krishna’s father’s sister Kunti and her husband — Pandu and their 100 cousins — the sons of Dhritrashtra. The story of the Great War between the ‘Kauravs and Pandus’ is the second great ‘Epic’ of India known as the Mahabharat.
It is the tale of good winning over evil in the end where Krishna played a major role in advising both the parties to desist from this war — but sided with his cousins, the five Pandus. When His advice was not heeded by the Kauravas — with only his advice as his weapon — he taught Arjun the duty of a Kshatriya, telling him the true nature of life and death as Arjun refused to fight his own blood relations and his elders. He hung his head in shame in the battlefield of “Kurukshetra” where later the great battle of Mahabharat was fought to put down evil and bring back the rule of righteousness at the bidding of Krishna.
This sermon to Arjun is the ‘Bhagwat Gita’, the crown jewel of all Hindu scriptures and is revered as the highest thought and philosophy of religion.