Lord Balarama is the first expansion of Lord Krishna appearing as His elder brother eight days before Krishna’s appearance in this world. While Krishna’s complexion is like a dark bluish cloud, Balarama’s complexion is like a white autumn cloud. He assisted Lord Krishna in His earthly pastimes of protecting the devotees and ridding the world of the misguided. Whilst Krishna is known for carrying a flute whose beautiful sound enchants His devotees, Balarama holds a plough in His hand that represents His strength. Devotees fast till noon on this day, followed by a feast in His honour.
Today marks the appearance day of Lord Balarama and we honor it with a short story from the Krsna Book.
Lord Balarāma prepared Himself to meet the demon Balvala. At the time when the demon usually attacked the sacred place, there appeared a great hailstorm, the whole sky became covered with dust and the atmosphere became surcharged with a filthy smell. Just after this, the mischievous demon Balvala began to shower torrents of stool and urine and other impure substances on the arena of sacrifice. After this onslaught, the demon himself appeared with a great trident in his hand. He was a gigantic person, and his black body was like a huge mass of carbon. His hair, his beard and his mustache appeared reddish, like copper, and because of his great beard and mustache, his mouth appeared to be very dangerous and fierce. As soon as He saw the demon, Lord Balarāma prepared to attack him. He first began to consider how He could smash the great demon to pieces. Lord Balarāma called for His plow and club, and they immediately appeared before Him. The demon Balvala was flying in the sky, and at the first opportunity Lord Balarāma dragged him down with His plow and angrily smashed the demon’s head with His club. By Balarama’s striking, the forehead of the demon became fractured. There was a profuse flow of blood from his forehead, and he began to scream loudly. In this way the demon, who had been such a great disturbance to the pious brāhmaṇas, fell to the ground. His falling was like a great mountain with a red oxide peak being struck by a thunderbolt and smashed to the ground. (Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter 79, The Liberation of Balvala, and Lord Balarāma’s Touring the Sacred Places)
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Today we celebrate the Appearance of Lord Nityananda with a few select verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi Lila Chapter 5, entitled “The Glories of Lord Nityananda Balarama”.
“Let me offer my obeisances to Lord Śrī Nityānanda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose opulence is wonderful and unlimited. By His will, even a fool can understand His identity.” (Adi 5.1)
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Lord Balarāma is His second body.” (Adi 5.4)
“That original Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in Navadvīpa as Lord Caitanya, and Balarāma appeared with Him as Lord Nityānanda.” (Adi 5.6)