Chapter 79: Lord Balarâma Slays Balvala and Visits the Holy Places
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-19, 11:36 AM

    Chapter 79: Lord Balarâma Slays Balvala and Visits the Holy Places

    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then, on de day of the new moon, arose a fierce wind scattering dust, o King, with the smell of pus everywhere. (2) Following came down upon the sacrificial arena a rain of abominable things produced by Balvala, after which he himself appeared carrying a trident. (3-4) The sight of that immense body looking like a heap of charcoal with a topknot and beard of burning copper, fearsome teeth and a face with contracted eyebrows, made Râma think of His club, which tears apart opposing armies, and His plow, which subdues the Daityas; they both stood forthwith at His side. (5) With the tip of His plow got He hold of Balvala who moved about in the sky, and with His club struck Balarâma angrily the harasser of the brahmins on the head. (6) He, releasing a cry of agony, fell with his forehead cracked open gushing blood to the ground like a red mountain struck by a thunderbolt. (7) The sages together being of praise awarded Râma with practical benedictions and ceremonially sprinkled Him with water, just like the great souls did with [Indra] the killer of Vritrâsura [Indra, see 6.13]. (8) They gave Râma a Vaijayantî flower garland of unfading lotuses in which S'rî resided and a divine pair of garments together with heavenly jewelry.

    (9) Then given leave by them went He together with the brahmins to the Kaus'ikî river where they took a bath. Next He headed for the lake from which the Sarayû flows. (10) Following the course of the Sarayû arrived He in Prayâga where He bathed to propitiate the demigods and others. Thereafter He went to the hermitage of Pulaha Rishi [see also 5.7: 8-9]. (11-15) Having immersed Himself in the Gomatî, the Gandakî, the S'ona and Vipâs'â river, He went to Gayâ, to worship His forefathers and to the mouth of the Ganges for ritual ablutions. At Mount Mahendra seeing and honoring Lord Paras'urâma He next bathed in the Saptagodâvarî ['seven Godâvarîs'] as well as in the rivers the Venâ, the Pampâ and the Bhîmarathî. After seeing Lord Skanda [Kârttikeya] visited Râma S'rî-s'aila, the residence of the Lord Giris'a [S'iva], and saw the Master in Dravida-des'a [the southern provinces] the hill most sacred, the Venkatha [of Bâlajî]. After [seeing] the cities of Kâmakoshnî and Kâñcî went He to the river the Kâverî and to the greatest of them all, the most holy S'rî-ranga, where the Lord manifested [as Ranganâtha]. Going to the place of the Lord the mountain Rishabha, He went to southern Mathurâ [Madurai where the goddess Mînâkshî resides] and to Setubandha [Cape Comorin], where the gravest sins are destroyed. (16-17) There gave the Wielder of the Plow, Halâyudha, a great number of cows away to the brahmins. Going to the rivers the Kritamâlâ and Tâmraparnî and the Malaya mountain range, He bowed down paying respect to Âgastya Muni who sitting there in meditation gave Him his blessings. Leaving with his permission He went to the southern ocean to Kanyâkumârî ['chaste girl'] where he saw the goddess Durgâ [known as Kanyâ]. (18) Then reaching Phâlguna and taking a bath in the sacred lake of the five Apsaras where Lord Vishnu manifested, gave He again away a myriad of cows. (19-21) Next traveled the Supreme Lord through Kerala and Trigarta and came then to Gokarna [northern Karnataka], a place sacred because of the manifestation of Dhûrjathi ['he with a load of matted locks'], S'iva. Seeing the honored goddess [Pârvatî] residing on an island off the coast went Balarâma to S'ûrpâraka where He touched the waters of the Tâpî, the Payoshnî and the Nirvindhyâ. Next entering the Dandaka forest went He to the Revâ where the city of Mâhishmatî is found, touched He the water of Manu-tîrtha and returned He to Prabhâsa.

    (22) From the brahmins He heard about the battle [at Kurukshetra] between the Kurus and the Pândavas where all the kings were annihilating each other. He concluded that the earth was being relieved of her burden [see also e.g. 10.50: 9]. (23) He, the beloved Son of the Yadus, then went to the battle where He tried to stop Bhîma and Duryodhana who with their maces were fighting each other on the field [see also 10.57: 26]. (24) But when Yudhishthhira, the twins Nakula and Sahadeva, Krishna and Arjuna saw Him, were they silent in offering their obeisances with the burning question: 'What does He, coming here, want to tell us?' (25) Seeing the two with clubs in their hands, skillfully moving in circles, furiously striving for the victory, said He this: (26) 'O King, o Great Eater, the two of you warriors are equal in prowess; one I think is of a greater physical power, while the other one is technically of a better training. (27) I do not see how from any of you here, equal in prowess, then a victory or the contrary could be seen; so stop this useless fighting.'

    (28) The two, even though they were sensible people, did, fixed in their enmity keeping in mind each others harsh words and misdeeds, not take heed of His words, o King. (29) Deciding that it was their fate went Râma to Dvârakâ were He was greeted by a delighted family headed by Ugrasena. (30) With Him returning again to Naimishâranya engaged the sages Him, the Embodiment of All Sacrifice who had renounced all warfare, with pleasure in all the different sorts of rituals [*]. (31) The Almighty Supreme Lord bestowed upon them the perfectly pure spiritual knowledge by which they indeed could perceive this universe as residing within Him and also see Him as pervading the creation. (32) Together with His wife [Revatî: see 9.3: 29-33] having executed the concluding ritual avabhritha bath appeared He, well dressed, nicely adorned and surrounded by His family members and other relatives and friends, as splendid as the moon in its full glory [full and with the stars around].

    (33) Of this sort [of pastimes] of the mighty, unlimited and unfathomable Balarâma, who by the power of His illusory energy appears as a human being, there sure are countless others. (34) Whoever regularly remembers at dawn and dusk the activities of Râma which are all amazing, will become dear to Lord Vishnu.'