Philosophy About and Prayers to Lord Balarama
Today is Lord Balarama's glorious and auspicious appearance day. He is Krishna's elder brother, and his best servant. I have a friend who has become a devotee of Krishna, but is sometimes confused at all the different forms, expansions, and incarnations of Krishna. God is one, but there are many aspects of him--unlimited actually, which can make one unlimited bewildered. Be patient, and learn the logic of Krishna consciousness. It will gradually make sense if in addition to study you also gain the association of devotees and engage in activities of bhakti, like chanting the holy name, which will purify your consciousness.
This isn't just academic, but can be understood only by purity of heart, and by the mercy of Guru and Krishna--who for this age has mercifully appeared as Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda (the merciful form of Balarama). Everything takes time. And Balarama is also considered the original guru. In other words teachers of the science of bhakti or Krishna consciousness represent both Balarama and Shri Radha (who is Krishna's dearest lover--she is both Deity and ideal of devotion). So on this day we can seek the mercy of Balarama to gain spiritual strength to remain on or begin the path of bhakti.
Forgive me for running off but we are going to a Temple about 2 hours away to attend the initiation of devotees I met here on Krishna.com. Thus I don't have time today to personally discuss this important appearance day. However, I will share some verses from the Chaitanya Charitamrita about Lord Balarama and also some prayers to Balarama from the Garga Samhita.
If you have questions, please share them here for everyone's benefit. This is the process of spiritual advancement. Service and humble inquiries. We all need devotees to serve and consult with. That is how we make spiritual advancement and gain an affinity for Krishna. Whatever a devotees speaks about, they also practice. The highest devotee also consider him or herself a humble servant of their own guru, and thus the disciplic succession expands, one after the other. I am your servant, and you can help me serve my gurus by thinking over what what I write and asking your questions.
1) Let me offer my obeisances to Lord Sri Nityananda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose opulence is wonderful and unlimited. By His will, even a fool can understand His identity.
2) All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityananda! All glories to Advaita Acarya! And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
3) I have described the glory of Sri Krsna Caitanya in six verses. Now, in five verses I shall describe the glory of Lord Nityananda.
4) The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Lord Balarama is His second body.
5) These two are one and the same identity. They differ only in form. Lord Balarama is the first bodily expansion of Krsna, and He assists in Lord Krsna's transcendental pastimes.
6) That original Lord Krsna appeared in Navadvipa as Lord Caitanya, and Balarama appeared with Him as Lord Nityananda.
7) May Sri Nityananda Rama be the object of my constant remembrance. Sankarsana, Sesa Naga and the Visnus who lie on the Karana Ocean, Garbha Ocean and ocean of milk are His plenary portions and the portions of His plenary portions.
8) Lord Balarama is the original Sankarsana. He assumes five other forms to serve Lord Krsna.
9) He Himself helps in the pastimes of Lord Krsna, and He does the work of creation in four other forms.
10) He executes the orders of Lord Krsna in the work of creation, and in the form of Lord Sesa He serves Krsna in various ways.
11) In all the forms He tastes the transcendental bliss of serving Krsna. That same Balarama is Lord Nityananda, the companion of Lord Gaurasundara.
Here are prayers glorifying Lord Balarama from the Garga Samhita titled "The King of Prayers to Lord Balarama":
1) Duryodhana said: O Pradvipaka, O great sage, please kindly tell me the prayer of Lord Balarama, which grants all perfection.
2) Sri Pradvipaka Muni said: O king, please hear the regal and beautiful prayer of Lord Balarama, a prayer that brings liberation and all perfection.
3) O master of the demigods, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O fulfiller of desires, obeisances to You! O Lord Ananta Sesa, obeisances to You! O Lord Balarama, obeisances to You!
4) O Lord who maintains the earth, O glorious Lord, O perfect and complete Lord, O Lord who holds a plow in Your hand, O Lord who has a thousand heads, O Lord Sankarsana, eternal obeisances to You!
5) O husband of Revati, O Lord Balarama, O elder brother of Lord Krsna, O Lord who holds a plow-weapon, O killer of Pralambasura, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, please protect me!
6) O Lord Balarama, who carries a palm-tree flag, obeisances to You! O son of Rohini, O fair-complexioned Lord dressed in blue garments, obeisances to You!
7) You are the enemy of Dhenuka, the enemy of Mustika, the enemy of Kuta, the killer of Balvala, the enemy of Rukmi, the enemy of Kupakarna, and the enemy of Kumbhanda.
8) You are the Lord who broke the Yamuna and dragged Hastinapura. You are the enemy of Dvivida. You are the king of the Yadavas. You are the ornament of Vraja's circle.
9) You are the killer of Kamsa's brothers. You are the supreme master, the Lord who went on pilgrimage, and Duryodhana's guru. O master, please protect me! Please protect me!
10) O infallible Lord, greater than the greatest, O Lord whose glories are heard in all directions without limit, glory to You! Glory to You! O Lord served by the demigods, the kings of the sages, and the kings of the serpents, O powerful Lord who holds a plow and a club, obeisances to You!
11) A person who regularly recites this prayer attains Lord Hari's transcendental abode. All the strength in the universe is his. He crushes his enemies. He attains great wealth and a great dynasty.
Be blessed, and pray for the mercy of Balarama and Nityananda. They are very merciful and want to see you make spiritual progress! Read about them and pray to understand and serve them! Hare Rama! Nityananda Balarama kijaya!