Balarama is an ancient deity, a prominent one by the epics era of Indian history as evidenced by archeological and numismatic evidence. In some art works of the Vijayanagara Empire , temples of Gujarat and elsewhere, for example, Baladeva is the eighth avatar of Vishnu, prior to the Buddha Buddhism or Jina Jainism. He is classified in the Vyuha avatar Sankarshana where in Adishesha and Lakshmana are part of. Balarama-Samkarshana is typically shown standing with a gada in his right hand and holding plough in his left. On the other side of these coins is Vasudeva-Krishna holding the conch and chakra.
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Balarama is an ancient deity, a prominent one by the epics era of Indian history as evidenced by archeological and numismatic evidence. In some art works of the Vijayanagara Empire , temples of Gujarat and elsewhere, for example, Baladeva is the eighth avatar of Vishnu, prior to the Buddha Buddhism or Jina Jainism. He is classified in the Vyuha avatar Sankarshana where in Adishesha and Lakshmana are part of. Balarama-Samkarshana is typically shown standing with a gada in his right hand and holding plough in his left.
On the other side of these coins is Vasudeva-Krishna holding the conch and chakra. Bala rama and Krishna with they attributes at Chilas. At Chilas II archeological site dated to the first half of 1st-century CE in northwest Pakistan, near Afghanistan border, are engraved two males along with many Buddhist images nearby.
The larger of the two males holds a plough and club in his two hands. The artwork also has an inscription with it in Kharosthi script, which has been deciphered by scholars as Rama-Krsna, and interpreted as an ancient depiction of the two brothers Balarama and Krishna.
Now exhibits at National Musieum of Cambodia. Balarama grew up with his younger brother Krishna with foster parents, in the household of the head of cowherds Nanda and his wife Yashoda. He begins with Balarama. He was born on Shraavana Purnima or Raksha Bandhan. One day, Nanda requested the presence of Sage Gargamuni , his priest, to name the newborn Krishna and Balarama. When the Garga arrived, Nanda received him well and requested the naming ceremony.
Gargamuni then reminded Nanda that Kansa was looking for the son of Devaki and if he performed the ceremony in opulence, it would come to his attention. Nanda therefore asked Garga to perform the ceremony in secret and Garga did so: Because Balarama, the son of Rohini, increases the transcendental bliss of others, his name is Rama and because of his extraordinary strength, he is called Baladeva.
He attracts the Yadus to follow his instructions and therefore his name is Sankarshana. He killed Dhenuka , an asura sent by Kamsa, as well as Pralamba and Mushtika wrestlers sent by the king. After the evil king died, Balarama and Krishna went to the ashrama of sage Sandipani at Ujjain for study. He married Revati , the daughter of King Kakudmi. Shashirekha married the son of Arjuna his cousin and brother-in-law , Abhimanyu. Balarama is the celebrated plougher, one of the pillars of agriculture along with livestock with whom Krishna is associated with.
In the Bhagavata Purana, he uses it to fight demons, dig a way for Yamuna river to come closer to Vrindavan and pull the entire capital of Hastinapura into the Ganges river. Balarama taught both Duryodhana of the Kauravas and Bhima of the Pandavas the art of fighting with a mace.
When war broke between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, Balarama cared for both sides and so remained neutral. He went for a pilgrimage with his nephew Pradyumna and other Yadavas during the war, and returned on the last day, to watch the fight between his disciples. When Bhima defeated Duryodhana by striking him in the thigh with his mace, Balarama threatened to kill Bhima. The place where he departed is situated near Somnath Temple in Gujarat.
Below: Abstract icons of the three in the Jagannath tradition. Krishna-Balarama deities at the Krishna-Balarama Temple in Vrindavan Balarama is depicted as light skinned, in contrast to his brother, Krishna, who is dark skinned; Krishna in Sanskrit means dark. The plough is usually called Balachita. His hair is tied in a topknot and he has earrings, bracelets and armlets; he is known for his strength, the reason for his name. Balarama is one in the triad, wherein Balarama is shown together with his brother Jagannath Krishna and sister Shubhadra Subhadra.
Jagannath is identifiable from his circular eyes compared to oval of Shubhadra and almond shaped eyes of the abstract icon for Balarama. The third difference is the flat head of Jagannath icon, compared to the semi-circular carved head of abstract Balarama. Balarama, Gupta period, Mathura.
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