Balarama – The Unsung Hero & Brother of krishna

Balarama – The Unsung Hero & Brother of krishna

Balarama : We all know about Lord Krishna and have given him the place of a God. But, how well do we know his brother Balarama, who was also a very talented and brave person? Balrama was an elder brother of Krishna. He was born to Rohini Devi and Vasudeva. He is believed to be the reincarnation of Shesha. Some even believe that he was the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is worshipped as the God of Agriculture and Fertility.

Balarama Brother of krishna


Balarama is called by different names including Balrama, Baladeva, Halayudha, Babhadra and Haladhar.


Balrama carries a plough and a mace with him.


Balarama looked similar to Lord Krishna. But unlike Krishna, he was fair skinned. He had a deep voice and long arms that could touch his thighs.  He was known to have divine strength and energy. Balrama was a very honest and simple man. Initially, he was known as Ram, but after seeing his extraordinary power, people began to call him Balrama.


Balrama was the seventh child in the womb of Queen Devaki.  Fearing that he would be killed by Kansa as soon as he is born, just like her other children, Devaki listened to the god’s orders. With the help of Yogamaya, the foetus of Balrama was transferred to the womb of Rohini, another wife of Vasudeva.  As he was conceived in one womb and transplanted in another womb, he got the name Shankarshna.  He was born on the full moon day in Sridhara month in Gokula; his birth was kept undisclosed with the fear of Kansa killing him if found out.  The full moon day is still celebrated in Mathura, the land of Krishna.


Balrama led a life as a cow herder along with his brother Krishna. He killed many evil demons like Dhenuka, Anasura, Pralamba and Mushtika. He married Revathi, the daughter of Kushasthali ruler, Kakudmi.

Another story says that Adiseshan, the snake was born as Lakshmana in Rama Avatara. He looked after Sri Rama all day and night.  As he served Lord Rama relentlessly, he was reborn as Balarama to serve Lord Krishna, the reincarnation of Rama.

Balrama was a great teacher- he was very good in teaching mace fighting and wrestling to kings like Duryodhana and Bhima.  During the Kurukshetra war, he did not support both the sides, neither the Kauravas nor the Pandavas. He fled to the forest during the war.  His love for both Pandavas and Kauravas was equal.

Once, Duryodhana had captured Sambha, the son of Krishna in Hastinapur.  Angry Balrama stormed to Hastinapur and demanded Sambha’s release.  When Duryodhana refused, Balrama began to drag the entire city of Hastinapur into the River Yamuna using his plough.  In order to save the city from sinking, Duryodhana immediately released Samba.

Temples –

The famous Puri Jagannath temple in Orissa has the idol of Balrama along with Krishna and his sister Subadhra.  A temple devoted to Balrama’s is found only in Brindavan.

Even today, some people worship Balrama before they start their agricultural projects.