Friday, May 9, 2008

Pearl 17

Lord Balarâma Slays Balvala and Visits the Holy Places

After Lord Balrama struck Balvala, the immense demon resembling a mass of black carbon - a harasser of Brahmins, the Lord proceeds on a holy pilgrimage. This pearl is a detailed description of Lord Balramji's visits to holy shrines including Balaji and Rameswaram in the south!

We need not get startled. When Lord Krishna was preaching the ‘Bhagwad Gita’ to Arjuna during the famous Mahabharata war, His elder brother Balramji was engrossed in all India pilgrimage, being in favour of a compromise, not the Kurukshetra battle.

A convincing account rendered by Mahatma Shukdevji refers at length to the pilgrimage sites visited by Balramji:

Chapter 79, verse 9-18: Balramji coupled with a contingent of Brahmins visits the Sarayu River, on the outskirts of Ajodhya, where Lord Rama was incarnated. He proceeds to the holy Prayag -sangam at Allahabad where he bathed and performed rituals to propitiate the demigods and other living beings. Going on to Gaya for worshipping His forefathers and the mouth of the Ganges to perform purifying ablutions. At Mount Mahendra He saw Lord Parasurama and prayed to Him. In the southern provinces known as Dravida-desa the Supreme Lord saw the sacred Venkata Hill where Lord Vishnu residess,( Tirupati Balaji) proceeding to the most holy Sri Ranga where Lord Krishna manifested Himself, the site is considered highly auspicious with Lord Vishnu eternally residing here. Onto Rsabha Mountain where Lord Krishna also lives. Later on He came to Setubandha ( Rameswaram) where the most grievous sins are destroyed. Here He gave Brahmins ten thousand cows in charity, thus showing the importance of Lord Gopala as their saviour and protector. He then visited the Malaya Mountains and found Agastya Rishi in meditation. After praying to the sage He received His blessings. Later on “He proceeded to the shore of the southern ocean, where He saw goddess Durga in her form of Kanya-kumari.”

Chapter 79, verse 18: Next He went to Phalguna-tirtha and bathed in the sacred Pañcāpsarā Lake, where Lord Vishnu had directly manifested Himself. At this place He gave away another ten thousand cows.

Chapter 79, verse 19-21: The Supreme Lord then travelled through the kingdoms of Kerala and Trigarta, visiting Lord Shiva’s sacred city of Gokarna where Lord Dhūrjaṭi (Shiva) directly manifests himself in addition to visiting Goddess Parvati who dwells on an island.

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