Balarama (बलराम, Balarāma), also named Baladeva,Baldau,Balabhadra and Halayudha, is the elder brother of the divine being, Krishna in Hinduism. Within Vaishnavism and a number of South Indian, Hindu traditions Balarama is worshipped as an avatar of Vishnu, and he is also listed as such in the Bhagavata Purana. Within both the Vaishnava traditions and Hinduism generally he is acknowledged as being a manifestation of Shesha, the serpent on whom Vishnu rests.
The Bhagavata Purana describes Krishna as the original Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything else emanates. As part of this divine 'emanation', Krishna's very first expansion is Balarama, and from Balarama all other incarnations of God then appear. Of the three transcendental elements described in Sanskrit as sat, cit and ananda (eternity, knowledge and bliss), Balarama is in charge of eternity and knowledge. Hence he worshipped as the supreme teacher or Adiguru.
Thus, Rohini actually gave birth to Balarama and raised him. Balarama spent his childhood as a cowherd boy with his brother Krishna and friends. He later married Revati, the daughter of King Kakudmi, ruler of or Anarta
Gaudiya Vaishnavas believe that Balarama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead himself. He is worshipped as equal in supremacy to Krishna, yet wherever Krishna appears, Baladeva appears as Krishna's brother, sometimes elder, sometimes younger. Balarama is constantly serving Krishna in every respect in all of Krishna's incarnations and manifestations. In Rama-lila, Balarama serves Ramachandra as his younger Brother, Lakshmana and in the current age (Kali-yuga), Balarama spreads the 'Sankirtan movement' of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as his close friend Nityananda.
The only theological difference between Krishna and Balarama is that the bodily hue of Krishna is dark and that of Balarama is fair. Krishna is the Creator, and Balarama is his creative potency, but they are both worshipped as the Supreme Primeval Lord.
Balarama is almost always depicted as being fair skinned, especially in comparison to his brother, Krishna, who is shown as dark blue or black. His weapons are the plough and the mace (Sanskrit: gadā). Traditionally Balarama wears blue garments and a garland of forest flowers. His hair is tied in a topknot and he has earrings, bracelets and armlets. Balarama is described as being very physically strong.
"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." Bhagavata Purana 10.8.12
Balarama famously 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 was equally affectionate to both parties and so decided to be neutral. Eventually when Bhima (of greater strength) defeated Duryodhana (of greater skill) by dealing a blow below the navel with his mace (a move against the rules of mace combat), Balarama threatened to kill Bhima. This was only prevented when Krishna reminded Balarama of Bhima's vow to kill Duryodhana by crushing the very thigh he exposed to his wife Draupadi.
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