Balarama Krishna's Brother

The brothers Krishna and Balarama were the sons of Vishnu and are sometimes regarded as his joint incarnations. Balarama is normally shown with two hands holding a club (gada) or a plough, sometimes both.

According to the Vishnu-Purana, Vishnu took two of his hairs, one black and the other white, and implanted them in Devaki’s womb. Shortly before their birth they were miraculously transferred to Rohini’s womb in order to prevent the infants from being killed by the tyrant king Kansa. After they were born, it was noticed that the complexion of Krishna was dark and that of Balarama, light. They grew up together but Balarama never became as popular as Krishna. Both brothers seem to have been the most human of all the incarnations. Neither had the saintliness that can be found in Rama and both displayed human weaknesses. In one incident Balarama ordered the river Yamuna to move closer to him so that it would be more convenient for him to bathe, and when it did not, bullied it into doing what he wanted by threatening it with his plough.

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