In Hinduism, Balarama (phonetically Balarama - his other names include Baladeva, Balabhadra and Halayudha) is the name of the elder brother of Sri Krishna. Most South Indian Hindu sects and some Vaishnava sects based in eastern India regard Balarama as being the ninth avatar of Vishnu. In either tradition, Balarama is acknowledged as being a manifestation of Adishesha, the divine serpent on whom Vishnu rests.
The sacred Hindu scripture Bhagavata Purana explains how Krishna is the supreme personality of Godhead and from whom everything emanates. In doing so, his first expansion is Balarama. From Balarama all other incarnations of God appear. Of the three transcendental elements (sat, cit and ananda), Balarama is in charge of sat(Sanskrit: eternity or truth), cit(Sanskrit: knowledge or consciousness). Hence he worshiped as the supreme teacher or adiguru. (Note: Ananda (Sanskrit: happiness or bliss').
Balarama was conceived as a son of Vasudeva and Devaki. Kamsa, brother of Devaki and an evil king, was intent upon killing all the progeny of Devaki, because of a prediction that Kamsa would die at the hands of the eighth son of Devaki. Kamsa threw his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudeva into jail, and proceeded to kill each of their children as soon as they were born.
In due course of time, Devaki bacame pregnant for the seventh time. However, this child was not destined to meet the fate of the six previous infants. The unborn child was miraculously transferred from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini, who had long been craving a child of her own. Thus Balarama's other name is also Sankarsana which describes the transfer of the child from the womb. The child was formally named Rama, but because of his great strength he was called Balarama (Strong Rama).
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 Raivata, ruler of the Anarta province.
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