We’ve witnessed in the previous episode how Bhagawan Krishna neutralized Baanaasura by chopping off 98 out of his 100 hands. Eventually of course, Bhagawan Krishna didn’t want to kill Baanaasura as His grandson, Aniruddha was slated to marry Baanaasura’s daughter, Usha. Thus, Bhagawan Krishna lets Baanaasura off, but not without teaching him a lesson for his arrogance. As Baanaasura realizes that he was at the brink of defeat and death, he immediately apologizes to Bhagawan Krishna for whatever had happened and thus, expressed his profound willingness to marry his daughter to Aniruddha. Thus, after a lot of hue and cry, the love story between Usha and Aniruddha was finally a success, and Bhagawan Krishna had to play a significant role in making it a success.
Moving on thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya is now going to narrate a very interesting “Charitra” here – One fine day, Balarama, brother of Bhagawan Krishna comes to the banks of river Kalindi. We should remember here that this Kalindi is none other than River Yamuna. As Balarama makes his way to the river banks, he was a bit drunk! The moment we hear the word “drunk”, we shouldn’t compare this to what we do today! We should understand here that kings normally had the culture of having “hard drinks” like “Soma Baana”, etc., which of course would have considerable alcoholic content in it, but not to the extent to which we drink today! Here too, Balarama was a bit drunk while he walked his way upto River Kalindi. In fact, when he was a few steps away from the river banks, he remembered that he had to perform his daily spiritual ritual of “Sandyavandana”. Thus, he had to first wash his feet with water and then perform the ritual.
As Balarama was drunk a little bit, he found himself to be lazy to go all the way to the bank and wash his feet. So he asked Mother Kalindi whether she could change her course a little bit and run beneath his feet, so that he needn’t walk all the way to the bank. Hearing this “peculiar” request from Balarama, Mother Kalinidi wasn’t very pleased. She replied back thus, “Oh Balarama! If I’ve to do such a thing for you, I would be setting a bad precedence for the world that I can change course for whoever feels lazy to come up to the river bank to do what they want! Moreover, I cannot change course for just one person, and I don’t think it’s possible. If you’ve to wash your feet, you better walk another 15-20 feet, reach the bank and then wash. I cannot change my course for you!”
As River Yamuna replies thus in a hasty manner, Balarama got angry. A huge war of words broke out between the two of them. On one end, Balarama is trying to assert his superiority by threatening Rier Yamuna that he’s capable of unleashing and accomplishing anything in the world. On the other hand, Mother Yamuna too warns Balarama that she’s capable of destroying truckloads of towns and cities with her immense force and wipe out thousands and thousands of people within a jiffy! At one point, the argument reaches its peak and Balarama unleashes his arrow on to River Yamuna and starts pulling the river towards him with his immense power! Unable to withstand the intensity of Balarama’s power, River Kalinidi also starts coming towards him. We can see this place even today. There are two places by names “Ram-Ghat” and “Sheer-Ghat”. If we travel via the National Highway from Mathura towards Delhi, we would be able to see these two places, some 25 kilometers from Mathura. If we stop there and witness the course of the Yamuna river from the top of a small cliff nearby, we would be able to see that the river, which is otherwise following a beautiful course like a garland, would at this point, take a turn inwards for few meters, and again come outwards, thereby continuing the normal course. This particular place where the river changes its course by deviating a little bit outside it’s normal course, is this “Ram-Ghat” or “Balram-Ghat”. This is because, Balarama had unleashed his power upon River Yamuna to pull her towards him.
Thus, with Balarama’s immense power and pull, River Yamuna had to give up her fight. She knew that she was getting defeated and that, Balarama is not an ordinary person in any way. So Mother Kalindi seeks an unconditional apology to Balarama for her mistake in underestimating Balarama’s strength. With this, the Kalinidi-Balarama “Charitra” comes to an end. So for today, let us enjoy and experience this important “Charitra” and let us remember to visit this “Balram-Ghat” along the banks of River Yamuna to witness this in person. We shall wait till the next episode to witness Sage Sukhaachaarya’s next narrative! Stay tuned! 😊