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Tuesday, August 12th, 2003

St. Petersburg, Russia

Baladeva's Appearance

Krishna's older brother

Today is the appearance day of Lord Balaram, Lord Krishna's older brother. Srila Gurudeva is not feeling too well, but, saying, "It is my duty," he walks from his quarters to the temple room to talk to all the devotees who are eagerly waiting to hear something about the pastimes of Sri Baladeva from him.

When I first read the Bhagavad Gita and became a little acquainted with the family of Krishna, I did not have any difficulty understanding how Krishna, the Original Person (svayam bhagavan), could have a mother (Yasoda) and a father (Nanda), but I do remember finding it a little puzzling that Krishna (God Himself) had a brother — and an older brother at that. What was the necessity?

Of course, now I know that Balaram is Lord Krishna's immediate expansion; He supplies the energy of existence, and maintains everything in the background. From Him, everything is created; and everything is created only for the pleasure of Krishna. He appears before Krishna, as the elder brother, to set the stage, as it were, for Krishna's lila, or pastimes.

Lord Balaram, the original guru, has no individual thoughts for His own enjoyment; every atom of His body is always eager to make arrangements for the enjoyment of Krishna. His whole personality is that of exclusive dedication to Sri Krishna.

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