BY JEYANTHY PILLAI
KLANG, MALAYSIA – On the last day of the Jhulan, on the Purnima (full moon) this comes Lord Balaram’s appearance day festival. Powerful Lord Balarama is sixteen years old, full of the luster of youth and has a fair complexion the color of crystal. He wears blue garments and a garland of forest flowers. His handsome hair is tied in a graceful topknot. Splendid earrings adorn His ears and His neck is splendidly decorated with garlands of flowers and strings of jewels. Splendid armlets and bracelets ornament Douji’s graceful and very strong arms and His feet are decorated with splendid jeweled anklets.
Lord Balarama’s beauty is enhanced by the earrings touching His cheeks. His face is decorated with tilaka made from musk, and His broad chest is ornamented with a garland of gunja. Balarama’s voice is very grave and His arms are very long, touching His thighs.
The splendor of Lord Balarama’s transcendental form eclipses many millions of glistening rising moons, and the slightest scent of His boundless strength is sufficient to destroy many armies of demons. Although He knows the supernatural power of His younger brother, Krishna, still, out of love for Him, He never leaves Krishna alone in the forest even for a moment. Balarama is Sri Krishna’s dearest friend and is a great reservoir of the nectar mellows of many kinds of transcendental pastimes.
In ISKCON KLANG, an elaborate abhishek was given to our very own Sri Sri Krishna and Balarama. HG Giri prabhu from Johor was the main priest for the day. With his expertise acquired from the training in Mayapur. he lead us to perform this wonderful abhishek with all the auspicious items i.e yellow rice, milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, suger water, fruit juices etc. It was accompanied by blowing of the conchshells, bhajans and recital from the Brahma Samhita.
It was another day of rejoicing and feasting for us in Klang. Somehow my mind wheeled back to the killing of Pralambasura demon by Sri Balaramji.
Once when Krishna and Balarama were playing with the cowherd boys, a demon named Pralamba entered their midst, disguised as a cowherd boy. Understanding the invincible potency of Krishna, he instead decided to abduct Balarama. At the end of the game, as the losing party he was supposed to carry Balarama on his shoulders. Carrying the Lord on his shoulders he ran swiftly, but Balarama realizing the true identity of demon began to make himself heavier and heavier. Unable to bear the weight, the demon assumed his original form which was like a huge dark effulgent cloud, decorated with golden ornaments. Balarama then bought His fist down the head of the demon splitting it into two and causing him to give up his life.
“Pralambasura is greatest of the demons. Do you know what he represents? He represents lusty inclinations. Lusty inclination towards sex and subtle sex, craving for profit, adoration and distinction. Whenever these influences come into your heart, you should recognize Pralambasura has come. And these particular anarthas are very much like Pralamabasura because they disguise themselves as our friends, with the promise of happiness, with the promise of relief. And this is how maya whispers to us. If you have a position, if you have prestige, if people honour and respect you, you will be happy. And then we motivate ourselves in order to get those things. What to speak of illicit sex, it is such a promise of happiness of pleasure, it is a demon in disguise. It can only be killed in the presence of guru and Krishna in your heart.
The desire for prestige is very deadly. Srila Visvanath Cakravati explains three reasons of falldown for devotees which are most prominant: kanak -desire to accumulate wealth; kama – desire to enjoy the opposite sex, desire for sex life; pratistha – prestige
These three things are sure to corrupt our spiritual life.
As far as prestige goes, the desire for adoration and distinction is Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati said it is as abominable as the dung of a boar. It’s recycled stool through a boar.
It is abominable. That is how we should see our desire for prestige. But even in the spiritual societies, people are so driven by this desire for prestige, I am better than you, we learn the scriptures, if you know the scriptures, taking on the most fallen position and let me just learn this so I can serve my gurudev, the Vaishnavas then learning scriptures is very very good, but sometimes we become more learned than others and we think I am better than others. I am more advanced than you. How many slokas you know? How many people can you defeat? How many people can you leave spell bound when you give a lecture? It’s wonderful if you can do all that stuff providing its in the mood of the servant of the servant, but if you start thinking I am better than others, and you start longing for prestige, and when you do it you start expecting and demanding respect , what are you doing? You are simply tasting the dung of the abominable boar, according to Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, our parampara guru. He was so graphic because it’s such a deep burning in people’s hearts.
Now the desire to feel valued, the desire to feel appreciated, it’s just natural within everybody but when we want honor, respect and prestige, it’s very dangerous form of sense gratification and it’s the major cause of falldown. It’s Pralamabasura disguising himself. I make you so happy, just get this position, get this prestige, get this honor, get this sex life, acquire and acquire, acquire more materialistic things. Disguised as your friend, this voice, but no, that voice is only out to destroy your bhakti. Hare Krishna! And that is a fact. That is maya’s whisper, that is Pralambasura ‘s whisper promising you everything, disguised as your best friend, but the only mode of invasion of all these influences is to corrupt the life, entangle you into material bondage and destroy your bhakti. Hare Krishna!”
– HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj
We had a short class with the Children from Gopal’s Fun School and we also bid farewell to Sukkania who will be leaving us to further her studies in India. We will be missing her and we hope Sri Balaramji will give her the spiritual strength and blessings in her future undertakings. May she get the wealth of love for Lord Krishna. The children signed off a card done by Shevaanni where a beautiful poem was written by her. A small figurine of Sri Sri Gauranga Nitai was also given to her so she will always be reminded of Their Lordships and the children of Gopal’s Fun School.
We will always be missing you
Although your far apart
Your always in our hearts
You’ll be in Chennai
But in our hearts
You’ll forever always stay
We wish you all the best,
Your knowledge put to test,
Practice makes perfect,
Don’t ever give up hope
I’m sure that you can cope🙂
Your story telling, humour and your jokes
We’ll miss all of those too
Won’t forget us now, will you ?🙂
Children of Gopal’s Fun School
Srila Prabhupada: “Children, they generally imitate, imitate the parents’ habits or activities. So fortunately we had the opportunity of getting such a father. So we are imitating our father. In my childhood I imitated my father. He was worshiping Deity of Krishna. So I asked him, “My dear father, I shall worship. Give me the Deity of Krishna.” So he gave me a little Deity of Krishna and Radha and I was imitating. So beginning of life… So these are actually facts. Maharaja Pariksit also, he was playing with Krishna, Krishna dolls. Just like Mirabhai. She was playing with Krishna doll and later on she became a very high-grade devotee. So these chances are there.” (Srila Prabhupada Bhagavad-gita lecture New York, September 16, 1966)