Now we are at Lohavan. Here Krishna killed a demon called Lohajunga. There is a big pond here where Krishna us to take a boat and row the gopis across. Also many times Krishna was herding the cows here.
Now we have arrived at Lord Balaram’s place called Dauji. Dauji is an affectionate name for Balaram meaning elder brother. This Deity was installed in dedication to Him being elder to Krishna. During the Muslim invasions, He was hidden in this kund called Kshira Sagara, or ocean of milk, which is next to here. It is said that in Vrindavan, there is Govindadeva, in Mathura, Keshavadeva, in Govardhan, Harideva and here in Gokula, Dauji, Baladev. Vrajanabha the great, grandson of Krishna from Dwaraka installed these four Deities, five thousand years ago.
All these places are very ancient, dating back thousands of years. Here Lord Balaram is in a blackish Deity form. The reason why Balaram is blackish is because He was so absorbed in thoughts of Krishna that gradually Krishna’s complexion covered His own original golden complexion completely. Who is sitting behind Balaram? It is Revati devi. She is Lord Balaram’s eternal consort in Dwaraka. When Lord Balaram appeared 500 years ago as Lord Nityananda to participate in Lord Caitanya’s pastimes, Revati devi appeared as Lord Nityananda’s wife, Jahnava devi. Some of you may be wondering why Revati devi is sitting behind and not next to her husband, Lord Balaram. There is a reason for this. In Vraja, Srimati Radharani is the only Queen. Here She is the most prominent personality and Queen to everyone. All other females must take a second position. This is why Jahnavi devi is sitting behind her Lord, because she does not wish to offend this etiquette. Now we will learn about the marriage of Lord Balaram.
Lord Balaram married Revati devi in Dwaraka. Revati devi was the daughter of King Raivata. After she came of marriageable age, he was looking for a suitable husband for her. But his search was in vain. He was not able to find anyone to give his daughter’s hand in marriage. Now Raivata’s search began in the Satya-yuga and almost at the end of Treta-yuga he still had not found a suitable husband for his daughter.
Finally as a last resort he went to Lord Brahma. Brahma told him that a suitable husband will appear at the end of Dvapara-yuga in Vraja and his name will be Balaram. Brahma also told Raivata that because his daughter was from Satya-yuga, she would be taller than Balaram. Another example of this is Mucukunda, who was also from Satya-yuga being a descendant of King Iksvaku. When he was delivered by Lord Krishna after burning the asura Kalayavana to ashes, he came out of his mountain cave and discovered that human beings had degenerated to pigmy size by his standards. Even the trees were greatly reduced. Back then five thousand years ago, the average height of a man was about twelve feet. So you can imagine how strong the influence of Kali yuga must be. Now the average height of a man is only six feet tall. The further Kali yuga progresses, the more degraded the human species becomes.
Anyway to get back to the story. At the end of Dvapara-yuga Raivata came to Vraja and approached Lord Balaram to accept his daughter’s hand in marriage. Balaram accepted his proposal and placing His plow on the shoulders of Revati devi pulled her down to the correct size to match His height
Lord Balaram is serving Krishna in every respect. Without the mercy of Dauji, the elder brother, it is not possible for one to attain Krishna’s lotus feet. Lord Balaram serves Krishna in all the different mellows, right from dasya all the way up to conjugal. To insure Krishna’s pleasure and satisfaction, Lord Balaram expands as Vraja Mandala. He even expands as Krishna’s personal possessions, His throne, crown, bed, ornaments, and clothes. Every single material thing that Krishna’s uses is an expansion of Lord Balaram. So in this way Balaram is always serving Krishna in every way.
When Lord Balaram appeared in the pastimes of Lord Ramacandra as Laksmana, He had to undergo many unpalatable experiences. This was because as Laksmana, He had to execute many of Lord Ramacandra’s orders against His own will. Many instances of this occurred. For example Lord Ramacandra requested Laksmana to take Sita devi to the forest and then just leave Her there. He did not really want to do it. It was too painful for Him, so He was hesitating. Lord Ramacandra seeing this, took His hand, placed it on Laksmana’s head, and made Him swear that He would do it. Afterwards not wishing to break His oath, He was forced to leave Sita devi in the forest alone and unprotected. But it was quite against His will. Revolting in opposition to the order, Laksmana asked Lord Ramacandra, “What wrong has Sita devi committed?” Lord Ramacandra replied, “She maybe faultless, but this is what I require You to do.”
There is another instance involving breaking an order given to Him by Lord Ramacandra. When Laksmana, Sita devi, and Lord Ramacandra were all living in exile in the forest, one day a beautiful golden deer appeared before Them. The deer was so wonderful that Sita devi desired it madly. She pleaded with Lord Ramacandra to get it for Her. Lord Ramacandra ran off to capture it for Her. But before going, He instructed Laksmana to stay with Sita devi and not leave Her for any reason.
The deer was actually the demon magician Marichi. He succeeded in drawing Lord Ramacandra far away from Sita devi and Laksmana. Using trickery, they were both made to believe that Lord Ramacandra was crying out saying, “Help Me Laksmana! Help me!” Naturally Laksmana wanted to help His brother, but He knew it was more important to follow His brother’s order. But as soon as Sita devi saw that He was not going She immediately accused Laksmana of hoping that Lord Ramacandra would be destroyed so that He would finally be able to possess Her. Laksmana was shocked and horrified at Her false accusations. After putting a protective ring of fire around Her, He fled to search out Lord Rama. So these things stayed in His heart.
Another circumstance that caused Him pain was when Sita devi came back from Ashokavan in Lanka. All the monkey armies gathered to greet Her. Sugriva, Lasmana, Vibhishan, and Lord Rama were all standing together to receive Her. There was a tumultuous cry from the monkey army in jubilation. They were all waiting to see their mother, Sita devi return. But before She reached their camp, Lord Ramacandra had the palanquin stopped and requested Mother Sita to walk. Laksmana had to carry out that order and He did not want too. Although the reason Lord Ramacandra requested this was so that the monkeys could see their mother Sita, why should She have to walk just like any ordinary person? But nevertheless He had received an order and He had no choice but to carry it out.
When Sita devi finally walked to where Lord Ramacandra and Laksmana were standing, Lord Ramacandra told Her, “Actually we did not fight this war for Your sake as the cheers from the monkey army might imply. We fought this war in order to re-establish the glory of the Raghu Dynasty. So You have just come from the house of our enemy. You have stayed so long amongst the demons, we do not know exactly what Your position is. But I do not think I can take You back in this condition. So You are free to go anywhere you like.”
Mother Sita was extremely upset to hear this. She said to Lord Rama, “Why did you not let Me know about this earlier. Then I could have taken poison and ended My life well before all this fighting, bloodshed, and waste of human life had taken place. It all could have been avoided.”
Then Mother Sita turned to Laksmana and said, “Although I know I have offended You in many ways, I want to ask of You one last favor. I want You to light a wooden pyre. Please do this for Me as My last request. I believe it is because of My offenses to you that I have to suffer like this today. I remember the first time I offended You was as soon as I came to Ayodhya after getting married.
The very first night you were standing on the veranda waiting to carry out the slightest order and desire of Lord Rama. I had approached my Lord at that time hoping my presence would prompt you to leave, but you were not intimidated in any way. I had told you, “My dear brother why don’t you leave. I am here now I can take care of Lord Rama’s needs.” But you still remained firm and held your ground.
You were thinking, and I see now you were right, that you had been serving Lord Rama for all of your life and in one day someone was going to come and take your service away. You just calmly looked towards your brother. Lord Rama, of course, was in a dilemma. He did not know exactly what He should do. If He allowed Sita devi to have Her way Laksmana would be unhappy and if He supported His brother’s position then His wife would be unhappy. So Lord Ramacandra said, “I cannot solve this problem. We have to consult and take the advice of Our spiritual master, Vashista.
So the next morning when Vashista came, Lord Ramacandra said, “You have to solve this problem for me, I cannot do it. Vashista Muni said, “There is not a single problem that You cannot solve. So if You can not solve it, how do You expect me to?” Lord Ramacandra replied, “What you say is not a fact. Since you are a guru, your advice is always respected. Whereas, if I would give a decision regarding this matter it could be interpreted that I was partial or showed favoritism. So in order to keep my reputation intact, I want you to solve this problem.” Lord Ramacandra then told Sita devi and Laksmana to give their side of the situation so that their gurudev Vashista could fairly judge.
Sita devi began saying that at Her marriage ceremony Lord Rama vowed before the fire and Vishnu that He was accepting Her as His maidservant, to worship and serve Him in every respect. He then would take care of Her in every respect, for this service to Him. Understanding these conditions I married Him and came here to serve Him. So I have the right to serve Him as promised before Lord Vishnu.
Then Laksmana said, “From my birth I have been serving Lord Rama in every respect. Through childhood, adolesence, and young manhood all the way to this present moment, He has had no other to carry out His commands but me. Now suddenly in one moment, I am to lose everything that I have dedicated my very existence to. This is not dharma.
Vashista Muni pondered over the situation for some time and then He agreed that both of them had the right to serve. Laksmana would have the right to serve Lord Ramacandra in all His public dealings and all public matters, affairs of state, and court administration. As soon as Lord Rama left His inner chamber Laksmana would have the right to serve Him. Sita devi would have the right to serve Lord Rama in all private matters, in the areas of their private quarters and in all aspects of household life. This judgement, although given by their gurudev, Vashista Muni, was not at all agreeable to Laksmana. He was extremely dejected by it. Sita devi told Laksmana that She was aware that She had offended Him at that time.
Another time She had offended Him was when the three of them were in exile in the forest of Dandakaranya. She had sent Lord Rama after that beautiful golden deer that had completely captivated Her mind. She had insulted Laksmana by accusing Him of not having any love for Lord Rama and by deceitfully desiring Her, He would let Lord Rama die so He could enjoy Her. Laksmana said He would rather die than bear such insults. Although He left a protective ring of fire around Sita devi, by insulting Him, She forced Him to break His word to Lord Rama and leave Her alone. In this way Sita devi explained that She had offended Laksmana in so many ways and that is why She believed that She was forced to face those reactions that She had to face at that time. Sita devi then told Laksmana, “So now in My last hours, please forgive all My numerous and heinous offences. This I am begging You. Now mercifully prepare My pyre and light it.”
When Laksmana heard these astounding confessions from His worshipable object, He felt ashamed. Looking over at His brother helplessly, He was expecting that Lord Ramacandra would intervene and say that everything was all right. That He would say that Sita devi was chaste and pure and that He was accepting Her back. Lord Ramacandra, however, remained silent uttering not a word.
As Laksmana prepared the pyre, it was as if He was not even there so much did this action go against every part of His being. While He was doing this, Sita devi made an announcement before everyone saying, “If I am chaste, if I have remained pure, then the fire will be reduced to a simmer and cool down like ice. Then all the three worlds will testify that I was a chaste wife to My Lord.” Sita devi was saying this while Laksmana was just about to light the fire.
At that time Laksmana made a solemn vow that never again under any circumstances in any incarnation of the Supreme Lord would He incarnate as the younger brother. Because as the younger brother, etiquette dictates that He must be in the second position and follow implicitly whatever the elder brother desires. In this incarnation so many things had happened that were so painful for Him to bear. He never wanted to be put again in a situation where He would not be able to act by His own sweet will.
We see in Srimad Bhagavatam that in His incarnation as Lord Balaram, He is Krishna’s elder brother. Before the battle of Kurukshetra was fought, Lord Balaram being so intimately connected to parties of both sides once again found the situation too painful. This time as Krishna’s elder brother, He didn’t have to fight if He did not wish to. So instead, Balaram abstained from all fighting and went on pilgrimage to all the holy places in India.
Also we see in Sri Caitanya Caritamrita that Lord Nityananda, who is nondifferent from Balaram, is considered the elder brother of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And at the end of Kali yuga, 427,000 years from now, the Supreme Lord Krishna incarnates again as Kalki in the village of Sambhala, as the son of Vishnu Yasa, as confirmed in Srimad Bhagavatam. Then if Lord Balaram incarnates along with Him, it will most definitely be as Dauji, the elder brother.
Anyway Laksmana lit the fire. When it was blazing, Sita devi walked into it. As soon as She stood on the pyre, the pyre just cooled down and faded away. Then Agnideva, the fire god, brought out the real Sita devi, taking away the illusory maya Sita into the embers that still remained from the fire. The real Sita devi shone like the sun and all the three worlds were illuminated by the splendor that manifested from the power of Her chastity.
If anyone wants to attain the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika and Krishna and be able to taste and fully relish Their pastimes, then one must first approach the lotus feet of Lord Balaram or Lord Nityananda. This is a mandatory prerequisite. For only by receiving Their mercy can this realization be possible. Lord Nityananda and Lord Balaram are nondifferent. That is why it has been confirmed by the Goswamis that once one gets the mercy of Lord Nityananda, one becomes eligible to receive the ecstatic prema of Srimati Radharani and Krishna in Vraja. So simply always embrace the all-merciful lotus feet of Lord Nityananda and receive the desired goal.
Neither Lord Balaram nor Lord Nityananda accept any offenses whatsoever, and are so merciful that if one simply worships Lord Nityananda this fortunate soul is automatically worshipping and pleasing Lord Balaram. It has been described that Lord Nityananda and Lord Balaram are the friends of the most fallen and wretched of people and since in Kali yuga we are these people, let us always diligently and steadfastly seek the shelter of Lord Nityananda and Lord Balaram. Gaura Premanandi! Han! Haribol!!