Guru of Bhima and Duryodhana
Balarama was a weapon expert and is famous for his ability as an instructor of combat tactics. He taught both Duryodhana of the Kauravas and Bhima of the Pandavas the art of fighting with a mace.
When war broke out between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, Balarama considered himself equally affectionate toward both parties and so decided to side with neither group.
Bheema Vs Duryodhan
- Clad in armour, and armed with his mace of gigantic thickness, Bhima, O monarch, assumed the form of the mighty Garuda.
- With head-gear fastened on his head, and wearing an armour made of gold, licking the corners of his mouth, O monarch, with eyes red in wrath, and breathing hard, thy son, on that field, O king, looked resplendent like the golden Sumeru.
- Taking up his mace, king Duryodhana of great energy, casting his glances on Bhimasena, challenged him to the encounter like an elephant challenging a rival elephant.
- Similarly, the valiant Bhima, taking up his adamantine mace, challenged the king like a lion challenging a lion.
- Duryodhana and Bhima, with uplifted maces, looked in that bottle like two mountains with tall summits. Both of them were exceedingly angry;
- both were possessed of awful prowess; in encounters with the mace both were disciples of Rohini's intelligent son,
- both resembled each other in their feats and looked like Maya and Vasava.
- Both were endued with great strength, both resembled Varuna in achievements.
- Each resembling Vasudeva, or Rama, or Visravana's son (Ravana), they looked, O monarch, like Madhu and Kaitabha.
- Each like the other in feats, they looked like
- Sunda and Upasunda, or
- Rama and Ravana, or
- Vali and Sugriva.
- Those two scorchers of foes looked like Kala and Mrityu.
- They then ran towards each other like two infuriated elephants, swelling with pride and mad with passion in the season of autumn and longing for the companionship of a she-elephant in her time.
- Each seemed to vomit upon the other the poison of his wrath like two fiery snakes.
- Those two chastisers of foes cast the angriest of glances upon each other.
- Both were tigers of Bharata's race, and each was possessed of great prowess.
- In encounters with the mace, those two scorchers of foes were invincible like lions.
- Indeed, O bull of Bharata's race, inspired with desire of victory, they looked like two infuriated elephants.
- Those heroes were unbearable, like two tigers accoutred with teeth and claws.
- They were like two uncrossable oceans lashed into fury and bent upon the destruction of creatures, or like two angry Suns risen for consuming everything.
- Those two mighty car-warriors looked like an Eastern and a Western cloud agitated by the wind, roaring awfully and pouring torrents of rain in the rainy season.
- Those two high-souled and mighty heroes, both possessed of great splendour and effulgence, looked like two Suns risen at the hour of the universal dissolution.
- Looking like two enraged tigers or like two roaring masses of clouds, they became as glad as two maned lions.
- Like two angry elephants or two blazing fires, those two high-souled ones appeared like two mountains with tall summits.
- With lips swelling with rage and casting keen glances upon each other, those two high-souled and best of men, armed with maces, encountered each other.
- Both were filled with joy, and each regarded the other as a worthy opponent, and Vrikodara then resembled two goodly steeds neighing at each other, or two elephants trumpeting at each other.
- Those two foremost of men then looked resplendent like a couple of Daityas swelling with might.
'Protected by the Kaikeyas and the Srinjayas and the high-souled Pancalas, behold ye with all those foremost of kings, seated together, this battle that is about to take place between me and Bhima!' Hearing these words of Duryodhana, they did as requested. Then that large concourse of kings sat down and was seen to look resplendent like a conclave of celestials in heaven.
In the midst of that concourse the mighty-armed and handsome elder brother of Keshava, O monarch, as he sat down, was worshipped by all around him. In the midst of those kings, Valadeva clad in blue robes and possessed of a fair complexion, looked beautiful like the moon at full surrounded in the night by thousands of stars.
Meanwhile those two heroes, O monarch, both armed with maces and both unbearable by foes, stood there, goading each other with fierce speeches. Having addressed each other in disagreeable and bitter words, those two foremost of heroes of Kuru's race stood, casting angry glances upon each other, like Shakra and Vritra in fight."
Upon hearing of this, Balarama threatened to kill Bhima as hitting below part of body was not allowed in mace fighting,Krishna pacified Balaram by reminding him of Bhima’s vows to kill Duryodhona by crushing the very thigh which
Bhima resorted to such lowly means because Duryodhana’s whole body was invincible due to the boon of Gandhari, except his groin.
- The era of Kali has arrived, when the laws of a previous age cannot apply.
- It was not wrong for Bhima to strike below the navel an enemy who had wickedly contrived against his life on many occasions.
- Duryodhana's foul instigation that Karna sent a shaft from be hind and broke Abhimanyu's bowstring m hen he was defending himself against heavy odds. Arjuna's young son was attacked by numerous warriors who surrounded him, when he stood all by himself in the field, deprived of bow and chariot, and in a most cowardly manner, killed him.Duryodhana thought evil and practised deception from the time of his birth and has brought about the destruction of his people.
- There is no sin in Bhima killing this man. Bhima bore the wrongs done and kept his wrath within himself for thirteen long years.
- Duryodhana knew well that Bhima had sworn to break his thighs and kill I'm.When he challenged the aggrieved Pandavas to battle, he knew very well that he invited Bhima to make good his oath.
Krishna's words did not change Balarama's opinion, but his anger subsided.
"Duryodhana will attain the happy regions reserved for the brave. Bhima's fame has been tarnished for all time. It will be said among men that the son of Pandu broke the laws of war in attacking Duryodhana. It will remain forever a great blot on his good name. I hate to stay here any longer."
So saying the indignant Balarama immediately left for Dwaraka.
Duryodana and Balaram Relationships
- Balarama was so happy with Duryodhana that he wanted his sister, Subhadra, to marry him. Krishna, however, had other plans. He engineered romance between Subhadra and Arjuna and got her to elope with him. “Look, he is not taking her by force,” said Krishna to pacify his infuriated elder brother, “She is holding the reins of the chariot. She wants to go with him. Who are we to stop her?”
- Later in the epic, according to folk retellings, Balarama wants his daughter, named variously as Vatsala, or Shashirekha, to marry Duryodhana’s son, Laxman. Krishna stops even this from taking place. He asks Bhima’s son, Ghatotkacha, to help Vatsala elope with Arjuna’s son, Abhimanyu and destroy the wedding plans.
- The story does not end here. Duryodhana and Balarama had another plan to unite the Kaurava and the Yadava clans: Duryodhana’s daughter, Lakshmani, would marry Krishna’s son, Samba. When Vatsala elopes with Abhimanyu, an exasperated Duryodhana refuses to let his daughter marry Samba. Not willing to take no for an answer, Samba goes to Hastinapur and tries to abduct Duryodhana’s daughter, but is caught by Duryodhana who throws him in a jail.When Balarama seeks the release of Samba, Duryodhana insults the Yadava clan for never keeping their word. Incensed, Balarama turns into a giant, swings his plough, hooks it on the foundations of Hastinapur and threatens to drag it into the sea, until Duryodhana apologizes.