|Canto 10: The Summum Bonum||Chapter 79: Lord Balarāma Goes on Pilgrimage|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.79.11-15
gomatīḿ gaṇḍakīḿ snātvā
vipāśāḿ śoṇa āplutaḥ
gayāḿ gatvā pitṝn iṣṭvā
rāmaḿ dṛṣṭvābhivādya ca
pampāḿ bhīmarathīḿ tataḥ
skandaḿ dṛṣṭvā yayau rāmaḥ
dṛṣṭvādriḿ veńkaṭaḿ prabhuḥ
kāma-koṣṇīḿ purīḿ kāñcīḿ
kāverīḿ ca sarid-varām
yatra sannihito hariḥ
ṛṣabhādriḿ hareḥ kṣetraḿ
dakṣiṇāḿ mathurāḿ tathā
sāmudraḿ setum agamat
gomatīm — at the Gomatī River; gaṇḍakīm — the Gaṇḍakī River; snātvā — bathing; vipāśām — at the Vipāśā River; śoṇe — in the Śoṇa River; āplutaḥ — having immersed Himself; gayām — to Gayā; gatvā — going; pitṝn — His forefathers; iṣṭvā — worshiping; gańgā — of the Ganges; sāgara — and the ocean; sańgame — at the confluence; upaspṛśya — touching water (bathing); mahā-indra-adrau — at the Mahendra Mountain; rāmam — Lord Paraśurāma; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; abhivādya — honoring; ca — and; sapta-godāvarīm — (going) to the convergence of the seven Godāvarīs; veṇām — the Veṇā River; pampām — the Pampā River; bhīmarathīm — and the Bhīmarathī River; tataḥ — then; skandam — Lord Skanda (Kārttikeya); dṛṣṭvā — seeing; yayau — went; rāmaḥ — Lord Balarāma; śrī-śailam — to Śrī-śaila; giri-śa — of Lord Śiva; ālayam — the residence; draviḍeṣu — in the southern provinces; mahā — most; puṇyam — pious; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; adrim — the hill; veńkaṭam — known as Veńkaṭa (the abode of Lord Bālajī); prabhuḥ — the Supreme Lord; kāma-koṣṇīm — to Kāmakoṣṇī; purīm kāñcīm — to Kāñcīpuram; kāverīm — to the Kāverī; ca — and; sarit — of rivers; varām — the greatest; śrī-rańga-ākhyam — known as Śrī-rańga; mahā-puṇyam — most pious place; yatra — where; sannihitaḥ — manifested; hariḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa (in the form of Rańganātha); ṛṣabha-adrim — the Ṛṣabha Mountain; hareḥ — of Lord Viṣṇu; kṣetram — the place; dakṣiṇām mathurām — the southern Mathurā (Madurai, the abode of Goddess Mīnākṣī); tathā — also; sāmudram — on the ocean; setum — to the bridge (Setubandha); agamat — He went; mahā — the greatest; pātaka — sins; nāśanam — which destroys.
Lord Balarāma bathed in the Gomatī, Gaṇḍakī and Vipāśā rivers, and also immersed Himself in the Śoṇa. He went to Gayā, where He worshiped His forefathers, and to the mouth of the Ganges, where He performed purifying ablutions. At Mount Mahendra He saw Lord Paraśurāma and offered Him prayers, and then He bathed in the seven branches of the Godāvarī River, and also in the rivers Veṇā, Pampā and Bhīmarathī. Then Lord Balarāma met Lord Skanda and visited Śrī-śaila, the abode of Lord Giriśa. In the southern provinces known as Draviḍa-deśa the Supreme Lord saw the sacred Veńkaṭa Hill, as well as the cities of Kāmakoṣṇī and Kāñcī, the exalted Kāverī River and the most holy Śrī-rańga, where Lord Kṛṣṇa has manifested Himself. From there He went to Ṛṣabha Mountain, where Lord Kṛṣṇa also lives, and to the southern Mathurā. Then He came to Setubandha, where the most grievous sins are destroyed.
Usually one goes to Gayā to worship deceased forefathers. But as Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī explains, although Lord Balarāma's father and grandfather were still alive, it was on His father's order that He carefully worshiped His forefathers at Gayā. Drawing insight from the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī, the ācārya further explains that although Lord Balarāma was in the immediate proximity of Jagannātha Purī, He did not go there, since He wanted to avoid the embarrassment of having to worship Himself among the forms of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Balabhadra and Subhadrā.
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