'Miracle on Second Avenue' is a short, carefully researched documentary book written in a you-are-there style, that catalogs the start and growth of the Hare Krishna movement. 'Miracle on Second … more
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 10 August 2014, Czech, Balarama’s Appearance Day, Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.8)
Brahmananda Prabhu told us how the deities in Vrindavan were installed. He said that if you look at the deities in Vrindavan, you will see that Balarama has a hand on Krsna’s shoulder. Prabhupada had asked, “Who is stronger, Krsna or Balarama?”
Some devotees said, “Baladev!!” and Prabhupada said, “No, Krsna is stronger!” because Balarama leans on his shoulder. Then Prabhupada made a sketch of that and he told Bharadvaja to go to Jaipur and have the deities carved in that way. Now, we think that this is the standard form for Krsna and Balarama but it was Prabhupada who indicated that.
Prabhupada explained why he installed Krsna and Balarama in Vrindavan. Vrindavan is the home of Krsna; Vrindavan is the home of the devotees therefore all of us are thinking of Vrindavan; everyone is thinking of home and Prabhupada made Krsna and Balarama the principal deities – that means for the whole world. For all the devotees of the world, he put Krsna and Balarama on the centre altar.
Different devotees have offered different reasons for the installation of Krsna and Balarama. Some said that the temple is in the area of Raman Reti which is like a pastime place of Krsna and Balarama. There in the Raman Reti fields, every afternoon Krsna and Balarama would bring the cows and the cows would rest under the trees.
Then at the time of Prabhupada, there was also the Krsna-Balarama tree. Now, it is not there anymore but there used to be a blackish tree and then on top of it, a white tree. Two trees were growing together and everyone would circumambulate that Krsna-Balarama tree. The black tree is still there in Vrindavan but the white one, not anymore. Prabhupada would circumambulate the Krsna-Balarama tree; I also did so many times and we used to sit there in Raman Reti and the peacocks would be walking around. At six o’ clock in the evening, you would see like thirty to forty peacocks assembled and they would all go into the tree because they used to sleep there at night and in the morning, they would be our alarm clock. At 3 am, they would start really loud… (Imitates the sound of a peacock)
So there in Raman Reti, amidst the sounds of the peacocks, is the home of Krsna and Balarama. This may be one of the reasons why Krsna and Balarama were installed in Raman Reti but Srila Prabhupada said that principal reason why Krsna and Balarama were installed is because they are non-different from Gaura-Nitai and in this age of kali, we cannot enter into Vrindavan without the mercy of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, heno nitāi bine bhāi, rādhā-kṛṣṇa pāite nāi says Narotam Das Thakur – without the lotus feet of Nityananda, one cannot attain Radha and Krsna. That is a fact! In this way, Lord Nityananda is an especially merciful form of Balarama. We need that mercy of Balarama so let us serve. Let us do something for Krsna’s comfort. Let the glory of Krsna be spread everywhere; that is Balarama’s desire!