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Lord Balarama slays the demon, Pralamba.
Summer arrived, which is generally not much appreciated due to the excessive heat. Because Krishna was staying there with Balarama, however, the summer in Vrindavana appeared pleasant, just like spring.
The sound of the waterfalls covered the crickets’ noise, and the trees were constantly moistened by spray coming from those waterfalls. The breeze carried the pollen of many varieties of lotuses and lilies that grew in the river and lakes, cooling the Vrindavana atmosphere. Fresh green grass was seen everywhere. Flowers beautifully decorated the forests, and many kinds of animals and birds filled the air with their sounds
To enjoy His pastimes, Lord Krishna, accompanied by Balarama, and surrounded by the cowherd boys and the cows, entered the forest of Vrindavana while playing His flute. Decorating themselves with newly grown grass, peacock feathers, garlands of flowers, clusters of flower buds, and colored minerals- Balarama, Krishna, and Their friends danced, wrestled and sang. Because Krishna and Balarama had not yet undergone the hair-cutting ceremony, Their clustered hair resembled crow feathers.
As Krishna danced, some of the boys accompanied Him by singing, while others played flutes, hand cymbals and buffalo horns, and still others praised Him. Demigods used to come there, disguised as cowherd boys, and also engage in praising Krishna.
Krishna and Balarama played with Their cowherd boyfriends by whirling about, leaping, slapping one another and fighting. Sometimes Krishna and Balarama would pull the other boys’ hair.
While the other boys were dancing, Krishna and Balarama would sometimes accompany them with songs and instruments, and sometimes They would praise the boys by saying, “Very good! Very good!”
Sometimes the boys would play with bilva or kumbha fruit, sometimes they would play hide-and-seek and blind man’s bluff, and sometimes they would imitate the animals and birds. The boys played many sorts of games. They would throw s piece fruit into the air and then try to hit it with other fruit. One boy would approach a blindfolded boy, placing his palms over his eyes. Then, simply by the feel of his hands, the blindfolded boy would have to guess who it was. In such games, the boys would give prizes of flutes or walking sticks to the winners.
One day, as the boys were tending the cows in this way, the demon Pralamba entered within their midst, disguised as a cowherd boy who had stayed home that day. Krishna immediately understood this, but He pretended to accept the demon as a friend, while at the same time considering how to kill him.
Krishna then called the boys, saying, “Come, let’s play! We will divide ourselves into two equal teams.”
The boys chose Krishna and Balarama as the leaders of the two teams. Some then joined Krishna’s side, while others joined Balarama’s. The boys then paired off to fight, and the losers had to carry the winners on their backs. While being carried by one another, and at the same time tending the cows, the boys followed Krishna to a banyan tree known as Bhandiraka, which was so dense and large that it resembled a cloud sitting upon the earth.
When Shridama, Vrishabha and the other members of Lord Balarama’s party came out victorious, Krishna and His followers had to carry them. Krishna carried Shridhama, Bhadrasena carried Vrishabha, and Pralamba carried Balarama. Considering Krishna to be invincible, Pralamba quickly carried Balarama far away and out of sight.
But as Pralambasura carried Balarama, the Lord became as heavy as Mount Sumeru, thus forcing the demon to slow down. Pralamba then had to revert to his actual form, an effulgent body covered with golden ornaments that resembled a cloud flashing with lightning (light reflected from the golden ornaments) and carrying the moon (Lord Balarama). Seeing the gigantic demon moving swiftly in the sky, with blazing eyes, fiery hair, and terrible teeth, Balarama seemed to become a little frightened.
Quickly remembering the real situation, Balarama became furious and struck the demon’s head with His hard fist. Pralamba’s head immediately cracked open, he vomited blood from his mouth, and lost all consciousness as he fell down dead with a great sound onto the ground, like a mountain devastated by Indra.
The cowherd boys were astonished to see how Balarama had killed the demon, and so they exclaimed, “Excellent! Excellent!” While praising Balarama, they garlanded Him, and embraced Him with great ecstatic love. The demigods were also extremely pleased, and they showered flower garlands upon Balarama, while praising His heroic pastime.