|Canto 10: The Summum Bonum||Chapter 8: Lord Krishna Shows the Universal Form Within His Mouth|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam 10.8.12
ayam hi rohini-putro
ramayan suhrido gunaih
akhyasyate rama iti
baladhikyad balam viduh
sankarshanam usanty api
sri-gargah uvaca -- Gargamuni said; ayam -- this; hi -- indeed; rohini-putrah -- the son of Rohini; ramayan -- pleasing; suhridah -- all His friends and relatives; gunaih -- by transcendental qualities; akhyasyate -- will be called; ramah -- by the name Rama, the supreme enjoyer; iti -- in this way; bala-adhikyat -- because of extraordinary strength; balam viduh -- will be known as Balarama; yadunam -- of the Yadu dynasty; aprithak-bhavat -- because of not being separated from you; sankarshanam -- by the name Sankarshana, or uniting two families; usanti -- attracts; api -- also.
Gargamuni said: This child, the son of Rohini, will give all happiness to His relatives and friends by His transcendental qualities. Therefore He will be known as Rama. And because He will manifest extraordinary bodily strength, He will also be known as Bala. Moreover, because He unites two families -- Vasudeva's family and the family of Nanda Maharaja -- He will be known as Sankarshana.
Baladeva was actually the son of Devaki, but He was transferred from Devaki's womb to that of Rohini. This fact was not disclosed. According to a statement in the Hari-vamsa:
pratyuvaca tato ramah
sarvams tan abhitah sthitan
yadaveshv api sarveshu
bhavanto mama vallabhah
Gargamuni did disclose to Nanda Maharaja that Balarama would be known as Sankarshana because of uniting two families -- the yadu-vamsa and the vamsa of Nanda Maharaja -- one of which was known as kshatriya and the other as vaisya. Both families had the same original forefather, the only difference being that Nanda Maharaja was born of a vaisya wife whereas Vasudeva was born of a kshatriya wife. Later, Nanda Maharaja married a vaisya wife, and Vasudeva married a kshatriya wife. So although the families of Nanda Maharaja and Vasudeva both came from the same father, they were divided as kshatriya and vaisya. Now Baladeva united them, and therefore He was known as Sankarshana.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
His Holiness Hrdayananda dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari
Dravida dasa Brahmacari