Vadabhandeshwar (Balarama) temple , Malpe, karnataka


The ancient stone temple of Vadabhandeshwar is flanked by a rectangular pond. Inside the temple is the 2.5 feet tall deity of Krishna’s elder brother Balaram, Vadabhandeshwar, carved out of the Shaligrama stone. While Krishna in Udupi holds a churning rod in his right hand, Vadabhandeshwar holds churned butter.
Vadabhandeshwar literally means God who came out of a broken rock. This deity, like the deity of Udupi Sri Krishna, came out when a mound of the clay gopichandan was fractured. Madhvacharya then installed Vadabhandeshwar, and set up a system of worship for the deity.
It is believed that the deity of Sri Krishna, installed in Udupi was got made by Bhagawan Sri Krishna himself by Viswakarma out of Saligrama stone. Towards the end of Dwapara yuga, Devaki Devi felt a keen desire to see once again Krishna's bala leelas. These leelas which were enacted by Krishna for the benefit of his mother were ...also witnessed incognito by his wife Rukmini, who falling in love with this balaroopa requested him to get her a similar image for her daily worship. There upon Sri Krishna asked Viswakarma to make such a deity of Balakrishna with a churn in its right hand and a cord in the other and balaram holding butter . This deities were daily worshipped by Rukmini. After Bhagawan Sri Krishna's Swargaroohan from this world, the deity fell into the hands of Arjuna, who hid it in Rukmini's garden. By lapse of time the deity got completely covered by Gopichandana (sandalwood).
A sailor from Dwarka loaded this heavy sandalwood lump in his boat as ballast, in one of his trips along the west coast. In the middle of the journey, the ship was caught in a storm on the western coast of Malpe. Madhwacharya, the great saint with his divine power over controlling the course of wind calmed down the storm in the sea and coasted the ship to safety. The captain of the ship landed on the coast and offered Madhwacharya anything from the ship. Madhwa being an ascetic did not want anything else but two sacks of Gopichandan (a type of paste that is used by the devotees of Krishna to embalm them before the poojas) Inside the sacks were the two deities of Krishna and Balarama.. He carried the deity to Udupi, a distance of four miles, singing the praise of Lord Narayana in ecstasy. These hymns under twelve chapters are called " Dwadasa Stotra". He washed the deity of Sri Krishna in Madhwa Sarovara . Madhwacharaya consecrated Krishna in Udupi and Balarama in Vadabandeshwara .

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