One thing we Bhakti Yogis like to do is to look long and lovingly at the beautiful form of Krishna. It’s a meditation practice. Our eyes settle upon the transcendent Lord and allow that vision to fill us, hold us, exchange with us, and receive our adoration and gladness, even as we receive more in return. We are forever changed by darshan.
The most popular form of Krishna darshan is Radha Krishna. Known as the divine couple, they personify grace, beauty, and the pinnacle of what it means to love. They look out upon the world and invite us to participate in their life, which is our life, although long forgotten.
Lesser known is the Deity of Krishna Balarama. Here Krishna stands with his older brother Balarama, both with flutes and cows, both relaxed and happy. What draws me to this darshan is Balaram leaning on Krishna.
Balarama is understood to be the original teacher, the original guru. He gives spiritual strength (bala) and infuses our life with joy (rama). As guru he teaches by example - lean on Krishna. No matter how strong you are, how close to Krishna you are, how competent, humble, devotional or how rich or renounced you are, never ever stop leaning on Krishna.
Notice he is not leaning out of exhaustion or bedragglement. He is leaning with lightness, charm, and complete trust. I am with You, the pose says. I am your older brother and still I lean because you are the original Lord and my strength comes from you.
The ability to lean on Krishna is the ability to give and receive love and to trust the extraordinary spiritual truth that Lord Balaram speaks. Leaning on Krishna is a sign of spiritual strength, not weakness. It’s who we are and what we are meant to do.