ruled Mathura. He had a daughter called Devaki who was married to Vasudevar.
Devaki's brother Kamsan was driving the chariot with the newly wed couple.
An asariri (divine voice) called out that the eighth child of Devaki would
kill Kamsan. The outraged Kamsan rushed to kill Devaki, but Vasudevar pleaded,
that since the trouble was from Devaki's children, he would hand over all
her children to Kamsan. Kamsan put Devaki, Vasudevar and Ugrasenan in prison.
Kamsan mercilessly killed six of Devaki's children. Devaki was pregnant for the seventh time and this time it was Adisesha's amsam in her womb. Lord Vishnu arranged for this child to be transferred to the womb of Rohini, another wife of Vasudevar, who lived in Aayarpaadi. Rohini gave birth to a beautiful and powerful child who was named Balarama.
(Devaki's eighth child Krishna was soon to be brought to Aayapadi by Vasudeva to the house of Nandagopar and Yasodha).
Balarama as a child
Balarama and Krishna grew up in Aayarpadi. They were loved by all. They spent their time happily eating up the butter in their houses and others and distributibuting it to all their friends. Several asuras came to kill Krishna and each time balarama and Krishna showed their might and valour.
Once as the children were playing, they came across an asura called Denukan, who was in the form of a donkey. The asura rushed at them as they reached the palm grove. Balaraman held the asura donkey by its legs, lifted it above his head, turned him round and round and threw his body against a palm tree.
At one other time, an asura called pralamban joined their games in disguise. Krishna realised that the new boy was an asura. He arranged that the person who lost the game had to carry the victor on his shoulders. The asura boy lost to Balarama and had to carry Balarama and run upto an area. But, the asura continued to run beyond the specified area. Balarama, realising that he was an asura became heavier and heavier that the asura had to drop him. The asura returned to his original form and began to grow in size. The mighty Balarama just gave him one knock on his head and killed him.
Balarama in Mahabaratham
Balarama and his wife Revathy had a daughter called Vatsala. Krishna's sister Subadra had married Arjuna and they had a son called Abhimanyu. It had been agreed by elders that Vatsala and Abhimanyu would get married.
But, as the Pandavas had lost their kingdom to the Gauravas, Balarama and Revathy changed their minds and decided to give Vatsala in marraige to Latchana Kumara, Duryodhana's son.
Abhimanyu, with the help of Gadothgajan (son of Bheeman and Idumbi) married Vatsala. Vatsala was brought to Gadothgajan's place, while Gadothgajan took the guise of Vatsala in the palace. He (i.e Vatsala) appeared as a monkey, tiger, etc., only to Lakshana Kumara, who ran away from Vatsala in fear calling her a monkey, tiger, etc., All gathered thought Lakshana Kumara had gone mad. When Balarama heard that Vatsala had married Abhimanyu with Lord Krishna's blessings was overjoyed and welcomed them to his palace.