Balarama (Sanskrit: Balarāma), also known as Baladeva, Balabhadra and Halayudha, is the elder brother of Krishna(an avatar of the god Vishnu) and is regarded generally as an avatar of Shesha. He is also sometimes considered as the Sankarshana form of Vishnu and the eighth avatar of Vishnu.
He may have originated in Vedic times as a deity of agriculture and fertility. In Jainism, he is known as Baladeva. He is often depicted with a drinking cup, pitcher, shield and sword.
Balarama was son of Vasudeva. The evil king Kansa, the brother of Devaki, was intent upon killing the children of his sister because of a prediction that he would die at the hands of her eighth son.
Vishnu then impregnated the belly of Devaki with two strands of hair, one black, one white. To ensure their safety, their essence was transferred before birth to Rohini, who also desired a child. At birth, Krishna had a darker complexion, while Balarama was born fair. The other name of Balarama is Sankarshana, meaning a spirit transferred between two wombs. According to Bhagavata Purana, the name Sankarshana means, "one who brings together two different families" of King Yadu's and Nanda Baba's dynasties.
He was named Rama, but because of his great strength he was called Balarama, Baladeva, or Balabhadra, meaning Strong Rama. He was born under Shravana nakshatra on Shraavana Purnima or Raksha Bandhan.