THE LEGEND OF BALLALAL
This much-frequented and immensely popular
Ballaleswara kshetra, like its counterparts has long legends
imbued with undiminishing spiritual glory that is luring
steady streams of devotees for over centuries now.
According to Ganesh and Mudgala Puranas, it is at this
sacred kshetra, a Bala Vinayaka bhakta was liberated, and demonstrated the infinite power of devotion. Once
there lived in Pallipur city of this region, a business man called Kalyan, who
was blessed with a son of inimitable devotion to Vinayaka called Ballala.
From his childhood, like Prahlad, he reposed infinite faith in Vinayaka and
started narrating tales about his glory and sports to his friends of his age
group. And lo! his devotion took several forms, like treating all stones as gods
and conducting congregational bhajans sitting in front of them. He became
endeared to all the children, who used to go along with him far off to perform
worship with songs etc. All of them used to participate in prayer activities -
some building small huts for gods, a few collecting flowers and all hailing at
their highest pitch, 'Jai Gajanana' for hours. It so happened, once the children
did not return home for days. Knowing that Ballala had taken them out, for
bhajans, they scolded his father. Unable to bear humiliation, he went in search
of him and found the scene of action. He put to destruction all the idols
worshipped and huts made for the deity, besides tying Ballala to a tree and
beat him till he vomited blood. Before going he uttered, "Let me see, how you
will be protected and by whom"? Ballala then cursed him to become blind,
deaf, dumb and hunchback.