śrutvā yuddhodyamaṁ rāmaḥ
kurūṇāṁ saha pāṇḍavaiḥ
tīrthābhiṣeka-vyājena
madhya-sthaḥ prayayau kila

 śrutvā - hearing; yuddha - for battle; udyamam - the preparations; rāmaḥ - Lord Balarāma; kurūṇām - of the Kurus; saha - with; pāṇḍavaiḥ - the Pāṇḍavas; tīrtha - in holy places; abhiṣeka - of bathing; vyājena - on the pretext; madhya-sthaḥ - neutral; prayayau - He departed; kila - indeed.


Text

Lord Balarāma then heard that the Kurus were preparing for war with the Pāṇḍavas. Being neutral, He departed on the pretext of going to bathe in holy places.

Purport

Both Duryodhana and Yudhiṣṭhira were dear to Lord Balarāma, and so to avoid an awkward situation He departed. Furthermore, after killing the demon Vidūratha, Lord Kṛṣṇa put aside His weapons, but Lord Balarāma still had to kill Romaharṣaṇa and Balvala to finish relieving the earth of her burden of demons.