By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Sankarsana, SaGkarSaNa, Sankarshana
Saṅkarṣaṇa literally means ‘one who was drawn’.
This is one of the names of Balarāma, elder brother of Kṛṣṇa. He was the seventh baby in the womb of Devakī from Vasudeva. However, Yogamāyā, the mysterious power of Lord Viṣṇu, drew the fetus from the womb of Devakī and placed it in the womb of Rohiṇī, the first wife of Vasudeva. Then he was brought up in Nandagokula. Hence Balarāma got this name.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore