Baladeva was actually the son of Devakī, but He was transferred from Devakī's womb to that of Rohiṇī. This fact was not disclosed. According to a statement in the Hari-vaṁśa:
- pratyuvāca tato rāmaḥ
- sarvāṁs tān abhitaḥ sthitān
- yādaveṣv api sarveṣu
- bhavanto mama vallabhāḥ
Garga Muni did disclose to Nanda Mahārāja that Balarāma would be known as Saṅkarṣaṇa because of uniting two families—the yadu-vaṁśa and the vaṁśa of Nanda Mahārāja—one of which was known as kṣatriya and the other as vaiśya. Both families had the same original forefather, the only difference being that Nanda Mahārāja was born of a vaiśya wife whereas Vasudeva was born of a kṣatriya wife. Later, Nanda Mahārāja married a vaiśya wife, and Vasudeva married a kṣatriya wife. So although the families of Nanda Mahārāja and Vasudeva both came from the same father, they were divided as kṣatriya and vaiśya. Now Baladeva united them, and therefore He was known as Saṅkarṣaṇa.