Lord Balarāma had avoided taking part in the Battle of Kurukṣetra, and yet because of His position as an incarnation, the reestablishment of religious principles was His prime duty. Considering these points, He killed Romaharṣaṇa Sūta simply by striking him with a kuśa straw, which was nothing but a blade of grass. If someone questions how Lord Balarāma could kill Romaharṣaṇa Sūta simply by striking him with a blade of kuśa grass, the answer is given in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by the use of the word prabhu (“master”). The Lord’s position is always transcendental, and because He is omnipotent He can act as He likes, without being obliged to follow the material laws and principles. Thus it was possible for Him to kill Romaharṣaṇa Sūta simply by striking him with a blade of kuśa grass.
At the death of Romaharṣaṇa Sūta, everyone present became much aggrieved and cried out, “Alas! Alas!” Although all the brāhmaṇas and sages present knew Lord Balarāma to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they did not hesitate to protest the Lord’s action. They humbly submitted, “Our dear Lord, we think that Your action is not in line with the religious principles. Dear Lord Yadunandana, we may inform You that we brāhmaṇas posted Romaharṣaṇa Sūta on that exalted position for the duration of this great sacrifice. He was seated on the vyāsāsana by our election, and when one is seated on the vyāsāsana, it is improper for him to stand up to receive a person. Moreover, we awarded Romaharṣaṇa Sūta an undisturbed duration of life. Under the circumstances, since Your Lordship has killed him without knowing all these facts, we think that Your action is equal to killing a brāhmaṇa. Dear Lord, deliverer of all fallen souls, we know for certain that You are the knower of all Vedic principles. You are the master of all mystic powers; therefore the Vedic injunctions cannot ordinarily be applied to You. But we respectfully advise You to show Your causeless mercy upon others by kindly atoning for this killing of Romaharṣaṇa Sūta. We do not, however, suggest what kind of act You should perform to atone for killing him; we simply suggest that You adopt some method of atonement so that others may follow Your action. What is done by a great personality is followed by the ordinary man.”
The Lord replied, “Yes, I must atone for this action, which may have been proper for Me but is improper for others; therefore, I think it is My duty to execute a suitable act of atonement enjoined in the authorized scriptures. Simultaneously I can also give this Romaharṣaṇa Sūta life again, with a span of long duration, sufficient strength and full power of the senses. Not only this, but if you desire I shall be glad to award him anything else you may ask. I shall be very glad to grant all these boons to fulfill your desires.