The Fascinating Tale of Sudama and Krishna
The story of Lord Krishna and Sudama always reminds us about the purity of friendship and how love can speak a thousand languages. Lord Krishna, the lord of lords, the only prosperous, is the most popular of all Indian divinities, worshipped as the eighth incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. His tale recites several versions of integrity, loyalty, companionship, love, and morals of life. The great God of Mathura, Lord Krishna played a key role in the epic tale of Mahabharata. He is master of Yuga’s and is the sole divinity possessing the Sudarshan chakra, which if launched might have ended the battle of Kurukshetra within seconds.
But among his heroic tale of life and death, Krishna’s story also revolves around the warmth of his friends of youth, especially Sudama. Sudama was the best friend of Lord Krishna with whom he shares great childhood adventures and memories. But Sudama’s character plays a central role in one of the stories where he visits Dwaraka to meet Krishna which is well mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana. He was born as a poor man in order to enjoy transcendental pastimes. Sudama was from Porbandar. But how this visit turned out to be a moral blessing, let’s check that out!
Sudama And Krishna, The Bhagavata Purana
Sudama was one of the friends who studied with Krishna at Gurukul, under the guidance of Guru Sandipani. But after they grew up, the friends parted their ways and joined their own walks of life. Sudama was a very poor man and had nothing in his house. He dedicated his path to religious teachings. His children and wife often lay empty stomachs and had little to no food to tame their hunger. On one such occasion, when Sudama returned home after his daily temple visit, his wife Vasundhara asked him to go to Lord Krishna and ask for his help. Sudama was hesitant and told her that how can he ask the King of Mathura for anything or whether he will remember him or not. But his wife persuaded saying that she needs nothing more than Krishna’s blessing which might tame the kid’s hunger. Sudama couldn’t refuse anymore but the major question was- what will he take with himself? There is a custom in India that one shouldn’t go empty-handed while meeting somebody. Thus, Vasundhara went to their neighbor’s house and asked for few rice crisps which she packed in a cloth and gave to Sudama.
Sudama then set his journey towards Krishna’s palace in Mathura. Upon reaching the destination, Sudama was stopped by the guards. When he told them that he is an old friend of Lord Krishna and has come to meet him, the guards refused to let him in. Moreover, they insulted him for wearing torn clothes and his shabby appearance. But when Lord Krishna heard that his friend has come, he rushed towards the door and welcomed Sudama gloriously. He was so happy and delighted to see his old friend again. Everyone wonder how a king could run bare foot to meet his friend! Krishna gave Sudama his seat and put him on the throne, he even washed Sudama’s feet himself. Seeing, Krishna’s hearty hospitality, Sudama couldn’t ask him for anything.
Krishna noticing the cloth package asked what he has brought for him but Sudama was shy offering the rice crisps to the wealthy king. Krishna being mischievous he his snatched the packet and ate the rice crisps with full content. The joy of meeting his old friends was so much that Sudama completely forgot about why he came to Mathura, and they talked for hours about their childhood memories. Later, Sudama bid Krishna goodbye and returned.
While returning, Sudama was overjoyed by meeting Krishna and thought of him the entire time. Upon reaching his house, Sudama was shocked to see his old house turned into a big mansion. His wife and children were all dressed in new clothes and had everything they needed. Vasundhara then informed him that someone came and offered them various gifts without asking anything in return. Sudama was happy and felt blessed by witnessing his true friendship with Lord Krishna who without asking for anything offered so much to him.
What Do We Learn From The Tale Sudama And Krishna?
“The friend indeed is a friend of the self by which the self can be subdued and the self indeed is the foe of one unsubdued.” Lord Krishna.
One of the greatest morals we receive from the story of Krishna and Sudama is that love can speak multiple languages. It is a feeling that can tackle your every problem. Without Sudama letting him know about his condition, Krishna knew his friend’s needs. It teaches us the true meaning and value of Friendship in this world. It helps us know that we should always stick beside our true friends and be with them irrespective of their financial status. The story also teaches us that all are equal in the eyes of God and he does not differentiate between people based on color, caste, or creed. His love is divine and pure that doesn’t seek the materialistic pleasure of the mortal world.
Though years have passed yet the story of Sudama and Krishna continue to blossom the purity of love and is remembered as the symbol of true friendship.