Sudama and Krishna : Tale of Friendship


I came across this beautiful chapter of friendship while reading an article in Hindi magazine.These days  good Hindi literature is rare to find and read. Rare in the aspect of meaningful and simple article or write up which could make you think about the situation/context or plot. Every Hindu knows about Krishna and Sudama  who were childhood friend. Sudama due to his karma gati (destiny) end up being a destitute.Whereas Krishna was King. Only on insistense of his wife for sake of children’s future,though hesitantly ,Sudama went to meet his old friend for help.But he wasnt clear whether he would be able to ask for help on the name of friendship.Sudama was very poor and he do not want to go empty hand to meet his childhood friend and that too for purpose.He begged on the way and decieded to take the offered rice as gift for Krishna.I was moved to hear the simplicity of the act.Moral is to share and offfer him (God or to poor) everything earned honestly.

All the way he was in dilemma whether he was doing right thing by asking favour/help ( on the name of  childhood friendship) .He was hesitant from inside but he promised his wife that he would go and see him personally for help.

He reached the city and went to palace to meet his childhood friend, Krishna. Looking at his torn attire, gatekeeper stopped him considering as beggar.He tried to explain them that Krishna is his childhood friend.They laughed on him as they were amused to hear the cooked up story of the beggar just for sake of alms. He tried hard to explain guards that they were together at Ashram but Guards didnt believed him.After requesting whole day,finally head guard asked for any reference or any specific relation. 

Sudama thought deeply and asked him to tell Krishna that his Saadu Bhai (brother in law) has came to see him. Guard passed on this message to the King ie Krishna. Even Krishna was surprised to hear about this guest and himself went to see the guest.The moment he saw Sudama , Krishna ran upto him and hugged him like childhood friend should be hugged.

Guards were surprised and apologetic for their behaviour as guest attire mislead them.Krishna washed Sudama’s feets with his tears.Krishna was still curious to know why he sent such misleading message. He told Krishna that Sampannata (Affluence) and Vippannnata (Poverty) are sisters. Sampannata is married to you and vipannata(Poverty) is married to me {Krishna is wealthy as he was King and Sudama was poor } so in that relation i am your brother in law.

Krishna understood the hidden meaning and ordered his men secretely to send the assisstance to his family.Krishna insisted him to stay at palace for some time but Sudama couldnt agree to it as he knew that back at home his family would be waiting for him for food.He couldnt asked anything. Krishna tried to offer him gifts but he refused politely even for his family.

All the way he was in mixed mood. He was scared to face his family empty hand again but satisfied to stay dignified in his friends eyes.He was crying and smiling while walking back to his home.

Once he reached his city he couldnot locate his shaterred hut which used to be in bad shape . He searched again and again and stopped before the building to ask about his hut.His wife who was well dressed and looking happy came out and told him that their fortune is changed now as king send his men with everything which they ever desired.

She asked him why you asked so much to which he just smiled and cried at the same moment and told her that he couldnt gather the courage before him to ask anything.Still he got everything.His wife was speechless.

Now after reading this narration i was thinking for the moment about all the pilgirms or temple goers who visits temple,shirnes at far off places with a purpose in mind to please god to fulfill their desire in return.Is it worth or is it required ? We only think of God when we are in trouble, or depressed or need something badly.We run to him or we curse him when things do not go as per our wish or desire.We overload him with our desire of happiness, demands and lists and we evaluate him with our list of desire.It such a thankless job to be GOD.He must be waiting daily to meet Sudama isnt …??

Osho answered it beautifully as it goes below :

It is significant that Sudama comes to Krishna not for any favor, but just to express his friendship, his love to him, and even as a poor man he brings a gift for his old friend. Usually a poor person wants to receive something. he rarely gives anything. Here Sudama comes with a gift and not for a gift, he does not go to Krishna’s palace as a beggar. And when a poor man gives his gift, his affluence of heart is in comparable.

In the same way, a rich man is expected to give something to charity. But when the contrary happens, when the rich man chooses to beg, as it happened with Buddha – a king turned beggar is again something extraordinary. If you consider Buddha and Sudama together you will know the significance. Sudama has nothing, and yet he gives; Buddha has everything, and yet he begs. These two events are extraordinary, unearthly.

No i am not turned into a monk but i have given up before this worldly customs and expectations.I have no clue where am i going or what am i doing. I m just attending each day as situations.Life is funny….and sarcastic.


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