Story of Sudama- the close childhood friend of Krishna

krishna and sudama

Story of Sudama Brahmin

Sudama, the brahmin friend of Krishna, lived in poverty.

Nevertheless, he was extremely knowledgeable and knower of the Vedas.

Being scholarly, he had mastered the four vedas and 6 shastras.

Sudama’s vow

Once, Sudama undertook a vow called Ayachita vrata.

Here, this vrata has its own protocols

1) The practitioner should never reveal his vow to anyone.

2) Never seek alms from the other door.

However, If someone personally comes and offers then you can accept

3)Whatever alms you get for the day, exhaust it before sunrise.

Do not leave any meals for tomorrow.

Thus, the ayachit vrat worsened his situation.

Sudama’s situation

Sudama’s wife Susheela was extremely chaste.

Indeed, she proved suitable for her name.

She was extremely modest, well-cultured, and composed.

A woman’s true test is during dire times.

Here, Susheela stood by her husband and supported him.

Susheela persuades Sudama

Eventually, the brahmin couple had a son.

Yet, Sudama continued with his strict spiritual discipline, and maintained his calm even during difficulties.

However Susheela’s heart melted looking at her infant.

Seeing her son withering in hunger, she approached her husband and said politely-

Once you had mentioned that Shri Krishna loves his friends.”

Sudama replied-  “Yes, Devi! For his friends, My Kanhaiya even became a butter thief.

After stealing butter, he never ate it. Instead he fed his friends.

Therefore, Krishna loves his friends a lot.”

Susheela said- “Aren’t you Krishna’s childhood friend?”
Sudama replied “Yes, we were friends from the gurukul times.”

Immediately Susheela expressed her desire-

“Don’t you feel like visiting your friend. Pay him a visit. Shri Krishna is very generous.

He shall undoubtedly understand our predicament.”

Sudama replied-

“Devi, To tell you the truth, I am not at all inclined towards money.

I never go out. In fact, I never forget the lord even for a second.

My friend is God. I meet him in my mind. Hence, I shall not go anywhere.”

Actually, sudama had developed the pride of an upright brahmin.

Sudama’s reluctance

Sudama continued-

“I have vowed not to approach people for my upkeep.

So, I shall not visit Dwarka.’

Susheela explains-

“You had vowed not to approach ordinary men.

But Shri Krishna is an exception.

If you hesitate to knock on the lord’s door, you are being egoistic.

Already, You are very knowledgeable, what can I say?

Why keep the pride?

Pride destroys all virtues.

Once, go to him. I do not tell you to ask anything. He is the lord, he shall understand.”

Now, Sudama ponders over Susheela’s words-

“My wife speaks rightly. I was being proud, he thought.

Finally he made up his mind.

However, a thought troubled him-

“If two friends meet after long, I should bring a present.”

Susheela read her husband’s mind and said-

“I will be right back.”

Immediately she borrowed a fistful of Chivda for Dwarikanath.

Susheela prays for Sudama’s safety

Thus,the 15-day starving brahmin tottered towards dwarika, with all his bones visible.

Now, Susheela felt sorry for her husband. Immediately she took a vow before the sun god-

“Oh lord Suryanarayana, I have sinned today.

For my happiness, I have forced my husband to visit Dwarka.”

Please protect my husband.

In turn this poor brahmini shall behold you three times a day.”

Sudama’s journey to Dwarka

Tired of walking, Sudama fainted.

On seeing sudama’s condition, lord krishna ordered his vehicle, garuda-

“Quietly transfer the  mass of land to Dwarka without delay.

Beware do not disturb his sleep.”

Likewise Garuda obeyed His orders.

Finally Sudama mysteriously reached Dwarika.

Sudama’s predicament

There Sudama asked a citizen-

“Do you know where Krishna lives?”

People were shocked at this baseless question.

So they enquired-

“Do you know Krishna?”

In turn, Sudama confidently replied-

“Yes, I am His childhood friend.”

All the people wondered-

“He seems to be starving for days together.”

Still they showed him the way to the palace-

“Maharaj, Go this way.

You shall find 16-000 grand palaces.

Lord Krishna resided in each one of them.”

Sudama meets Krishna

First, Sudama encountered Devi Rukmini’s mansion, symbolizing the opulence of mahalakshmi.

Yet, not the slightest trace of envy entered Sudama’s heart.

Instead, the brahmin heartily blessed the lord.

Accidentally, one soldier spotted Sudama. He bowed to him and enquired-

“This is mother mahalakshmi Rukmini’s palace.

Mother’s special order is to instantly fulfil the demands of sadhus.

Hence, kindly place your requirement.”

Immediately, Sudama said –

“I am not here to ask, I want to meet my childhood friend.

Go and inform Lord Krishna.”

Likewise, the soldier went in.

Now Sudama felt inferior.

Hence, he doubted the lord’s reaction.

He thought-

“If Krishna insults me, It shall be intolerable.”

So thinking, he firmly looked at the ground anticipating a positive reply.”

Messenger informs Krishna about Sudama

Back in the palace, the soldier salutes Lord Krishna and says-

:Outside, a brahmin awaits you. He looks extremely poor, wears an ordinary tattered dhoti.

All his bones are clearly visible and he carries a small bag on his waist.

Indeed, he desperately wants to meet you.

However  his eyes and forehead are resplendent.

He claims to be your majesty’s friend and says his name is Sudama.”

On hearing the name ‘sudama’, lord krishna jumped from his seat.

Uttering Sudama’s name he went running on the streets.

Today, the lord completely forgot his kingly status. Immediately Shri Krishna embraced his bosom friend.

Krishna feels for Sudama

On hugging Sudama, Lord Krihsna could feel his bones.

He thought- “He is my friend , how much pain he has suffered.’

Thus, the lord began to cry looking at his friend’s state.

Now rukmini devi and all the citizens came running to behold the scene.

All were touched by the deep friendship between the lord and the devotee.

Sudama’s grand welcome

Now, Shri Krishna invites his friend on his royal throne.

Then with great humility, He sits near Sudama’s feet.

Thereafter, Lord Krishna washes Sudama’s feet with tears of love.

Then, the lord slowly removes the thorns stuck to his feet.

He then anoints Sudama’s forehead with sandalwood.

Suddenly his gaze goes to sudama’s forehead, Immediately, lord krishna reads his fate- it said- Sudama shall be extremely knowledgeable he shall suffer poverty due to his past sins.”

However the mere touch of the lord changed his fate.

Instead the lord promised immense wealth and fortune for him.

Krishna discusses with Sudama

Thereafter Sudama ate lunch. Then both the friends sat on a cozy couch.

Now, the lord took Sudama’s hand on his hand and said –

“Friend, I am very happy today. We have met after so long.

Do you remember the Gurukul days.

I know you very well.

Since childhood, you never took interest in food and games.

You would keep chanting the Gayatri mantra all day.

So, I would pull you by your hand.

Do you remember? Gone are those good old days. Friend, are you married?”

Sudama was a learned man. Indeed, such people speak less, So he merely nodded his head.

How does Krishna eat Powa?

Krishan further asked-

“How is my sister-in-law?

Did she send anything for me?

Quickly surrender her offerings!

I am terribly hungry now.”

Sudama feels very shy and hesitant to offer his gift.

Therefore the lord decided to use his wits.

Shri Krishna said-

“Friend, I shall show you my palace.”

He then showed Sudama the Ramayana wall paintings.

He said-

“These pictures are from the Ramayana times.

Have a close look at them.”

As the learned brahmin saw upwards, Shri Krishna hastily snatched the bundle from his side.

Now, the giver of grains, eats like the hungriest of men.

On eating one fistful of powa, the lord happily donated all his opulence.

Krishna asks about Sudama’s home

At night, Lord Krishna very lovingly spoke to his friend-

“Friend, How are things at home? Is your family well?”

Immediately Sudama thought “I am not here to disturb my friend.

Poverty is an outcome of my past sins. I must suffer for my deeds.

A devotee doesn’t trouble the lord for his sense-gratification.”

Being  a king, Kanhaiya is just like a child. How can I trouble my noble friend?”

So thinking, Sudama replied-

“I am very happy.

Everything is fine.”

Indeed, such friendship is rare to see.

Even today, their friendship continues to instill awe in hearts

Now, Sudama thought of returning keeping etiquettes in mind.

Susheela awaits Sudama’s return

Back in Sudama’s hometown the lord had constructed a beautiful mansion for Sudama, changing the entire look of his town.

 Suduma’s wife Susheela desperately waited for him.

Since Susheela was waiting, he didn’t force Sudama to stay back.

Finally Krishna bid him a hearty farewell and sent good wishes for the brahmin family.

Sudama returns home

Without carrying the slightest trace of displeasure, Sudama reached his hometown.

However, he was shocked to see his home.

Lo! it exactly resembled Dwarka, in its opulence and  grandeur.

Indeed those who love the lord selflessly receive his causelless grace.

In this case, the lord makes no distinction between his own self and his devotee. Such is his mercy.

Immediately Susheela welcomed her husband and said- “Your friend has given you all this”

Sudama was jubilant to see Krishna’s mercy.

He bowed in gratitude and thought- “I never uttered a word, yet He understood my predicament and granted me possessions rare even for the devas.

How He kept his devotee’s honor. On giving so much, he didn’t utter a word for praise.

May my devotion to Lord Krishna remain steadfast forever.”

Even on becoming rich, Sudama remained detached.

Now, he grew even more cautious.

Therefore, he spent most of his time in divine contemplation and thanked the lord for his supreme mercy.

Thanks for reading!