Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Sudama was a poor Brahmin. He and his family lived in utter
poverty and misery. For days together, they had very little to eat.
They often slept without having any food at all. Sudama cursed
himself for not being able to provide for his family.
The thoughts of committing suicide often crossed his mind. Once in a fit of
depression he voiced histhoughtsto his wife. Shetried toconsole
her husband and then, reminded him of his friendship with Lord
Krishna—the King of Dwarika.
As children Krishna and Sudama
had lived and studied together in Sandipan Muni's Ashram. "Go
to him", she pleaded, "Krishna is all powerful, kind and generous.
He will surely help you in this hour of need".
Sudama hesitated, "He is a King and I'm just a poor wretched Brahmin.
How can I visit him?" "So what!" she countered, "friendship is
above class differences. You must seek his help. I can't see our
children dying of hunger."
Finally Sudama agreed to visit Krishna. His wife borrowed some
rice from neighbourhood and gave it to Sudama as a gift for his
friend. Sudama started on his journey.
At the Palace gate, the guard refused Sudama an entry inside.
Sudama argued that he was an old childhood friend of the King
and wouldn't leave without seeing him.
The word of commotion reached Lord Krishna. As soon as he
heard Sudama's name, barefooted Krishna ran out to meet his
friend. Both the friends embraced each other and shed tears of
joy. Then with great honour and ceremony Krishna led Sudama
inside the Palace.
There, he himself washed and dried the dirty
and bruised feet of his friend and made him sit on the throne.
Krishna's wives themselves attended on them, as the two friends
ate and talked of the old days at their teacher's ashram.
During the course of meal Krishna asked Sudama, "What gift
have you brought for me?" Sudama was too embarrassed to bring
out the little poor quality rice tied up in an old rag. But Krishna
snatched the bundle from him and ate the rice flakes with great
relish leaving his own grand royal feast.
After the meal Krishna made Sudama lie in his Kingly bed. He
himself sat there massaging his tired feet, until Sudama fell
Next day, Sudama took leave of his great friend. Krishna along
with his family bade him a loving farewell at the Palace gate.
All this while, Sudama could not bring himself to reveal the real
purpose of his visit. He left without doing so. His heart was heavy
as he walked towards home.
He didn't know what to tell his wife
and children, who must be eagerly awaiting his return. The
hungry faces of his family haunted him, on his way back.
But a pleasant surprise a waited him at home.
A beautiful palace stood in place of his poor broken hut. His wife and children
dressed in silken clothes and jewellery greeted him at the gate.
Krishna had blessed their lives with prosperity. He had also saved
Sudama from the humiliation of asking for anything. Krishna was
a great friend indeed, who came to his friend's rescue in his hour
Many of our friends are fair weather friends.
They desert us when we are in trouble.
Only a few friends stand by us in our hour of
need. They are friends, indeed!