Story Of Sudama: Krishna Tales

Sudama Story



3 months ago|6 min read


Sudama was a childhood friend of Lord Krishna. He was born in a poor brahmin family to Matuka and Rachna Devi. Krishna, on the other hand, came from the royal family and hence enjoyed the highest possible social status.

1.  Krishna and Sudama

However, this difference did not in any way hinder their friendship. The two were inseparable all their way through the tenure of their schooling life, while in Vrindavan they studied together at acharya, Sandipani’s ashram after finishing their studies, they lost touch for several years. Krishna moved away from Vrindavan and went on to Dwaraka where he got married.

2.  Krishna Became King while Sudama Remained Poor

He then became the king and a military leader of great reputation. Sudama on the other hand remained as poor as always and stayed in the same village continuing to dedicate his life to religious austerities, mantra, Japa, and developing a spiritual attitude towards life. He also continued thinking of lord Krishna and loved him, as always. In due course of time, Sudama got married to Susheela and became a family man.

However, he never had any interest in accumulating wealth. He was happy to live frugally, desiring no material gains. He accepted his poor financial status and preferred to spend time in the contemplation of the supreme godhead.

3.  Sudama’s Wife told him to ask for Help from Krishna

He did not have much money to spare for his wife and children. There were many times when the family did not even get two meals a day. The children often cried out due to hunger and drank plenty of water to try and satisfy themselves. But despite the situation, Sudama would always offer half portion of his meal to God and live on the little that was left on his plate.

Sudama’s wife repeatedly requested her husband to visit his old friend Krishna and request him some financial help. She would remind him that being a true brahmana and a devotee and a close friend of Krishna. Krishna would only be willing to help him in this time of trouble. Susheela like her husband, did not want to acquire material treasures, but she was concerned about the health of her family, especially that of her children. Sudama was reluctant to ask any big favor from Krishna. Finally unable to take the hunger of her children anymore, Susheela ordered him to leave for Dwarka and request help from Krishna. He eventually agreed to visit his long-lost royal friend at Dwarka.

4.  Sudama Left For Dwaraka to meet Krishna

He realized that it would not be nice to go empty-handed to visit the king, so, he asked his wife to prepare some food that he could present before Krishna. Having nothing to eat in the house, she picked up some flattened rice or Poha and packed it in a little piece of cloth. Sudama took it and happily left for Dwaraka. Reaching Dwarka Sudama stared in amazement, at the massive gates of the palace, the citizens of Dwaraka mocked Sudama for thinking that a king would even consider a dirty poor brahman as his friend, and this disheartened Sudama.

5.  Krishna Remembered His old Friend

He believed that Krishna may not be willing to see him or would even not consider him as his friend after so many years, saddened by the mockery he started walking away from his residence with Krishna. When Krishna heard the news that a poor, weak-looking brahman is outside his door and calls himself Sudama the friend of Krishna. The lord immediately got up and ran outside looking for his friend. Upon finding him, he received Sudama with so much love fondly embracing him. The palace attendants were shocked to see the king behaving in such a way with this humble and very poor, brahmana. Sudama was completely overwhelmed by this welcome. The lord asked Sudama to be seated and traditionally, washed Sudama’s feet as a mark of respect for a Brahmin. Krishna then took some of the water used to wash his feet and sprinkled it over his head.

6.  Krishna Gave Sudama Swarg Lok and Prithvi Lok

He then offered Sudama food and drink to refresh him after his long journey, Krishna, then seated Sudama on his plush bed, and then both settled down to remember their days of childhood. Krishna’s mood turned jovial, and with a mischievous glint in his eye, he asked his friend what he had brought him as a gift at that point, after seeing the huge mansions of Krishna and the luxuries in his palace, Sudama was embarrassed to offer him that little packet of rice, he tried to hide it from Krishna, but Krishna being the mischievous friend started questioning what he was hiding in his belongings even upon many attempts of Sudama trying to hide the food Krishna forcefully took out the packet of rice. Krishna, knowing what his friend was thinking enthusiastically opened the packet and was very happy when he saw the contents inside it. It is said in Hindi, “har chawal ka mol agar dene lage Bhagavan, reh jayega Srishti mein bas ek hi dhanwan”.

This means that Sudama’s, love and devotion to the lord were so immense that, if God ever had to repay him the price of each grain of rice, there will be nothing left in the universe for anyone else, and all the riches of the world will end up with Sudama. Krishna took his first bite and with the first bite he gave away Swarg Lok to Sudama, then Krishna took his second bite and with the second bite, he donated the Prithvi Lok to Sudama when he was about to take the third bite. His wife Rukmini came and stopped him indicating that she wouldn’t let him donate their home, the Vaikuntha Dhaam.

7.  Rukmini Stopped Krishna From Giving Vaikuntha Dhaam

If that happened, there would not be any difference between Sudama and the lord, as Sudama would become the king of all the three Lokas. Krishna tried to justify his actions by saying that the poor Sudama’s only position in life was his small portion of the meal for a day and he would still donate half of that to God when Sudama could donate half his possessions to god, why would God not do the same for him, but Rukmini was adamant about not letting him have the third bite. She took away the left portion of the rice and shared it amongst the wives of Krishna, thus saving her home the Vaikuntha Dhaam.

The two friends talked for a long time after which Krishna finally asked Sudama, what was the purpose of his visit and the reason why he had come to see him? Sudama couldn’t bring up the courage to ask for any favors from his friend. He did not request anything instead thanked Krishna for his warm welcome and began his way back home. As Sudama neared his home, he was shocked to see that his humble little cottage was missing in place of that. There was a large gleaming palace, and his poor and shabby neighborhood had been converted into beautiful gardens and parks with lovely lotus-filled lakes. Sudama wondered where his little home had disappeared, virtually overnight as he stood there.

8.  Krishna Helped Sudama

Looking at the site, his wife ran out of the palace to greet him. She was dressed in rich silks and heavy gold jewelry and seemed to look like goddess Lakshmi herself. She affectionately led her amazed, husband inside the palace. Sudama then understood that all of this was Krishna’s doing. The lord had been silently watching him and his suffering for all these years, but his small and seemingly meaningless offering of the flattened rice had paid rich rewards. He had been bestowed wonderful and incomparable riches beautiful beyond human imagination.

Sudama then prayed to Krishna promising that he would never forget his lord amid all this wealth and opulence, he lived peacefully with his wife and spent the rest of his life in luxury. However, he did so with a permanent and unwavering sense of gratitude and devotion towards the lord, never once falling into the trap of ego and greed that wealth brings with it.





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