Monday Musings 36 – True Friendship

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Lord Krishna and Sudama aka Kuselar studied in the same gurukul ie the hermitage of Sandipani in Ujjain. Both were great friends and enjoyed their stay at Sandipani Muni’s Ashram. Later, Krishna married Rukmani and became the king of Dwaraka. Sudama married a poor brahmin girl Sushila and remained poor ever. Sudama could not feed his family properly. His wife suggested to him to seek help from his childhood friend Krishna. Sudama was hesitant but agreed reluctantly to his wife’s suggestion as he could not endure the struggles of his children.

It was customary in those days to give a gift when meeting a friend.  Sudama could not afford to purchase anything for his specisl friend.  His wife gave him a handful of ‘flattened rice’ which he tied in his old and torn angavasthram.

Sudama was spellbound seeing the gorgeous and beautifully decorated palace. Krishna was sitting in his throne surrounded by lots of servants. Sudama was ashamed of going near Krishna in his torn clothes. Krishna saw Sudama from a distance and came running to him at once. He hugged Sudama and welcomed him with warmth and affection. Everyone in the court watched with dismay the welcome given by their king to an ascetic.

Krishna did not bother. He  made Sudama sit in his throne and washed and massaged his tired feet. Krishna asked Sudama “What did you bring for me?  What did my sister-in-law send for me?”  Sudama was embarrassed to give the flattened rice. Sensing his discomfort, Krishna pulled Sudama’s angavashthram and ate part of Sudama’s gift and commented that was the best food he had ever had. It does not matter if it is smelly and stale `flattened rice’ coming from a poor man’s clothes. Krishna says “I will accept with bliss whatever small thing offered to me with pure love and devotion”. Status can never be a hindrance for relationship between true friends.

Krishna gave Sudama sumptuous food and made Sudama comfortable and relaxed. Both the friends joyfully reminisced their childhood pranks at Sandipani’s hermitage and how guru and gurumatha showered love and affection for both of them. Krishna made fun of Sudama by reminding him how he ate himself the gram given by gurumatha for both of them. Sudama used to be fat in his childhood and ate lot of food.   

Sudama felt very happy with the love and affection shown by his childhood friend and took leave of Dwaraka after two days of stay at the palace.. Sudama did not ask anything during his stay with KrishnaKrishna also did not enquire Sudama. Krishna embraced Sudama and requested his friend to visit him again. 

On his way back home, Sudama was worried about facing his wife empty handed. Sudama was astonished returning back to his place. He saw a magnificent palace in the place of his hut. He could not recognize his wife and children as they were wearing elegant clothes. Sudama knew at once that it is the return gift from the lord for the 2 helpings of `flattened rice’. Sudama’s heart was filled with gratitude and he started to cry.

Krishna showed us how not to forget friendship and a help rendered though living in a position of great power. Humility reinforced by gratitude is a divine trait.

True friendship is not constrained by social status. A friend always desires the best for the other even at the expense of his own comfort. This is the beauty of friendship. Sudama did not cry to Krishna listing his difficulties. Self pity is not the solution.

To love truly We must accept others as they are without any expectations. True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.

Fine but what is this magic of turning a dilapidated hut to magnificent palace. Does that sound logical and rational? There is a meaning.

We have such abundant genies still.  Let us see these genies in the next episode


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