The story of Sudama and Krishna has a great value in the Hindu world of legends. Not only just in the Bhagavata Purana or Srimad Bhagavatam, but there are also many books where the story holds great importance. If you one doesn’t know, Sudama was a dear friend and a great devotee of Lord Krishna. Here we explore the legend behind the friendship of Sudama and Krishna.
The Legend of Sudama and Lord Krishna
Sudama came from a poor Brahmin family and was a dear friend of Krishna. As both grew up together, Krishna got married to Rukmini and then became the king of Dwarka, while Sudama married a simple girl and enjoyed a simple life by leaving out worldly pleasures. Sudama had two children, but since he was poor, he led a very austere life. But his wife grew tired of the frugal life and asked him to seek help from Lord Krishna one day. However, Sudama felt ashamed of asking his friend for help. Sudama’s wife kept insisting. One fine day, he decided to go meet Krishna to talk about this. Yet, he felt like it would not be a good gesture to meet an old friend empty-handed. So, he took a handful of puffed rice for Lord Krishna.
When Sudama reached Krishna’s place, Krishna was delighted and welcomed Sudama with great respect and warmth. He even washed his tired feet with sandalwood and warm water to make him relax, and let him sit on the throne.
Then, they started talking about their life in the early days when they were a child: how they were notorious in their own place and how they spent their time at Sandipani School. Both felt overjoyed, especially Sudama who felt the hospitality Krishna had shown and the effort that he had shown to keep him happy. The grandeur made Sudama feel embarrassed about his gift. But, Krishna had seen the bag on his hand. Thus, he asked what he had in the bag, for which, Sudama replied by saying that it contained a handful of puffed rice. Krishna took the bag and ate a part of it, saying that it was the best thing that he had ever had.
Krishna thanked Sudama for this gift and requested him to have a meal with him. Both of them sat for a meal served inexpensive gold plates. Seeing this, Sudama felt sad about his childhood, how he had lived a hungry life most of his childhood days. Sudama lived there at the palace for two days, but still, could not ask for what he had come there for: to get some help. He felt embarrassed to ask for a personal favor, and thus, remained silent about it. He left back home on the third day. Before leaving, Krishna embraced Sudama and requested Sudama to visit him again. Sudama said thank you.
During the entire journey back home, he kept thinking about what he would tell his wife since he didn’t get anything back that could alleviate his life in poverty.
But when he got home, he was surprised when he saw that there no hut in his place. Instead, there was a magnificent palace. And when his wife came out, she was wearing elegant, beautiful clothes. Sudama’s wife said that maybe it was Krishna’s doing, that he had tried to help his friend. Seeing all this, Sudama’s heart was filled with gratitude, and he started to cry.
Friendship never seeks richness or poorness. Friendship is forever. It is all about love and respect. Like Krishna and Sudama, one should never forget one’s friend, and should always try to respect him/her despite their conditions. If it is possible, one should try to help the friend. As the saying goes, a friend in need is the friend indeed.