Hindu mythology has a vivid and beautiful description of friendship between Lord Krishna and his childhood mate, Sudama. Friendship is a bond made by the heart and hence one of the best relations I the world. It is not imposed on one and hence a great feeling.
Looking through the Mahabharata, the Hindu epic, we come across the important role played by Lord Krishna in it. He was called ‘Dwarkadhish Krishna’, as he was the King of Dwarka, which presently exists in Gujarat. Here I am to discuss how great a friendship existed between the Lord and his poor friend. Some of the episodes are as below:
When Lord Krishna and Sudama were studying together in the Aashram, Sudama was a good eater and would never share his food with anyone, especially the Lord. Whenever Lord Krishna asked for it, he always made an excuse and refused him with his food. Once, they were stuck on a jungle tree and it was getting dark. Sudama had some ‘chana’s’ which he started eating, but did not share it with the Lord. Sudama is believed to have been fat and hence a good eater.
When Sudama grew up and had a family of his own, he was living in dire poverty. But he always remembered Lord Krishna and worshipped him. One day, Sudama’s wife, Sushila, asked him to visit the Lord for some help. Sudama left for Dwarka very reluctantly but finally reached his destination. Lord Krishna was over whelmed with tears to meet his long lost friend. They both spent a good time together in the palace of the Lord. Seeing Sudama in torn clothes, Lord Krishna understood his plight and offered him some help. Sudama refused but Lord, his dear friend who knew everything changed the life of his friend and his family. Sudama’a wife had packed some rice-made ‘poha’ for his journey, which when the Lord ate was thrilled and over-joyed. Lord Krishna thanked him a lot and gave him all that he needed. When Sudama reached his home, he was amazed to find his wife and children living in affluence in a huge palace, with rich clothes and delicious food. Sudama and his family thanked Lord Krishna heartily.
When Sudama’s wife, Sushila, became rich she also became arrogant and proud of it. A misunderstanding developed between Sudama and his wife. Sudama did not leave his friend’s worship and belief and left with his 3 younger sons to live in the old hut. Sushila lived in riches with their eldest son, Mohan. Sushila stopped praying to the Lord and got obsessed with money and richness. One day Mohan fell seriously ill. No doctor could save him. When Sudama came to know of it, he rushed to Sushila and asked her to pray to Lord Krishna and seek his forgiveness and blessings. Initially she refused but when Lord Krishna appeared and saved their son, Sushila was ashamed. Lord Krishna was actually working as a cook in Sushila’s house with the aim of uniting her with Sudama. When she realized her mistake, she sought his forgiveness, which the Lord readily offered. Soon Sudama and his family lived happily together in affluence again, praising the Lord.
Once there lived an arrogant man, named King Vasudev of Pondrak. He claimed himself to be Lord Krishna and forced everyone to believe so. He hence called himself Vasudev. He tortured his people and was cruel to everyone who praised Lord Krishna and not him as God. When Sudama came to know about his atrocities, he decided to go to Pondrak and find the truth. Actually, people were cursing Lord Krishna for his atrocities on them. Sudama knew it cannot be Lord Krishna, so he went ahead. When he reached Pondrak, he saw how an ordinary king claimed himself to be God and forcibly made people accept it. Sudama refuted Pondrak’s claim and praised his Lord and friend, Shri Krishna. Pondrak became angry and did all kind of atrocities on Sudama. He put him in jail, forced him to drink alcohol, which was against his Brahmin religion, tied him in iron rods in scorching heat and cold waves at night, but Sudama kept reciting the Lord’s name and praised him. When things became beyond Sudama’s tolerance, Lord Krishna came to save him as a teacher of flute to the self-proclaimed king.
These and more are some of the few incidents of the great bondage between Lord Krishna and Sudama. People give examples of their friendship and wish they get a friend like them. May God bless everyone with a friendship like them and strengthen each other to be committed to it.