Materialistic pleasures were never the goals of Indians. People used to be satisfied with what they had and within what they had, used to help others. Their hearts were filled with pure love, friendship and bhakti. The story of Sudaama, the best friend of Lord Krishna, stands as an outstanding example for this.
Sudaama and Krishna Bhagavan were good friends. The friendship started at their gurukulam with Shri Saandeepa. As always duty takes more priority than everything. Hence, after completing their studies they had to part. However, neither Krishna nor Sudaama could forget each other. Sudaama, knowing who Krishna really was, also had true devotion for him. Sudaama never was interested in earning lot of money or other such aihikechchas. Once after many years, not able to bear the separation from Krishna anymore, sets off to meet Krishna.
On hearing the news of his friend’s arrival, Krishna runs to the city gates to receive Sudaama personally. Krishna, the paramaatma, hugs Sudaama several times and they break into tears with uncontrollable aanandam. Krishna takes Sudaama to his palace and makes him sit comfortably on the shayanaasanam of Krishna and Rukmini Devi. Krishna, whose feet Brahma himself washed to produce the holy waters of Ganga, washed the feet of his friend, together with Rukmini, with utmost care. Then the Lord of the worlds, purifies himself, his queens and the palace with the paada jalam of the great scholar, Sudaama. Though Sudaama was very poor and did not even have money to eat food, he did not even think about it while he was with Krishna. Krishna took the atukulu brought by Sudaama for him and commented that it was one of his best ever meals. Both of them talked a lot, till their hearts were full and finally Sudaama returned to his house with a full heart, thoroughly satisfied with the Lord’s sweet words.
(Ofcourse, the sthiti kaaraka of the worlds, Krishna, blesses him with all worldly pleasures too…)
Morals in the story:
- Money, property and other pleasures are Kshanabhanguraas and as a person keeps satisfying them, they will only increase. Hence, like Sudaama, one needs to be content with what he has. Even given a chance to ask anything from Krishna, he did not choose to ask him!
- The nature of pure friendship is exposed by Krishna and Sudaama. Krishna, being the lord of the universe, washed the feet of his friend and purifies himself with the paada-jalam. Sudaama, though was extremely poor, never asked Krishna for wealth and make friendship a business.
- Notice that only a guru is one who makes a person meet God. This is reflected clearly in the story. It is because of Saandeepa that Krishna and Sudaama knew each other and met each other again.
- Krishna making his friend sit on his shayya, talk with him what Rukmini and he talk intimately and receiving Sudaama at the gates of the city show how intimate & sincere friendship must be.
- The kind of respect one must give to an Atithi and a scholar is well brought out by Krishna.
Self-contentment gives a man the power to control any of his attraction towards the wrong path. If a person is not self-satisfied, he will always have ever increasing greed. Even control over the universe would not give him satisfaction.