Sunday, 29 September 2013

Devotional friendship

One of the nine ways of expressing your devotion to God is by be-friending Him.

When we talk of be-friending the Lord, the only person I can think of is Sudama. Also known as Kuchelan, he was a poor man who was Lord Krishna’s best friend during his childhood days.

Sudama was the son of Matuka and Rochana Devi. Though he grew up with Krishna, he stayed back in the village, while Krishna rose in stature to become the King of Dwaraka.

Sudama became so poverty-stricken, that he did not have enough to feed his children. His wife, Susheela, suggested that he meet his childhood friend, Krishna and ask for help.

Sudama set out to meet Krishna. He did not know what gift to take and took some beaten rice (known as Aval in Tamil) and reluctantly proceeded to meet Krishna and ask him for help.

Krishna greeted Sudama with love and respect...
On seeing his old friend Krishna was elated and greeted him inside his royal abode. Sudama, on seeing the riches around Krishna was ashamed of giving him the beaten rice and tried to hide the cloth bundle. Krishna, knew what the cloth bundle contained, but asked Sudama what he had brought for his friend after all these years. The mild chide in Krishna’s voice and the naughtiness in His eyes, took Sudama to his childhood days and he eagerly opened the bag and told Krishna, that it was what He liked the most. The lord savoured the gift with heartfelt happiness. Hours passed as the two sat chatting about their past.

It was time for Sudama to leave. The Lord’s company left him with an eternal contentment that he forgot to ask Krishna for any material wealth.

But on reaching his village, a surprise awaited Sudama. His hither-to humble hut had transformed into a palatial house. Sudama could not believe his eyes.

Nevertheless Sudama, by then was a changed man and led a life of austerity till the end.

One interesting point that meets the readers in this story is that, the Lord, who is blessed with everything, yearns for the simple rice from the hands of a poor friend, while the poor friend was so completely satisfied with just the time he spent with the Lord and asks for nothing in return!