Friday, May 9, 2008

Pearl 18

Sudama, a poor Brahmin friend of Lord Krishna visits him

Embedded in this pearl is the famous Lord Krishna -Sudama story presenting a true to life sketch right from theory to practice.

Chapter 80, verses 18-45: The overly popular Lord Krishna- Sudama relationship reminds us that in practice too, Lord Krishna behaves precisely in the same manner which He preached earlier in pearl no 8 and 11. All of us are aware that Sudamaji was a poor Brahmin and Lord Krishna’s classmate at the Guru Sandipani Ashram of Ujjain. Hence when Sudamaji came to meet King Krishna, the Lord welcomed him with open arms and great reverence. “At that time Lord Acyuta was seated on His consort's bed. Spotting the brahmana at some distance, the Lord immediately stood up, went forward to meet him and with great pleasure embraced him.”

Verse 19: “The lotus-eyed Supreme Lord felt intense ecstasy upon touching the body of His dear friend, the wise brahmana and thus He shed tears of love.’

Verses 20-22: “Lord Krishna seated His friend Sudama upon the bed. Then the Lord, who purifies the whole world, personally offered him various tokens of respect and washed his feet, O King, after which He sprinkled the water on His own head. He anointed him with divinely fragrant sandalwood, aguru and kumkuma pastes and happily worshipped him with aromatic incense and arrays of lamps. After finally offering him betel nut and the gift of a cow, He welcomed him with pleasing words."

Verse 23: By fanning him with her camara, the divine goddess of fortune personally served that poor brahmana, whose clothing was torn and dirty and who was so thin that veins were visible all over his body.

Verse 24: The people in the royal palace were astonished to see Krishna, the Lord of spotless glory, so lovingly honor this shabbily dressed brahmana.

Verses 25-26: [The residents of the palace said:] what a pious act has this unkempt, impoverished brahmana performed? People regard him as lowly and contemptible, yet the spiritual master of the three worlds, the abode of Goddess Sri, is serving him reverently. Leaving the goddess of fortune sitting on her bed, the Lord has embraced this brahmana as if he were an older brother.

In fact the entire 80th chapter is so beautifully written that in verse 1:- King Parikshit eagerly asks for the Lord Krishna-Sudama story and this leads to narrator Shukdevji excitedly recounting Lord Krishna' deep love for Samadhi (5). Before this incidence Parikshitji affirms:

  • Actual speech is that which describes the qualities of the Lord Krishna, singing His Glories
  • Real hands are those that work for Him, being employed in Lord Krishna’s service.
  • A true mind is that which always remembers Him dwelling within everything moving iand non-moving, concentrates on His Leelas.
  • Actual ears are those that listen to sanctifying topics about Him.
  • An actual head is one that bows down to the Lord in His manifestations among the moving and non-moving creatures.
  • Real eyes are those that see only the Lord.
  • Actual limbs are those which regularly honour the water that has bathed the Lord’s feet or those of His devotees.

Verse 9:-Lord Krishna can be likened to Kalpataru or the wish-yielding tree to His Devotees, the refuge of all and great devotee of Brahmins. “That greatest of Yādavas, the Supreme Lord Krịsḥṇa, is compassionate to brāhmaṇas and very willing to grant them His shelter.”

Verses 33-34:-Lord Krishna ascertains that I am the Guru or preceptor of the entire Universe .Thus those disciples who humbly submit to genuine Human Gurus on earth definitely worship Me. “Certainly, O brāhmaṇa, of all the followers of the varṇāśrama system, those who take advantage of the words I speak in My form as the spiritual master and thus easily cross over the ocean of material existence best understand their own true welfare. I, the Soul of all beings, am not as satisfied by ritual worship, brahminical initiation, penances or self-discipline as I am by faithful service rendered to one's spiritual master.”

verse 45: Lord Krishna went to Guru Sandipani's ashram at Ujjain just for pleasure-sake, after all He is the refuge of all Vedas, virtues & God of gods ! "O almighty Lord, Your body comprises the Absolute Truth in the form of the Vedas and is thus the source of all auspicious goals of life. That You took up residence at the school of a spiritual master is simply one of Your pastimes in which You play the role of a human being."

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