The Eternal Bond of Friendship- Krishna and Sudama

The Eternal Bond of Friendship- Krishna and Sudama

Indian mythology abounds with colorful and flavorful tales and lore, each having a hidden moral or lesson to learn from. While some of these stories deal with valor and heroic deeds; others relate in detail, instances of love and friendship. In this present-day jet-age, a true friend is one who is the most dinarfficult to find and keep. We have several hundreds of friends, both online and offline, but only the really lucky ones get to meet that one friend and companion who will stay by their side, no matter what happens in their lives.

This time, we bring you a wonderfully refreshing and touching tale of the eternal bond of true and divine friendship between man and God – the bond that verily uplifts the Jeevatma to the level of the Paramatma and makes him one with the Creator. We present before you the story of Krishna and Sudama.

Sudama was a childhood friend of Lord Sri Krishna. Krishna and Sudama once went to the forest to gather brushwood. They stayed on there for long, walking and chatting with each other, while also enjoying the beauty of their environs. It started getting quite late and Krishna got hungry. Sudama, in the meantime, had some grams with him. However, he felt embarrassed to offer this simple food to his friend, who hailed from a royal family. Krishna kept telling him how hungry he was and asked his friend if he had anything at all to eat. Sudama denied taking along anything to eat.

Krishna knew very well that his friend had some food with him. He also knew that the boy too was hungry, so he dozed off for a little while. Sudama immediately opened his little pack of food and stealthily ate up some of it. Krishna noticed all this but said nothing. Both the boys then collected the brushwood and left for their homes.

After finishing with their studies, they lost touch for several years. Krishna moved away from Vrindavan and went on to Dwaraka, where he got married. He then became the King and a military leader of great repute. Sudama, though, remained as impoverished as always and stayed on in the same village; continuing to dedicate his life to religious austerities, mantra, japa and developing a spiritual attitude toward life. He also continued thinking of Krishna and loved him as always.

In due course of time, Sudama got married to Susheela . However, he never had any interest in accumulating wealth. He was happy to live frugally, desiring no material gains. He accepted his financial status and preferred to spend time in the contemplation of the Supreme Godhead. He had not much money to spare for his wife and children. There were many times when the family did not even get two square meals.

Sudama’s wife repeatedly requested her husband to visit his old friend Krishna and beseech him for some financial assistance. She would remind him that he being a true Brahmin, a devotee and long-lost close friend of Krishna, the latter would be only too willing to help him in his time of trouble. Susheela, like her husband, was not bothered about acquiring material treasures; but she was concerned about the health of her family, especially that of her children.

He eventually agreed to visit his long-lost royal friend at Dwaraka. He realized that it would not be nice to go empty-handed to visit the King and so, he asked his wife to prepare some foodstuff that he could present before Krishna. Having nothing to eat in the house, she picked up some flattened rice or “poha” and packed it in a little piece of cloth. Sudama took it and happily left for Dwaraka.

Reaching Dwaraka, Sudama stared in amazement at the massive gates of the palace, and then entered therein, passing through several military camps and residential quarters on the way. Once inside, he saw Krishna seated with Rukmini. The Lord immediately got up and warmly received Sudama, fondly embracing him. The palace attendants were shocked to see their King behaving in such a fashion with this humble, obviously very poor Brahmin. Sudama was completely overwhelmed by the rousing welcome that Krishna gave him. The Lord asked him to be seated and, in traditional fashion, washed Sudama’s feet, as a mark of respect for a Brahmin. Krishna then took some of the water used to wash his feet and sprinkled it over his own head. He then offered Sudama food and drink to refresh him after his long journey.

 

Krishna’s mood turned jovial and, with a mischievous glint in his eye, he asked his friend what the latter had brought him as a gift and if his wife had packed some nice eatables. Reluctantly and feeling very embarrassed, Sudama offered him the packet of flattened rice. Krishna, knowing what his friend was thinking, enthusiastically opened the packet and was very happy when he saw the contents inside it. He decided he would partake of the rice and then richly reward Sudama for the same.

The Lord grabbed a handful of the foodstuff and happily ate it up. When he tried to put in a second mouthful though, his wife Rukmini, the Goddess of Fortune, held his hand and shook her head ever so slightly. She meant to tell him that with one handful of the rice, Sudama would become extremely wealthy in his present life. But with a second handful, he would continue to reap riches even in his next life. She was already obliged by Sudama’s offering, to stay in this Brahmin’s house and shower her grace in his present birth. She did not wish to continue doing so in his next birth as well.

Krishna understood what Rukmini was trying to tell him and, with a gentle smile on his lips, kept aside the packet of rice. He then fed his friend a lavish meal, asked him to rest for a while and then spent some more time talking with him. Sudama, in the meantime, was in a state of transcendental bliss and so, actually forgot the reason why he had come here in the first place. He spent the night at the palace and left for his home early next morning. Krishna lovingly bade him farewell, though he did not offer him anything in material terms. On the way, he was completely happy and absorbed thinking of the wonderful time he had spent with the Lord.

He thought that Krishna had desisted from giving him money and other material things, as he probably thought that those things may spoil his own attitude and make him too proud and arrogant; finally making him forget God. Thinking thus, he continued on his way back home.

He thought that Krishna had desisted from giving him money and other material things, as he probably thought that those things may spoil his own attitude and make him too proud and arrogant; finally making him forget God. Thinking thus, he continued on his way back home.

A Palace Of Gold Awaits Sudama

As he neared his home, Sudama was dismayed to see that his humble little cottage was missing. In place of that was a large, gleaming palace, made of gold, stones and jewels. His poor and shabby neighborhood had been converted into beautiful gardens and parks with lovely lotus-filled lakes, filled with flocks of different multi-colored birds! Regal-looking men and women were strolling around the parks and divine music was playing somewhere in the background.

Sure that he had come to the right place, Sudama wondered where his little home had disappeared, virtually overnight. As he stood there taking in the sights, his wife ran out of the palace to greet him. She was dressed in opulent, rich silks and heavy gold jewelry and seemed to him like the Goddess of Fortune herself. She affectionately led her amazed husband inside the palace. Its chambers were beautiful and ornate, fit for Indra, the King of the Gods. The palace consisted of several ornamented columns and pillars, with rich silk and velvet canopies hanging from the windows.

Sudama then understood that all of this was Krishna’s doing. The Lord had been silently watching him and his suffering for all these years. But his small, seemingly meaningless offering of the poha had paid rich rewards. He had been bestowed wonderful and incomparable riches and a palace, beautiful beyond human imagination.

Moral Contained In The Story

The story of Krishna and Sudama contains several hidden lessons that we could learn from. Some of them are as follows:
All are equal in the eyes of the Lord and He does not differentiate friendship based on petty caste, wealth and social status. We too should learn to respect each individual, as each one is a creation of that Supreme Being.

Surrogacy and Hindu mythology.

Surrogacy is a complex and contentious moral and ethical issue across global cultures. The rise of Westerners using Indian surrogate mothers has added a political dimension to the religious and legal debate.

The surrogate mother: Spiritualism and  Hindu Mythology 
In the Bhagvata Purana, there is a story that suggests the practice of surrogate motherhood. Kan(sh) the wicked king of Mathura, had imprisoned his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudeva because oracles had informed him that her child would be his killer. Every time she delivered a child, he smashed its head on the floor. He killed six children. When the seventh child was conceived, the gods intervened. They summoned the goddess Yogamaya and had her transfer the fetus from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini (Vasudeva’s other wife who lived with her sister Yashoda across the river Yamuna, in the village of cowherds at Gokul). Thus the child conceived in one womb was incubated in and delivered through another womb.

Buddhism and Hinduism

Buddhism totally accepts surrogacy. This may be because Buddhism, unlike Christianity, Judaism and Islam, doesn’t make procreation a moral duty. Couples are not under pressure to marry or have children, and there are no Buddhist teachings suggesting that infertility treatments or surrogacy are immoral. Hinduism allows infertility treatments in specific circumstances. Children are very important to Hindu families, and medical help is allowed if a couple can’t conceive. Hindus permit artificial insemination using the husband’s sperm, but not that of an unknown donor , because the child would not know its lineage.

It is said surrogacy is rarely used by Hindus, but surrogacy clinics are a booming industry in India. surrogacy clinics are a booming industry in India.

See the dark side of Surrogacy

Resemblance of Indian and Greek God and Goddesses

Greek belief: Human Created God

Indian belief: God created all of us

Few years ago I met a Greek scholar in my Taiwan visit. There was a small conversation took place exchanging our countries (India & Greece) ideologies and current situations. In between the conversation I discovered that we have many similarities of Mythological Idolship.

Zeus and Lord Indra: God of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order, justice

Zeus:

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Zeus

Zeus was responsible for the weather and was shaping it according to his temper. When in high spirits, Zeus was blessing the world with fine weather; in case of bad mood, however, he would throw rain, winds, lightnings and thunderbolts to cause disaster to the mortals.

Zeus had his golden throne on the highest summit of Mount Olympus and was respected and awed by all Gods and mortals. All the kings boasted that they descended from Zeus.

Lord Indra:

Indra lordIndra lord is more often known as the god of thunder, wielding the celestial weapon Vajra, the lightning bolt. He also employs the bow, a net, and a hook in battle. He shows aspects of being a creator god, having set order to the cosmos, and since he was the one who brought water to earth, he was a fertility god as well. He also had the power to revive slain warriors who had fallen in battle.

His home is situated on Mount Meru in the heavens. He is celebrated as a demiurge who pushes up the sky, releases Ushas (dawn) from the Vala cave, and slays Vrtra Asura(DemiGod of good and bad qualities)

Shesnag And Poseidon: God of the sea, earthquakes, storms

Poseidon :

Poseidon was one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. His main domain was the ocean, and he is called the “God of the Sea”. Additionally, he is referred to as “Earth-Shaker” due to his role in causing earthquakes, and has been called the “tamer of horses”. He is usually depicted as an older male with curly hair and beard.

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Poseidon

Poseidon was one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. His main domain was the ocean, and he is called the “God of the Sea”. Additionally, he is referred to as “Earth-Shaker” due to his role in causing earthquakes, and has been called the “tamer of horses”. He is usually depicted as an older male with curly hair and beard.

 

Sheshnag:

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Lord Krishna and Sheshnaga dance

According to Hindu mythology snake is animal for worship because snake have other names given in Hindu religion like nag(king cobra), nag devta(god). Sheshnag according to Hindu mythology Sheshnag is holding the lord Vishnu and they are sleep on its body. This respected giant snake Sheshnag having five heads, but more commonly as a many hundred-headed snakes, holding the whole weight of the earth and when Sheshnaga moved slightly it is make in result as earthquake, tsunami  or other calamity occurs on earth. Snake is also worship animal for Hindus because of lord Shiv, you can not found any temple or picture, statue without snake cling the neck of lord Shiva. Nagpanchami is celebrated in India as festival and worship is done by the believers.

 

Goddess Demeter and Lakshmi: Goddess of Prosperity 

Demeterdemeter_greek_mythology_by_t_rex79-d4gria6Demeter was a peace-loving deity and the source of all growth and life; she was the goddess who provided all nutrition on the earth and taught mortals how to cultivate the earth and ease life. Demeter was most appreciated for introducing wheat to mankind, making man different from animals.

In ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, Demeteris the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito,”as the giver of food or grain” and “Thesmophoros” (thesmos: divine order, unwritten law) “Law-Bringer,” as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.

Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleus.

Demeter was a rich-haired woman with golden tresses and slender feet. She was usually wearing a dark cloak and was holding a golden sword in her hands. The symbols of Demeter were the ear of wheat and the grains, as well as the crocus flower, the narcissus, the myrtle and the daffodil.

Goddess LakshmiSri LakshmiLike Demeter the Greek Goddess, Lakshmi also a giver of fortune, wealth, food, grain, prosperity, love, the harvest and autumn and prosperity. She is the goddess of wealth, luxury, fertility, fortune, purity, beauty, power, generosity and auspiciousness. She is claimed to fulfill the promises of material, wealth and contentment.

Generally, Lakshmi is portrayed as a beautiful lady with golden complexion, dressed in red color attire and adorned with precious jewels. She sits on a fully blossomed lotus, a seat of divine truth. Cascades of gold coins are seen flowing from her hands, illustrating that she blesses people with wealth. The constant effort of two elephants is often shown standing next to the goddess and spraying water. It denotes that, in accordance with one’s dharma when governed by wisdom and purity, leads to both material and spiritual prosperity. Her symbols are a lotus, rice, coins and basil .The personal charm of Lakshmi is considered par excellence. An aura of divine happiness, mental and spiritual satisfaction, and prosperity always exists around her.

Apollo, Athena and Goddess Saraswati: God and Goddess of Wisdom, knowledge, skills

Apollo the God of Music: 

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Apollo, the Greek God of Music

Apollo was the Greek god of the Music. He invented the lute(a plucked string instrument with a body shaped like a pear), but he was more popular for playing the lyre, which was invented by Hermes, the messenger of the gods. Apollo excelled in important music contests, competing against Greek god Hermes and the Satyr Pan as well as other deities.

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Goddess Athena

Goddess Athena: Goddess of intelligence, skill,Athena was the goddess who taught mankind various skills such as weaving and sewing to the women and agriculture and metallurgy to men. She was always giving precious advice and stood by on any danger. Athena protected the heroes as they went out to war and saved them on their coming back. She is also Goddess of warfare, battle strategy, handicrafts, and wisdom. According to most traditions, she was born from Zeus’s head, fully formed and armored. She is depicted as being crowned with a crested helm, armed with shield and spear, and wearing the aegis over a long dress. Poets describe her as “grey-eyed” or having especially bright, keen eyes. She is a special patron of heroes such as Odysseus. She is also the patron of the city Athens (which was named after her). Her symbol is the olive tree. She is commonly shown as being accompanied by her sacred animal, the owl.

Goddess Saraswati: 

goddess-Saraswati
Goddess Saraswati

Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts, represents the free flow of wisdom and consciousness. She is the mother of the Vedas, and chants to her, called the ‘Saraswati Vandana’ often begin and end Vedic lessons.

Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. It is believed that goddess Saraswati endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego.

Saraswati’s birthday – Vasant Panchami – is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 5th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha. Hindus celebrate this festival with great fervor in temples, homes and educational institutes alike.

Skanda and Ares: God of war and defense 

Ares: 

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Ares

Ares (literally meaning “battle”) is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his sister the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.

The Greeks were ambivalent toward Ares, although he embodied the physical valor necessary for success in war, he was a dangerous force, overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive, and man-slaughtering. His sons Fear (Phobos) and Terror(Deimos) and his lover, or sister, Discord (Enyo) accompanied him on his war chariot. In the Iliad, his father Zeus tells him that he is the god most hateful to him. An association with Ares endows places and objects with a savage, dangerous, or militarized quality. His value as a war god is placed in doubt: during the Trojan War, Ares was on the losing side, while Athena, often depicted in Greek art as holding Nike (Victory) in her hand, favored the triumphant Greeks.

In Sparta, Ares was viewed as a model soldier: his resilience, physical strength, and military intelligence were unrivaled. Human sacrifices were offered to him. Also, an ancient statue, representing the god in chains, suggested that the martial spirit and victory were to be kept in the city of Sparta.

Skanda:

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Skanda

Skanda, (Sanskrit: “Leaper” or “Attacker”)also called Karttikeya, Kumara, or Subrahmanya, Hindu god of war who was the firstborn son of Shiva. The many legends giving the circumstances of his birth are often at variance with one another. In Kalidasa’s epic poem Kumarasambhava (“The Birth of the War God”; 5th century ce), as in most versions of the story, the gods wished for Skanda to be born in order to destroy the demon Taraka, who had been granted a boon that he could be killed only by a son of Shiva. They sent Parvati to induce Shiva to marry her. Shiva, however, was lost in meditation and was not attracted to Parvati until he was struck by an arrow from the bow of Kama, the god of love, whom he immediately burned to ashes. After many years of abstinence, Shiva’s seed was so strong that the gods, fearing the result, sent Agni, the god of fire, to interrupt Shiva’s amorous play with Parvati. Agni received the seed and dropped it into the Ganges, where Skanda was born.

God Hephaestus and Vishwakarma:

God Hephaestus: 

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Hephaestus God

Hephaestus is the Greek god of blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes. Hephaestus’ Roman equivalent is Vulcan. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera, the king and queen of the gods. In another version, he was Hera’s parthenogenous child, rejected by his mother because of his deformity and thrown out of heaven and down to earth.

As a smithing god, Hephaestus made all the weapons of the gods in Olympus. He served as the blacksmith of the gods, and was worshiped in the manufacturing and industrial centers of Greece, particularly Athens. The cult of Hephaestus was based in Lemnos(an island of Greece in the northern part of the Aegean Sea). Hephaestus’ symbols are a smith’s hammer, anvil, and a pair of tongs.

God Vishwakarma:

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Vishwakarma God

Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. Son of Brahma, he is the divine draftsman of the whole universe, and the official builder of all the gods’ palaces. Vishwakarma is also the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods, and all their weapons.

The Mahabharata describes him as “The lord of the arts, executor of a thousand handicrafts, the carpenter of the gods, the most eminent of artisans, the fashioner of all ornaments … and a great and immortal god.” He has four hands, wears a crown, loads of gold jewelry, and holds a water-pot, a book, a noose and craftsman’s tools in his hands.

 

Dionysus God and Lord Shiva:  God of Ecstasy

God of the Vine, Grape Harvest, Wine making,  Ritual Madness, Religious Ecstasy, and Theatre

Dionysus:

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Dionysus

Dionysus commonly represents the outstanding features of mystery religions, such as those practiced at Eleusis: ecstasy, personal delivery from the daily world through physical or spiritual intoxication, and initiation into secret rites. Scholars have long suspected that the god known as Dionysus is in fact a fusion of a local Greek nature god, and another more potent god imported rather late in Greek pre-history from Phrygia (the central area of modern day Turkey) or Thrace.

 

The god himself is drawn in a chariot, usually by exotic beasts such as lions or tigers, and is sometimes attended by a bearded, drunken Silenus. This procession is presumed to be the cult model for the human followers of his Dionysian Mysteries. In his Thracian mysteries, he wears the bassaris or fox-skin, symbolizing a new life. Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods.

Lord shiva:

Shiva: The Wild God of Power and Ecstasy

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Lord Shiva smoking Ganja

Like Dionysus Lord Shiva of intoxicants and poisons, he is the keeper of secret occult knowledge and powers, for which he is worshiped by yogis and demons alike. Shiva dances both the joy of being and the dance of doom–but in every aspect he breaks through the false ego to reveal the true self lying within. This is his true power Lord Shiva drinks Bhang or smokes Ganja(also known as Marijuana or Cannabis or Weed or Pot in the western world.)  But,  Lord Shiva Himself, promote drugs? No, uses of Bhang that ancient Hindu scientists discovered thousands of years ago are – Dyspepsia, Nervous disorders, Severe pain, Insomnia, Dysentery, Gonorrhoea, Loss of appetite because of illness and even poisoning. (It’s AMAZING that ancient Hindu doctors were able to learn so much that western scientists are still catching up) Both men and women worship him for his ability to unite and balance masculine and feminine energies. But as the ascetic Shiva sits in deep meditation, shunning women, and none dare disturb him lest he open his third eye and immolate the entire universe. Lord of intoxicants and poisons, he is the keeper of secret occult knowledge and powers, for which he is worshiped by yogis and demons alike.

Lord Shiva sits on the tiger skin, which shows indications that he had conquered lust. The Elephant and Deer Skin – elephant skins worn by Lord Shiva represents pride and shows indications that he has conquered pride as well. The deer skins represent changing or flickering of minds. Apparently, Lord Shiva wears deer skins to indicate that he perfectly control the mind.

Goddess Aphrodite and Rati: Goddess of love, beauty, lust and pleasure

Goddess Aphrodite: 

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Goddess Aphrodite

Goddess of beauty, love, desire, and pleasure. Although married to Hephaestus she had many lovers, most notably Ares, Adonis, and Anchises. She was depicted as an extraordinarily beautiful woman, with poets praising the radiance of her smile in particular. Her symbols include roses and other flowers, the scallop shell, and the myrtle wreath. Her sacred animals include doves and sparrows. Her Roman counterpart is Venus. Aphrodite had many other names, such as Acidalia, Cytherea, and Cerigo, each used by a different local cult of the goddess in Greece.

 

Because of her beauty, other gods feared that their rivalry over her would interrupt the peace among them and lead to war, so Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who, because of his ugliness and deformity, was not seen as a threat.

Goddess Rati:

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Goddess Rati

Rati is the Hindu goddess of love, carnal desire, lust, passion and sexual pleasure. Usually described as the daughter of Prajapati Daksha, Rati is the female counterpart, the chief consort and the assistant of Kama (Kamadeva), the god of love. A constant companion of Kama, she is often depicted with him in legend and temple sculpture. She also enjoys worship along with Kama. Rati is often associated with the arousal and delight of sexual activity, and many sex techniques and positions derive their Sanskrit names from hers.

 

The Hindu scriptures stress her beauty and sensuality. They depict her as a maiden who has the power to enchant the god of love. When the god Shiva burnt her husband to ashes, it was Rati, whose beseeching or penance, leads to the promise of Kama’s resurrection. Often, this resurrection occurs when Kama is reborn as Pradyumna, the son of Krishna. Rati – under the name of Mayavati – plays a critical role in the upbringing of Pradyumna, who is separated from his parents at birth. She acts as his nanny, as well as his lover, and tells him the way to return to his parents by slaying the demon-king, who is destined to die at his hands. Later, Kama-Pradyumna accepts Rati-Mayavati as his wife.

P.S. There are many other factors and characteristics of each God and Goddess apart from their basic similarity