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.

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The Concept of Self in Ayurveda

The Self, as this inner dimension of our nature is called in Ayurveda, is the central point of our being, the hub of the wheel. It is the true inner center of our diversified lives. Thought, feelings, speech, action, and relationships all originate here, deep within the personality. The whole person-and the whole field of interpersonal behavior-can be spontaneously enhanced by the process of self-referral, or looking within to experience the Self. This is analogous to the natural process by which all the branches, leaves, flowers, and fruit of a tree can be simultaneously nourished and enlivened by watering the root.

The Self can be directly experienced. Those who do experience it find it to be deeply peaceful, yet a reservoir of creativity, intelligence, and happiness that spills over into all phases of living.

https://herencyclopedia.com/2016/06/12/the-five-great-elements/

On the day when you’re tired of life.

She is tired of running after making money, he is tired of running after relationships, tired of running after competitions and then fell down and realised that they couldn’t go on any more. Seen and bearing an overwhelming burden of troubles and responsibility. They have already seen it all, can do it all and want nothing except to rest in peace.

And then they suddenly start to see life in a different way. It often happens against a background of too much work, of feeling completely run-down and experiencing ridiculous levels of stress. When you’ve ended up in a hospital, you end up understand a thing or two about life.

Tired people, bit by bit, are the ones who manage to change everything, and change themselves. They learn to live again, managing to subjugate their circumstances to themselves, their own needs and requirements, their desires, and their biological clock. They take full control of their life by not trusting the moods and decisions of their employers. They they take up watercolour painting and read lots of books; they learn to cook; they go for walks in a park and play with their kids. They learn how to just breathe again, having understood that having enough money for just one handbag, as it turns out, is quite enough.

They learn to live here and now, enjoying every minute.

This is why for quite a long time already we’ve had such terms as ’downshifting’ and anti-consumerist societies; this is why freelancing and spending winters in huts in India is so popular.

Shallow Success

Success. This definition of it, the whole idea of it, is arguably one of the biggest lies we ever get told in our lives.

None of this stuff is important.

But the only people who can realise it are the people who are deeply tired of life, for whom nothing matters as much as peace of mind. The chance to not have to run anywhere, not to prove anything to anybody. To live, rather than just survive till the end.

Avoid the “I Just Need To Work Harder” Trap

If you tend to react to stress, struggling, or exhaustion by attempting to just work harder, try slowing down instead.

As above, you’re likely already trying your best. Telling yourself that the answer to solving your problems is just working harder isn’t likely to be an accurate thought.

The trap here is that by telling yourself the problem is not working hard enough, you’re likely to close yourself off to trying new ways of coping. An example I see in my practice all the time is people who respond to overeating by telling themselves they just need to try harder to stick to their diet next time. By attributing the problem to not trying hard enough, they try to solve it throughwillpower rather than seeking other strategies.

 

Humor Therapy

A Healthy Dose of Laughter

I read that a child laughs 400 times a day on the average, while an adult laughs only 15 times each day. Which is puzzling since laughter feels so good and is so good for us!

You may know the benefits of laughter on the mind and spirit, but are you aware of how much a good laugh can help you physically? Norman Cousins used to say that laughter is so bene­ficial for your body that it is like “inner jog­ging.”

Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic Health Letter, March 1993) reports that laughter aids breathing by disrupting your normal respiration pattern and in­creasing your breathing rate. It can even help clear mucus from your lungs.

Laughter is also good for your heart. It in­creases circulation and improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues throughout your body.

A good laugh helps your immune system fight off colds, flu and sinus problems by increas­ing the concentration of immunoglobulin A in your sa­liva. And it may help control pain by rais­ing the levels of certain brain chemicals (endorphins).

Furthermore, it is a natural stress reliever. Have you ever laughed so hard that you doubled over, fell off your chair, spit out your food or wet your pants? You cannot maintain muscle tension when you are laughing!

The good news is that you are allowed more than 15 laughs a day! Go ahead and double the dose and make it 30 times today. (You may begin to no­tice immediate improvement in your relationships!) Then double it again! You are bound to feel better, you will cope with problems more effectively and people will enjoy being around you.

Laughter: it’s just good medicine :))))

 

Instant Results

End Results Are Secondary To… Instant Results!

I exercise and do yoga to improve my physical and emotional shape. I practice new skills for happiness of my brain cells. I write in order to finish a novel.

But think about this.

  • Going to the gym or yoga strengthens my willpower and resolve right now(before my muscles get stronger).

  • Practicing new skills strengthens my mental dexterity right now(ex.before I learn French).

  • Writing strengthens my communication skills and creativity right now (before I finish the book)

Pursuing a goal improves me right now in ways that could last a lifetime. Positive end results are wonderful, but they’re one-time events. By the time I reach an end result, I might have already gained plenty from its pursuit. Life is about the journey, not because of some wishy-washy sentiment, but because the journey produces the greatest personal growth and benefits.

Ignore “end results” to get more of them!

Of course, I still have to do things, but I dissected in not having to achieve a positive end result completely dissolves most resistance to action.

Is it easier to write a few pages of a story idea or to write a  blog ? Is it easier to make my entire house spotless or to “improve this area a little bit?” Is it easier to give a speech that ends in a 5 minute standing ovation or “to do my best and forget the rest?”

When we let go of our need for great end results, we unlock the power of the present moment to instantly make us into slightly better, more skilled people. When we obsess over that perfect result, we hesitate to try, we undervalue the power of resultless practice, and we stunt our potential in a haze of fantasy. Anyone can fantasize about doing great things, or reaching their fullest potential, but the only ones who get close are (ironically) those who move their gaze from the trophy and to the unimpressive, unheralded steps required to get it.

I’ll bet that we’re human and thus, there’s an area of our life that could be better. Beware! These areas are at the greatest risk for “result-wishing.” We want that promotion, that trophy husband or wife, that popular blog, that number on the scale, that level of musical mastery, that level of fitness, that respect from our peers, that dream house, that income, that happiness. Whatever it may be, be open to it happening and believe it’s possible, but don’t let our desire for it blind us to what’s possible now.

End results are the trophy. But we won’t get the trophy unless win the race. And we won’t win the race unless develop those subtle skills and improvements that come from trying your best regardless of results.This isn’t a call to drop our dreams and settle for less, it’s a call to step up and give ourself a chance to reach your dreams.

Kitchen of a Yogi

“To eat is necessity but to eat INTELLIGENTLY is an art”

“And he knew that food was Brahman. From food all beings are born. By food they live and into food they return”. – Upanishad 3.2

Manu, Jesus and Buddha exhorted the people to refrain from using liquors, intoxicants and drugs as these are deleterious in their effects. No spiritual progress is possible without abandoning them.

Pythagoras seems to bewail when he says: “Beware, O mortals, of defiling your bodies with sinful food. There are cereals, there are fruits bending their branches down by their weight, and luxurious grapes on the vines. There are sweet vegetables and herbs which the fire can render palatable and mellow. Nor are you denied milk, nor honey, fragrance of the aroma of the thyme flower. The bountiful earth offers you an abundance of pure food and provides for meals obtainable without slaughter and bloodshed.”

Yoga diet principles play an important part in getting full benefits from your yoga practice. Why do sportsmen and pregnant women need special food? Our body requires food for getting energy and this energy sustains life. Food is what builds up our body, we are what we eat. Type of food and its quality affects your physical as well as mental health.

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Diet is of three kinds :

Sattvic diet,

Rajasic diet

Tamasic diet.

Live a natural simple life. Take simple food that is wholly agreeable to your system. You should have your own menu to suit your constitution. You are yourself the best judge to select a Sattvic diet. In the matter of food and drink you will do well to eat and drink as a master. You should not have the least craving for any particular diet. You should not become a slave to this food or that food. Simple, natural, non-stimulating, tissue-building, energy-producing, non-alcoholic food and drink will keep the mind calm and pure and will help the student of Yoga in his practices and in the attainment of the goal of life.

Vegetarian diet has been acclaimed to be most conducive to spiritual and psychic advancement. It has been found that meat augments animal passion and decreases intellectual capacity. While it is true that meat-eating countries are physically active and strong, the same cannot be said of their spiritual attainments. Meat is not at all necessary for the keeping up of perfect health, rigour and vitality. On the contrary, it is highly deleterious to health. It brings in its train a host of ailments such as tape-worm, albuminuria and other diseases of the kidneys. Killing of animals for food is a great sin. Instead of killing the egoism and the idea of “mine-ness,” ignorant people kill innocent animals under pretext of sacrifice to goddess, but in reality it is meant to please their own tongue or palate. What inhuman horrible crimes are being committed in the name of God and Religion! Ahimsa (non-injuring) is the first virtue that a spiritual aspirant should try to possess. You should have reverence for life. Lord Jesus says: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Mahavira shouted in a trumpet-like voice: “Regard every living being as thyself and harm no one.” The Law of Karma is inexorable, unrelenting, immutable. The pain you inflict upon another will surely rebound upon you and the happiness you radiate will come back to you adding to your happiness. He who knows this Law will not hurt anybody.

TABLE SHOWING SATTVIC, RAJASIC AND TAMASIC ARTICLES OF DIET

SATTVIC RAJASIC  TAMASIC 
Cow’s milk, Cream, Cheese,Butter, Curd, Ghee, Sweet fruits, Apples, Bananas, Grapes, Papaya, Pomegranates, Mangoes, Oranges, Pears, Pineapples, Guavas, Figs, Vegetables, Coconut, Brinjals, Potatoes, Cabbages, Spinach, Tomatoes. Cucumber, Pumpkin, Cauliflower, Lady’s finger, Peaches, Almonds, Pistachios, Raisins, Wheat, Red rice, Unpolished rice, Barley, Oat-meal, Dried peas, Dates, Sugar-candy, Green gram, Bengal gram, Green pulse, Groundnut, Cereals, Dried ginger, Myrobalan, Lemon, Honey, Charu. Fish, Eggs, Meat, Salt, Chillies, Chutney, Asafoetida, Pickles, Tamarind, Mustard, Sour things, Hot things, Tea, Coffee, Cocoa, Ovaltine, White sugar, Carrots, Turnips, Spices. Beef, Pork, Wine,    Onions,Garlic, Tobacco, Rotten things, Stale things, Unclean things, Twice cooked things, All intoxicants, All liquors, All drugs.

Fast Foods

Modern fast food items like hamburgers, pizzas, jams, jellies, soft drinks, ice creams etc. have gained control over our eating patterns and are the main cause of obesity we see all around. These fast foods are rich source of sugar, oils and preservatives all of which are not good for our health. People attracted by various types of fast food which are very low in nutrition. In addition, these foods tax our digestive system and body has to do extra work for digestion and elimination of such food. Everyday we are faced with the choice of selecting our food and we must prefer nutritious food rather than going for the taste.

Look Towards Nature

Yoga diet philosophy emphasises on the natural sources of nutrition. Nature has provided us several nutritious edible foods in their natural form like whole grains, seasonal fruits, vegetables, milk, honey and dry fruits.

Over Eating

More people fall sick due to overeating or wrong dietary habits as compared to people who get sick due to non availability of food. Observe moderation in quantity of food we eat. People who keep on over eating without proper understanding of the principles of eating are bound to harm themselves physically and mentally. One golden rule to avoid overeating is, not to have any type of snacks between your meals.

Balanced Diet

Balanced diet is essential requirement of good health. A balanced diet should include plenty of salads, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, milk and raw nuts. Include these items in your existing dietary choices.

Salads

All vegetables eaten raw constitute salad. Fresh cucumber, tomato, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower etc are used for preparing salad. Salad should be cut into small pieces with suitable dressing of you choice. Ideally salad should form first course of your lunch and dinner. Eat plenty of salad half an hour prior to your meals in case you want to reduce your food intake.

Quantity Of Food

As a general rule, fill only 50% of your stomach with food, 25% of your stomach for water and keep 25% of your stomach empty. If your stomach is overstuffed, it is not properly digested. You will feel uncomfortable and your body is forced to digest extra food and also work for eliminating it. By overeating, your abdominal system is strained and body becomes sluggish. Finally, it leads to gaining of extra weight. Eat only when you feel hungry and eliminate any snacks in between the meals.

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcoholic drinks are nutrient thieves; they steal and destroy nutrients available in your system. Alcoholic drinks weaken the individual physically and mentally, if used without restraint. For yoga practitioners, it is best to avoid alcoholic drinks.

Spices

Avoid excessive use of spices and salt. Too much of seasoning of food is also not recommended.

Water

Drink 10 to 12 glasses of water everyday. Drink water half an hour before meals. Avoid drinking water with food. Drinking of one or two glasses of water when you wake up is ideal for health.

Coffee and Tea

It is ideal if you can avoid tea and coffee completely. Otherwise limit your tea or coffee intake to 2 cups per day. Excess of tea and coffee leads to constipation, insomnia and nervousness in addition to extra calories each cup of tea or coffee pumps into our bodies.

Method of Eating

Eat slowly and chew your food properly. Eating fast does not allow the time for satiating signals to reach your brain from your abdomen resulting in overeating. By chewing the food properly, saliva can better mix with food and make it easily digestible. Body is able to make full use of food you eat and helps you to maintain better health. Principles of yoga diet are time tested and very easy to follow. To lead a healthy life one has to establish a dietary pattern that will sustain good health. Yoga and diet are essential components of good health and happiness. Eat to live and not live to eat.

Foods to Avoid or Reduce When Following a Yogic Diet
1. Meat and fish of all types, including eggs
2. Processed and/or artificial foods, junk food, artificial sweeteners, soda
3. Animal fats, margarine
4. Fried foods
5. Canned foods, except naturally canned tomatoes and fruit
6. White flour, white sugar
7. Garlic, onions, spicy foods
8. Stale or overly cooked foods
9. Microwaved foods
10. Alcohol, tobacco, stimulants
11. Foods that are genetically engineered
12.  Foods that are eaten in a rush or in a disturbed environment