Key for Good Friendships
by Gauranga Darshan Das
Generally, rich people do not like to identify with poor people. King Drupada and Dronacharya studied under the same guru in the same school when they were boys. But after some years, when poor Droṇa approached Drupada for financial assistance, Drupada gave him a cold reception. In contrast to this, Kṛṣṇa’s warm treatment of poor Sudama reveals the depth of their friendship beyond the difference in their positions.
Kṛṣṇa’s love for Sudama was unpretentious, and Sudama’s love for Kṛṣṇa was unmotivated. He came to Kṛṣṇa just out of an eagerness to see his friend. If we have undue expectations from others and if they are not fulfilled, we get frustrated. But if we don’t expect favors from others, yet receive help, we will become grateful for it. We need to make this conscious choice whether to be frustrated or be grateful in our relationships.
Just as Sudama felt ashamed to offer flat rice to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa felt ashamed to give wealth to him. Kṛṣṇa thought, “My friend’s eagerness to serve Me is more than his ability to serve Me. Even though he had nothing in his house, he took the trouble of begging this flat rice from neighbors. So, I must give him something more valuable than all my possessions but nothing is equal to or greater than My wealth.” Being thus embarrassed Kṛṣṇa gave wealth to Sudama secretly, which was revealed to him only after he returned home. Despite showing so much favor, Kṛṣṇa felt He didn’t do enough for Sudama, while people want credit and feel proud for even small favors that they do to others. Krishna and Sudama, with their genuine love and humility, demonstrated sweetness of good friendships.
Excerpt From: Gauranga Darshan Das. “Bhagavata Viveka: Practical Wisdom from Bhagavatam Stories”. Apple Books.