You say it best, when you say nothing at all…

The story of Sudama is touching indeed. He was very poor, and was always dressed in rags. On the insistence of his wife, he trudged from Avanti, near Indore, through the deserts of Rajasthan to Sri Krishna’s palace in Dvarka. The gatekeepers would not allow him in because of his ragged appearance, but when Sudama insisted that he was a classmate of Sri Krishna, they went and told Sri Krishna, “Somebody is standing at the gate like a beggar, and he says he is your classmate.”

“Oh, I see!” said Sri Krishna. He ran and hugged Sudama and, to the horror of all, brought him into the palace and washed his feet.

“Ah! What have you brought me?” asked Sri Krishna.

Sudama, poor man, had brought nothing. He was ashamed to say anything. His wife had nothing to give him to offer when he went to have darshan of Sri Krishna, so she begged for a little beaten rice—chura—from neighbours, and tied it in a dirty old cloth, which he kept under his armpit. But he would not show it to Sri Krishna because he was dazzled by the glory of the palace and the wonderment of the entire atmosphere, so he hugged it tightly and said, “I have nothing.”

“No, you must have brought something,” said Sri Krishna.

He pulled out the small bundle, and it fell on a large plate. The little handful of beaten rice became a large heap that overflowed from the plate. Sri Krishna took one morsel, then a second, and was about to take a third when Rukmini held his hand, saying “With one morsel you have given him the glory of this whole world, with the second morsel you have given him heaven. Now you are about to take a third morsel. Do you want me to go as a servant of this man?”

Then there was a beautiful conversation between Sri Krishna and Sudama.

Sri Krishna enquired, “How are you? I am seeing you after a long time. Is everything going on well with you?”

“Ah! Yes. Everything is well,” replied Sudama.

He would not say why he had come. He was ashamed. He thought that Sri Krishna would know that it was due to his poverty. But Sri Krishna did not say anything about it. He did not ask, “Why you have come? Do you want anything? Can I give you something, or do anything for you?” He would not utter one word.

Sudama was in a state of chagrin. “How is it that he doesn’t utter one word? I cannot ask. I am ashamed. I am so wretched in the presence of this great man.” After giving Sudama a cosy bed to sleep in, Sri Krishna bid him farewell, giving nothing to him, not even a little gift as a memento, a token. Nothing was given.

Barehanded, helpless, the poor man had to walk back. Mentally he was cursing himself. “Why did I come here? He never asked me anything. I am not able to understand. Now what shall I tell my wife when I return? I am ashamed that I have come at all. He could have at least asked me what I want. Even that he did not ask.” But then he reconciled himself. “I understand very well why he did not talk to me on this matter. It is because he knows what the true welfare is for a person. Wealth is very bad. It binds a person, and he will get attached to it, and will never attain salvation. He knows that it is good for me not to have anything. Oh! He has blessed me. I should not complain. Very good. I am very glad that he is so wise that he has understood what my welfare is. Money is not my welfare. Wealth is a cause of attachment. He has done a very wise thing. He has made me free from all attachment. Blessed be Sri Krishna! I am going as I came.”

When Sudama returned home, he could not find his hut. In its place there was a huge palace, lustrous like the sun, and a queen dressed in shining robes was standing in front. He did not understand. He thought he had missed his way and had entered the palace of some king.

“Mother!” he addressed that lady, “Do you know where that hut of Sudama lies, in what direction?”

She immediately said, “Oh, my dear! You don’t recognise me? I am your own wife. In one night, the whole thing transformed itself into this gorgeous palace that you are seeing now. It is all Bhagavan’s greatness.”

The play of God in the theatre of this world is the life of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. He behaved in the same way as God would behave in His creation. The avatara of Rama is regarded as a maryada that he kept in terms of the rules and regulations of human society.

Bhagavan Sri Krishna is known not as Maryada Purushottama, but as Lila Purushottama. The demonstration of the perfection of human nature is the subject of the Ramayana, the life of Sri Ramachandra; and the demonstration of the perfection of God as He would operate Himself, independently, free from all accessories, is the theme of the life of Bhagavan Sri Krishna in the Srimad Bhagavata.

Everything that Krishna did was the opposite of the world, while everything that Rama did was in consonance with the world.

And this is why Rama is adored, but Sri Krishna is loved.

So when his birthday approaches, a celebration of just one day does not suffice. Let’s have five days of rejoicing, of resetting our approaches towards a life of stress and moving towards a life of joyfulness – for he is there to look out for you, even when you don’t ask him anything. All you have to do, is believe:)

जय श्री कृष्ण! Jai Shri Krishna!