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Today is the world friendship day and great friends embrace each other and celebrate the occasion exchanging jiggles and giggles. A good friend is not always the one in need, but the one in deed. The best of all buddies is the supreme friend, the master of all. He created and protects us and unto Him we all return. He dwells in us although we are unaware of Him. That Supreme friend is Krshna and here is a brief about an absorbing story of a great friendship with Him.

The Bhagavata Purana describes the life of the great devotee Sudama and the Lord’s generosity towards his family. Once there was a poor brahmana called Sudama, a co-student of Sri Krshna under Guru Sandipani Muni. Lord Krshna and Sudâma together wandered in the forest as good friends. After their studies, Sudama married and had many children. He hardly earned, but always worshipped Lord Vishnu. Sudama and family had to beg for their livelihood, but performed their duties well. One day, Sudama’s wife asked him to meet Lord Krshna. She begged and collected a handful of flat rice and packed in a small bag and went to Lord Krshna. Lord Krshna knew about Sudama’s arrival and He therefore made a red carpet welcome to His earnest devotee. He decorated the house and the entrance. Sudama wore torn clothes and appeared like a worn out beggar, but none of the guards of Dvaraka questioned him and instead saluted him as ordered by Lord Krshna, although it astonished everyone in the palace. Sudama too was astonished to see the hearty welcome he received. The Lord came down and took Sudama to His own chamber and seated him comfortably. The Lord then washed his feet and that water carrying the dust of his feet was sprinkled upon Himself, Rukmini and all over the house. The Lord said, “The water that washes the holy feet of a pure devotee of Lord Vishnu purifies all over the land.”

The Lord seated Sudama comfortably, gave water to drink, and asked, “Where is My gift?” The hospitality he received was so great, Sudama felt ashamed to show him the small bag of flat rice he brought and shielded it in the ugly dress he wore. The Lord searched his dress and found it. Krshna ate one handful of rice and said, “Never in My life I ate such a sweet rice.” The rest Rukmini snatched away from the Lord and ate uttering the similar remarks. She refused to give anything more to Lord Krshna. In fact, Rukmini was none other than Mother Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune.

Then the Lord offered him a grant feast. He waited to eat till the guest was sumptuously satisfied. The balance of the food Lord Krshna and Rukmini ate with great reverence to the guest. With the utmost hospitality he received, Sudâma forgot to ask Lord Krshna the purpose of his visit. In fact the Lord knew it and so did not ask. After lunch, Sudâma left Dvâraka. While returning, he thought, “I forgot to ask some help from Lord Krshna. What will I say when I meet my wife and children?” Worried to meet his family, he travelled and arrived near his house. He couldn’t find his house there and felt he might have missed the way. He looked around for a while. He never found his home and instead he saw a wonderful palatial mansion with guards, swimming pool, and all luxurious uncommon on earth. He couldn’t believe his eyes for a moment. Soon he found his wife and children came out to receive him. They dressed well, wore wonderful ornaments, and appeared beautiful and cheerful. They took him to his fully furnished home. With all those wonderful facilities, Sudama was not overjoyed and continued to be a great devotee of the Lord. Although lived in luxuries, he neither accepted them as his own nor enjoyed the pleasures as a gift. Thus, a perfect devotee of the Lord, although neglected by people in the beginning, became the most admired person in the whole of his village.

A perfect devotee can attain anything because in him the Lord verily dwells. Without sacrifice, none can become a perfect devotee. True devotion should not be for material gains. The Lord knows what a perfect devotee wants in life. Therefore, until Sudama lost the charm of wealth and pleasures, the Lord did not bless him opulence or else it will only boil his ego and plunge him in the deep gorge of materialism forgetting spiritual consciousness. Therefore, only when the devotee became fully surrendered to the Lord, He gifted him

all glories because he will not then attach to it any more.
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