Sudama was an ascetic, impeccable and pure Brahmin. He stayed in Porbandar. He was best friend of Shri Krishna. Sudama never used his knowledge for earning purpose but for the almighty. He was very poor. His wife’s name was Sushila. She was very virtuous wife. She used to remain hungry for so many days but she never felt unhappiness. She never teased her husband to earn. Many a times, their children did not get anything to eat. Sushila could not see their bad condition and requested her husband to meet his friend, Shri Krishna. She said, “He always said that Shri Krishna loved his friends and even did theft for his friends”. Sudama acknowledged it and said, “He ate after feeding his friends”. Sushila asked him to go and meet him so that their pains are removed. Sudama told, “He is poor but he would not beg”. Sushila again insisted to go there just to meet him. She said, “Shri Krishna is the almighty and he should not have hesitation to meet him”. Finally, Sudama agreed to go to Dwarka. He said, “It is not proper to go empty hand in friend’s house”. Sushila could not find anything in the house. So, she brought two handful of rice from neighbors and tied in a torn cloth for Shri Krishna. Sudama moved in the direction of Dwarka. Sushila prayed Surya (Sun) for his safe journey.
Sudama reached Dwarka on seventh day of Paush month in Shukl Paksh. He was shivering due to cold. Sudama asked the way to Dwarkadheesh palace from the people. The people made fun of him for telling Krishna’s friend. Ultimately, he reached the palace gate. Gatekeeper disallowed him to go inside. Sudama told him that he has not come to take anything from Shri Krishna and Krishna is his friend. Gatekeeper laughed at him and said, “Can a beggar come without expectation”. Sudama asked him to inform Shri Krishna that his friend Sudama has come. Gatekeeper went inside and informed Shri Krishna that a lean beggar has come who is claiming to be his friend and has come without any expectation.
Hearing about Sudama, Shri Krishna ran towards door calling Sudama. He felt pain to see the condition of Sudama. Shri Krishna embraced Sudama. Sudama thought, “His friend has not forgotten him even after attaining prosperity”. Rukmani brought water to clean the feet of Sudama. But Shri Krishna cleaned the feet with his tears. Sudama was not wearing shoes; so many thorns pricked his feet. Shri Krishna started plucking the thorns. One thorn could not be plucked so Krishna asked Rukmani to bring a needle. Rukmani delayed in bringing needle. Meanwhile, Shri Krishna started plucking the thorn with his teeth. Sudama retorted, hai prabhu! What are you doing? Being king, it does not look nice. Shri Krishna said, “What he is talking about; his friend has not lost his prudence after becoming prosperous”. Shri Krishna plucked the thorn.
Shri Krishna remembered the days of Gurukul. He said, “worldly affairs are big trouble; Gurukul days were joyful”. Shri Krishna reminded Sudama one episode of a rainy day. That day, Sudama was having some grams. Hearing the sound of eating grams, Krishna had asked about it. Sudama had replied that the sound was due to shivering because of cold not of eating. Sudama thought that he would have to share grams.
Queens were surprised to see Krishna’s service of feet. Their husband had never showed such devotion earlier. Shri Krishna enquired about the family life of Sudama. Sudama told, “He has come on the request of his bhabhi (wife of brother)”. Krishna said, “Bhabhi must have sent something for him”. Rukmani interrupted & asked Shri Krishna, “If he permits, she want to send something for his home”. Krishna said, “He does not want to send anything but wants to take from him”. Rukmani said, “What can be given by the poor Brahmin”. Shri Krishna felt bad on being said as poor Brahmin by Rukmani. Rukmani begged pardon. Sudama was hiding the bundle of rice, out of hesitation. Shri Krishna laughed and said, “He had hidden grams earlier and now is hiding rice”. Shri Krishna snatched the bundle of rice and ate it. Shri Krishna is the parmatma. When he ate rice, it was eaten by the entire world which gave virtues of donating food to entire world.
Shri Krishna bestowed entire prosperity of Dwarka to Sudama’s house in exchange of one handful rice. Sudama never told about his poverty to Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna also did not tell about donation of prosperity.
Next morning, Sudama got ready to return to his village. He thought, “Shri Krishna would request to stay for three-four day more”. But Shri Krishna did not request because Sushila had resolved to take food after viewing the face of her husband. Sudama wore his torn clothes and moved. Krishna asked him to bring Bhabhi also next time.
Sudama reached Sudamapuri and searched his broken cottage but failed to do so. There was a big palace. He wondered, “What has happened to his cottage”. When Sushila heard about arrival of Sudama, she ran out and welcomed him. She said, “due to grace of his friend, this prosperity has come”. Sudama felt obliged. He thought, “He never expected wealth; he only desired bhakti of Shri Krishna”.
16,108 Weddings of Shri Krishna
There is lot of talks about thousands of wives of Shri Krishna. But very few people know the real stories behind Shri Krishna’s wedding with 16,108 girls. Shri Krishna wedded with 16,100 widows of the demon Narkasura who made them captive, to save their dignity. Rest of the eight weddings was due to peculiar circumstances.
Shri Krishna had eight principal wives viz. Rukmani, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravinda, Nagnajiti, Bhad- ra and Lakshmana. The stories behind their weddings are mentioned as under:
Satyabhama & Jambavati: She is considered to be the incarnation of Mother Earth. Satyabhama's father Satrajit owned a divine jewel called syamantaka. Krishna told Satrajit to send the jewel to Ugrasena so that it could be guarded safely. Satrajit's brother prasena took the jewel and went for hunting, he was attacked and killed by a lion, and meanwhile Jambava (who lived from the time of Sri Rama) took the jewel and gave it to his daughter to play with. When satrajit heard of his brother's death and missing syamantaka he accused Krishna of it. Krishna went in search of syamantaka so that he could clear the accusation; he found the jewel with Jambava. They fought for 28 days for the jewel; Jambava finally surrendered and recognized Krishna to be the incarnation of Rama and prayed him to marry his daughter. Jambavati was daughter of Jambava. Thus Krishna married Jambavati. Krishna returned the jewel to Satrajit, when satrajit came to know of the happenings he asked Krishna's forgiveness and gave his daughter Satyabhama's hand in marriage to Krishna
Sixteen thousands one hundred wives:
Narkasura made captive sixteen thousands one hundred girls. Shri Krishna slew Narkasura, rescued enslaved girls and accepted them as his wives to save their dignity in the society who saw them as slaves of the demon king Narkasura. The chief amongst them is sometimes called Rohini.
Marital Life of Shri Krishna:
Once, Narada ji desired to see the married life of Shri Krishna and his conduct with 16108 wives. He reached Dwarka. Shri Krishna was with Rukmani. They welcomed Narada ji. Shri Krishna asked him the reason of his visit.
Shri Krishna cleaned the feet of Narada ji. From there, Narada ji went to other houses. He saw, Shri Krishna was playing chess with Uddhav. There also Shri Krishna welcomed him. Likewise, Narada ji went to houses one by one and found Shri Krishna in all houses. He found him in different activities viz. playing with children, taking food, doing japa, listening discourse etc. wherever he went, he found Shri Krishna engaged in family affairs and Shri asked about his time of arrival. Despite Narada ji was roaming around for several hours, he had to say that he came just now. Ultimately, Narada ji begged pardon from Shri Krishna.
The story of Satyabhama and Tulsi leaf
Once, Satyabhama felt proud of being most loved by Shri Krishna. One day, Narada, ji arrived there. Satyabhama asked him a trick so that she gets the same husband in all future lives. Narada ji advised her, whatever one donate in the life, gets in future life. If she wants Shri Krishna in next life, then donate him. Satyabhama was ready to donate him but wondered who would accept him as donation. Ultimately, Narada ji agreed to accept the donation of Shri Krishna. Satyabhama donated Shri Krishna with resolve.
Narada ji took Shri Krishna to move from there. Satyabhama asked Narada ji where he is taking her husband. Narada ji told her, just now she has donated him Shri Krishna and now he has authority over him. Whatever is donated, it belongs to the person whom it is donated. Now Shri Krishna belongs to him.
Satyabhama realized her fault. She demanded Shri Krishna back but Narada ji refused. When other queens heard the incident, they came running. But Rukamani did not come. All queens started pleading Narada ji to return their husband. Narada ji again said them that Shri Krishna has been donated by Satyabhama and if they desire to take him back, they should give him gold of equivalent weight of Shri Krishna. Satyabhama was delighted to hear this. All queens brought their gold ornaments. But to their utter surprise, all their ornaments were less in weight than that of Shri Krishna. Now, the queens trembled and brought more ornaments still the weight was less. The queens could not buy Shri Krishna against hundreds of kilogram ornaments. Shri Krishna played all this to destroy the pride of Satyabhama.
Now, all queens plunged into thoughts, what to do now. Satyabhama has done disaster by donating Shri Krishna. At last, Satyabhama decided to take the help of Rukamani. Rukamani understood the secret. She said, the almighty cannot be bought by gold. She placed one holy tulsi (basil) leaf with devotion. Immediately, the Shri Krishna side of scale moved up.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
The Story of marriage of Rukmani and Shri Krishna
The King Bhishmak of Vidarbha had five sons and one daughter. Eldest son was Rukmi and daughter’s name was Rukmani. Name of their mother was Shudhmati (pure mind). Rukmani was incarnation of Lakshmi.
Bhishmak desired that Rukmani should marry Shri Krishna but Rukmi was in favour of her marriage with Shishupal. When Rukmani knew about brother’s desire, she felt distressed. Rukmi asked Shishupal to bring wedding procession. Shishupal reached with wedding procession. During Ganapati worship, Shishupal’s attention was only on the beauty of Rukmani.
Rukmani said to Sudev, a Brahmin who used to come in Antahpur of Shudhmati that she wanted to marry with Shri Krishna. She asked Sudev to hand over her letter to Shri Krishna. Rukmani wrote Shri Krishna, “she is desireless and without any disorder”. Sudev went to Dwarka and handed over the letter to Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna read the letter. She had written seven verses relating to seven marriage steps. She praised the six attributes of Shri Krishna viz. Dharma, Aishvarya, Yash, Shri, Gyan and vairagya (Righteousness, power or supremacy, fame, prosperity, wisdom and renunciation). She addressed her letter saying “not the world; creator of the world is beautiful”. She wrote Shri Krishna, “his beauty & attributes have fascinated her; she did not want to marry lustful person; she has regularly done good deeds; she has done fasts; donated clothes & grains to poor; she would bring divine wealth; she surrenders to his feet; accept me otherwise she would sacrifice her life”. She further wrote Shri Krishna, “she goes Parvati temple every day for worship and he should abduct her from there”.
Shri Krishna reached Vidarbha overnight. Vidarbha people were overjoyed to see Shri Krishna. They said, “Shri Krishna is the right choice for Rukmani”. Sudev informed Rukmani that he has brought Shri Krishna and he has accepted her. Rukmani asked Sudev, “What service she can do for him”. Sudev said, “He does not expect anything”.
Meanwhile, Shishupal along with Jarasandh & other kings reached there. When he heard about arrival of Shri Krishna, he was terrified. He told Jarasandh, “He might take away his wife”. Jarasandh consoled Shishupal and assured that they would fight on his behalf in case of need. Rukmi told that he has made such an arrangement that not even bird could reach near his sister. When she would go to Parvati temple, sixteen girls would encircle her and many wrestlers would also accompany them. Hearing this, Shishupal calmed down.
After dressing up, Rukmani worshipped her parents and Tulsi (holy basil). Her mother asked her to go to Parvati temple on foot as she would be marrying. Rukmani greeted her mother again as she knew that she would not return home.
Rukmani was worshipping Parvati mata but infact she was viewing Dwarkadheesh (Shri Krishna) in idol. She sought blessings from Parvati mata that she could marry Shri Krishna. Parvati ji blessed her that her desire should be fulfilled. After worship, when she was coming down slowly from the temple, the kings were praising her beauty lustfully. Rukmani glanced on them which fainted away all of them.
Shri Krishna asked Daruk to take chariot forward. Rukmani was joyful to see Garud flag of Shri Krishna’s chariot. Shri Krishna caught hand of Rukmani and pulled up her and made to sit in chariot. Chariot proceeded in the direction of Dwarka. When the fainted king improved, they came to know that Shri Krishna has abducted Rukmani. Shishupal started weeping. Jarasandh & other kings asked him to calm down. Then Shishupal, Jarasandh, Dantvark & all other kings got angry, rode on their vehicles wearing armor and ran after Shri Krishna.
When Shri Krishna did not reach home till evening, Balrama was worried. After enquiry, he came to know the reason. Balrama immediately reached Vidarbha with army and dispersed the army of Shishupal, Jarasandh, Dantvark & other kings. All kings except Shishupal ran away. Shishupal kept weeping but did not fight. Rukmi came to fight with Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna tied him with one pillar. Rukmani requested him to leave her brother. Balrama said, “Rukmi is now your brother in law”. Hence, leave him. Shri Krishna untied Rukmi and let him go.
Shri Krishna sent a letter through Uddhav requesting Nand Baba to join his marriage ceremony. Nand Baba decided not to go to Dwarka as Kanhiya has not come to Gokul. Hearing this, Shri Krishna came to Gokul and asked Yashodha ma to come to Dwarka for his marriage. Otherwise, he would not marry. Nand baba, Yashodha, Gopis and other Braj people reached Dwarka. King Bhishmak also came there. But due to curse of Durvasa rishi, Bhishmak was not able to stay in Dwarka. Hence, marriage of Shri Krishna and Rukmani was solmanised in Madhavpur.