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”.