Krishna Book, End of Chapter 79: The Meeting of Lord Kṛṣṇa with Sudāmā Brāhmaṇa
There was a very nice brāhmaṇa friend of Lord Kṛṣṇa. As a perfect brāhmaṇa, he was very elevated in transcendental knowledge, and because of his advanced knowledge, he was not at all attached to material enjoyment. Therefore he was very peaceful and had achieved supreme control over his senses. This means that the brāhmaṇa was a perfect devotee because unless one is a perfect devotee, he cannot achieve the highest standard of knowledge. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that a person who has come to the point of perfection of knowledge surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, any person who has surrendered his life for the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has come to the point of perfect knowledge. The result of perfect knowledge is that one becomes detached from the materialistic way of life. This detachment means complete control of the senses, which are always attracted by material enjoyment. The senses of the devotee become purified, and in that stage the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord. That is the complete field of devotional service.
Although the brāhmaṇa friend of Lord Kṛṣṇa was a householder, he was not busy accumulating wealth for very comfortable living; therefore he was satisfied by the income which automatically came to him according to his destiny. This is the sign of perfect knowledge. A man who is in perfect knowledge knows that one cannot be happier than he is destined to be. In this material world, everyone is destined to suffer a certain amount of distress and to enjoy a certain amount of happiness. The amount of happiness and distress is already predestined for every living entity. No one can increase or decrease the happiness of the materialistic way of life. The brāhmaṇa, therefore, did not exert himself for more material happiness, but he used his time for advancement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Externally he appeared to be very poor because he had no rich dress and could not provide a very rich dress for his wife, and because their material condition was not very opulent they were not even eating sufficiently, and thus both he and his wife appeared to be very thin. The wife was not very anxious for her personal comfort, but she felt very concerned for her husband, who was such a pious brāhmaṇa. She was trembling due to her weak health, and although she did not like to dictate to her husband, she spoke as follows:
“My dear lord, I know that Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the husband of the goddess of fortune, is your personal friend. You are also a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and He is always ready to help His devotee. Even if you think that you are not rendering any devotional service to the Lord, still you are surrendered to Him, and the Lord is the protector of the surrendered soul. Moreover, I know that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the ideal personality of Vedic culture. He is always in favor of brahminical culture and is very kind to the qualified brāhmaṇas. You are the most fortunate person because you have as your friend the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the only shelter for personalities like you because you are fully surrendered unto Him. You are saintly, learned and fully in control of your senses. Under the circumstances, Lord Kṛṣṇa is your only shelter. Please, therefore, go to Him. I am sure that He will immediately understand your impoverished position. You are a householder; therefore without any money you are in a distressed condition. But as soon as He understands your position, He will certainly give you sufficient riches so that you can live very comfortably. Lord Kṛṣṇa is now the King of the Bhoja, Vṛṣṇi and Andhaka dynasties, and I have heard that He never leaves His capital city, Dvārakā. He is living there without outside engagements. He is so kind and liberal that He immediately gives everything, even His personal self, to any person who surrenders unto Him. When He is prepared to give Himself personally to His devotee, then there is nothing wonderful in giving some material riches. Of course, He does not give much material wealth to His devotee if the devotee is not very fixed, but I think in your case He knows perfectly well how much you are fixed in devotional service. Therefore He will not hesitate to award you some material benefit for the bare necessities of life.”
In this way, the wife of the brāhmaṇa again and again requested, in great humility and submission, that he go to Lord Kṛṣṇa. The brāhmaṇa thought that there was no need to ask any material benefit from Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, but he was induced by the repeated requests of his wife. Moreover, he thought, “If I go there I shall be able to see the Lord personally. That will be a great opportunity, even if I don’t ask any material benefit from Him.” When he had decided to go to Kṛṣṇa, he asked his wife if she had anything in the home that he could offer to Kṛṣṇa, because he must take some presentation for his friend. The wife immediately collected four palmsful of chipped rice from her neighboring friends and tied it in a small cloth, like a handkerchief, and gave it to her husband to present to Kṛṣṇa. Without waiting any longer, the brāhmaṇa took the presentation and began to proceed toward Dvārakā to see his Lord. While he was proceeding toward Dvārakā He was absorbed in the thought of how he could be able to see Lord Kṛṣṇa. He had no thought within his heart other than Kṛṣṇa.
It was of course very difficult to reach the palaces of the kings of the Yadu dynasty, but brāhmaṇas were allowed to visit, and when the brāhmaṇa friend of Lord Kṛṣṇa went there, he, along with other brāhmaṇas, had to pass through three military encampments. In each camp there were very big gates, and he also had to pass through them. After the gates and the camps, there were sixteen thousand big palaces, the residential quarters of the sixteen thousand queens of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The brāhmaṇa entered one palace which was very gorgeously decorated. When he entered this beautiful palace, he felt that he was swimming in the ocean of transcendental pleasure. He felt himself constantly diving and surfacing in that transcendental ocean.
At that time, Lord Kṛṣṇa was sitting on the bedstead of Queen Rukmiṇī. Even from a considerable distance He could see the brāhmaṇa coming to His home, and He could recognize him as His friend. Lord Kṛṣṇa immediately left His seat and came forward to receive His brāhmaṇa friend and, upon reaching him, embraced the brāhmaṇa with His two arms. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of all transcendental pleasure, and yet He Himself felt great pleasure upon embracing the poor brāhmaṇa because He was meeting His very dear friend. Lord Kṛṣṇa had him seated on His own bedstead and personally brought him all kinds of fruits and drinks to offer him, as is proper in receiving a worshipable guest. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the supreme pure, but because He was playing the role of an ordinary human being, He immediately washed the brāhmaṇa’s feet and, for His own purification, sprinkled the water onto His head. After this the Lord smeared the body of the brāhmaṇa with different kinds of scented pulp, such as sandalwood, aguru and saffron. He immediately burned several kinds of scented incense, and, as is usual, He offered him ārātrika with burning lamps. After thus offering him an adequate welcome and after the brāhmaṇa had taken food and drink, Lord Kṛṣṇa said, “My dear friend, it is a great fortune that you have come here.”
The brāhmaṇa, being very poor, was not dressed nicely; his clothing was torn and dirty, and his body was also very lean and thin. He appeared not to be very clean, and because of his weak body, his bones were distinctly visible. The goddess of fortune, Rukmiṇīdevī personally began to fan him with the cāmara fan, but the other women in the palace became astonished at Lord Kṛṣṇa’s behavior in receiving the brāhmaṇa in that way. They were surprised to see how eager Lord Kṛṣṇa was to welcome this particular brāhmaṇa. They began to wonder how Lord Kṛṣṇa could personally receive a brāhmaṇa who was poor, not very neat or clean, and poorly dressed; but at the same time they could realize that the brāhmaṇa was not an ordinary living being. They knew that he must have performed great pious activities; otherwise why was Lord Kṛṣṇa, the husband of the goddess of fortune, taking so much care for him? They were still more surprised to see that the brāhmaṇa was seated on the bedstead of Lord Kṛṣṇa. They were especially surprised to see that Lord Kṛṣṇa had embraced him exactly as He embraced His elder brother, Balarāmajī, because Lord Kṛṣṇa used to embrace only Rukmiṇī or Balarāma, and no one else.
After receiving the brāhmaṇa nicely, and seating him on His own cushioned bed, Lord Kṛṣṇa said, “My dear brāhmaṇa friend, you are a most intelligent personality, and you know very well the principles of religious life. I believe that after you finished your education at the house of our teacher and after you sufficiently remunerated him, you must have gone back to your home and accepted a suitable wife. I know very well that from the beginning you were not at all attached to the materialistic way of life, nor did you desire to be very opulent materially, and therefore you are in need of money. In this material world, persons who are not attached to material opulence are very rarely found. Such unattached persons haven’t the least desire to accumulate wealth and prosperity for sense gratification, but sometimes they are found to collect money just to exhibit the exemplary life of a householder. They show how by proper distribution of wealth one can become an ideal householder and at the same time become a great devotee. Such ideal householders are to be considered followers of My footsteps. I hope, My dear brāhmaṇa friend, you remember all those days of our school life when both you and I were living together at the boarding house. Actually, whatever knowledge both you and I received in our life was accumulated in our student life.
“If a man is sufficiently educated in student life under the guidance of a proper teacher, then his life becomes successful in the future. He can very easily cross over the ocean of nescience, and he is not subjected to the influence of illusory energy. My dear friend, everyone should consider his father to be his first teacher because by the mercy of one’s father one gets this body. The father is therefore the natural spiritual master. Our next spiritual master is he who initiates us into transcendental knowledge, and he is to be worshiped as much as I am. The spiritual master may be more than one. The spiritual master who instructs the disciples about spiritual matters is called śikṣa- guru, and the spiritual master who initiates the disciple is called dīkṣā-guru. Both of them are My representatives. There may be many spiritual masters who instruct, but the initiator spiritual master is one. A human being who takes advantage of these spiritual masters and, receiving proper knowledge from them, crosses the ocean of material existence, is to be understood as having properly utilized his human form of life. He has practical knowledge that the ultimate interest of life, which is to be gained only in this human form, is to achieve spiritual perfection and thus be transferred back home, back to Godhead.
“My dear friend, I am Paramātmā, the Supersoul present in everyone’s heart, and it is My direct order that human society must follow the principles of varṇa and āśrama. As I have stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, the human society should be divided, according to quality and action, into four varṇas. Similarly, everyone should divide his life into four parts. One should utilize the first part of life in becoming a bona fide student, receiving adequate knowledge and keeping oneself in the vow of brahmacarya, so that one may completely devote his life for the service of the spiritual master without indulging in sense gratification. A brahmacārī is meant to lead a life of austerities and penance. The householder is meant to live a regulated life of sense gratification, but no one should remain a householder for the third stage of life. In that stage, one has to return to the austerities and penances formerly practiced in brahmacārī life and thus relieve himself of the attachment to household life. After being relieved of his attachments to the materialistic way of life, one may accept the order of sannyāsa.
“As the Supersoul of the living entities, sitting in everyone’s heart, I observe everyone’s activity in every stage and order of life. Regardless of which stage one is in, when I see that one is engaged seriously and sincerely in discharging the duties ordered by the spiritual master, and is thus dedicating his life to the service of the spiritual master, that person becomes most dear to Me. As far as the life of brahmacarya is concerned, if one can continue the life of a brahmacārī under the direction of a spiritual master, that is extremely good; but if in brahmacārī life one feels sex impulses, then he should take leave of his spiritual master, satisfying him according to the guru’s desire. According to the Vedic system, a gift is offered to the spiritual master, which is called guru-dakṣiṇā. Then the disciple should take to householder life and accept a wife according to religious rites.”
These instructions given by Lord Kṛṣṇa while talking with His friend the learned brāhmaṇa are very good for the guidance of human society. A system of human civilization that does not promote varṇa and āśrama is nothing but polished animal society. Indulgence in sex life by a man or woman living single is never acceptable in human society. A man should either strictly follow the principles of brahmacārī life or, with the permission of the spiritual master, should get married. Single life with illicit sex is animal life. For the animals there is no marriage institution.
Modern society does not aim at fulfilling the mission of human life. The mission of human life is to go back home, back to Godhead. To fulfill this mission, the system of varṇa and āśrama must be followed. When the system is followed rigidly and consciously, it fulfills this mission of life. When it is followed indirectly, without guidance of superior order, it simply creates a disturbing condition in human society, and there is no peace and prosperity.
Kṛṣṇa continued to talk with His brāhmaṇa friend: “My dear friend, I think you remember our activities during the days when we were living as students. You may remember that once we went to collect fuel from the forest on the order of the guru’s wife. While we were collecting the dried wood, we by chance entered the dense forest and became lost. There was an unexpected dust storm and then clouds and lightning in the sky and the explosive sound of thunder. Then sunset came, and we were lost in the dark jungle. After this, there was severe rainfall; the whole ground was overflooded with water, and we could not trace out the way to return to our guru’s āśrama. You may remember that the heavy rainfall–it was not actually rainfall but a sort of devastation. On account of the dust storm and the heavy rain, we began to feel greatly pained, and in whichever direction we turned we were bewildered. In that distressed condition, we took each other’s hand and tried to find our way out. We passed the whole night in that way, and early in the morning when our absence became known to our gurudeva, he sent his other disciples to search us out. He also came with them, and when they reached us in the jungle they found us to be very distressed.
“With great compassion our gurudeva said, ‘My dear boys, it is very wonderful that you have suffered so much trouble for me. Everyone likes to take care of his body as the first consideration, but you are so good and faithful to your guru that without caring for bodily comforts you have taken so much trouble for me. I am also glad to see that bona fide students like you will undergo any kind of trouble for the satisfaction of the spiritual master. That is the way for a bona fide disciple to become free from his debt to the spiritual master. It is the duty of the disciple to dedicate his life to the service of the spiritual master. My dear best of the twice-born, I am greatly pleased by your action, and I bless you: May all your desires and ambitions be fulfilled. May the understanding of the Vedas which you have learned from me always continue to remain within your memory, so that at every moment you can remember the teachings of the Vedas and quote their instructions without difficulty. Thus you will never be disappointed in this life or in the next.‘”
Kṛṣṇa continued: “My dear friend, you may remember that many such incidents occurred while we were in the āśrama of our spiritual master. Both of us can realize that without the blessings of the spiritual master no one can be happy. By the mercy of the spiritual master and by his blessings, one can achieve peace and prosperity and be able to fulfill the mission of human life.”
On hearing this, the learned brāhmaṇa replied, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are the Supreme Lord and the supreme spiritual master of everyone, and since I was fortunate enough to live with You in the house of our guru, I think I have nothing more to do in the matter of prescribed Vedic duties. My dear Lord, the Vedic hymns, ritualistic ceremonies, religious activities and all other necessities for the perfection of human life, including economic development, sense gratification and liberation, are all derived from one source: Your supreme personality. All the different processes of life are ultimately meant for the understanding of Your personality. In other words, they are the different parts of Your transcendental form. And yet You played the role of a student and lived with us in the house of the guru. This means that You adopted all these pastimes for Your pleasure only; otherwise there was no need for Your playing the role of a human being.”
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Seventy-ninth Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, “The Meeting of Lord Kṛṣṇa with Sudāmā Brāhmaṇa.”
Krishna Book, Chapter 80: The Brāhmaṇa Sudāmā Benedicted by Lord Kṛṣṇa
Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul of all living entities, knows very well everyone’s heart. He is especially inclined to the brāhmaṇa devotees. Lord Kṛṣṇa is also called brahmaṇyadeva, which means that He is worshiped by the brāhmaṇas. Therefore it is understood that a devotee who is fully surrendered unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead has already acquired the position of a brāhmaṇa. Without becoming a brāhmaṇa, one cannot approach the Supreme Brahman, Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is especially concerned with vanquishing the distress of His devotees, and He is the only shelter of pure devotees.
Lord Kṛṣṇa was engaged for a long time in talking with Sudāmā Vipra about their past association. Then, just to enjoy the company of an old friend, Lord Kṛṣṇa began to smile, and asked, “My dear friend, what have you brought for Me? Has your wife given you some nice eatable for Me?” While He was addressing His friend, Lord Kṛṣṇa was looking upon him and smiling with great love. He continued, “My dear friend, you must have brought some presentation for Me from your home.”
Lord Kṛṣṇa knew that Sudāmā was hesitating to present Him the paltry chipped rice which was actually unfit for His eating, and understanding the mind of Sudāmā Vipra the Lord said, “My dear friend, certainly I am not in need of anything, but if My devotee gives Me something as an offering of love, even though it may be very insignificant, I accept it with great pleasure. On the other hand, if a person is not a devotee, even though he may offer Me very valuable things, I do not like to accept them. I actually accept only things which are offered to Me in devotion and love; otherwise, however valuable the thing may be, I do not accept it. If My pure devotee offers Me even the most insignificant things–a little flower, a little piece of leaf, a little water–but saturates the offering in devotional love, then I not only gladly accept such an offering, but I eat it with great pleasure.”
Lord Kṛṣṇa assured Sudāmā Vipra that He would be very glad to accept the chipped rice which he had brought from home, yet out of great shyness, Sudāmā Vipra hesitated to present it to the Lord. He was thinking, “How can I offer such insignificant things to Kṛṣṇa?” and he simply bowed his head.
Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supersoul, knows everything in everyone’s heart. He knows everyone’s determination and everyone’s want. He knew, therefore, the reason for Sudāmā Vipra’s coming to Him. He knew that, driven by extreme poverty, he had come there at the request of his wife. Thinking of Sudāmā as His very dear class friend, He knew that Sudāmā’s love for Him as a friend was never tainted by any desire for material benefit. Kṛṣṇa thought, “Sudāmā has not come asking anything from Me, but being obliged by the request of his wife, he has come to see Me just to please her.” Lord Kṛṣṇa therefore decided that He would give more material opulence to Sudāmā Vipra than could be imagined even by the King of heaven.
He then snatched the bundle of chipped rice which was hanging on the shoulder of the poor brāhmaṇa, packed in one corner of his wrapper, and said, “What is this? My dear friend, you have brought Me nice, palatable chipped rice!” He encouraged Sudāmā Vipra, saying, “I consider that this quantity of chipped rice will not only satisfy Me, but will satisfy the whole creation.” It is understood from this statement that Kṛṣṇa, being the original source of everything, is the root of the entire creation. As watering the root of a tree immediately distributes water to every part of the tree, so an offering made to Kṛṣṇa, or any action done for Kṛṣṇa, is to be considered the highest welfare work for everyone, because the benefit of such an offering is distributed throughout the creation. Love for Kṛṣṇa becomes distributed to all living entities.
While Lord Kṛṣṇa was speaking to Sudāmā Vipra, He ate one morsel of chipped rice from his bundle, and when He attempted to eat a second morsel, Rukmiṇīdevī, who is the goddess of fortune herself, checked the Lord by catching hold of His hand. After touching the hand of Kṛṣṇa, Rukmiṇī said, “My dear Lord, this one morsel of chipped rice is sufficient to cause him who offered it to become very opulent in this life and to continue his opulence in the next life. My Lord, You are so kind to Your devotee that even this one morsel of chipped rice pleases You very greatly, and Your pleasure assures the devotee opulence both in this life and in the next.” This indicates that when food is offered to Lord Kṛṣṇa with love and devotion and He is pleased and accepts it from the devotee, Rukmiṇīdevī, the goddess of fortune, becomes so greatly obliged to the devotee that she has to personally go to the devotee’s home to turn it into the most opulent home in the world. If one feeds Nārāyaṇa sumptuously, the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, automatically becomes a guest in one’s house, which means that one’s home becomes opulent. The learned brāhmaṇa Sudāmā passed that night at the house of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and while he was there he felt as if he were living in a Vaikuṇṭha planet. Actually he was living in Vaikuṇṭha, because wherever Lord Kṛṣṇa, the original Nārāyaṇa, and Rukmiṇīdevī, the goddess of fortune, live is not different from the spiritual planet, Vaikuṇṭhaloka.
The learned brāhmaṇa Sudāmā did not appear to have received anything substantial from Lord Kṛṣṇa while he was at His place, and yet he did not ask anything from the Lord. The next morning he started for his home, thinking always about his reception by Kṛṣṇa, and thus he became merged in transcendental bliss. All the way home he was simply remembering the dealings of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and he was feeling very happy to have seen the Lord.
The brāhmaṇa began to think as follows, “It is most pleasurable to see Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is most devoted to the brāhmaṇas. How great a lover He is of the brahminical culture! He is the Supreme Brahman Himself, yet He reciprocates with the brāhmaṇas. He also respects the brāhmaṇas so much that He embraced to His chest a poor brāhmaṇa like me, although He never embraces anyone to His chest except the goddess of fortune. How can there be any comparison between me, a poor, sinful brāhmaṇa, and the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the only shelter of the goddess of fortune? And yet, considering me as a brāhmaṇa, He embraced me with heartfelt pleasure in His two transcendental arms. Lord Kṛṣṇa was so kind to me that He allowed me to sit down on the same bedstead where the goddess of fortune lies down. He considered me to be His real brother. How can I appreciate my obligation to Him? When I was tired, Śrīmatī Rukmiṇīdevī, the goddess of fortune, began to fan me, holding the cāmara whisk in her own hand. She never considered her exalted position as the first queen of Lord Kṛṣṇa. I was rendered service by the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of His high regard for the brāhmaṇas, and by massaging my legs and feeding me with His own hand, He practically worshiped me! Aspiring for elevation to the heavenly planets, or liberation or all kinds of material opulences, or perfection in the mystic yoga powers, everyone throughout the universe worships the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Yet the Lord was so kind to me that He did not give me even a farthing, knowing very well that I am a poverty-stricken man who, if I got some money, might become puffed up and mad after material opulence and so forget Him.”
The statement of the brāhmaṇa Sudāmā is correct. An ordinary man who is very poor and prays to the Lord for benediction in material opulence, and who somehow or other becomes richer in material opulence, immediately forgets his obligation to the Lord. Therefore, the Lord does not offer opulences to His devotee unless the devotee is thoroughly destitute. Rather, if a neophyte devotee serves the Lord very sincerely and at the same time wants material opulence, the Lord keeps him from obtaining it.
Thinking in this way, the learned brāhmaṇa gradually reached his own home. But on reaching there he saw that everything was wonderfully changed. He saw that in place of his cottage there were big palaces made of valuable stones and jewels, glittering like the sun, moon and rays of fire. Not only were there big palaces, but at intervals there were beautifully decorated parks, in which many beautiful men and women were strolling. In those parks there were nice lakes full of lotus flowers and beautiful lilies, and there were flocks of multicolored birds. Seeing the wonderful conversion of his native place, the brāhmaṇa began to think to himself, “How am I seeing all these changes? Does this place belong to me, or to someone else? If it is the same place where I used to live, then how has it so wonderfully changed?”
While the learned brāhmaṇa was considering this, a group of beautiful men and women with features resembling those of the demigods, accompanied by musical chanters, approached to welcome him. All were singing auspicious songs. The wife of the brāhmaṇa became very glad on hearing the tidings of her husband’s arrival, and with great haste she also came out of the palace. The brāhmaṇa’s wife appeared so beautiful that it seemed as if the goddess of fortune herself had come to receive him. As soon as she saw her husband present before her, tears of joy began to fall from her eyes, and her voice became so choked up that she could not even address her husband. She simply closed her eyes in ecstasy. But with great love and affection she bowed down before her husband, and within herself she thought of embracing him. She was fully decorated with a gold necklace and ornaments, and while standing among the maidservants she appeared like the wife of a demigod just alighting from an airplane. The brāhmaṇa was surprised to see his wife so beautiful, and in great affection and without saying a word he entered the palace with his wife.
When the brāhmaṇa entered his personal apartment in the palace, he saw that it was not an apartment, but the residence of the King of heaven. The palace was surrounded by many columns of jewels. The couches and the bedsteads were made of ivory, bedecked with gold and jewels, and the bedding was as white as the foam of milk and as soft as a lotus flower. There were many whisks hanging from golden rods, and many golden thrones with sitting cushions as soft as the lotus flower. In various places there were velvet and silken canopies with laces of pearls hanging all around. The structure of the building was standing on first-class transparent marble, with engravings made of emerald stones. All the women in the palace were carrying lamps made of valuable jewels. The flames and the jewels combined to produce a wonderfully brilliant light. When the brāhmaṇa saw his position suddenly changed to one of opulence, and when he could not determine the cause for such a sudden change, he began to consider very gravely how it had happened.
He thus began to think, “From the beginning of my life I have been extremely poverty-stricken, so what could be the cause of such great and sudden opulence? I do not find any cause other than the all-merciful glance of my friend Lord Kṛṣṇa, the chief of the Yadu dynasty. Certainly these are gifts of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s causeless mercy. The Lord is self-sufficient, the husband of the goddess of fortune, and thus He is always full with six opulences. He can understand the mind of His devotee, and He sumptuously fulfills the devotee’s desires. All these are acts of my friend, Lord Kṛṣṇa. My beautiful dark friend Kṛṣṇa is far more liberal than the cloud which can fill up the great ocean with water. Without disturbing the cultivator with rain during the day, the cloud brings liberal rain at night just to satisfy him. And yet when the cultivator wakes up in the morning, he considers that it has not rained enough. Similarly, the Lord fulfills the desire of everyone according to his position, and yet one who is not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness considers all the gifts of the Lord to be less than his desire. On the other hand, when the Lord receives a little thing in love and affection from His devotee, He considers it a great and valuable gift. The vivid example is myself. I simply offered Him a morsel of chipped rice, and in exchange He has given me opulences greater than the opulence of the King of heaven.”
What the devotee actually offers the Lord is not needed by the Lord. He is self-sufficient. If the devotee offers something to the Lord, it acts for his own interest because whatever a devotee offers the Lord comes back in a quantity a million times greater than what was offered. One does not become a loser by giving to the Lord, but he becomes a gainer by millions of times.
The brāhmaṇa, feeling great obligation to Kṛṣṇa, thought, “I pray to have the friendship of Lord Kṛṣṇa and to engage in His service, and to surrender fully unto Him in love and affection, life after life. I do not want any opulence. I only desire not to forget His service. I simply wish to be associated with His pure devotees. May my mind and activities be always engaged in His service. The unborn Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa knows that many great personalities have fallen from their positions because of extravagant opulence. Therefore, even when His devotee asks for some opulence from Him, the Lord sometimes does not give it. He is very cautious about His devotees. Because a devotee in an immature position of devotional service may, if offered great opulence, fall from his position due to being in the material world, the Lord does not offer opulence to him. This is another manifestation of the causeless mercy of the Lord upon His devotee. His first interest is that the devotee may not fall. He is exactly like a well-wishing father who does not give much wealth into the hand of his immature son, but who, when the son is grown up and knows how to spend money, gives him the whole treasury house.”
The learned brāhmaṇa thus concluded that whatever opulences he had received from the Lord should not be used for his extravagant sense gratification, but for the service of the Lord. The brāhmaṇa accepted his newly-acquired opulence, but he did so in a spirit of renunciation, unattached to sense gratification, and thus he lived very peacefully with his wife, enjoying all the facilities of opulence as prasādam of the Lord. He enjoyed varieties of foodstuff by offering it to the Lord and then taking it as prasādam. Similarly, if by the grace of the Lord we get such opulences as material wealth, fame, power, education and beauty, it is our duty to consider that they are all gifts of the Lord and must be used for His service, not for our sense enjoyment. The learned brāhmaṇa remained in that position, and instead of deterioating due to great opulence, his love and affection for Lord Kṛṣṇa increased day after day. Material opulence can be the cause of degradation and also the cause of elevation, according to the purposes for which it is used. If opulence is used for sense gratification, it is the cause of degradation, and if it is used for the service of the Lord, it is the cause of elevation.
It is evident from Lord Kṛṣṇa’s dealings with Sudāmā Vipra that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very, very pleased with a person is possessed of brahminical qualities. A qualified brāhmaṇa like Sudāmā Vipra is naturally a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is said, brāhmaṇo vaiṣṇavaḥ: a brāhmaṇa is a Vaiṣṇava. Or sometimes it is said, brāhmanaḥ paṇḍitaḥ. Paṇḍita means a highly learned person. A brāhmaṇa cannot be foolish or uneducated. Therefore there are two divisions of brāhmaṇas, namely Vaiṣṇavas and paṇḍitas. Those who are simply learned are paṇḍitas, but not yet devotees of the Lord, or Vaiṣṇavas. Lord Kṛṣṇa is not especially pleased with them. Simply the qualification of being a learned brāhmaṇa is not sufficient to attract the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A brāhmaṇa must not only be well qualified according to the requirements stated in scriptures such as Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but at the same time he must be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The vivid example is Sudāmā Vipra. He was a qualified brāhmaṇa, unattached to all sorts of material sense enjoyment, and at the same time a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa, the enjoyer of all sacrifices and penances, is very fond of a brāhmaṇa like Sudāmā Vipra, and we have seen by the actual behavior of Lord Kṛṣṇa how much He adores such a brāhmaṇa. Therefore, the ideal stage of human perfection is to become a brāhmaṇa-vaiṣṇava like Sudāmā Vipra.
Sudāmā Vipra realized that although Lord Kṛṣṇa is unconquerable, He nevertheless agrees to be conquered by His devotees. He realized how kind Lord Kṛṣṇa was to him, and he was always in trance, constantly thinking of Kṛṣṇa. By such constant association with Lord Kṛṣṇa, whatever darkness of material contamination was remaining within his heart was completely cleared away, and very shortly he was transferred to the spiritual kingdom, which is the goal of all saintly persons in the perfectional stage of life.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī has stated that all persons who hear this history of Sudāmā Vipra and Lord Kṛṣṇa will know how affectionate Lord Kṛṣṇa is to the brāhmaṇa devotees like Sudāmā. Therefore anyone who hears this history gradually becomes as qualified as Sudāmā Vipra, and he is thus transferred to the spiritual kingdom of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Eightieth Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, “The Brāhmaṇa Sudāmā Benedicted by Lord Kṛṣṇa.”