31 March 2009

Sudama House

Today I visited Sudama, which is the house Yogi Ramsuratkumar lived in before his Ashram was built. And it was on February 20, 2001 at 3:19 a.m. in his Ashram at Tiruvannamalai, Bhagavan Sri Yogi Ramsuratkumar attained mukti.

His devotees have very nicely arranged this house displaying many of the items used during his life. I very much enjoyed visiting Sudama and recommend it to visitors and pilgrims. The house is located in Ramana Nagar at the back of the Post Office and across the road from the new Shiva Sannidhi facility.

"On December 1st, 1918, the child Ramsurat Kunwar was born into a righteous and devout religious family. His birthplace in Bihar was a village close to the sacred river Ganges, not far from Varanasi (Benares). From childhood, the child evinced an intense spiritual thirst and had extraordinary devotion towards the river Ganges. Playing along its shores brought him happiness and contentment and he would often fall into a deep, peaceful sleep by the banks of the sacred river." To continue reading the biography of Yogi Ramsuratkumar go to this link here.

Story of Sudama

The house is named “Sudama” after the famous story of Sudama and Krishna. The legend states that Sudama and Krishna were childhood friends. Krishna grew up and became king of Dwarka while Sudama got married and lived in abject poverty in another kingdom. Nevertheless, a great childhood love existed between them. Sudama received an invitation to visit Krishna in his Kingdom. It was customary that invitees carry a gift as a token of appreciation but as Sudama was poor he had no money to buy a gift and hesitated to accept the invitation. His wife, however, encouraged him to go and packed the family’s last handful of rice as a gift. Sudama gained enough courage to visit his childhood friend but felt ashamed about the gift.

After a long and tiresome journey on foot, Sudama arrived at the gates of Krishna’s palace tired and hungry. The King’s guard reluctantly carried the message to the Krishna that someone by the name Sudama had come by invitation. On hearing the name Sudama, Krishna dismissed his engagements, begged leave, and hurried to the gate where his old childhood friend was waiting. Krishna, on seeing Sudama, relinquished all protocol by bowing and hugging his childhood friend.

himself assisted in refreshing Sudama with a bath and clean comfortable clothes. After the exchange of past memories, Krishna asked Sudama what he had brought for him. Sudama summoned all his courage and in a moment of weakness handed Krishna the handful of rice wrapped in cloth. Sudama watched in eager anticipation, as Krishna opened the rice and lovingly chewed on the first helping to the amazement of Sudama and the curious guests. Krishna ate the rice with great love with a contented smiling face, showing the happiness of meeting his childhood friend.

was greatly pleased to see his old friend and treated him royally and with much love. Overwhelmed Sudama forgets to ask for what he actually came to ask. But the Lord realises what His friend needs, and the lord's consort Rukmini incarnation of Lakshmi, gifts him with his desires. On his return journey, Sudama ponders his circumstances and is thankful for the great friend he has in Lord Krishna. When Sudama finally returns to his home, he finds a palatial mansion instead of the hut he had left. He also finds his family dressed in extremely nice garb and waiting for him. He lives an austere life after that, always thankful to the Lord.

The spiritual significance of this event reveals that when charity is given from the heart without expectations of name, fame, appreciation or recognition, then the rewards multi-million fold. This is the characteristic of a karma yogi who performs actions relinquishing the fruits of the actions. The myth of Sudama is symbolic of God’s descent on earth to destroy evil, protect the virtuous and re-establish dharma in preparation for the birth of Krishna. It represents souls who assisted God to impart the message of the Gita to destroy the vices of anger, greed, ego, lust and attachment and thus transform themselves.

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