In the previous episode, we had witnessed the commencement of one of the most beautiful and interesting “Charitras” of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana – The “Kuchela-Upaakhyaanam”. Kuchela, as we’ve seen was none other than Sudhaama, Bhagawan Krishna’s childhood friend. Eventually, as years rolled by, both friends parted ways and started leading their own lives in different corners. On one hand, we’ve witnessed Bhagawan Krishna being coronated as the king of Dwaaraka and is living a luxurious life. On the other hand, Kuchela is amidst the clutches of extreme poverty, unable to meet the demands of three meals a day for himself and for his family. It is at this time, is Kuchela’s wife suggesting an idea that he should go and meet his friend, Krishna at Dwaaraka, explain their situation to Him and check if He remembers them and can help them in some way. However, Kuchela didn’t concede with this idea of his wife and initially discared it because this might create a rift in his friendship with Bhagawan Krishna. If at all there’s something to ask from Him, it should be “Moksha”, and not workdly things.
However, his wife coaxed him so much and beyond a point, Kuchela couldn’t argue much, as he too knew the pathetic condition of his family. He knew that his wife isn’t a person who is behind worldly affairs and that, she’s requesting for a desperate cause. Hence, if not for anything else, Kuchela took this as an opportunity to have the divine darshan of Bhagawan Krishna and sets out on his long journey to meet him. He carries some “Aval” (Poha) with him, as a token of respect to his friend. That too, the quantity of “Aval” was extremely less, which was just a handful left at their home, due to extreme poverty. Hence, Kuchela’s wife runs here and there amidst the neighborhood, to beg for some “Aval”, to give it to Bhagawan Krishna. Such was the devotion of the Kuchela couple for Bhagawan Krishna – They were ready to go the extra mile in collecting some “Aval” for Him, with lot of love and devotion, forgetting the very fact that they’re amidst poverty.
Thus, with whatever little “Aval” they obtained from here and there, Kuchela looks around for a small handbag to take it. However, neither he nor his wife weren’t able to find any! So, Kuchela’s wife tore a piece of her sari, puts the “Aval” in that, rolls it, packs it and gives it to her husband. Giving thus, Kuchela’s wife said thus, “Oh Kuchela! Please give this to Bhagawan Krishna as a token of our rememberance of Him, of our devotion towards Him!” Receiving thus, Kuchela sets off for a long journey. He crosses through all the mountains, rivers, forests, cities, etc. that came along in his way, and finally reaches Dwaaraka.
As Kuchela enters into Dwaaraka city, he’s able to see tall buildings, beautifully constructed palaces everywhere! Upon seeing all of it, Kuchela thought to himself, “Oh my goodness! Upon seeing all of this, my hands and legs are trembling! Do I even fit into such a place? Will Krishna even identify me? Anyways, let me try once. If he’s not going to recognize me, so be it. Who am I afterall? I should be prepared for the worst!” Thinking thus, Kuchela makes his way towards Bhagawan Krishna’s palace.
It is at this time, Bhagawan Krishna was sitting with Rukmini Devi at one of the most beautiful places of His palace, and He sees Kuchela approaching the palace. The moment, Bhagawan Krishna sees Kuchela from a far off distance, He immediately jumps up with joy! He runs towards the direction from which Kuchela was approaching. Upon seeing Bhagawan Krishna jumping up and running like this, Rukmini Devi was surprised, and so were the servants in the palace! Bhagawan Krishna thus, runs all the way to the street corner and he was overjoyed upon seeing Sudhaama! His excitement knew no bounds. He reaches the vicinity of Sudhaama, holds his hands lovingly and exclaims thus, “Oh!!! Sudhaama!!!! It’s been such a long time since we saw each other! Did you forget me totally during all these years? Anyways, now that you’ve come, welcome to our Dwaaraka! Let me take you to our palace and make you comfortable!”
Upon hearing this from Bhagawan Krishna, Sudhaama was shell-shocked! As he was making his way through, he was thinking whether or not, Bhagawan Krishna would even remember him, but here is Bhagawan, who has come all the way running down to the street corner to welcome him with open arms! Sudhaama never expected such a gesture from Bhagawan Krishna and he was in for a great surprise thus! As Bhagawan Krishna takes him to the palace, He offers Sudhaama a nice comfortable chair to sit. He washes Sudhaama’s feet with water, gives him some water to drink, makes him comfortable and welcomes him formally! This gesture moved Sudhaama into tears! He did not come for all of this! Rather, it should have been Sudhaama who should have washed Bhagawan’s feet! But the reverse is happening here!
As the formalities are over thus, Bhagawan Krishna sits near to Sudhaama, wipes his tears off, and starts talking to him. Both of them now start recollecting all their old childhood memories of playing amidst the Yamuna river banks, going to the “Gurukula”, etc. Of course, they have years of togetherness to talk about, isn’t it? Time flies off, as both the friends are talking and enjoying each other’s company! Both the friends mentally travel back so many years and are enjoying their talks!
So for today, let us also enjoy the company along with Bhagawan Krishna and Sudhaama and let us wait till the next episode to witness what happened next! Stay tuned! 🙂