Bhagat Maalaa ~ Part V: Bhagat Sudama

"O Lord, this is a playful thing you have done....

 

Introduction to the short stories

The short stories are a collection of stories taken from the Aad Guru Granth Bhagat Mala, which have been translated into simple English. The purpose of translating these stories is to provide understanding and the significance of these stories when reciting Gurbaani.

The Sikh Gurus and other Bhagats within Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji have made references to the various saints and disciples who existed at the time of the Hindu deities. By no means are these stories a form of praise or worship of the Hindu deities, but they are used as a reference to purely develop the meaning of Gurbaani.

The stories taken from Hindu mythology provide examples from the lives of the disciples and saints as parallels to understand the power and greatness of the One Lord, the righteous practise of faith and Dharma and how one is emancipated from sin and misfortune through meditating upon the Primal Lord.

~ Harjinder Singh Khalsa

 

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Bhagat Sudama

'dhaaladh bha(n)j sudhaamae miliou bhagathee bhaae tharae.'

'God met Sudama and removed his poverty; through loving devotional worship, he crossed over.'

(Guru Ram Das Ji; GGSJ: Ang 995)

Sudama (28K)Bhagat Sudhama was one of Krishna's best friends. He studied with Krishna at a very young age and they remained together within and outside of school. When Sudhama went to school his mother used to put roasted corn in his pocket, so that Sudhama could eat them when he felt hungry.

One day, both Krishna and Sudhama's Guru had sent them both to the jungle to collect logs for the fire. On their travels, Krishna and Sudhama stopped and rested beneath a tree. Whilst they were sitting, Sudhama remembered that his mother had left him some roasted corn in his pocket. He began to eat them secretly so that Krishna wouldn't realise. One day, both Krishna and Sudhama's Guru had sent them both to the jungle to collect logs for the fire. On their travels, Krishna and Sudhama stopped and rested beneath a tree. Whilst they were sitting, Sudhama remembered that his mother had left him some roasted corn in his pocket. He began to eat them secretly so that Krishna wouldn't realise.

Krishna asked, "What are you eatingKrishna asked, "What are you eating?"

Sudhama lied to Krishna and said that he was not eating anything but it was the sound of his teeth. Krishna stood up and said, "Sudhama! Have you become so poor that you have to lie to me about your roasted corn?"

Sudhama did not respond but became ever so embarrassed about his poverty and did not want his best friend to find out about his situation.

After some time, Sudhama left school and got married. Both his parents had died and he had children of his own. However, poverty began to take over his life and day by day, Sudhama and his family became increasingly poor. At this time, Krishna became a great person and his praises were sung by devotees everywhere.

Sudhama heard about this and said to his wife, "We were best friends and we loved each other very much."

"If you were best friends then why don't you go and meet him? Maybe Sri Krishna can help us overcome all our poverty", his wife replied.

"I was thinking of going but how can I go? Before I go to meet Sri Krishna I will need to take something with me."

KrishnaServing (42K)After some time, Sudhama finally decided that he will go to meet Krishna and his wife had given him some rice and roasted corn to take. Along the journey, all Sudhama could think about was how he could regain that friendship with Krishna once again. What would I say to him, how should I greet him? He reached Krishna's palace and asked the guard for Krishna. The guard asked, "Tell me your name?"

"Tell him Sudhama the Brahman has come, your childhood friend."

The guard went inside to deliver the message. At once Krishna got up from his throne and ran towards Sudhama. Krishna hugged him and took him inside and sat him upon his throne. Krishna took his bag and opened it up and began to eat the roasted corn. "Bravo! Bravo! How delicious these roasted corns are!"

Sudhama became pleased and stayed with Krishna for a while. Sudhama did not ask Krishna for anything; neither did Krishna offer him anything. He returned home empty handed. As he was going home all he could think of was "What could I ask from my friend?"

Sudhama returned to his city, Gokal, but his house was nowhere to be seen. He searched and searched, but he couldn't find his house. To his amazement, his son came running out with brand new, clean clothes. "O father! You have taken so much time…whichever people you sent have left all this stuff for us and have given us so much money! Look at how beautiful our house is!"

What was once a broken house was now a mansion!

Sudhama fell to the ground and looked up towards the sky and spoke, "O Lord, this is a playful thing you have done. You kept me with you for so long and all this time you knew what I came for. Thank You Krishna!"

Below is the story of Bhagat Sudhama as written by Bhai Gurdas Ji. Vaar 10, Pauri 10:


ਸੁਦਾਮਾ ਭਗਤ

ਬਿਪ ਸੁਦਾਮਾ ਦਾਲਿਦੀ ਬਾਲ ਸਖਾਈ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ੍ਰ ਸਦਾਏ।
Bipu Sudaamaa Daalidee Baal Sakhaaee Mitr Sadaaay.
Sudama, a poor brahman, was known to be a friend of Krishna from childhood.
1 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੯ ਪੰ. ੧

ਲਾਗੂ ਹੋਈ ਬਾਮ੍ਹਣੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਜਗਦੀਸ ਦਲਿਦ੍ਰ੍ਰ ਗਵਾਏ।
Laagoo Hoee Baamhanee Mili Jagadees Dalidr Gavaaay.
His brahmin wife always pestered him as to why he did not go to Lord Krishna to alleviate his poverty.
2 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੯ ਪੰ. ੨

ਚਲਿਆ ਗਣਦਾ ਗਟੀਆਂ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਈਐ ਕਉਣੁ ਮਿਲਾਏ।
He was perplexed and pondered over how he could get re-introduced to Krishna, who could help him meet the Lord.
3 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੯ ਪੰ. ੩

ਪਹੁਤਾ ਨਗਰਿ ਦੁਆਰਕਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੁਆਰਿ ਖਲੋਤਾ ਜਾਏ।
Pahoutaa Nagari Duaarakaa Singh Duaari Khalotaa Jaaay.
He reached the town of Duaraka and stood before the main gate (of the palace of Krishna).
4 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੯ ਪੰ. ੪

ਦੂਰਹੁੰ ਦੇਖਿ ਡੰਡਉਤ ਕਰਿ ਛਡਿ ਸਿੰਘਾਸਣੁ ਹਰਿ ਜੀ ਆਏ।
Doorahu Daykhi Dandaouti Kari Chhadi Singhaasanu Hari Jee Aaay.
Seeing him from a distance, Krishna, the Lord, bowed and leaving his throne came to Sudama.
5 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੯ ਪੰ. ੫

ਪਹਿਲੇ ਦੇ ਪਰਦਖਣਾ ਪੈਰੀ ਪੈ ਕੇ ਲੈ ਗਲਿ ਲਾਏ।
Pahilay Day Paradakhanaa Pairee Pai Kay Lai Gali Laaay.
First he circumambulated around Sudama and then touching his feet he embraced him.
6 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੯ ਪੰ. ੬

ਚਰਣੋਦਕੁ ਲੈ ਪੈਰ ਧੋਇ ਸਿੰਘਾਸਣੁ ਉਤੇ ਬੈਠਾਏ।
Charanodaku Lai Pair Dhoi Singhaasanu Outay Baitdaaay.
Washing his feet he took that water and made Sudama sit on the throne.
7 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੯ ਪੰ. ੭

ਪੁਛੇ ਕੁਸਲੁ ਪਿਆਰੁ ਕਰਿ ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਦੀ ਕਥਾ ਸੁਣਾਏ।
Pouchhay Kousalu Piaaru Kari Gur Sayvaa Dee Kadaa Sounaaay.
Then Krishna lovingly enquired about his welfare and talked about the time when they were together in the service of the guru (Sandipani).
8 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੯ ਪੰ. ੮

ਲੈ ਕੈ ਤੰਦੁਲ ਚਬਿਓਨੁ ਵਿਦਾ ਕਰੇ ਅਗੈ ਪਹੁਚਾਏ।
Lai Kay Tandul Chabiaonu Vidaa Karay Agai Pahouchaavai.
Krishna asked for the rice sent by Sudama’s wife and after eating, came out to see off his friend Sudama.
9 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੯ ਪੰ. ੯

ਚਾਰਿ ਪਦਾਰਥ ਸਕੁਚਿ ਪਠਾਏ ॥੯॥
Chaari Padaarad Sakouchi Patdaaay ॥9॥
Though all the four boons (righteousness, wealth, fulfillment of desire and liberation) were given to Sudama by Krishna, Krishna's humbleness still made him feel totally helpless.
10 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧੦ ਪਉੜੀ ੯ ਪੰ. ੧੦

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Authors who mention Bhagat Sudhama in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

Bhagat Naam Dev Ji, Ang 345

Bhagat Naam Dev Ji, Ang 1105

Guru Raam Daas Ji, Ang 1191

Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Ang 1192

Read the other stories in this Bhagat Maalaa series: 

Part I: Raja Ambrik
Part II: Bhagat Angra ji and Bhagat Bidar

Part III: Sri Dhru Bhagat & Sri Prahladh Bhagat ji

Part IV: The Story of Ajaamal

Harjinder Singh Khalsa

I have translated the stories from the Aadh Guru Granth Bhagat Maala into English & have worked on a number of other articles exploring Gurbaani, Sikh history and the Sikh Gurus. My mission is to spread and share the Divine Universal message contained within Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

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