527 – Sharing

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit


The following is a narrative from the epic Mahabaratha.

Shri Krishna and Sudama studied together in a Gurukula during their childhood days and were best friends. During later years, Krishna became a King, and Sudama was a very poor man. And once Sudama’s wife told him, “Krishna is your very close and dear friend. Why don’t you go and ask him for some help?” Sudama was a little shy, “How can I ask a friend for something? I don’t feel like doing it.” But when there was no other way to go, he decided to meet Krishna. There is a tradition in India that when you go to meet somebody, you don’t go empty-handed. So what could he take? He had nothing. His clothes were torn. He was so poor! And then at home, he had few rice crispies. He packed them in a piece of cloth and took them to Krishna.

Sudama entered Krishna’s Palace and it was gorgeous and beautifully decorated. Krishna was sitting on his throne, and there were so many servants around. And the moment he saw Sudama, he rushed down, and washed his feet and offered him his own seat. He put him on the throne. And then Krishna asked Sudama, “What have you brought for me? Come on!” Krishna is always mischievous, he would make fun all the time. So he said, “What have you brought?” He knew that he was so shy, that he was trying to hide his rice crispies. “How I can offer these rice crispies?” asked Sudama, But then Krishna grabbed hold of it and caught on, and then he went on stuffing it in his mouth. The joy of meeting his old friend was so much that Sudama even forgot to ask anything and forgo why he had come to meet his friend and Krishna forgot to give him anything! They both forgot!

Understanding Sudama’s poverty from his disposition, Krishna ordered his Minister, Vishwakarma to go to Sudama’s town Vrindapuri and make a palace in place of Sudama’s hut. After reaching Vrindapuri, when Vishwakarma informed Sudama’s wife about Krishna’s wish, she said that by making a palace for them alone, would not remove the pain and poverty of the whole town. Unless, the whole town was relieved of poverty, she would not accept Krishna’s offer.  On sensing her resolve, Vishwakarma changed the whole town and made a palace for every family. The people of Vrindapuri were very happy. When Sudama went back to his home, he found his whole village was transformed, and everybody was happy. Sudama was very happy with his friend’s generous favour and lovingly with great devotion praised Shri Krishna.

Thiruvalluvar in his couplet 527 says

“The crows do not conceal  their prey, but will call out for others , to share with them, while they eat it.  Magnanimous are those people who show a similar disposition towards others”.

காக்கை கரவா கரைந்துஉண்ணும் ஆக்கமும் 
அன்னநீ ரார்க்கே உள.

Kaakkai karavaa karaindhu-unnum aakkamum
Anna neerarkke ula

பரிமேலழகர் உரை:

காக்கை கரவா கரைந்து உண்ணும் – காக்கைகள் தமக்கு இரையாயின கண்டவழி மறையாது இனத்தை அழைத்து அதனோடும் கூட உண்ணாநிற்கும், ஆக்கமும் அன்ன நீரார்க்கே உள – சுற்றத்தான் எய்தும் ஆக்கங்களும் அப்பெற்றித்தாய இயல்பினை உடையார்க்கே உளவாவன. அவ்வாக்கங்களாவன: பகையின்மையும், பெருஞ்செல்வம்உடைமையும் முதலாயின, எச்ச உம்மையான் அறமும் இன்பமுமேஅன்றிப் பொருளும் எய்தும் என்பது பெறுதும். ‘அப்பெற்றித்தாயஇயல்பு’ என்றது தாம் நுகர்வன எல்லாம் அவரும்நுகருமாறு வைத்தல்.).

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

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