Operationalizing Trust – Sudama’s story

Krishna and SudamaTrust – is one of the words I decided I would live by this year. My definition of trust is “ Letting Go, Resting Back, Relaxing into the flow of life knowing it is always unfolding in your favor.

In my Meditation Today – I realized that being satisfied in the now; satisfaction with your life as it is manifesting in this moment is synonymous with trust.  Being satisfied in not knowing how your dreams will actually unfold is a how you operationalize living in trust.

There are several stories in Hindu mythology that speak specifically to the issue of trust. In the next few weeks, I want to share the Hindu myths that speak specifically to me about trust. Although these are Hindu myths, I trust that you see the universality of these stories; that you see how often we undermine our trust in the goodness of life and what we can do to build it back.

I start with the story of Sudama ( Kuchela – in South India). Krishna in the myths is God incarnated in human form to re-establish righteousness on earth. In order to maintain the illusion of the incarnation, Krishna is depicted in the myths as living as “normal” a life as possible. Sudama is a childhood friend who studied with Krishna in Guru Sandipani’s hermitage. Once they left the hermitage, the lives of the two childhood friend diverged, Krishna becomes the king of Dwaraka, albeit after killing several demons, and Sudama goes back to his life as a layman from a destitute family.

Over the years, Sudama’s life does not get much better but as is the norm in most societies, his life follows a typical trajectory. He marries and eventually is responsible for the lives of his wife and several children. During a particularly rough patch in their life, Sudama’s wife gently reminds him that he has friends in high places and wonders aloud why he would not take advantage of his connections to improve his situation. Sudama hesitates – he feels his insides cringe at the thought of going to Krishna and asking for help. After all, he had not made any effort to keep in touch with Krishna all these years. What would Krishna think of him finally making a visit only because he needed help? A part of Sudama also wonders why Krishna had not come forward to offer help. He was God incarnate after all. Should he not be aware of the fact that Sudama needed help? Did Sudama need to  articulate it?  Given that Krishna had chosen not to intervene all these years, did that not mean that this was the life Sudama was meant to live and perhaps it even meant that he did not deserve help.
However, the situation at home was dire and Sudama thought that he at least owed it to his wife to make an attempt to go and see Krishna. So gathering his courage, Sudama makes his way to the palace. His clothes are ragged and all he has to offer Krishna is a packet of sweetened rice that his wife somehow conjured up from an empty pantry. As he gets closer to the gates of the palace, his feet grow heavy; he is filled with trepidation as he sees the palace guards. Convinced that they would never let a man dressed in old filthy rags get anywhere close to the King, he is about to turn back when he hears a beloved, familiar voice calling him, “Sudama! Finally! I have waited so long for you to make the time to come and visit me.” Krishna hugs his long lost friend and ushers him into the palace. Noticing Sudama hide his shabby package of sweetened rice behind him, Krishna reaches out and grabs it saying, “ Aha! I knew you would not come empty-handed to see me.” He opens the package happily eats a couple of handfuls of the sweetened rice; Sudama is so overwhelmed by welcome and love, he forgets why he had come to visit Krishna in the first place.
It is not until he makes his way back and gets close to his village that he remembers. The overwhelming sense of joy and wonder that he had been floating on comes crashing down to earth. It is replaced by a deep sense of remorse and a sense of betrayal. “ I was so intoxicated with the welcome that I forgot to ask Krishna for help and he did not offer any “ Sudama laments, “Why did he not give me any money? Why would he not even ask about my circumstances? What is the use of my devotion to God, if I cannot even feed my family?” Muttering these words again and again to himself, Sudama gets to the street that his little shack was on and is shocked to see a mansion where his shack once was and his wife and children dressed in beautiful clothes waiting to greet him at the door. He falls to the ground in gratitude, finally realizing that Krishna did not need to ask him what he needed; Krishna knew.

What God needed from Sudama was Sudama abandoning his belief that he was alone and needed to go it alone. God needed Sudama to trust that if he asks, it is given. He needed Sudama to visit him and talk to him.
Abraham Hicks (http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php) says “ Your inner being orchestrates the path. Are you ready? You experience exactly what you are ready to receive. You inner being knows exactly what you want and the path of least resistance towards it.”
Sudama had to be ready to receive; he had to get over his sense that he deserved a life of hardship and poverty; his belief that God did not really care. He had to be ready to ask and then receive. He had to trust. Trust enough in himself to ask. One of the gifts Sudama received was one that he did not even know he was asking or needed. The gift of trusting in God’s knowing. That he could now learn to be satisfied in the now without a clear understanding of exactly how his dream will unfold. He had learned to operationalize trust.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.