Qualities of Sudama
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.81.37 - Qualities of Sudama (download mp3)
by Nitai Prasad Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
bhaktaya citra bhagavan hi sampado
rajyam vibhutir na samarthayaty ajah
adirgha-bodhaya vicaksanah svayam
pasyan nipatam dhaninam madodbhavam
To a devotee who lacks spiritual insight, the Supreme Lord will not grant the wonderful opulences of this world — kingly power and material assets. Indeed, in His infinite wisdom the unborn Lord well knows how the intoxication of pride can cause the downfall of the wealthy.
As explained by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti, the humble brahmana Sudama considered himself unworthy of the Supreme Lord’s most rare and valuable benediction, pure devotional service. He reasoned that if he had any true devotion, the Lord would have granted him perfect, unflinching devotion rather than the material riches and servants he had received. Lord Krsna would have protected a more serious devotee by denying him such distractions. The Lord will give a sincere but less intelligent devotee not as much material wealth as he desires, but only what will promote his devotional progress. Sudama thought, “A great saint like Prahlada Maharaja can avoid becoming contaminated by immeasurable wealth, power and fame, but I must always be wary of temptation in my new situation.”
We may understand that this humble attitude assured Sudama Vipra final success in his execution of bhakti-yoga by the standard process of hearing and repeating the glories of Lord Krsna.