(SUDAMA OF LORD KRISHNA & SULLO MESHRAM OF MEHER BABA)
Sudama was and pauper Brahmin by birth. When Lord Krishna joined Gurukul of Maharshi Sandipani, Sudama was already there. Lord Krishna of royal family of Nandraj & Yashoda accepted the friendship of poor schoolmate Sudama. One playing with Sudama and Lord Krishna rode over a tree. Sudama was carrying some eatable perhaps roasted gram (Chana) with him given by his mother. Krishna asked Sudama if he had anything to eat. But Sudama did not want to share it with Lord Krishna and told a lie that he had nothing with him. Perhaps this was the cause as destined by Lord Krishna that he remained a pauper after leaving school and marriage.
After education, Krishna came back to Dwarka and Sudama went back this home-town; began his married life and supported his family by begging. His wife, knew about childhood friendship of her husband with Lord Krishna hence she was all the time pressed him to go his Gurukul friend, Lord Krishna to seek help but Sudama desisted. Sudama’s love for Lord Krishna was unadulterated and not for any material gain. Once on her persistent demand, he agreed to undertake journey to Dwarka. He asked his wifec to arrange something to offer for his Krishna. His wife borrowed some rice for Sudama as gift for the journey.
When Sudama reached lord Krishna Palace, he could not believe the pomp and slow of the palace. He sent the message to Lord Krishna that He is schoolmate friend of Lord Krishna. On hearing the name of Sudama Lord Krishna rushed towards the gate to receive His friend without sleeper. Lord Krishna brought Sudama inside intimate room of His Palace, Seeing the condition of Sudama, Lord Krishna wept and wept. Lord Krishna made him to sit on His throne. Lord Krishna washed Sudama’s feet with tears flown from Lord Krishna’s eyes. Sudama was fed with delicious food.
Lord Krishna asked Sudama for the gift sent by Bhabhi (Sudama’s wife) for Him. Sudama hesitated to put forth the rice given by his wife before Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna snatched the baggage (potly where the rice was kept). lord Krishna took a handful of rice and put in His mouth. Lord Krishna was about to take second one when Rukmini ( Krishna’s wife) stopped Him saying, “My Lord by taking one handful of rice, you have given Sudama all material wealth, what more you want to give? Lord Krishna did stop and smiled.
Sudama was unaware of the fact that what he had received from Lord Krishna? This was because he himself could not ask anything except His Love for Lord Krishna. He was worried as what reply he will give to his wife since neither had he asked for anything nor Lord Krishna gave him anything. When Sudama reached his hometown, he was astonished to find his Jhopri missing but a huge palace with servant and his wife with valuable outfit was present to greet him. Sudama remembered Lord Krishna for His grace and remained devoted to Lord Krishna through all his life. (Gist is derived from “Kalyan” of Gita Press, Gorakhpur)
Baba compared Suloo Meshram with Sudama, a friend of Lord Krishna. Following is the narration of contact of Suloo Meshram with Meher Baba.
Sulloo Meshram was one of close disciple of Meher Baba was compared with Sudama of Lord Krishna. His contact & conversation with Baba is recorded as under:
In 1938, a year after Baba’s darshan program in Nagpur, while Sulloo was still in his early teens, he took to visiting the Jessawalas, and there he learned more about Baba. Procuring Baba’s address, he wrote Him a letter in which he expressed his desire to see Him in person. Baba, in response to Sulloo’s longing, lovingly granted this request. And so, in the first week of April 1938, overjoyed at receiving Baba’s invitation, this young boy of fourteen left Nagpur by train on a 700-mile journey to Panchgani (not far from Poona) where Baba was then residing. Some of the money for the trip had been provided by his school principal, who was interested in spirituality. At Kalyan, which is a junction, Sulloo had to change trains. But upon leaving the compartment he found to his dismay that his suitcase, containing clothes, some Baba photos, and all his money, had been stolen. He was literally penniless. Only two baskets of oranges, which the Jessawalas had entrusted to him to give to Baba, remained. What a predicament for a young boy venturing alone on such a long trip! Although he had lost even his ticket, somehow he managed to get onto another train, wondering all the while why such misfortunes should befall him when the journey he was engaged in was to meet the All-Compassionate One. Yet it is not uncommon for people to lose something tangible when they are traveling to meet the Avatar. Perhaps these tangible losses are an indication that one should be willing to part also with the intangible thoughts and feelings that stand in the way of seeing the God-Man as He ought to be seen.
When he arrived in Poona, Sulloo had no idea how he would travel on to Panchgani with no ticket and no money. But as luck would have it, he met a bus driver bound for Panchgani and told him of the theft of his suitcase. The driver not only believed his story, but as it turned out, had formerly been one of the servants who years earlier had carried water to Baba’s bungalow, and so had a special feeling for Him. This driver happily agreed to give Sulloo a free ride to Panchgani. Once again, Baba’s unseen guiding hand had silently taken care of the details of a lover’s journey to Him.
When he got off the bus in Panchgani, to the boy’s complete surprise, a stranger approached him and asked if he was Sulloo Meshram. This stranger turned out to be Baba’s brother Jal, who by Baba’s order had been waiting to receive him. As it happened, Papa Jessawala had sent a telegram from Nagpur to Panchgani, informing Baba about Meshram’s departure. Jal took Sulloo to the mandali’s residence. A short while later, Baba arrived and took His seat, His long hair flowing and a radiance glowing on His face.
Sulloo’s heart leapt within him, and he rushed to Baba, prostrating himself at His feet. Baba lovingly inquired about his journey, and He beamed a smile as He heard about the theft of the suitcase. For He had committed a far greater theft — He had stolen this young boy’s heart! In his enthusiasm Sulloo exclaimed that he wished to offer his life to Baba and to obey Him implicitly. Baba did not respond at that moment but asked him to go with Vishnu, one of the mandali, to rest in a nearby lodge.
Sulloo stayed on in Panchgani for three days. On the second day, while he was having a bath, another of Baba’s disciples, Gustadji, came into the room. Because he was observing silence, Gustadji conveyed through signs that Baba had summoned Sulloo to come to Him immediately. Sulloo had heard that whenever called, one was expected to go without delay. Although he had just started his bath and was wearing only his underwear, he left immediately without taking time to dress further.
He found Baba sitting with a few of His disciples. Half-naked, Sullo stood before Him. Baba asked, “Did you have any special thoughts?”
Sulloo replied, “Baba, I spent several hours singing songs in Your praise.”
Baba looked happy and gestured, “Fit for the spiritual path.” As Sulloo had obeyed Baba immediately without question, Baba gave him some guidelines to follow. They were: he should never tell a lie to anyone; he should abstain from lustful actions, smoking, and alcohol; and he should not eat meat, fish, or eggs. Further, Baba instructed Sulloo to meditate for an hour every day and to write “Om Parabrahma Baba” for another hour daily.
On the last day of Sulloo’s visit, Baba ordered Vishnu to make arrangements for his return to Nagpur. Sulloo was taken by car to Poona on the first leg of this trip; and from there a train ticket to Nagpur was bought for him. In short, Baba paid for his entire return fare. What a royal send-off from the King to one of His teenage lovers! He had come to Baba penniless but was leaving with the coffers of his heart filled with real spiritual treasure. He arrived safely in Nagpur, where he gave a full account of his stay with Baba to the Jessawala family.
After this initial meeting, a rapport was established between Sulloo and Baba which continued to grow through the years. Baba sowed the seed of love divine in Sulloo’s heart, and in time this seed began to germinate and flourish as naturally and spontaneously as a bud opening its brightly colored petals to the sunlight.
During 1939 and 1940 Sulloo was in contact with Baba from Nagpur and later in the year 1941 he came to Jabalpur to join the Gun Carriage Factory at Jabalpur. Meher Baba called Sulloo in November 1944 to Nagpur where a darshan program was arranged at Dhantoli by Dr.C.D.Deshmukh. The Chief Justice Mr. M.B. Niyogi was also present at the Darshan program as was the famous Saint of Maharashtra Sant Tukdoji Maharaj, who came for Baba’s darshan along with his followers. Baba embraced Tukdoji Maharaj on the stage. Tukdoji Maharaj sang bhajans before Baba one of which meant, “Is there any time left now to work for the Avatar” Avatarache kaam karaya walech ajuni urla ka.
Much later Tukdoji Maharaj also came to Jabalpur for a short stay and was hosted by Dr. Sarde in Napier Town. Sulloo met Maharaj at Jabalpur. Baba once instructed Sulloo to observe silence on every Sunday and also not to touch money.
During 1945 Sulloo went to Baba at Meherabad. Since Sulloo had been keeping silence for more than a month, he had brought with him an interpreter, Shri Ramnath Sharma, a co-worker. Baba asked Sulloo to break his silence or Baba would send him to Himalayas. Baba asked Sulloo, “If I send money to your mother every month, will you stay with Me?”
Sulloo explained to Baba that he was very eager and restless for self realization; he asked if Baba would give it to him in a fixed time. To this Baba replied that a baby cannot be born before nine months and there is a fixed time for every thing, but Baba promised himself realization during this very life. Baba said, “you will do wonders.” Later during the conversation Baba added, “I am one with God and you have surrendered to me; how can I keep you in Maya?” With respect to his friend and interpreter Shri Ramnath Sharma, Baba explained that Sulloo and Sharma were linked through connections from a past life.
Sulloo went to see Baba in the year 1945 at Hyderabad for the Jubilee Hills darshan program. In February 1953, Beloved Baba’s darshan took place at Nagpur. During the last day of the darshan programme, Sulloo went to Nagpur to Barrister Verma’s residence with his son Vijay who was one year and ten months old. Baba touched Vijay and showered His love on Vijay. Vijay’s mother and others bowed down to Baba. Ramjoo Abdulla interpreted Baba’s gestures, telling them that Baba says He delayed His stay at Nagpur for Sulloo to attend the darshan program.
In early 1954 he was inspired to compose songs about Baba in both Hindi and Marathi. Compiled in Meher Prakash Bhajanwali, these songs were the fragrant flowering of Sulloo’s love for the eternal Beloved.
During the 1954 Sahavas with Baba in Meherabad a photograph of Baba with Sulloo Meshram, Murli Kale, Raja Sagar Kher, Y. L. Muniraj, and Subedar was taken. Click to see the Photograph. It was a one week stay and much information is available about this programme. The Jabalpur group requested Baba to come to Jabalpur to give public Darshan. Baba replied that He might not give public darshan, and would prefer going to the houses of the families devoted to Baba. Later many preparations were made by Jabalpur Baba lovers anticipating Baba’s visit and even the General Manager of the Gun Carriage Factory had been requested to provide for a bungalow for Baba’s stay. This was discussed with Baba but in 1957 Baba said that He would come one day for just one hour and later said that He would come only after 700 years.
In 1958, Baba teased Suloo Meshram of Jabalpur that by registering his wife's name in the sahavas list, he, himself, had come. Baba remarked, "Anyway, you were drawn by My love." Baba went on to say that he did not like hypocrisy, and advised those present to always be natural and unpretentious.
Meshram begged Baba to visit Jabalpur, to which he replied, "If I were to go to Jabalpur
Baba compared Sullo with Sudama, a friend of Lord Krishna:
A week later, March 11th, a letter from Sullo Meshram of Nagpur was received and read out. Baba was in a good mood and remarked, “Such devotees and lovers should be worshipped”. Baba then joined His own hands together and closed His eyes as if praying — something the mandali had never seen Him do before. He had the letter read out again and observed:
“Sulloo is greater than Me in the sense that he loves Me with such deep devotion. He has seen me only once in Panchgani in 1938, and since then been kept far away. Lovers in that respect are truly great.
“Why did Krishna wash the Sudama’s feet and drink the water? Because of Sudama’s Love. He washed not the feet but the love of Sudama, and drank its water.
“God always is, was and ever will be. But the existence of God’s great and true lovers – like Sudama of Krishna, Sulloo and others now – reflects God’s true greatness. The greatness of their lovers is such that it creates faith in a Master, whom the poor, ignorant lover does not truly know at
all. But because of firm faith, the follower is ready to give up his very life for the Master. Isn’t that greater than God?
“God is always greater in His infinity. But if lovers, in spite of their finiteness, rise to give up all, sacrifice their very lives just for love and faith in their Beloved, whose true being they do not at all know, it is indeed greater. That is why God, even in spite of His infinity, bows to the greatness in recognition of the spirit of selflessness that He beholds pm the love and faith of His true lovers.
In 1957,been told Raja Sagar Kher pressed Baba hard for a darshan program at Jabalpur. Baba first responded that if Jabalpur will remain He would come. Afterwards, He explained that Jabalpur had been due to be submerged in water, but that He had postponed this tragedy for 40 years.
Baba often remembered Sulloo and wrote long letters and sent telegrams to him. Once Baba sent Sulloo a single telegram consisting of two full pages. Even the postal department officials were surprised at such an unusual communication. Sulloo gave the telegram to Francis Brabazon and it was incorporated into his book entitled “Tears of Joy”
In 1959, Sulloo went for Baba’s darshan after the death of his second son and later in 1962 attended the East-West Gathering. During this Gathering the war between India and China was going on and one correspondent of the Press asked Baba which country would win the war. Baba replied through another question to the correspondent. Baba simply asked the correspondent to observe which of the two countries Baba had chosen to be His country. The answer was latent in the question.
In 1963, Sulloo came for darshan and finally attended The Last Darshan in 1969 after Beloved Baba had dropped His body. Sulloo wrote several songs in praise of Meher Baba which were sung in Baba’s presence and from time to time wrote and published several small booklets containing his songs and describing his experiences. Sulloo joined Baba on 31st December 1999, much after his retirement from the Service at Jabalpur. Sulloo lived an isolated life and often confined himself in his room in deep meditation. Those who met him found him always deeply engrossed in Baba and felt that he was hardly aware of the surroundings. Sulloo spent most of his time in his attic room in meditation and in singing the songs of his Beloved; He will be always remembered by all for his simplicity and remarkable obedience.
On 22 May 1997, exactly 40 years later, Jabalpur was hit by massive earthquake. There was a risk that the earthquake would rupture Bargi Dam and Hydroelectric Project. If this had happened, scientists calculated that Jabalpur would have been submerged under an eight-meter deep layer of water, but happily the dam held. All Baba lovers now confidently expect that Baba will keep His promise to come to Jabalpur after 700 years.
(Lord Meher page 2769)