Bhaskara Satakam (rendered into English) -(8)
alaghu guNa prasidhdhuDagu naTTi ghanuMDoka DishTuDai tanun
valachi yokiMchu keamiDinavaaniki mikkili mealucheayagaa;
telisi kuchealuDokkakoNideM DaDukul tanakichchinan mahaa
phaladuDu kRshNu Datyadhika bhaagyamu laatani kiiDe? bhaaskaraa!
అలఘు గుణ ప్రసిధ్ధుడగు నట్టి ఘనుండొక డిష్టుడై తనున్
వలచి యొకించు కేమిడినవానికి మిక్కిలి మేలుచేయగా;
తెలిసి కుచేలుడొక్కకొణిదెం డడుకుల్ తనకిచ్చినన్ మహా
ఫలదుడు కృష్ణు డత్యధిక భాగ్యము లాతని కీడె? భాస్కరా! (In Telugu font)
A person of great capabilities and fame responds always
to persons who reach and give however little with love
in ever greater measures; didn’t Krishna, the ultimate giver,
shower riches on Kuchela in return to little he gave? Oh Bhaskara!
There is a famous ‘puranic‘ (belonging to the age of ‘puranas’) story behind this poem. The story descries the greatness of friendship between Lord Krishna, one of the ‘avatars’ (divine forms) of Lord Vishnu, and his childhood friend Kuchela.
Kuchela or Sudama (his original name) used to be the favorite accomplice of Lord Krishna during their childhood days while they both were learning the traditional virtues taught by Sandeepa, the guru. When they grew up, Kuchela became a thorough family man with a large family. He had to struggle a lot to make a decent living. Seeing how hard her husband was struggling, Kuchela‘s wife, Kamakshi, knowing well that her husband was very much liked by Lord Krishna, advises him to visit Lord Krishna and ask for riches which, she hoped Lord Krishna would nevertheless shower once asked by Kuchela.
Kuchela listens to the advise of his wife and truly visits Lord Krishna in his abode at Dwaraka. But out of the extreme happiness of seeking Lord Krishna in all his grandeur, Kuchela forgets the actual purpose of his visit to Lord Krishna and the advice of his wife to ask him for some riches never crosses his mind at all. However, the all knowing, Lord Krishna understands this and forcefully takes the little quantity of beaten rice that Kuchela carries with him tied to his ‘kuchela’ (to give as a gift of respect to Lord Krishna), eats it with affection and in turn gives a huge quantity of riches to Kuchela, which Kuchela only realises after reaching home and seeing that the entire place has been filled with large quantities of gold and riches. Sudama from then on came to be known as Kuchela.
The ideal of the story is – ‘quantity is not the criterion; how whole heatedly and with devotion you present yourself before the Almighty is the real thing, which is returned by the Almighty in the greatest of measures when the right times arrives’.