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In one of the popular stories from the Bhagavatam, Sudama visits his old friend Sri Krishna at his palace with beaten rice. When Lord Krishna was going to eat the beaten rice a second time, suddenly, his wife Rukmini stops him from eating more.

What was the reason behind that? Why did Rukmini stop him?

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The story is described in this chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam:

Being the direct witness in the hearts of all living beings, Lord Kṛṣṇa fully understood why Sudāmā had come to see Him. Thus He thought, “In the past My friend has never worshiped Me out of a desire for material opulence, but now he comes to Me to satisfy his chaste and devoted wife. I will give him riches that even the immortal gods cannot obtain.” Thinking like this, the Lord snatched from the brāhmaṇa’s garment the grains of flat rice tied up in an old piece of cloth and exclaimed, “What is this? My friend, have You brought this for Me? It gives Me extreme pleasure. Indeed, these few grains of flat rice will satisfy not only Me but also the entire universe.”

After saying this, the Supreme Lord ate one palmful and was about to eat a second when the devoted goddess Rukmiṇī took hold of His hand. [Queen Rukmiṇī said:] "This is more than enough, O Soul of the universe, to secure him an abundance of all kinds of wealth in this world and the next. After all, one’s prosperity depends simply on Your satisfaction."

So Rukmini stopped him because Krishna's satisfaction at just one palmful of rice was already enough to give Sudama "an abundance of all kinds of wealth in this world and the next".

By the way, the sentiment Krishna expresses when he says "these few grains of flat rice will satisfy not only Me but also the entire univers" occurs in the Mahabharata as well; when Draupadi has only a morsel of rice in her pot and she has to feed group of sages, Krishna eats that single morsel of rice and that is enough to satisfy him and thus the entire universe, leading the sages to feel full as well.

Krishna expresses this notion earlier on in the chapter as well:

I regard as great even the smallest gift offered by My devotees in pure love, but even great offerings presented by nondevotees do not please Me. If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.

  • that's correct, Lakshmi was worried about Lord Krishna giving everything to his devotee Sudama at every handful of puffed rice he ate. – SacSand Jul 21 '15 at 4:55
  • What would have happened if Krishna did eat the rice a second time? – sv. Oct 19 '15 at 0:41
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    @sv. Well, he might have taken over the three worlds at that point! On the other hand, it says wealth that the Devas can't even obtain, so perhaps it would be even greater than that, like becoming the new Brahma! – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 19 '15 at 1:36
  • @KeshavSrinivasan, is there anything in SB that says "he (Sudama) might have taken over the three worlds" .. or it's just everyone's guess? I believe that's what the OP really meant to ask, i.e., "what if he had eaten a second time" – sv. Oct 19 '15 at 2:52
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    @sv. The Srimad Bhagavatam doesn't specify what Sudama would have obtained, but clearly it would have been something more than "an abundance of all kinds of wealth in this world and the next' and it would constitute "riches that even the immortal gods cannot obtain". So Rukmini wanted to stop Krishna before he conferred that much on Sudama. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 19 '15 at 2:56
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The story in Bhagavad Mahapurna is rendered in Hindi in poetic form by Narottama Dasa a poet of the sixtenth century CE. His magnum opus is 'Sudama Charitra'. In that poem the reasonfor Rukmini holding Sri Krishna's hand and stopping Him as per the poem from eating a third handful:

हाथ धरयो प्रभु की कमला

कही ' हे नाथ तुम चित्तधारी

दुई मुट्टी खायो तुमने

दियो तुमने दुई लोक बिहारी ......

As per this version Rukmini holds Sri Krishna's hand as He was going to eat the third handful. She says "My Lord, you are a granter of bounties just by thinking of it. You have eaten two handfuls and already made Sudama the lord of two worlds. If you now eat the third where will You dwell?

The reply by user Kedarnath above is based on a TV serial, but the TV serial itself is based on Narottama Dasa's 'Sudama Charitra.' However, Rukmini eating the third handful herself is nowhere mentioned in the poem.

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Sudama & Lord Krishna were friend from gurukul (school time friends). One day guru mata has given them "chura" (food) and send them in forest to collect wood for fire. Those were rainy days and in night Sudama got separate from Krishna because of heavy rain. In night Sudama started eating the "chura" and he himself finished all the "chura". Because of this this act he was debtor to Lord Krishna.

After leaving the gurukul, Sudama's life was running in very poor condition. He thought to meet his friend. Sudama's wife Susheela has given him beaten rice for Lord Krishna. Because of poorness that beaten rice was the only wealth with Sudama at that time, which he wanted to give his friend Krishna. The beaten rice was of amount of three hand only.

Seeing this Lord Krishna has started giving one by one lok (like swarg lok, prithvi lok etc...) as he was eating one by one hand beaten rice. In two hand beaten rice Krishan has already given Sudama to Swarg lok & Prithvi lok's vaibhav. He was about to give his own Vaikunth dham for third hand beaten rice, seeing this Godess Laxmi stopped him and she her self ate third hand beaten rice and for that she blessed Sudama's wife by giving eternal beauty boon.

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    Again, TV shows are not considered an acceptable reference in this site. – Keshav Srinivasan Aug 5 '14 at 21:59
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    I think you ignored @KeshavSrinivasan comment so can you edit your answer accordingly? – Mr. Alien Sep 8 '14 at 12:09
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    This is a popular but false story. Sudama never secretly kept food to himself without sharing with Krishna – user1195 Feb 24 '15 at 13:25

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