Poverty and Folly are sent by Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, to assail Sridama, the early companion and fellow-student of Krishna, who has become obnoxious to the goddess for his attachment to Saraswati; the goddess of learning. They effect their purpose with Sridama, by demanding the rites of hospitality, and being accordingly admitted into his dwelling.
Sridama is persuaded by his wife, Vasumati, who has seen a propitious dream, to repair to Krishna, to see if his opulent friend will restore his broken fortunes. He takes with him a handful of rice, dried and cleaned after boiling, as a present. He arrives at the palace of Krishna, where he is received with great respect by the host and his two principal wives, Rukmini and Satyabhama; the former washes his feet, the latter wipes them, and Krishna sprinkles the remaining water upon his own head. After recalling some of the occurrences of their juvenile days, when they were fellow-students, Krishna leads his friend into the garden, where they remain till towards sunset; when they are summoned to join the queens and their attendants. Krishna indulges in frolics among his women. The buffoonery of the Vidushaka amuses the party.
After some time spent in this manner, Sridama takes his leave, and although dismissed with great reverence, departs as poor as he came. He recollects this on his way back, and consoles himself with observing that wealth intoxicates as well as wine, and that the affection of Krishna is a thing which no one can steal from him. His disciple is not so submissive, and reminds him that it was not to get mere civility that he was sent on this errand by his wife.
On arrival, they find, instead of the miserable hovel of Sridama, a splendid and extensive town, and that Sridama is in great affliction at the disappearance of his wife, when he is seen and solicited by a Kanchuli or chamberlain, who calls himself his servant, to enter a stately palace. Sridama, thinking this is a jest upon his poverty, threatens to beat him if he does not depart, but the chamberlain perseveres, and tells him that while he was absent, Krishna had converted his cottage into a town, named after him Sridamapur, and supplied it with every article of use or luxury. With much reluctance and unyielding incredulity Sridama is prevailed upon to enter the palace, where he finds his wife.
Krishna now comes to pay a visit to his friend. He arrives in his aerial chariot, accompanied by Satyabhama and the Vidushaka. His bounties are heartily acknowledged by the object on whom they have been bestowed.