Guruvayur Temple, a renowned Sri Krishna Temple in Kerala, celebrates Kuchela Dinam today in honor of Kuchela or Sudama, a friend and ardent devotee of Lord Krishna. Our epics defined true friendship long before friendship day came into existence. Read on to know how Lord Sri Krishna taught us the value of friendship years ago.
As per the Bhagavata Purana, Lord Sri Krishna studied at the ashram of Guru Sandipan along with Kuchela, a poor brahmin boy.
The two became close friends and shared mutual respect. They parted ways after finishing their studies at the ashram. While Sri Krishna ruled the Kingdom of Dwaraka, Kuchela remained as a poor brahmin.
Kuchela married a woman by name susheela and started a family. However, he could not afford to even feed his family. One day, susheela reminded him about his friendship with Lord Krishna and asked him to seek the Lord’s help.
Kuchela was reluctant in the beginning, but he made up his mind to visit Sri Krishna unable to bear the sight of his impoverished family.
Having very little provisions in the kitchen, Susheela gave Kuchela a small bag of beaten rice and asked him to gift it to Sri Krishna. Kuchela started off for dwaraka with a hope that his family’s condition would improve after meeting Lord Krishna.
When he reached the palace, the royal gatekeepers did not allow him inside as he was dressed in rags. One guard took pity on Kuchela and told Sri Krishna about his arrival.
On hearing the news, Sri Krishna rushed to the gate and welcomed Kuchela with utmost respect. He then washed Kuchela’s feet with water and seated him comfortably in the palace. Kuchela was hesitant to offer the bag of beaten rice to the Lord as he considered it to be a small gift.
Sri Krishna sensed that Kuchela had brought the bag and asked him about it. Kuchela reluctantly gave the beaten rice to the Lord who savored every grain. Kuchela was too embarrassed to ask Sri Krishna anything and left the palace empty handed.
However, the great Lord knew what his friend was going through and with his powers transformed Kuchela’s hut into a palace filled with riches. A stunned Kuchela thanked Sri Krishna and remained his ardent devotee.
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