Story of Kuchela and Krishna is found in the Srimad Bhagavad Purana (11, 80). Kuchela, meaning one who wears shabby clothes, was a friend, classmate and devotee of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. As students, they stayed together in the ashram of Sage Sandipani.
After completing education, they went different ways. Kuchela lived in abject poverty with his wife and large number of children. Despite his trials and tribulations, he remained a devotee of Bhagavan but never went to meet his old friend and seek his help.
Once his wife, unable to tolerate poverty, goaded him to meet Krishna and seek financial help.
A reluctant, Kuchela set out to visit his old friend and carried with him handful of poha or aval (beaten rice). On reaching, the palace of Krishna at Dwarka, Kuchela was ashamed to give the ‘poha’ to Krishna.
However, the ever playful Krishna noticed the small bag in the hand of his schoolmate and soon grabbed it and ate a handful of ‘poha’. Kuchela could not believe his eyes, Krishna, the king, eating his poha.
It is said ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’ (Guest are equal to God) and Krishna treated Kuchela like a God. The poor Brahmin was so overwhelmed by the love shown by Krishna that he forgot to ask for financial help and returned home empty handed.
On reaching his village, Kuchela could not find his old hut. Instead, a palace stood in its place. His wife and children were wearing good clothes and everything that was old and worn out was replaced with new.
It did not take long for Kuchela to realize that all this was the ‘leela’ of the ever-smiling Sri Krishna.
The story symbolically suggests that we need not ask anything to the Lord. He knows what is best for us. We need not bother what we are offering to the Lord but offer it with utmost devotion.