There was once a very qualified and beautiful young king
named Bhartrihari, who was expert in all the arts. King Bhartrihari
married at the age of twenty-five years, and he adored his beautiful
newly-wedded wife. Eager to please her, he presented her with a
jewelled necklace, the value of which would be over a million dollars
by today’s standards. He placed the necklace around her neck with
his own hands, embraced her and said, “Most dearly beloved, this
necklace is very precious. Please always keep it with you.”
King Bhartrihari was greatly attracted to his wife, but she
had no such attraction to him. Rather, she was attracted to her
husband’s commander-in-chief, who was also extremely handsome.
Therefore, a few days after receiving the excellent necklace, she
gave it to the commander-in-chief, desiring to please him.
Although the queen was very attached to the commander-inchief,
he did not feel the same way about her. He was attached to
a prostitute. A few days after receiving the necklace, he presented
it to that prostitute, desiring to please her. The prostitute did
not feel the same way about the commander-in-chief, however,
for she was attached to the king. One day she presented that very
necklace to the king, desiring to please him. Seeing the necklace,
the king became distressed and asked her from where she had
gotten it. Frightened, she did not reply. The incensed king said,
“If you don’t tell me the truth I will cut off your head.” The
prostitute then revealed the truth of the matter to the king, who
left her and took the necklace to the commander-in-chief.
King Bhartrihari asked his commander-in-chief, “Where did
you get this? If you tell me the truth I will not harm you, but if you
try to conceal it from me I will have your head.” The commanderin-
chief revealed the truth to him, and at that moment the king
realized that there is no true love in this world. He at once made up
his mind to give up all his worldly attachments. He left his palace,
his kingdom and his opulent attire, and he became a very famous
renunciant and spiritualist.

―Śrīla Bhaktivedanta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja

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