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KING ALARKA’S RING AND WISDOM

After reaching youth-hood, Prince Alarka got married. By that time, his father King Ritudhwaj had also grown old. Hence before Grihastha, he crowned his son as the new king. At the time of crowning, queen Madalasa presented him a ring and said – ‘O son! This ring contains a note which will teach you on how a king should administer the kingdom.’ Saying this, Madalasa blessed Alarka and left the palace with her husband Ritudhwaj to spend their lives in the forest.

After his accession to the throne, King Alarka ruled justly. In due course of time, he got many sons. He followed the dictates of Dharma, Arth and Kama while ruling his kingdom. Inspite of enjoying all the luxuries, Alarka still could not experience bliss and felt as if he was missing something in his life. Very soon, Subahu came to learn about the royal luxuries of his brother Alarka and got tempted to enjoy the same luxuries. To attain his objective, Subahu took the help of the king of Kashi. The king of Kashi sent an envoy to Alarka with a message to give the kingdom to Subahu, which Alarka refused. Instead, he sent a reply that the request must be made by Subahu himself. ‘I will not give him my kingdom out of fear of war,’ said Alarka. But Subahu did not pay heed and with the help of the king of Kashi, launched a massive attack on his kingdom and conquered it. Now Alarka’s days of sorrow had begun.

He then remembered the ring presented by his mother Madalasa. He opened the ring and found a letter in it. The letter said- ‘When you lose your everything, give up the company of your present advisors and join the company of learned sages.’ This message made Alarka to pine for the company of the learned sages. Very soon, he went to the refuge of Dattatreya and requested him to remove his miseries. Dattatreya assured him of removing his miseries at once but before doing that, he wanted to know the reasons for his miseries. Alarka said- ‘I do not long for pleasures but my elder brother wants to grab my kingdom.’