All traditions of the world glorify love as a reflection of the Absolute. The ability to express, feel or to be the recipient of unsullied, selfless love is likened to God himself. A distinction is made however, between love and attachment. In essence, love is defined as a refined emotion that is untouched by selfishness and the desire for self-gratification. Love hence becomes a relationship of the spirit. Attachment on the other hand, is an emotion that finds its basis in the need for self-gratification and is therefore riddled with delusions. Attachment unlike love, entrenches man further in the carnal. No matter how deep an attachment, it always seems to end in misery. Pur\u016brav\u0101, a noble king of the lunar dynasty, is a classic exemplar of how attachment results in the undoing of man. Pur\u0101rav\u0101 was born to Budha, the son of the moon, and Il\u0101, a king who had been magically transformed into a lady by the power of lord \u015aiva. Il\u0101 or Sudyumna as he was known in his male persona, ascended to heaven, leaving behind his kingdom to Pur\u016brav\u0101\u2019s care. Pur\u0101rav\u0101 proved to be an exemplary king. He was just, wise, valorous, generous, compassionate and righteous. He pleased his subjects with his exceptional rule and pleased the Gods with sacrifices. He gained such popularity, word of his greatness reached the ears of the apsara (celestial damsel), \u016arva\u015b\u012b, and she became smitten with him. As fate would have it, \u016arva\u015b\u012b was cursed by Brahm\u0101 to descend upon earth, and she chose Pur\u016brav\u0101 to be her earthly husband. She however laid down three conditions and said that transgressing them would mean the end of their marital union. Her first stipulation was that Pur\u016brav\u0101 must care for and protect two sheep kids that she considered dear as sons. Her second condition was that she would subsist on a diet of nothing but clarified butter. The third was that Pur\u016brav\u0101 and \u016arva\u015b\u012b were not to see each other nude, unless when engaged in coitus. Smitten with the celestial beauty, the king agreed to her conditions and married her. Many years rolled by with Pur\u016brav\u0101 attached solely to \u016arva\u015b\u012b. His kingdom and dedication to politics and citizenry were all forgotten. He became so overcome with attachment, he could scarce spend a minute away from her. In the interim, Indra, the king of the celestials, began growing uneasy with \u016arva\u015b\u012b\u2019s long absence from his kingdom. He commissioned the gandharvas to bring \u016arva\u015b\u012b back at any cost. Recognizing that the apsara could not be lured away from the besotted king easily, they stole the kid sheep left in Pur\u016brav\u0101\u2019s care. As the gandharvas rose in the air along with the kid sheep, they began to bleat piteously, awaking \u016arva\u015b\u012b. Alarmed, she awakened the king and said to him, \u201cwe had a pact, O\u2019 king. The two kids are like sons to me. Yet you rest in sweet slumber, as they are being abducted. Alas, I have been undone by an unworthy husband, who merely poses to be a man.\u201d The king was greatly distressed upon hearing his queen wail thus. Unmindful of his nakedness, the king made after the fleeing gandharvas. The vile gandharvas flashed lightning at that instant, and the king became visible to \u016arva\u015b\u012b is all his nakedness. Having cast eyes upon her husband\u2019s nudity, the divine damsel recognized that the conditions of her marital union were violated. She was left with little choice but to return to the celestial realm, leaving the king distraught. Pur\u016brav\u0101 became delirious with yearning. He searched for \u016arva\u015b\u012b everywhere, wandering the globe frantically. He reached Kuruk\u1e63etra and there by the lake, Anyat\u0101plek\u1e63a, he identified \u016arva\u015b\u012b in the company of other nymphs. Both relieved and tormented at her sight, Pur\u016brav\u0101 began pleading with her, \u201cdarling, you are not to abandon me thus. I am supremely attached to you. I know I am dear to you, and you know me to be faultless in this eventuality. Should you abandon me, the body that you once embraced lovingly will perish right here. It will lay lifeless, a feast to wolves and crows.\u201d \u016arva\u015b\u012b was overcome by compassion for the delirious king. She began to admonish him. She said to him, \u201cking, do not die. I did not run away from you. There can be no friendship with womenfolk, for wily women verily are like wolves that feast on your flesh. Kings must take care to not place their trust in women or in thieves. Return home now and find peace.\u201d \u0907\u0924\u094d\u092f\u0947\u0935\u0902 \u092c\u094b\u0927\u093f\u0924\u094b \u0930\u093e\u091c\u093e \u0928 \u0935\u093f\u0935\u0947\u0926\u093e\u0924\u094d\u092e\u092e\u094b\u0939\u093f\u0924\u0903\u0964 \u0926\u0941\u0903\u0916\u0902 \u091a \u092a\u0930\u092e\u0902 \u092a\u094d\u0930\u093e\u092a\u094d\u0924\u0903 \u0938\u094d\u0935\u0948\u0930\u093f\u0923\u0940\u0938\u094d\u0928\u0947\u0939\u092f\u0928\u094d\u0924\u094d\u0930\u093f\u0924\u0903\u0965 ityeva\u1e41 bodhito r\u0101j\u0101 na vived\u0101tmamohita\u1e25| du\u1e25kha\u1e41 ca parama\u1e41 pr\u0101pta\u1e25 svairi\u1e47\u012bsnehayantrita\u1e25|| Although urged thus, the king was oblivious to reality for he was deluded. Bound by the wiles of the bold damsel, he attained grievous misery. \u015ar\u012bmaddev\u012bbh\u0101gavata, 1.14.33 \u016arva\u015b\u012b\u2019s words of wisdom did not mitigate the misery of Pur\u016brav\u0101, for he was too attached. Preoccupation with the flesh had driven him to neglect his royal duties and to pursue the object of his gratification. In essence, his desire for his own pleasure had blinded him to reality and to the neglect he had subjected his citizenry to. It is pertinent to note here, \u016arva\u015b\u012b\u2019s words \u2013 \u0928 \u0935\u093f\u0936\u094d\u0935\u093e\u0938\u094b \u0939\u093f \u0915\u0930\u094d\u0924\u0935\u094d\u092f\u0903 \u0938\u094d\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0940\u0937\u0941 \u091a\u094c\u0930\u0947\u0937\u0941 \u092a\u093e\u0930\u094d\u0925\u093f\u0935\u0948\u0903\u0964 na vi\u015bv\u0101so hi kartavya\u1e25 str\u012b\u1e63u caure\u1e63u p\u0101rthivai\u1e25| A king ought not to place his trust in women or on thieves. \u015ar\u012bmaddev\u012bbh\u0101gavata, 1.14.32 The celestial nymph was calling the attention of Pur\u016brav\u0101 to his duties as a king. She was urging him to recognize that his preoccupation with her had divested him of his passion for a just and able rule; the very core of his dh\u0101rmic identity. He was thus swept away from his identity with his self and was sucked into an illusory world that left him broken hearted. In the profound sense, this would be the distinction between love and attachment - love redirects one towards his inner reality while attachment veers him away from it. Love stems from the spirit while attachment stems from the need for self-gratification. Love is thus elevating and liberating while attachment is binding and painful in its eventuality.