Once there lived a king who ruled his country righteously. He was very attached to his kingdom and people. He wanted to forego all these attachments and attain the Lord’s Feet. But alas! He could not cut asunder his bonds of desire.
While he was wondering if there was some easy, shortcut method for reaching God, a man told him that one is sure to attain the abode of the Lord if one listens to Srimad Bhagavatam in seven days, like king Parikshit. This gladdened the king for he had not, until then, heard of an easier way of attaining the abode of the Lord.
So the king found the best scholar in his country and invited him to recite Srimad Bhagavatam in seven days. This scholar was very attached to his 5-year old granddaughter and the thought of being away from her for seven days saddened him. While reciting the Bhagavata slokas, he thought constantly about his grand-daughter and feeling miserable about the separation. The king, who was the listening to Srimad Bhagavatam, was in constant thought of his kingdom, the people and the future plans of action during his reign.
At the end of the 7th day, the king bestowed many gifts on the scholar and honored him. But the king did not reach the abode of the Lord at the end of seven days as king Parikshit had! He was not happy about it and demanded a valid reason from the scholar for an unsuccessful mission. He further accused the scholar for not having recited the slokas properly! He threatened that if the scholar did not come up, by the next day, with a good reason for the king not having attained the Lord, he would decapitate him!
The scholar was shocked and depressed on hearing these harsh words of the king. He was at a loss! On reaching home, his granddaughter finding her grandpa in an unusually low spirit pestered him for the reason. The scholar too told her all that had happened at the king’s court.
The child said, “Is that all grandpa! Don’t worry. Take me to the court tomorrow. The king is sure to ask for your last wish before the execution. At that moment, just ask him to fulfill your granddaughter’s wish. I will see to the rest!”
The next day things did turn out as expected and the king asked for the granddaughter’s desire. The child said, “I want the king to be tied to a pillar and my grandpa to be tied to another pillar.” Though it sounded ridiculous to the king, he did as desired by her.
“Now”, said the child, “Untie my grandpa, O king!”
The king laughed and said, “You must be mad. Don’t you see that I myself am bound? How can I release your grandpa from his bonds?”
Next the child asked her grandpa to do the same and got a similar reply. The child now said, “Oh! king! This is the answer to your question. The cords of attachment towards your kingdom and people bind you. My grandpa is bound by his attachment towards me. This being the case, how can my grandpa release you from the bonds of the world and bestow the abode of the Lord upon you? You have to listen to the glories of the Lord from a Guru who is free from all the worldly ties. Only then will you attain the abode of the Lord like Parikshit.”
Everyone in the court applauded the shrewd child and the king too realized his error and released the scholar!