The Buddha told this story(Jataka) to a lovesick bhikkhu who wanted to disrobe to go back to his wife.
You Give Love A Bad Name: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrZHPOeOxQQ
Kanavera Jataka : The Robber And A Deadly Courtesan
[Edited from The Dhamma Encyclopedia]
Once upon a time when Brahadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born as a famous/handsome robber who gained his living by robbery. One day he broke into a rich merchant’s house and carried off much treasure. The townsfolk came to complain to the king. The king ordered the governor of the city to seize him. So in the night the governor posted men here and there on detachments, and having effected his capture with the money upon him, he reported it to the king. The king bade the governor cut off his head. Then the governor had his arms tightly bound behind him, and having tied a wreath of red kanavera flowers about his neck and sprinkled brickdust on his head, had him scourged with whips in every square, and then led to the place of execution to the music of the harsh-sounding drum. Men said, “This rapacious robber who loots our city is taken,” and the whole city was greatly moved.
At this time there lived in Benares a courtesan named Sama, whose price was a thousand pieces of money. She was a favorite of the king’s. And as she stood at a window on the upper floor of her palace, she saw this robber being led along. He was handsome and stood forth above all men, glorious and god-like in appearance. And when she saw him being thus led past, she fell in love with him and thought within herself, “By what device can I secure this man for my husband?” “This is the way,” she said, and sent by the hand of one of her female attendants a thousand pieces of money to the governor, and “Tell him,” She said, “this robber is Sama’s brother, and he has no other refuge except in Sama. And ask him to accept the money and let his prisoner escape.” The handmaid did as she was told. But the governor said, “This is a notorious robber, I cannot let him go free after this sort. But if I could find another man as a substitute, I could put the robber in a covered carriage and send him to you.” The slave came and reported this to her mistress.
Now at this time a certain rich young merchant, who was enamoured of Sama, presented her every day with a thousand pieces of money. And that very day at sunset her lover came as usual to her house with the money. And Sama took the money and placed it in her lap and sat weeping. And when she was asked what was the cause of her sorrow, she said, “My lord, this robber is my brother, though he never came to see me, because people say I follow a vile trade: when I sent a message to the governor he sent word that if he were to receive a thousand pieces of money, he would let his prisoner go free. And now I cannot find any one to go and take this money to the governor.” The youth for the love he bare her said, “I will go.” “Go, then,” said she, “and take with you the money you brought me.” So he took it and went to the house of the governor. The governor hid the young merchant in a secret place, and had the robber conveyed in a close carriage to Sama. Then he thought, “This robber is well known in the country. It must be quite dark first. And then, when all men are retired to rest, I will have the man executed.” And so making some excuse for delaying it awhile, when people had retired to rest, he sent the young merchant with a large escort to the place of execution, and cutting off his head with a sword impaled his body, and returned into the city.
Thenceforth Sama accepted nought at any other man’s hand, but passed all her time, taking her pleasure with this robber only. The thought occurred to the robber: “If this woman should fall in love with any one else, she will have me too put to death, and take her pleasure with him. She is very treacherous to her friends. I must no longer dwell here, but make haste to escape.” When he was going away, he thought, “I will not go empty-handed, but will take some of the ornaments belonging to her.” So one day he said to her, “My dear, we always stay indoors like tame cockatoos in a cage. Some day we will disport ourselves in the garden.” She reality assented and prepared every kind of food, hard and soft, and decked herself with her, he thought, “Now must be the time for me to escape.” So under a show of violent affection for her, he squeezed her till she became insensible. Then throwing her down he spoiled her of all her ornaments, and fastening them in her outer garment he placed the bundle on his shoulder and leaping over the garden wall made off.
And when she had recovered consciousness, rising up she went and asked her attendants, what had become of her young lord. “We do not know, lady.” “He thinks,” she said, “I am dead, and must in his alarm have run away.” And being distressed at the thought, and from that day she neither out on comely garments, nor ate more than one meal, nor affected scents and wreaths and the like. And being resolved to seek and recover her lover by every possible means, she sent for some actors and gave them a thousand pieces of money. On their asking, “What are we to do for this, lady?” She said, “There is no place that you do not visit. Go then to every village, town and city, and gathering a crowd around you, first of all sing this song in the midst of the people,” –teaching the actors the song.
She said, “when you have sung this song, my husband shall be one of the crowds, he will speak to you. Then you may tell him I am quite well, and bring him back with you. And should he refuse to come, send me a message.” And giving them their expenses for the journey, she sent them off. They started from Benares, and calling the people together here and there, at last arrived at a border-village. Now the robber, since his flight, was living here. And the actors gathered a crowd about them, and sang the song.
The robber on hearing this said to the actor, “Whether she be alive or dead, I don’t want her,”
The actors came and told Sama how he had dealt with them. And she, full of regrets, took once more to her old course of life.
The Buddha, when his lesson was ended, revealed the Truths indentified the Birth :– At the conclusion of the Truths the lovesicked Bhikkhu attained to fruition of the First Path : “At that time this Bhikkhu was the rich young merchant, the wife he had left was Sama, and I myself was the robber.”
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