Upagupta and a Beautiful Prostitute- Interesting Story (Post No.5268)

Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 29 JULY 2018


Time uploaded in London – 7-48 am  (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5268


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A young lady, a healthy child of nature full of animal spirits, met Upagupta, the disciple of the Buddha, one fine evening and made advances to him. He was in a dialectical mood. She checked him and said,

“Do not talk to me about stars and saints, the suffering of the world and the plan of the cosmos . They are not in my line. I believe in warm, natural, happy, healthy life. What the blood feels and believes is all that real for me.”

With difficulty Upagupta got out of the situation that evening, not before promising to return on another occasion.

Long years elapsed. The young lady of leisure and life, of wealth and beauty, with her easy morals made a mess of them all till she decayed and became a mass of rotting flesh, festering with sores, stinking with horrible odour. As if this were not enough, she committed a crime for which she was condemned to have her limbs cut off. Despised and rejected by all, she was turned out of the city gates and left on the spot where her punishment was carried out. A few years ago, she was a spirit aflame with zeal, now nothing but a mass of weakness and helpless ness

No more revolt, no more passion, not even complete darkness, just emptiness. Accepting nothing, refusing to be touched, to be cared for, remaining empty, she saw through everything. No one can deceive her again. In what she thought her last moment amid prayer and silent weeping she remembered her interview with Upagupta and felt a gentle touch.

Her eyes found Upagupta shining with an unearthly radiance and vitality, looking down on her, tender with a mother’s love for a sick child. He noticed in her eyes an expression of anxiety, distress and self- reproach, an appeal for mercy.

She said,
“Upagupta when my body was adorned with brilliant jewels and costly clothes and was as sweet as a lotus flower, I waited for you in vain. While I inspired flaming desire, you came not. Why come you now to witness this bleeding and mutilated flesh full of horror and disgust”?

Upagupta gently stroked her hair, stirred her whole being and said,

“Sister, for him who sees and understands, you have not lost nothing. Do not covet the shadows of the joys and pleasures which have escaped you. My love to you is deeper than what is based on vain appearances.”

Her eyes brightened, her lips parted and with a new sense of well-being and lightness of heart, she became his disciple, which is another illustration that saints start their careers by first losing their characters!
It needs a great soul to respond to a soul in torment”.
From Radhakrishnan Reader- An Anthology.



Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 9 December 2016


Time uploaded in London: 8-06 am


Post No.3432



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“There is a word in in Hindi, kiriya. It is used when someone swears by something. it is short for saccha kiriya, that is an “act of truth”. An act of truth is performed by using the accumulated power of  some form of secret you have kept for a long time. There are many stories about “acts of truth”. Here is one of those stories:


It is said that emperor Ashoka, in the third century BCE, was standing by the River Ganga (Ganges) near his capital. In the history of India Ashoka is well known as the most noble king. being an emperor Ashoka could naturally follow whatever whim he wished. So he said to his ministers, “I wonder whether it is possible to for anyone to make the river flow back towards the mountains!”.


The ministers, not wanting to offend the emperor, very gently told him, “Sir many things are possible but perhaps this is not one of them”.


a courtesan was passing by. She said, “You are all wise ministers, and who am I to speak in the presence of a great emperor., but may I have permission to speak please?” So she was granted permission. She said, “Even someone as lowly as myself can make the river flow backwards”. They asked her to demonstrate. She stood there, closed her eyes and did a saccha kiriya, an act of truth. And the emperor saw that, indeed, the river was flowing backwards towards the mountains. “That is enough”, he said, “Let the river flow naturally”. And she let the river flow.


The king and his wise men asked her what her secret was. How could a prostitute have such power? She said, “when I was younger and circumstances led me into this kind of life, I said to myself that there is very little good I can do

in this life to raise myself, but I must do something. So I made one vow to myself, though I lead the life of a prostitute, whether a prince comes to me or a leper comes to me, in mind and body I will treat them absolutely equally. And I have kept to that secret truth in my life. I have not let it out to this day. It is by the power of this truth that I have been able to make the river flow backwards. However for this kind of power you must keep your truth a secret.”


Source: Five Pillars of Sadhana by Swami Veda Bharati (Formerly he was Prof.Ushar Budh, Head of the Department of Sanskrit, University of Minnesota,USA)


My comments:

Other stories like this:

Gandhari saw Duryodhana naked to save him from Arjuna, but he hid his private parts and lost his life

Babar going round sick Humayun 3 times and saved him by sacrificing his life

Viswamitra sending Trishanku to heaven but pushed back