Heart of a Prostitute, Spirit of a Saint Part 2

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In the Vaishnava tradition, we find one such tale in the life of the medieval saint Bilvamangala Thakura. In his pre-saintly life, he was attached to a prostitute named Chintamani, who was almost like his mistress. Once he braved a fierce storm, a dark night and a flooding river to get to her place. He thanked her, renounced the world and left for Vrindavana, where he went on to become one of the most celebrated saintly poets in the Vaishnava tradition. Within the Uddhava Gita comes a section known as the Bhikshu-gita, the song of the renunciate.

Though some consider this renunciate to be Dattatreya, an incarnation of the Lord, the Bhagavatam refers to him simply by his social designation as the brahmana or as an avadhuta one who has transcended normal social conventions. In the Bhikshu-gita, this saint instructs King Yadu about the truths of life by sharing what he has learnt from his twenty-four gurus. One such guru is a prostitute named Pingala. The Bhikshu-gita offers a conception of guru different from the standard conception of a wise instructing teacher. But the Bhagavatam in the Bhikshu Gita shifts the onus of learning from the teacher to the seeker.

To avoid such passivity among seekers, this Bhagavatam section conveys that they need to take the responsibility for internalizing scriptural knowledge. If seekers observe the world keenly, they can see the truths of life demonstrated through the happenings in the world. The Bhikshu-gita uses the word guru in this nuanced and expanded sense. All the lessons he learns from them are inferences he draws by observing them. When he describes any event from which he learnt something valuable, he narrates that event in the voice of an omniscient narrator.

He also had the right disposition — a relentless zeal to learn that enabled him to observe the right thing and draw the right lesson. He learns from Pingala the power of detachment: it enables one to attain peace and happiness As the evening sets in, Pingala dresses and decorates herself seductively bibhrati rupam uttamam and steps out of her house to attract one of the many men who are going along the road.

Like any other woman in her profession, she is looking for a wealthy man who will pay her charges shulka-daan vittavatah and maybe even give something extra if he turns out to be generous bhuri-daah.

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Yet she is looking for more — she hopes to get not just a customer, but a lover who will give her affection and pleasure. The Bhagavatam states — and she herself mentions repeatedly in her song, which we will duly come to — that she was looking for a lover kaantah. Evening turns to night and night to midnight, yet no one approaches her. Perplexed and disappointed and exhausted, she returns to her room to nap, but wakes up with a start and rushes out, fearing that she might miss a customer. Trying desperately to attract someone, she goes further down the street, but to no avail.

Althea Greenidge (Author of Heart of a Prostitute Spirit of a Saint)

As her hopes of earning on that night dry, her face falls and — wonder of wonder — she has a Eureka moment. The Bhagavatam 27 states that a great sense of detachment awakes within her nirvedah paramo jajne. This detachment not only removes her anxiety, but also replaces it with happiness cinta-hetuh sukhaavahah.

She analyzes and verbalizes her epiphany in the form of a celebrated song that is sometimes sung to musical accompaniment, as are other better known songs from the Bhagavatam such as the Gopi-gita. She begins 30 by observing herself from a perspective outside of herself, lamenting at the extent to which she had fallen into illusion because of her uncontrolled mind. Sometimes we get carried away by our mind and under its spell, we do something undesirable for quite some time till we suddenly come out of the stupor and are shocked to see how far we have gone from where we wanted to go.

Coming to a similar sudden self-awareness, Pingala laments her folly in seeking worthless lovers asatah kaantah.

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Why she considers her lovers worthless is revealed in the next verse 31 , where she contrasts them with the Lord who resides right in her own heart and who grants the supreme wealth and the ultimate pleasure. As compared to the one who is waiting to be her eternal lover, all worldly lovers are insignificant.

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In the next verse 32 , she laments that, instead of striving to please such a wonderful Lord, she has struggled in vain to please those who are themselves tormented by lust and greed, and are therefore pitiable. Thus she further contrasts them with the Lord whom she has previously referred to as the reservoir and provider of happiness ramanam rati-pradam.

She laments that she has futilely tormented herself by taking up the regrettable profession of a prostitute saanketya-vrtti. Week 1 - Disciple Toolbox Week 1 Quiz. Christ's Method Alone - Chuck Holtry Day 1 - Seeing with His Eyes. Day 2 - Nurturing Faith. Day 3 - Healed Through Service.

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    The Amazing Reason Why This Catholic Saint Hired A Prostitute EVERY Night

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    1. What is a spiritual prostitute?

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    What a saint learned from a prostitute

    Day 2 - Paul's Golden Opportunity. Day 3 - Nothing to Fear. Serapion a bishop in the Nile Delta. However, to his surprise, the monk-in-disguise finds her uninterested in her former profession.

    Our latest Narratively story isn't available online - we printed the entire thing on a tote bag!

    The monk asked as to what changed her mind. At the end of three years, she leaves the cell and joins a nearby community of nuns for 15 days and then dies. In it, St.

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    I have brought you a half-dead little she-goat, recently snatched from the teeth of wolves. I hope that by your compassion, her shelter will be insured, and that by your care, she will be cured, and that having cast aside the rough pelt of a goat she will be clothed with the soft wool of the lamb. Upon returning to his desert monastery, Paphnuce finds himself obsessed by her. Once her leaving her cell three years later and as she lays dying she is granted a vision of Heaven which awaits her. However, the opera lacks the cynical look at religion which typifies the novel.

    Not to be outdone, Samuel Goldwyn — , tried his hand at reviving this tired, anti-Christian theme in his eponymous film Thais. It also was a commercial failure. But probably the worst and least necessary transformation into something completely unrecognizable from St. The enemies of the Church have sought to degrade her story and the general Christian message while promoting a false narrative about the faux-freedom offered by anti-Christian secular world. We should pray for her detractors and continually present this amazing saint as a model for our broken world.