The Story of Buddha and the Courtesan


There is a story about Buddha and the courtesan.

One day Buddha and his devotees were going through a forest and they came to a town. The words spread through the town that Buddha was coming. And there was a beautiful home where there lived this courtesan, this high class prostitute. She heard about the wonder of Buddha, how beautiful he was, and she said to herself, “I must have this man.” So she sent her handmaidens out to the edge of the forest where Buddha was camping, and they beseeched him to come see their mistress. Buddha’s devotees tried to chase them away, but Buddha said, “No, I will go.” And the devotees told him he was crazy. How come he’s going with them? He said, “I shall return, wait here.”

He went into this mansion of a home, and he saw this beautiful lady. And she looked at him and she said, “I wasn’t wrong.” And she told the Buddha, “Stay with me, I will give you riches that you never dreamed of. I will give you love that you’ve never known.” And the Buddha smiled and he said, “Not now.” And she beseeched him and said, “I will give you my body and you will have love that you never experienced. I will give you my home. Stay with me and I will make you the happiest man that ever lived.”

And Buddha said, “No, not now.” And this went on for a couple of hours. Finally she got worn out, and Buddha said, “Thank you,” and left. He went back to his devotees, didn’t say anything, they traveled through the forest and left the town.

Thirty years passed. The Buddha was going through the town again with his devotees. All of a sudden he remembered something and he told his devotees, “Stay here and wait for me. I have to go see my beloved.” So he went back to where the house used to be. It was now nothing but a shambles. And he looked for the lady. He saw people laughing in the street. And there she was, a beggar with leprosy. People shunning her and spitting on her. And he came over to her and he said, “My beloved, I have returned for you. Now I want you as much as you wanted me.” And he kissed her on the forehead and she was healed. She became his disciple and spent the rest of her life with the Buddha.

Excellence Reporter 2019

Categories: Parables

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