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Theragatha VII

(Selected suttas)

VII.1 -- Sundara Samudda and the Courtesan

Ornamented, finely clothed
    garlanded, adorned,
her feet stained red with lac,
    she wore slippers:
        a courtesan.

Stepping out of her slippers --
    her hands raised before me,
    palm-to-palm over her heart --
she softly, tenderly,
    in measured words
    spoke to me first:
"You are young, recluse.
    Heed my message:
Partake of human sensuality.
    I will give you luxury.
Truly I vow to you,
    I will tend to you as to a fire.
When we are old,
    both leaning on canes,
then we will both become recluses,
    winning the benefits of both worlds."

And seeing her before me --
    a courtesan, ornamented, finely clothed,
    hands palm-to-palm over her heart --
        like a snare of death laid out,
apt attention arose in me,
    the drawbacks appeared,
        disenchantment stood
        at an even keel:

With that, my heart was released.
See the Dhamma's true rightness!
The three knowledges
have been attained;
the Buddha's bidding,

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
The Vital Link by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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