A Prostitute And A Saint – A Spiritual Story By Osho

A Prostitute And A Saint - A Spiritual Story By OshoIt happened: Vivekananda, before he went to America and became a world-famous figure, stayed in Jaipur Maharaja’s palace. The Maharaja was a lover of Vivekananda and Ramakrishna. As maharajas go, when Vivekananda came to stay in his palace he made a great festival out of it, and he called prostitutes to dance and sing in reception… as maharajas go: they have their own minds. He completely forgot that to receive a sannyasin with the singing of prostitutes and dancing of prostitutes doesn’t suit. But he couldn’t know anything else. He always knew that when you have to receive somebody, drinking, dancing has to be done.

And Vivekananda was still immature; he was not a perfect sannyasin yet. Had he been a perfect sannyasin, then there was indifference — no problem — but he was not indifferent yet. He has not gone that deep into Patanjali even. He was a young man, and a very suppressive one who was suppressing his sex and everything. When he saw the prostitutes, he simply locked his room and would not come out of it.

The Maharaja came and he asked his forgiveness. He said, ‘We don’t know. We have never received any sannyasin. We always receive kings, so we know the ways. So we are sorry, but now it will be too much insulting, because this is the greatest prostitute in the country — and very costly. And we have paid, and to say her to move and go will be insulting to her, and if you don’t come she will feel very much hurt. So come out.”

But Vivekananda was afraid to come out; that’s why I say he was still immature, still not a seasoned sannyasin. Still indifference is not there — a condemnation: “A prostitute?” — he was very angry, and he said, “No” Then the prostitute started singing without him, and she sang a song of a saint. The song is very beautiful. The song says that “I know that I am not worthy of you, but you could have been a little more compassionate. I am dirt on the road; that I know. But you need not be so antagonistic to me.

I am nobody — ignorant, a sinner. But you are a saint — why are you afraid of me?”

It is said Vivekananda heard from his room. The prostitute was weeping and singing, and he felt — he felt the whole situation of what he is doing. It is immature, childish.

Why he is afraid? Fear exists only if you are attracted. You will be afraid of women if you are attracted of women. If you are not attracted, the fear disappears. What is the fear? An indifference comes without any antagonism.

He opened the door: he couldn’t contain himself, he was defeated by the prostitute. The prostitute became victorious; he had to come out. He came and he sat, and he wrote in his diary that “A new revelation has been given to me by the divine. I was afraid… must be some lust within me. That’s why I was afraid. But the woman defeated me completely, and I have never seen such a pure soul. The tears were so innocent and the singing and the dancing were so holy that I would have missed. And sitting near her, for the first time I became aware that it is not a question who is there outside; it is a question what is.”

That night he wrote in his diary that ‘Now I can even sleep with that woman in the bed and there will be no fear.” He transcended. That prostitute helped him to transcend.

This is a miracle. Ramakrishna couldn’t help and a prostitute helped him. So nobody knows from where the help will come. Nobody knows what is evil and what is good.

Who can decide? Mind is impotent and helpless. So don’t take any attitude: that is the meaning of being indifferent.

Osho – “Yoga : The Alpha and the Omega”

What Is the Spiritual Moral / Meaning of Osho's “A Prostitute And A Saint” Story?

Vivekananda's encounter with the Maharaja's palace holds a profound lesson about the illusion of judgment. As spiritual beings navigating the human experience, we often find ourselves entangled in the web of societal expectations and preconceived notions. The Maharaja's unconventional welcome, adorned with the singing and dancing of prostitutes, serves as a mirror reflecting the judgments of the external world. Vivekananda's initial reaction, grounded in immaturity and condemnation, highlights the challenge of transcending societal conditioning and embracing the essence beyond appearances.

The unfolding drama in the palace unveils the transformative power of compassion and understanding. When faced with the revelation of his own fear, Vivekananda stands at the crossroads of spiritual growth. The prostitute becomes a sacred catalyst for this transformation, not through grand gestures but through the purity of her expression. Her song, a poignant plea for compassion despite her perceived unworthiness, pierces through the veil of judgment. In this sacred encounter, the prostitute emerges as a teacher, reminding us that the path to spiritual maturity requires an open heart, free from the shackles of societal biases.

The theme of fear becomes a potent thread woven into the narrative, unraveling the layers of human vulnerability. Vivekananda's initial fear, rooted in suppressed desires, serves as a universal reflection of the fears that often shroud our spiritual journey. The dance of fear and attraction creates a labyrinth within, obscuring the path to true realization. Through the prostitute's poignant song, Vivekananda confronts the fear within and begins to discern the divine revelation hidden beneath the surface. It is a powerful reminder that true spirituality requires a fearless examination of our own shadows, a courageous embrace of vulnerability.

The unfolding story beckons us to consider the profound impact of external influences on our spiritual evolution. Vivekananda's immersion in the Maharaja's world, with its lavish festivities and unexpected companionship, serves as a metaphor for the myriad distractions and influences we encounter on our spiritual journey. The palace becomes a microcosm of the external world, replete with societal expectations and norms that may clash with the seeker's internal quest. The spiritual aspirant must navigate this intricate dance, recognizing the illusions that may deter them from the path of authenticity.

In the revelation of Vivekananda's diary entry, we witness the transcendence of boundaries and the liberation from conditioned judgments. The prostitute, once a symbol of perceived impurity, becomes an instrument of divine revelation. Vivekananda's acknowledgment of the purity within the tears, the holiness within the singing and dancing, underscores the essence of spiritual awakening. Beyond the external roles and societal labels, he recognizes the innate purity that connects all beings. It is a testament to the transformative power of genuine encounters, where preconceived notions dissolve, and the truth of interconnectedness emerges.

As we navigate the complexities of our own spiritual journeys, the story invites contemplation on the significance of transcendence. Vivekananda's evolution from fear to acceptance mirrors the transformative journey from ignorance to enlightenment. The prostitute, in her simplicity and authenticity, becomes a conduit for this transcendence, guiding Vivekananda to a realization that surpasses societal norms. The lesson is clear: spiritual growth requires the shedding of judgment, the dissolution of fear, and the recognition of the divine essence that unites all beings.

In the tapestry of this spiritual parable, the Maharaja's palace becomes a sacred ground for the dance of transformation. Through the unexpected teacher – the prostitute – Vivekananda learns a timeless truth: that the journey to spiritual maturity transcends societal conventions, fear, and judgment. The unfolding revelation becomes an invitation for each seeker to embrace authenticity, cultivate compassion, and recognize the divine in every soul, transcending the illusions that may veil the truth.

Personal Reflection Questions

Spiritual stories are an opportunity to reflect on your own life. Here are 10 questions you can use to go deeper with the teachings in this story:

  1. How does Vivekananda's initial reaction to the Maharaja's unconventional reception reflect the challenge of transcending societal expectations and judgments in our own lives?
  2. In what ways does the prostitute's song, expressing her unworthiness and pleading for compassion, resonate with your own experiences of seeking understanding and compassion in moments of vulnerability?
  3. Explore the theme of fear as it unfolds in the story. How does Vivekananda's fear initially stem from suppressed desires, and how might this mirror fears that arise from attractions or desires in your own life?
  4. Reflect on the transformative power of compassion and understanding, as demonstrated by the prostitute's song. How can moments of genuine compassion and understanding contribute to spiritual growth and the dissolution of societal biases?
  5. Consider the significance of external influences on spiritual evolution, symbolized by Vivekananda's immersion in the Maharaja's world. How do external distractions and societal norms impact your own spiritual journey?
  6. Contemplate the revelation in Vivekananda's diary entry. How does his acknowledgment of the purity within the tears, singing, and dancing of the prostitute highlight the importance of looking beyond external roles and societal labels in recognizing the innate purity within ourselves and others?
  7. Reflect on the theme of transcendence in the story. In what ways does Vivekananda's journey from fear to acceptance parallel your own path toward spiritual maturity and the shedding of judgment?
  8. Explore the metaphor of the Maharaja's palace as a microcosm of the external world. How do societal expectations and norms clash with the internal quest for authenticity, and how do you navigate this intricate dance in your own life?
  9. Consider the prostitute as a teacher and catalyst for Vivekananda's transformation. How might unexpected teachers or experiences in your life have guided you toward a deeper realization of truth and authenticity?
  10. Contemplate the ultimate message of the story: the possibility of transcending fear and judgment. How does Vivekananda's evolution serve as an invitation for each reader to embrace authenticity, cultivate compassion, and recognize the divine essence that unites all beings?