05.02 Vimalā, the former courtesan (72-76)

Read aloud in the New Book Network Podcast

Weingast’s title is “Vimalā ~ the Virgin” (???)


72. Intoxicated by my good complexion, my figure, beauty, and fame, haughty because of my youth, I despised other women.

73 Having decorated this body, very variegated, deceiving fools, I stood at the brothel door, like a hunter having spread out a snare, showing my ornamentation.

74. Many a secret place was revealed. I did various sorts of conjuring, mocking many people.

75. Today I have wandered for alms with shaven head, clad in the outer robe, and am seated at the foot of a tree; I have obtained the stage of non-reasoning.

76. I have cut out all ties, those which are divine and those which are human. I have annihilated all the āsavas; I have become cool, quenched.


My mother taught me how to sell my youth

for money and some sense of power—

just as her mother had taught her.

At our front door,

I answered the calls of passing men

with well-rehearsed lines,

laughing and lightly running a finger

along my neck and breasts.

A hunter with a baited trap.

Now I spend my days

sitting at the foot of this tree,

wearing only a shaved head

and double robe.

The legs of this naked mind

spread wide open—

ready to welcome whatever comes.


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