Travelling is the best way to learn and grow in life but it is also important to be observant as well as aware of your surroundings. Watch the view as your journey unfolds along the vast roads, mountains and peaks. Under the sea, a world unexplored opens up – all blue and colourful, neon and bright, the world beneath the sea is a true delight. I enjoy this rush of the unknown and the unconquered. This is what it is. A perilous plane – a journey almost to the divine.
The temples and the faith, the jungles and the savannahs, the mountains and the vast terrains with canyons – it is all one when you see life through the eyes of a traveller. Travelthon Tales are my personal travel tales as I move along this life of freedom, wisdom, adventure and mayhem. The tales will be enlightening with morals, values, wisdom and teachings as I march forward in my quest to travel the world in search of peace, meanings, answers and, most of all, joy.
Travelthon Tales: The Monk and The Courtesan
Once upon a time far away in the land of Lhasa in Tibet lived a monk. The young monk was full of vigour and wisdom. One could bathe in this monk’s aura as he exuded wisdom, serenity, light and peace. He was well-respected, admired and even worshipped in the small town. He preaches to the people while sitting under huts and banana trees. The words were full of light and people bathed in this nectar of life and joy.
This monk, this holy man, once sat under a hut teaching about the divine and his great creation. Beside the hut was a well where a courtesan sat with her bucket to fetch some water. As she turned, she saw the monk who she had heard so much about. She was excited to see him and walked towards the hut to greet the holy man and to sit by his feet so that she could bathe in his preaching and also uplift her life. She was just a lowly courtesan whose job was to please the rich men of the city and provide them with hollow love and some sex. She felt small but her courage was bigger as she approached the monk to touch his feet. The monk knew her and had heard about the courtesan who was quite popular in the land.
“Please, dear woman, stay away from me. I have my preaching to deliver and you are an obstacle to my path.” the monk said as he moved away from her to take a walk towards the porch in front of the hut. “Oh sire, oh enlightened one, why do you walk away from me. Is it because I am just a courtesan and so low in your eyes? Or are you protecting yourself from my charms?” The saint tried to walk in haste with his heart full of malice towards the courtesan as if he was looking down at her. He walked up to the well and poured some water to drink. His parched lips were quenched by the sour well water and quietened his thirst for a while. As he pondered, he thought about his behaviour towards the courtesan. He was not being nice to her. He felt full of disdain as he thought the woman was one of ill repute who sold her love for money. The courtesan observed the monk and with the stretch of her arms said “Why sire, you look upon me with borrowed eyes and with mistrust? I am a courtesan, a lady of the night, but sire, we are all the same in your eyes. You of all should realise that.” The monk turned to her realising that he had let impious thoughts evade his mind. His eyes grew soft and his body less tense as he watched the glowing face of the courtesan. The monk noticed her serpentine hair, her slim and tender waist and long piercing eyes, the scent of her Gajrrah as she burst into a bhajan “Meera ke Girdhar Gopal.” It is a bhajan on Lord Krishna sung originally by Meera. It is a song of adulation and true spiritual love for the Divine. The song echoed in the air as the buzz was evident. The monk now stood still and mesmerised by the softness of the bhajan. It was like a pithy poem being recited by an angel. All of a sudden, the courtesan transformed into an angel of love and tranquillity.
The monk who witnessed this was no other than Vivekananda, the great Indian sage of the eighteenth century, as he fell on the feet of the singing courtesan to beg for her forgiveness “Mata” he said “Forgive me for having such lowly thoughts in my heart about you. You are like my mata and a woman to be revered.”
Thus, in a lot of spiritual stories, saints have had an amazing connection with prostitutes. Jesus also once saved a woman of ill repute when he stopped men from stoning her by saying “Only those should throw stones who have never sinned.” Through my travels, I have met both whores and monks alike and found them to have an uncanny connection. They both sell love and joy to the world at large, the difference being the whore sells her body and the monk his wisdom.