Thag 7.1
Sundara Samudda and the Courtesan
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The updated version is freely available at

This version of the text might be out of date. Please click here for more information

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 contemplatives, 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, done.