Is there a story that Buddha send a monk to a prostitute?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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SarathW
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Is there a story that Buddha send a monk to a prostitute?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:22 am

Is there a story that Buddha send a monk to a prostitute?

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is there a story that Buddha send a monk to a prostitute?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:33 am

The story as told in the video might possibly be a conflation of two separate stories:

1) The conversion of the courtesan Ambapali by the Buddha himself, in DN 16
Then Ambapali the courtesan came to know: "The Blessed One, they say, has arrived at Vesali and is now staying in my Mango Grove." And she ordered a large number of magnificent carriages to be made ready, mounted one of them herself, and accompanied by the rest, drove out from Vesali towards her park. She went by carriage as far as the carriage could go, then alighted; and approaching the Blessed One on foot, she respectfully greeted him and sat down at one side. And the Blessed One instructed Ambapali the courtesan in the Dhamma and roused, edified, and gladdened her.
2) The story of Sundara Samudda, who visits a courtesan and achieves enlightenment by mindfully resisting her charms:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

There is also Ananda resisting an (apparent!) attempt at seduction by a nun in this sutta:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

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robertk
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Re: Is there a story that Buddha send a monk to a prostitute?

Post by robertk » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:01 pm

Indeed he did.

From the suttanipita
Sirimā was the daughter of the courtesan Sālavatī, whose origin story is related in detail in the Chapter on Robes (Vin I 268–69). After her mother passed away, Sirimā assumed her position as chief courtesan. According to the background story to the verse “Conquer anger with non-anger,” 848 she disparaged the daughter of the financier Puṇṇaka, apologized to the Blessed One, listened to his teaching of the Dhamma, and became a stream-enterer. She then provided eight constant meals. 849 As explained in the background story to another Dhamma­pada verse, 850 a certain bhikkhu who had received a meal from Sirimā fell so passionately in love with her that he was unable to eat but just lay down on his bed fasting. While he was lying there, Sirimā passed away and was reborn as a queen of Suyāma in the Yāma heaven. 851 The Blessed One prevented her body from being cremated and had the king deposit it in the charnel ground so that others could see it. Accompanied by the Sangha of bhikkhus, the Blessed One went there, bringing that bhikkhu along; the citizens and king also went. 852 People there said: “Previously it was hard to get sight of her even for 1,008
Apparently, as a corpse, she lost her charms for the bhikku.

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