The monk and the prostitute

1001 Tales Discourses

“Your saints cannot be innocents because their goodness is forced too much; their goodness is already ugly. Their goodness is managed, controlled, cultivated, it is not innocent,” says Osho. From our series 1001 Tales, compiled by Shanti.

Monk meditating

I have heard about one old woman.

She served a Buddhist monk for thirty years, did everything for that monk. She was just like a mother and a disciple both.

And the Buddhist monk meditated and meditated and meditated.

The day the old woman was going to die, she called a prostitute from the town and said: “Go to that monk’s hut. Enter the hut, go near him, caress the monk and just come and tell me how he reacts. This night I am going to die and I want to be certain whether I was serving a man who is innocent. I am not certain.”

The prostitute became afraid. She said, “He is such a good man, so saintly, we have never seen such a saintly man.”

Even the prostitute felt guilty to go there and touch this man, but the old woman bribed her. She went, she opened the door. The monk was meditating. It was midnight. In that isolated part nobody was near.

The monk opened his eyes, looked at the prostitute, jumped to his feet and said: ”Why are you coming in? Get out!”

His whole body trembled. The prostitute went nearer. The monk jumped out of the hut and cried: “This woman is trying to seduce me!”

The prostitute returned, she told the whole thing and the old woman sent her servants to burn the hut of the monk. She said: “This man is of no use; he has not become innocent yet. He may be a saint, but his saintliness is ugly. It is manipulated.

“Why should he see a prostitute so suddenly? A woman was entering, not a prostitute. Why should he think that she had come to seduce him? He should have been, at least, gentlemanly. He should have said: ‘Come, sit, why have you come?’

“He should have at least shown a little compassion. And even if she had embraced him, why should he be afraid? He has been telling me for thirty years, ‘I am not the body.’ If he is not the body, then why should he be so much afraid of the body? No, his saintliness is cultivated, it is a pose. It is not from the inner, it is from the outer. He has managed it all right, but inside he is not innocent, he is not childlike.”

And unless saintliness becomes childlike, it is not saintliness at all, it is just a sinner hiding, hiding through a facade.

Quote from Osho, A Bird on the Wing -Talks on Zen, Ch 6

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