(This story is based on an episode in Buddha’s life)
The Enlightened One was in deep meditation. His disciple, Rahul, was sitting at the feet of his Master. Rahul was informed that Amrapali, the well-known courtesan of the city would be coming today to meet the Master. Rahul was not pleased. He was thinking “What this public woman has to do with our Master”. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of chariot wheels. A chariot stopped a few yards away and the courtesan, Amrapali descended from the chariot. Rahul looked at his Master. The master was looking straight ahead at the courtesan coming slowly towards him with a flower offering in her hands. The Master asked:
“Rahul, who is she coming towards us?”
“Revered Sir, she is the courtesan, Amrapali” replied the disciple.
“She is beautiful in Body and Mind” said the Master.
“How can this prostitute be beautiful in mind,” flashed the thought in Rahul’s mind. The Master reading the thought in the disciple’s mind, said:
“Don’t think like that Rahul. You are looking at her body and her outer life with your fleshy eye. You are not seeing her mind. You can’t see because your mind is bound by tradition, society and customs. Your body has renounced the world and become a monk but your mind is bound by the customary moral notions of the society and the world in which you live. But I can see her mind and it is as beautiful as her body.”