Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 8: The Story of Pińgalā

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.8.27

tasyā vittāśayā śuṣyad-

vaktrāyā dīna-cetasaḥ

nirvedaḥ paramo jajñe

cintā-hetuḥ sukhāvahaḥ


tasyāḥ — of her; vitta — for money; āśayā — by the desire; śuṣyat — dried up; vaktrāyāḥ — her face; dīna — morose; cetasaḥ — her mind; nirvedaḥ — detachment; paramaḥ — very great; jajñe — awakened; cintā — anxiety; hetuḥ — because of; sukha — happiness; āvahaḥ — bringing.


As the night wore on, the prostitute, who intensely desired money, gradually became morose, and her face dried up. Thus being filled with anxiety for money and most disappointed, she began to feel a great detachment from her situation, and happiness arose in her mind.


It appears from these verses that on this particular night the prostitute Pińgalā was not at all successful in attracting customers to her house. Being completely frustrated and disappointed, she gradually became indifferent to her situation. Thus, great suffering sometimes leads one to the path of enlightenment; or, according to a Sanskrit proverb, disappointment gives rise to the greatest satisfaction.

The prostitute had dedicated her life to satisfying the lusty desires of many men. Engaging her mind, body and words in the service of paying lovers, she completely forgot the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus her mind was most unsteady and disturbed. Finally, being completely frustrated, her face and throat drying up, she began to feel indifferent to her situation, and happiness arose in her mind.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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