The freedom of a fallen Woman
This is the story the Minister narrates to King Senajit. Hearing this story, King Senajit cast off his grief, experienced delight and became very happy. This story teaches us that times of tragedy can be opportunities for tremendous growth. With this the first chapter of Moksha Parva is over.
A woman named Pingalaa wanted to spend time with her beloved and he did not turn up. She became very distressed; She placed her intellect in peace at this time of great distress.
Pingalaa said “I was crazy about him, but he was not crazy about me; Yet I was always chasing him, infatuated, but never able to consummate our relationship”.
Pingalaa declares “I shall close this house of nine doors and one column”. [house is the symbol of her body: 9 natural orifices in human body and 1 column supported by ignorance]. She is implying that the true source of happiness is within and there is no need to get happiness through sensorial experiences. Now, she can enjoy the external things without being attached to the objects of this world.
Pingalaa continues “Men are all deceits and cheats; They look like sources of love but they are not capable of love; I am now aroused from the sleep of ignornace. I am no longer influenced by desires. I am now enlightened/awake and I have complete mastery over my senses; Human lovers, who are embodied forms of hell shall no longer decieve me by approaching me lustfully”.
Pingalaa now sleeps in felicity. Freedom from hope and desire is felicity. Such people have a sound sleep.
What we need is not gaining happiness but letting go of our desires/cravings.
Her situation of being stood up and jolted by her lover provided her an opportunity to build tremendous emotional growth. This distress is indeed a blessing in disguise.