The Padma Purāṇa lays out the Dharma of prostitutes. Prostitutes must follow a vow which purifies them of sins. This vow includes worship of Viṣṇu, as well as service of a Brāhmaṇa for 13 months:

Having thus worshipped Govinda, the lord of the form of Anaṅga, the lady having made an offering with sandal, flowers, and incense, and then having invited a Brāhmaṇa...

She should bear in mind that the best brāhmaṇa, who has eaten well according to his sweet will, is Kāmadeva meant for Rati. The lady should do whatever the best brāhmaṇa desires.

She, speaking with a smile, should offer herself with all sincerity (to the brāhmaṇa)....

Thus till the thirteenth month arrives, she should gratify a brāhmaṇa and then send him to his house

This (vow) I have especially narrated to you, since this is the duty that should be always performed by the prostitute

My question is, does this vow really involve having sex with a Brāhmaṇa? I thought Brāhmaṇas are not allowed to have sex with prostitutes.

Or does this mean Brāhmaṇas are allowed to have sex with prostitutes who are following this vow?

If that is what is actually enjoined, then it follows from the idea that the dharma for all castes involves serving Brahmins and the Lord through what is permitted for their castes. For example, Kṣatriyas protect Brāhmaṇas and Yajñas, Vaiśyas farm and acquire food for Yajñas, Sūdras serve brahmins, wives serve their husband as the lord, etc. So along those lines, this vow might have prostitutes serve Brāhmaṇas through sexual service. But I am looking for stronger descriptions of this vow to confirm this.

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    lol, where do you find such questions ?! These rules are most likely not applicable in Kali Yug, just like Ashvamedha Yagna or Niyoga for progeny.
    – ram
    Oct 3, 2020 at 3:01
  • @ram I saw this section while reading the Padma Purana, and it goes against what Manu says about how it is sinful to eat the food of prostitutes. So how to reconcile? And is sex really involved with the Brahmana?
    – Ikshvaku
    Oct 3, 2020 at 3:12
  • @Ikshvaku, IMO, it just seems like an archaic theoretical question. i don't think the issue is ever going to arise.. the issue being - someone interested in scripture enough to read this part of the purana, but then feeling permissible to indulge in those kinda sinful activities. Unless you're dealing with someone who actively cherry picks such verses to paint Hinduism in a bad light.. then we can try to resolve contradictions and counter them.
    – ram
    Oct 3, 2020 at 5:50
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    @Carmen sandiego. I think there's no need to reject this chapter. Unless you think it says to have sex with Brahmana there's no contradiction with higher smritis. Indeed it has even more beautiful concepts like it asks to worship vishnu as innerself of kamadeva. I'll try to answer this and shall discuss then if there are any contradictions. Thank you.
    – Satya
    Oct 3, 2020 at 10:59
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    Not only manu smirti Krishna in Uddava geeta clearly says yuooshit sangha sanghina thektva, still further he says stree sangha sanghina thekthva (avoiding sangha of persons who are in friends group of athesit, or different view about god like im god, i will become god)all these people are called stree
    – Prasanna R
    Oct 4, 2020 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


Yes, it does. The same story narrated in Matsya Purāṇa is more explicit:



Henceforth, any Brāhmaṇa coming to them for the sake of sexual enjoyment on a Sunday, should be respected and honoured. In this way, the good Brāhmaṇas should be kept satisfied for a period of thirteen months; but if they go abroad, their course of action will be different.


If, with the consent of that Brāhmaṇa, another handsome person come to them, these women should, with love and affection and to the best of their ability, perform all the fifty-eight kinds of observances of Love, favourite of man and gods, which would lead to pregnancy and which is not harmful to their soul's welfare.

I have described to you this vrata in detail, which, when always performed, never leads the prostitutes to sin.

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    Does the context also say what are the qualities to be possessed by said 'Brahmana'? Does above vrat apply to Kali Yuga, or even those 'brahmins' who work in IT and eat burgers at McDonalds ?
    – ram
    Oct 4, 2020 at 3:38
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    @ram This section may be a tamasic part of the puranas since it is against the Vedas, since it encourages prostitutes to have sex with Brahmanas (and vice-versa). Manusmriti, the foremost of dharma shastras, says in 4.209 that one should not eat the food of a prostitute. And then it says in 12.95 that smritis that are against the Vedas are tamasic in origin.
    – Ikshvaku
    Oct 4, 2020 at 13:25
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    @ram Also note that this purana says that these brahmanas who have come to visit prostitutes are "good Brāhmaṇas", so it is definitely a tamasic revelation.
    – Ikshvaku
    Oct 4, 2020 at 13:27
  • @Ikshvaku, yeah looks like Matsya purana is classified as Tamasik.
    – ram
    Oct 4, 2020 at 16:40
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    @ram Not just the purana itself, but even sattvic puranas have tamasic sections in them. Padma purana is classified as sattvic, but it has tamasic and rajasic sections. The Vishnu, Bhagavata, and Varaha puranas on the other hand are regarded as shuddha sattva puranas, whereas other puranas are mishra. This is mentioned in Ramanujacharya's Vedartha Sangraha.
    – Ikshvaku
    Oct 5, 2020 at 14:29

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