LILAVATI – A prostitute

In the Padma Purana Lilavati (charming) was a prostitute in the krita yuga (first age, also called satya yuga). She went to another town looking for better clients. She noticed devotees celebrating a festival at the temple. When she inquired, Lilavati learned that it was the celebration of the birthday of Radha Devi and that anyone who observed the vow of devotional penance and fasting (vrata) that day would be absolved of all their sins. Lilavati joined in the temple worship for the whole day. Shortly afterwards, she died of snake bite. Yama came to take her soul to hell for all her sins as a prostitute. Vishnu’s helper also arrived in a charĀ­iot pulled by celestial swans (hamsas) and took her to heaven because of her one day of devotion.

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