Question: Guru, is ugliness a quality in itself, or is it just a lack of beauty?

Sri Chinmoy: It is both. Ugliness is a quality and it is also a lack of beauty As a quality, ugliness comes from our life of irresponsibility. We do not fulfil the divine duty within us. If there is something that we have to do and if we do not do it on time, immediately this lack of duty creates a kind of disharmony in our physical life, our vital life and our inner life. When there is lack of harmony in us, immediately we see chaos, and chaos itself is ugliness.

Lack of beauty comes when we do not aspire to become good and self-giving. Even if we become great, that does not necessarily mean that we are aspiring for divine beauty. Greatness and goodness can be separated. When we want to become good, we aspire. When we want to become great, we also aspire, but in this aspiration we use unfortunately our desire-weapon. This desire-weapon first fulfils us and afterwards kills us. We have a knife and, for some time, we use it carefully. But there comes a time when we don't use it carefully. Since we feel that we know how to use it, we become negligent; that is when the desire-knife stabs us. But our aspiration-weapon is not actually a knife. It is more like a flower within us. In the beginning we see that this aspiration-flower is like a bud. Then gradually, gradually we see one petal open, then two, then three, then four. Each petal takes a long time to blossom, but once the flower is fully blossomed we get the sublime fragrance. At that time, even if we remove the flower, the fragrance remains. And when this fragrance permeates our whole body, we become all-beautiful.