Question: Guru, what is the relationship between physical beauty with spirituality and physical beauty without spirituality?

Sri Chinmoy: Physical beauty without spirituality is like an empty vessel. There is nothing satisfying or fulfilling in it. Physical beauty without spirituality, you can say, is skin deep. But if there is spiritual beauty, inner beauty, an inner cry for God inside the physical beauty, then the physical beauty becomes soul deep. We know how deep the soul is. It has an eternal connection with the Source, the Supreme. If there is no inner beauty in one's physical beauty, then it creates temptation for others and problems for oneself. This kind of beauty tries like a magnet to draw others. It is like a sick person: when others stay with a sick person, they become sick too. So beauty without spirituality is dangerous.

But again it is in and through the physical that the Divine manifests itself. It may happen that inside the physical there is divine beauty, but one may not be aware of it; the divine beauty may not yet have started manifesting in and through the physical. That is why we see only the physical beauty. If we are not aware of the inner beauty, naturally we shall separate the physical from the spiritual. But it is always possible that inside the physical beauty there is divine beauty waiting to be fully manifested. Some people are really spiritual, but they are not aware of their spirituality at all. Their hour has not yet struck. That is why they are leading an ordinary or undivine life. But inwardly they are ready. In a matter of a day or a week or a few years, they will begin to follow the spiritual path. Some people say, "I want the spiritual life, but not now. After three years or six years or ten years I will be ready." These people are getting some indication of their latent inner beauty. Otherwise, they would categorically say, "Spiritual life is not meant for me. I don't need it or want it." Instead, they say that after a few years they will accept the spiritual life. This means that their spiritual qualities are already coming to the fore, but they are not yet fully aware of them.

When physical beauty and spiritual beauty go together, then perfection dawns. Again, physical beauty is a matter of judgement. You may think some person is extremely beautiful. But somebody else will say that person is quite ugly. Your sense of beauty and somebody else's sense of beauty may totally differ. Now who can be the judge? Nobody! Appreciating a person's physical beauty may create problems for us. But if we only deal with the spiritual and see inner beauty in people, then there cannot be any problem. Concentrate on bringing the inner beauty forward and not the outer beauty. Inner beauty is love, divine love. Inner beauty is universal oneness. Inner beauty is self-giving. How can these things create problems? Let us bring to the fore our inner beauty and let the outer beauty take a very secondary place.