Question: Is there a difference between the beauty that is in simplicity and the beauty that is in something very striking?

Sri Chinmoy: Simplicity itself is beauty. If somebody is very simple, because of his simplicity he is beautiful, and if someone has inner beauty, because of his inner beauty he is simple. If somebody is inwardly spiritual, he is like a beautiful and simple child. But you have to know the difference between the beauty that is in simplicity and the striking beauty of a God-realised soul. A child is most simple, but you have to know the capacity of a child. His simplicity is beauty; his beauty is simplicity. When somebody has prayed, meditated and realised God, he may not be as simple or as innocent as a child. But look at his capacity! When it is a matter of achievement or capacity, the child is very limited. He has to grow up and gain inner strength. His simple beauty cannot be placed on the same footing as the inner beauty of a spiritual Master.

But when a Master is not simple, that does not mean that he is crooked or complicated. No! Only he may not want to act in a very simple way. He may be guarded or cautious or more restricted than a child, but when it is a matter of capacity, he can do millions of things for himself, for God and for earth which a child cannot do. Naturally his capacity, his achievement, his offering to the world is much more striking.

A child's beauty is undeniably appreciated. But when somebody, with his sincerity and aspiration, has achieved something in the inner or the outer world, his beauty's capacity is much more appreciated, much more valued by the world. You may say that the child is offering beauty according to his capacity. A kindergarten student is sharing knowledge with his friends. But if his eldest brother, who has a Ph.D., is also sharing his capacity with others, we have to know who is giving more benefit to the world. How many people are getting benefit from the child's capacity and from the brother's capacity? Undoubtedly, everybody can get some benefit from the eldest brother's capacity. Even the child's friends, who are getting a little joy and a little knowledge from the child, can be taught by the eldest brother. But the little child with his little capacity cannot teach most of the world.

The capacity of beauty differs. Simplicity is the first rung of the spiritual ladder. But if you want to compare the beauty of simplicity with the beauty of another, more evolved type which offers infinitely more light, then naturally you will say that the more evolved beauty is infinitely more significant. The child's beauty is important, but if you need something to use on a world scale, then the capacity of the person who is spiritually and inwardly mature is much more important or, let us say, much more beneficial. The world derives much more benefit from that person's inner beauty.

But a child will not remain a child forever. He will also grow up and get his Master's degree and his Ph.D. He who is a beginner in the spiritual life today will not be a beginner tomorrow. The beauty of his childlike simplicity will grow into a more mature and powerful beauty.