Question: If we feel a necessity for beauty in our physical surroundings, is it a form of attachment to the physical?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not actually a form of attachment, although it may lead to attachment. We have to know why we want that beauty: whether it is to satisfy our pleasure-sense or to increase our inspiration and aspiration. Some people have flowers all around their house; they have beautiful gardens and most beautiful furniture. But if they are decorating their homes and their surroundings just to satisfy their life of pleasure, then it is certainly a form of attachment. But if they want to increase their inspiration and aspiration by seeing beauty all around them, there is nothing wrong in this. When a seeker sees a flower, if his inspiration and aspiration increase, if he says, "Oh, how I wish to be as beautiful, as pure as a flower," that is good. When he sees a tree, if he says, "How I wish I could have patience like the tree; how I wish I could bear fruit and offer it unconditionally to the world at large," that is very good. If we have beauty around us to inspire us so that we can be as beautiful, as good, as pure, as divine as the things that we are appreciating and admiring, then it is not attachment. But if we have things all around us just to gratify our senses, then it is nothing else but attachment.