Dear seekers of divine truth and divine beauty, I wish to give a talk on beauty, from the spiritual point of view.

Beauty is the inner voice of silence. Beauty is the duty of the loving heart. Beauty is the perfection of the aspiring life. Beauty is the message of the illumining soul. Beauty is the Reality-embrace of God.

Beauty is inspiration. Beauty is aspiration. Beauty is realisation. Inspiration runs, runs to the farthest Beyond. Aspiration flies, flies to the highest Beyond. Realisation consciously becomes what it has eternally been in the inner world, in the world of silence. The mind needs illumined inspiration. The heart needs inseparable union which is founded upon aspiration. The soul needs the integration of life and the realised perfection of the entire being. Sincerity is our evolving beauty. Purity is our illumining beauty. Humility is our fulfilling beauty.

Beauty is freedom. We can gain real freedom only by establishing a free access to our inner reality, by consciously and constantly listening to our soul's inner dictates, by being conscious of our highest and most illumined part, which is God.

Beauty is peace. A life of beauty is a life of peace. Peace is not merely the absence of quarrelling and fighting; peace is the manifestation of our inseparable oneness with all. This oneness is not the oneness of the finite with the finite, but the oneness of the finite with the Infinite. When the finite identifies itself with the Infinite, the Beauty of the Infinite transforms the very breath of the finite, and earth's beauty and Heaven's Beauty are joined. Earth's beauty is a soulful cry; Heaven's Beauty is a soulful smile. When earth's cry and Heaven's Smile meet together, beauty's perfection dawns.

Beauty is in unity's multiplicity and multiplicity's unity. When we look at a beautiful flower in its entirety, the flower offers us the beauty of oneness, of multiplicity's unity. When we look at the same flower petal by petal, we see unity's multiplicity offering us its beauty supernal.

When we observe a beautiful flower, we feel that our life should be as beautiful as a flower, because there is someone whom we have to garland with our life's gratitude-beauty. That person is our eternal Beloved, our Lord Supreme. When we look at a burning incense stick, we feel immediately the beauty of purity. The fragrance of the incense purifies our inner existence and transports our aspiring consciousness to a higher plane. When we observe a candle flame, immediately we notice inside us another flame which has been burning from time immemorial, and this inner flame is God's eternal Beauty.

We look at the blazing sun, and immediately the divine warrior in us is surcharged with power divine. This power energises us to fight against ignorance. This power constantly makes us feel that we are the chosen warriors of the Supreme, chosen to fight against teeming ignorance-bondage, chosen to establish divinity's perfection here on earth. We look at the moon, and its beauty immediately inspires us to become divine lovers of God. It is only with our devoted love and unconditional surrender to the supreme Beloved that we can grow into His very Image.

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever." This immortal utterance of Keats can easily be cherished and treasured in the hearts of all sincere seekers. Beauty is a divine expression of the true Reality. Reality and divine beauty are inseparable, like the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. Beauty expressed is divinity manifested in our life of aspiration and realisation.

It is said that physical beauty is skin-deep. But from the spiritual point of view I wish to say that the Divine Father often expresses Himself through beauty in the gross physical, the subtle physical and the vital as well as in the mind, heart and soul. But when we observe beauty in the physical, beauty in the vital, beauty in the mind or beauty in the heart, we have to use our soul's eye — that is to say, our soul's light. If we use our soul's light, we see beauty even in outer ugliness, even in darkness, imperfection and bondage.

A spiritual seeker uses his heart and his soul to see the world within and the world without. He does not use his outer eyes. He has seen time and again that the vision of his outer eyes is limited precisely because this vision is guided by the subtle or unconscious operation of the unlit, unillumined mind. It is simply impossible for the outer eyes to identify themselves with the quintessence of beauty. But if we use the heart, immediately we become part and parcel of the substance and essence of what we are seeing.

Beauty and the duty of the heart must go together. The duty of the heart is to become one with the reality of the outer world and with the reality of the inner world. Those who do not aspire try consciously or unconsciously to separate the outer beauty from the inner beauty. But a sincere seeker has discovered the truth that the outer beauty has a source of its own, and that source is the soul. The soul expresses itself outwardly through beauty. When we embody our divine duty, automatically we express and reveal pure beauty all around us. Duty is our dream-boat. We have been sailing this dream-boat through Eternity. Beauty is the Reality-shore, the shore of Immortality, which we are destined to reach. If we consciously, devotedly and unconditionally please the Inner Pilot, then He accelerates our journey, He leads us, He carries us in His Boat toward the Golden Shore of the Beyond.

A genuine seeker has discovered the secret of secrets: from the inner beauty we have to enter into the outer beauty. The inner beauty will have to go from the soul to the heart, from the heart to the mind, from the mind to the vital and from the vital to the physical. If we know what the source is and where the source is, and if we commence our journey from the source, our journey is safe. We reach the shore, and we are convinced of the reality of our attainment.

An unaspiring human being thinks that his ignorant pleasure-life is the only source of his satisfaction. But for sincere seekers, for true lovers of God, Delight is the source. Beauty is Light and Light is Delight. This Delight is the harmony, peace and satisfaction of the Absolute. We can treasure this divine wealth only when we appreciate, admire and adore the inner beauty. When the inner beauty comes to the fore, the world of darkness will immediately be transformed into the world of luminosity.

When we pray, we offer the beauty of our heart's intensity to the Supreme. When we meditate, we offer the beauty of our inner silence to the Supreme. When we love the outer world, knowing that the outer world is the manifestation and expression of the Supreme, then we offer the beauty of our universal oneness to the Supreme.

When a sincere seeker prays and meditates, he radiates beauty. This beauty comes directly from his inner existence, his soul. All human beings, without exception, are the manifested Beauty of the Supreme; but spiritual aspirants are trying to be the perfectly and consciously manifested Beauty of the Supreme.

In ugliness there is beauty, in imperfection there is beauty, in everything that exists in God's universe there is beauty. Again, beauty has its degrees, and when we become conscious seekers, we aim at the highest beauty, at the perfect perfection of beauty. This beauty looms large in us only when we become conscious and constant divine soldiers of self-giving. When possessiveness leaves us and selflessness takes its place, the beauty of the transcendental Height enters into our life of aspiration. Today what we call self-giving, tomorrow that very thing we call God-becoming, which is beauty unparalleled. Self-giving is the flowering of our love divine. God-becoming is the ultimate blossoming of our dedicated, devoted and unconditional surrender to the Inner Pilot.

MMT 12. McMaster University, Arts Building, Hamilton, Ontario, 24 March 1974

Sri Chinmoy, My Maple Tree, Bhakti Press, 1974