Question: When we change our outer appearance, such as when we get haircuts, does it affect our subtle appearance?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are doing something just to add to your physical beauty so that you can draw the attention of the world and get admiration from the world, then definitely it will have a damaging effect on your inner progress. But if the message has come from within to add to your natural beauty, then it will not affect your progress. It may happen that you have not discovered some additional natural beauty which your heart and soul have already discovered. First the soul tries to give the message to the heart, and then the heart tries to give the message to the physical mind. Then the physical mind will come to know that in a particular way it can develop more natural beauty in the body-not artificial beauty or sophisticated beauty, but real inner beauty. At that time, this added beauty will not act as a barrier or an obstruction to your progress. It is not like the mind telling you to put something on your face so that you will look more beautiful in order to attract others. So if the heart knows that there is a way to increase natural beauty in the physical, then this will never damage your inner life.

But sometimes it becomes unnatural. You think that if you do something to your appearance, then people will see how beautiful you are. Artificial beauty is temporarily needed to satisfy your outer life, but if you live in the world of that unnatural beauty and wear make-up and all that, it will adversely affect your inner progress. So the physical change has to be spontaneous and natural. Otherwise, it is done only by using brain-power, and it is not good.