Question: Does Beauty come from Light or Peace?

Sri Chinmoy: Beauty comes from both Light and Peace. When it comes from Light, it carries the seeker high, higher, highest to the transcendental plane of Consciousness. When it comes from Peace, it spreads and spreads and enters into the universal Consciousness. When beauty comes from Light it goes upward, and when it comes from Peace it spreads outward.

Question: Are there hints in the world around us of higher forms of beauty?

Sri Chinmoy: Higher forms of beauty are always trying to express their essence and substance through material things, through nature, through incidents or experiences in life, through ideas and ideals. It is often the expression or revelation of the higher beauty that we experience in life. When we look at a child, the beauty that we see is only an expression of the higher beauty that is embodied in him. When we see a flower, the flower represents the beauty of a higher world embodied and expressed. Whenever we see beauty on earth, we have to know that it is always the expression of some higher beauty. When we see a person who is beautiful, we have to know that his beauty is not skin deep. It is through the physical that the Divine is expressing its reality. So beauty in the physical world is always an expression of some higher beauty. But we may not utilise this beauty divinely. A flower is beautiful, but we may just grab the flower and tear it to pieces. What we have to do is learn to see and use this earthly beauty in a divine way.

Question: What kind of consciousness does one have when one sees beauty in everything?

Sri Chinmoy: When one sees beauty in everything, it is an aspiring consciousness, evolving consciousness, illumining consciousness, fulfilling consciousness, divine consciousness. It means that one has come out of the gross physical consciousness. Actually, reality is nothing but beauty in oneness, beauty of oneness and beauty for oneness. When one has that kind of experience, it means that one has transcended the boundaries of the physical, which is limited right now, and entered into a higher reality. When the boundaries of the physical have been transcended, only then does one have the experience of beauty in everything.

Question: Do children see more beauty than grown-ups do?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, children always see more beauty than grown-ups do. Because of their tremendous inner purity they see beauty in everything. Even in ink they see beauty; even in darkness they see beauty and light. When they see beauty in everything, we have to appreciate and admire them because they are still in the world of the soul. Because children remain more in the heart and the soul than adults do, they see more beauty. When the mind is developed, this undivine mind immediately tries to see impurity even in light, even in wisdom, even in something progressive. The human mind gets satisfaction by seeing ugliness and impurity even in things that are really beautiful and good. If an artist has created something, the mind immediately tries to find some error in it. But a child does not use the mind. He takes everything as his very own, so he sees beauty in everyone and in everything. He feels that there is nothing which is absolutely undivine, and this is perfectly true. There is nothing absolutely undivine, but some things have more light in comparison with other things. In the inner world everything is beautiful; but again, there can be a comparison made.

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.

Question: Guru, what is the main purpose of beauty in the creation?

Sri Chinmoy: The Creator Himself is all Beauty. Because the Creator is all Beauty, He wants His creation also to be beautiful. Whatever comes out of Him is an expression of His own Dream and His own Reality, so naturally He wants everything to be all Beauty like He is. When the father is a musician, he wishes his son to be a musician. If he is good, he wants his children to be good. Here the Father, God, is all Beauty, so He wants to see beauty all around Him. What He is within, He wants to see without. Like that, the Source always wants its creation to be like itself.

Question: When we see spiritual beauty, what are the predominant feelings that we will have?

Sri Chinmoy: There can be quite a variety of feelings, but the main feeling will be that you want to embrace the whole world as your very own. You will feel that you are not only embracing the world, but also becoming the world itself. And then you will feel that there is nothing dark either within you or around you. Right now you see darkness all around you and if you are sincere with yourself, you will see darkness inside you as well. But when you have seen real spiritual beauty, you will immediately see that inside you is a flood of beauty and outside it is only a reflection of what is within.

Question: How can a seeker increase his inner beauty?

Sri Chinmoy: A seeker must feel that he is all duty. This duty is not enforced duty; this duty is a God-ordained necessity. A seeker can increase his beauty only by increasing his duty to the Inner Pilot. The more you take your life as a life of divine, supreme duty to the Supreme, the more your body, vital, mind, heart and soul will spread beauty. By increasing your sense of inner and outer duty to the Supreme, you increase your inner and outer beauty as well as the beauty in the world around you. And all these forms of beauty are noticeable and manifested.

Question: How can you see the inner beauty of something you want to paint or draw, and bring it out?

Sri Chinmoy: When you are going to paint or draw something, first meditate for at least five minutes and try to see the essence of the thing you want to paint. Feel that there is a seed inside you, and then try to feel the seed germinating and growing into a plant. Then feel that this tiny plant is growing into a huge tree and this tree is your painting. First see the essence and then see the total substance. First make your creation as small as possible, then make it as vast as possible. Try to see the microcosm and the macrocosm together. Then try to see a bridge between the two, connecting the smallest and the largest, or try to connect them with your aspiration. As soon as you see the connection, you are bound to see the beauty from its origin to its culmination in your painting.

First see life in your creation, then see light in your creation. Or you can do it the other way. First you can see light in your creation, then you can see life in your creation. While you are imagining the seed, try to feel at that time that you are meditating on light; and when you are seeing the tree, feel that you are meditating on life. Or do it the other way. When you take the tree, the culmination, as life or light, or the seed within you as life or light, automatically you will bring forward beauty in your painting. That is because, before it has come into the physical world, in the inner world you have already given life and light to it. When you give life or light to something that you are going to create, you are bound to see beauty in it.

Question: How can I make my music full of supreme beauty?

Sri Chinmoy: You can make your music full of supreme beauty if you can remember constantly that your music is only an extension of your inner consciousness and that it is also an expression of the divine within that is crying for manifestation. If you can accept or feel or be aware of the divine within you, then you can bring to your music, through the expression of your life's reality, the supreme beauty. But always feel that the divine within you has accepted music as an expression of its reality for your own perfection in life.

Question: How can we bring beauty into our physical mind?

Sri Chinmoy: It is useless to try to bring beauty into the physical mind unless the mind has been transformed by the inner light — the heart's light or the soul's light. If you do, it will be like throwing something valuable into the garbage pail. The physical mind is like a garbage can. What is the use of bringing beauty into something that is overwhelmingly ugly and impure in every sense of the term? What you should do first is try to purify the mind. Beauty is purity; beauty and purity go together. When the mind is very pure, it is also beautiful. Then nothing ugly or undivine will dare to enter there. First purify the physical mind as much as you can. Once you have cleaned it thoroughly, then you will be able to bring the divine beauty into it through your inner cry. Once the mind is purified and illumined, the thing that you want to put there will automatically come from above.

Any abode will be occupied by tenants of its own standard. If it is a good place, good people will go there. If it is a temple, spiritual seekers will go there. If it is a bad place, bad people will go there. So when you purify the physical mind, automatically beauty will enter there.

When you want to preserve something in the material world, you have to keep it in a vessel that is pure. If you have something pure and divine — say a material object — you are not going to put it in an undivine, ugly place; you will put it somewhere that is also beautiful and pure. If you have a flower, you will place it on your shrine and not inside the refrigerator or in the closet. Similarly, if you want to keep beauty in your physical mind, you have to make your mind very pure and divine.

Question: How can one describe to a small child spiritual feelings which tend to be abstract, as opposed to beauty which a child can receive with the senses?

Sri Chinmoy: For us, something like prayer is not abstract. We fold our hands and cry inwardly to someone who is above or within us. If you want to explain prayer to a young child, do not try to convince him only with the physical. Tell him that prayer is something totally different than just folding his hands and looking up. Tell him that prayer is something that we do inside, but if we want to see or feel it, then we have to fold our hands. You can tell a child that prayer is something which he will feel when he folds his hands and talks to God. Then, when he folds his hands and feels something within — whether it is awe or love or sweetness or softness — then for him prayer will no longer be abstract. It will be a reality.

For meditation he has to sit calmly and quietly. When he sits like that, immediately he will begin to feel that he is meditating. This concrete action will take him into something which is abstract. You can teach a child through outer action, but do not neglect to emphasise the inner feeling. When he starts feeling joy, peace and love, gradually he becomes that joy, that peace, that love and all that he is feeling. When he feels something, how can it remain abstract? Now he feels that his body is his own. His body is not abstract because he is identified with his body. Whatever he is identified with he claims as his own. If he identifies himself with prayer or meditation, he feels peace, joy, love and so on. And once he feels these things, he gives form to them and they no longer remain abstract. Through outer action, make your child aware of something within him. In the beginning that thing will be abstract, but afterwards it will not be abstract.

Question: Are some souls more beautiful than others?

Sri Chinmoy: Those souls that have manifested more than other souls are more beautiful than the other souls. Every soul has light, but how many souls are manifesting it? If they are manifesting, they are more beautiful than if they are not. We appreciate something in somebody else which is worth achieving or worth becoming. So some souls are more beautiful because they have manifested more or are manifesting more than other souls. Naturally they will be more beautiful to humanity and Mother Earth, because they are offering something divine to humanity.

When a flower is fully blossomed we appreciate it. When it is only a tiny bud we can't appreciate it as much. When somebody is just learning something, his wisdom won't be appreciated as much as the wisdom of someone who already knows quite a lot. The more light you manifest, the more your beauty is appreciated. And this appreciation is nothing but a further manifestation of beauty.

Again, some souls care more for light, some souls care more for power and some care more for peace. The souls that care for light and delight will be more beautiful, because they are trying to spread beauty in its chosen forms.

There are some souls that want to manifest power or peace or some other quality. In these souls we will not be immediately struck by a sense of beauty. They do have tremendous beauty in their highest manifestation, but it is not seen as easily as their more predominant, or you can say more manifested, qualities are seen. Peace and power are also beauty. But when we see light in something, most often we feel that that is beauty. When we see a flower we will say the flower is beautiful. Or we will often feel that a child is beautiful. But if we see a huge tree or the vast ocean, immediately we will say it is big or vast or majestic; the word “beauty” does not come to our minds. When we think of the flowers and fruits, we may say the tree is beautiful; but we do not appreciate the beauty of the tree as such. Like that, when we see light or delight in something, immediately we say it is beautiful.

Question: Is there a connection between love and beauty?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes! Divine love and divine beauty are inseparable. Love is the flower, beauty is the fragrance. They go together. A flower is an object, a creation of God. But the flower has to offer its quality, that is its fragrance. Only when you come near a flower will you see and appreciate its beauty. But even when you are far away, its fragrance can permeate the air. If a flower does not have any fragrance, half its divinity is gone. Beauty comes forth from the flower which is love. Flower and fragrance are inseparably one.