There are only three fundamental questions in life: beauty, truth and good. Perhaps these are the three faces of God, the real trinity. And all are as indefinable as God is. The profoundest minds have been concerned for centuries about these three problems, but no conclusive answer has been found by the thinkers and the philosophers.
The moralist is concerned with what is good, the philosopher is concerned with what is the truth, and the poet is concerned with what is beauty. Not only the poet, but all those people who are creative in some sense - the musicians, the dancers, the sculptors - anybody who is concerned with creation, creativity, is bound to be concerned with beauty... what is it?
Here a poet said... SPEAK TO US OF BEAUTY... not that the poet does not know, but knowing is one thing and saying is another. The question is not arising out of ignorance, neither is it arising out of mere borrowed knowledge. The question is arising from an existential experience. The poet knows in every cell of his being what beauty is, but is unable to bring that experience to expression.
Once a great poet of India, Rabindranath Tagore, was asked after he was given the Nobel prize on one of his collections of poems, "Have you ever been concerned about beauty, about what it is?"
He said, "Concerned? I am possessed! I know what it is. I have tasted the wine and I have been drunk, but every effort to express the taste and the experience of being drunk has failed. All my poems are nothing but failures. Again and again I have been trying to express what beauty is, and again and again I have failed. I will go on trying to the very last breath, but deep down I know perhaps I'm asking for the impossible."
The question is arising from a poet who has seen beauty, who has loved beauty, who has felt its magic touch, who has danced with it, whose days and nights are nothing but a continuous flow of experiencing deeper and deeper realms of beauty. Still, to express it, to define it, seems to be impossible. His question is very authentic and sincere.
Kahlil Gibran tries to answer the poet in the most beautiful way, the most profound way, and comes very close to the definition; yet he has not been able to define it. But he has pointed his finger towards the moon. He may not have reached the moon, but he has indicated the right direction.
Very few people have come so close.
One of the great philosophers of the contemporary world, G.E. Moore, has written a book - PRINCIPIA ETHICA. The whole book, two hundred and fifty pages of very subtle and complex logical argument, is centered on only one question: What is good? And as you read his book, you think perhaps he is going to find it.
He takes great plunges into the depths, flights into the heights, but in the end he sums up by saying that good is indefinable: "I accept my failure. I have done everything that is possible - from every aspect I have approached, on every door I have knocked. The more I have thought about it, the more and more elusive it has become. And in the end, only one thing is certain after this whole exploration - that I should confess the fact that good is indefinable."
He was an honest man. Your so-called religious people are not so honest. They go on defining even God - what to say about good? They go on defining truth, beauty, good... not that their definitions are of help in any way to anybody. They simply show their dishonesty. They use beautiful words, they use very complex arguments; they can deceive millions of people, but they cannot deceive themselves. This poet himself may have tried in thousands of ways, but he is accepting his failure.
It is one of the most mysterious phenomena. Almost everybody knows what beauty is. You say the rose is beautiful... but unless you know what beauty is, how can you say the rose is beautiful? You say the sunset is beautiful, you say the child is beautiful - but how can you use the word "beautiful"
if you don't have any idea what beauty is?
Perhaps everybody knows something - some taste, some glimpse - and the poet, the painter, and the musician know much more, they are drunk with beauty... but don't ask the definition of what it is.
Once Immanuel Kant became very angry when somebody asked him, "What is truth?" He said, "Before I answer you, I will ask a few questions, which you know perfectly well. Have you ever loved?"
The man said, "Yes."
Immanuel Kant asked him, "Then tell me, please, what is love?"
The man said, "I have loved, and I have enjoyed all the pleasures and the blessings of love, but forgive me, I cannot say what love is."
Immanuel Kant said, "Don't feel sad. I myself can't say what is truth, what is love, what is beauty - although I am surrounded by all these experiences continuously. My whole life has been nothing but a search, a seeking, and it is not that I have not found - but I'm afraid to say to anybody that I have found it, because immediately the question will be asked: ???Then define it' - and the definition is missing."
This poet is not asking about something that he does not know. He knows it - that's why he is asking; perhaps Kahlil Gibran may be able to give him some indications about beauty. And Kahlil Gibran begins in a very significant way.
He says, "WHERE SHALL YOU SEEK BEAUTY, AND HOW SHALL YOU FIND HER UNLESS SHE HERSELF BE YOUR WAY AND YOUR GUIDE?"
Beauty is not something out there; it is something in here. Where are you going to seek it? And how shall you find it, unless you have already found it?
In ancient Egyptian parables there is a beautiful statement that you start searching for God only when you have found Him. It looks very strange, but it is very true. You cannot even raise the question, "What is beauty?" if you have not found it. So rather than making it a question, allow beauty itself to become the way and the guide. He is saying that nobody else can take you to that space, to that experience, unless you have already arrived there.
A Zen Master had given to one of his disciples a famous koan. It is a special Zen device to help you get rid of all your thoughts - the device is so absurd that there is no way that you can find the answer.
There are many koans, but this is the most famous: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
Now, it is such obvious nonsense - one hand clapping cannot create sound. Clapping with what?
Sound needs at least two things. Just one hand cannot clap, both hands are needed! And he told the disciple, "Whenever you hear the sound of one hand clapping, come to me."
The disciple tried earnestly. He meditated, and he heard the wind blowing through the pine trees.
He said, "Perhaps this is the sound!" He rushed to the master. Early in the morning he woke the old man and said, "I have heard it."
Before even asking, "What have you heard?" the master slapped him and he said, "Get lost! And start meditating again. I myself will know when you have heard."
The disciple said, "This is strange... I have not even been given the chance to tell you what I have found."
Each time it happened, the master never gave him any chance. Sometimes, in the mango grove the cuckoo started singing, and the disciple thought, "Perhaps..." or a nightingale in the middle of the night... and he would rush... and the master would go on throwing him out.
The disciple used to ask him, "At least give me a chance to say what I have heard!"
The master said, "When you have heard it, I will know before you know it. So just get lost! Start meditating. Find out what the sound of one hand clapping is."
Slowly, slowly, because he was only concerned with one thing, all other thoughts disappeared - they never come uninvited. People say, "We want to get rid of thoughts," but they don't understand the basic point that they don't come uninvited, you are inviting them. One part of your being goes on inviting them, and another part tries to throw them away. You are never going to succeed.
But the disciple's whole being became single-pointed. It was a great challenge that he could not hear a simple thing: the sound of one hand clapping. And as all thoughts disappeared, there was absolute silence - and he knew. But he did not rush to the master.
Almost every day he had been coming with new ideas, and getting slapped every day. That day the master was waiting: "He has not come. Has he heard it?" - because if he has heard it, he need not come to him. There is no need of anybody's recognition of it.
So the master went in search - "Where is that disciple?" In the forest by the side of a lake the disciple was sitting under a tree, so silently that nobody would have even thought that there was anybody present - so absent, so empty. Even when the master came there, he did not take any note of him.
The master went around him - what is the matter? But he didn't say anything. The master sat in front of him, but he went on sitting in his silence. And the master said: "Please - at least slap me!
You have heard it. I know you cannot say so - nobody can say - but slap me! I have been slapping you so much."
There are experiences which remain experiences and never become expressions, and there is no need that they become expressions. But there is a deep longing in the heart of man to share - and it is a great quality, a spiritual phenomenon, the urge to share. The tree shares in its own way by bringing flowers and fruits, the poet shares in his own way by bringing poems, the musician shares in his own way by creating music, but they are all trying to share something which is inexpressible.
Kahlil Gibran is right. He says, "Where are you going to seek it?" It has no address, no residence.
And how are you going to find it? - because you don't know the definition. Even if you come across it, you will not be able to recognize it.
For example, you come across God on the road. Even if He says, "Good morning, sir," you are not going to recognize Him. You may even feel annoyed that a stranger... what does he think of himself?
Why is he disturbing me? I am meditating on God, and this fellow comes here and says, "Good morning, sir!" How are you going to recognize Him, unless you have already known Him?
Recognition means realization has happened before it. It is a very significant statement that unless beauty becomes your way and your guide, you will never find what it is.
So don't be bothered philosophically about what beauty is. Live beautifully, walk on the path of beauty. Watch all around - there is nothing but beauty. From the smallest firefly to the biggest star, it is nothing but beauty. Rather than wasting your time in finding the definition, allow beauty to overwhelm you - be possessed by it. You can become the definition of beauty, but you cannot define it.
If you ask me, "What is beauty?" I will say, "Look into my eyes, it is there - I know it. Listen to my silence - it is there. I have heard it; I have heard its footsteps." I can be the truth, I can be the beauty, I can be the good, but I cannot define them. I am not separate - that's why I cannot define them.
How can the light define itself? Just its presence, and the darkness disappears - is the definition.
Definition is not going to be in words; definition is going to be in your presence... not what you say, but what you are. Be more sensitive.
Our sensitivity has been dulled. Our parents have been afraid, our forefathers have been afraid, because to be sensitive is to walk on a razor's edge. If you are sensitive to beauty, then it cannot be confined only to your wife or only to your husband - the beauty is all over the place. And your parents, everybody's parents, have been afraid.
Your sensitivity had to be dulled, destroyed, so that you would become confined to a small prison; otherwise, it would have been impossible to impose monogamy on humanity. One day you find a woman who suddenly possesses you; you find a man, and suddenly you are overwhelmed - and you forget completely that there is a husband who is waiting for you. Beauty has no awareness of marriages, of husbands, of wives; it knows no limitations.
But society cannot live this way, because society is not yet mature enough to allow absolute freedom.
Only in absolute freedom can your sensitivity be allowed to have its full growth.
Everybody is born with sensitivity, but everybody dies dull. In fact, long before a man's death, he has died. Religions have been teaching people not to be sensitive, because sensitivity cannot be relied upon. It is a breeze - it comes, it goes on its own. You cannot encage it, you cannot imprison it.
That's why people are afraid to walk on the path of beauty, are afraid to be guided by beauty itself.
Beauty is everybody's birthright. It is not a special talent, that only a few people can understand beauty; it is an inborn quality in everybody, but remains dormant, is not allowed freedom. Slowly, slowly you completely forget about it, and then all kinds of philosophical questions arise - what is beauty? What is the meaning of beauty?
Picasso was painting on a beach. A man who was a gardener and who used to sell roses on the beach where lovers come, friends come, was watching Picasso painting, but he could not figure out the meaning of his painting. As Picasso finished giving the last touches to the painting he was looking at it, amazed, as if he had not created it, as if it were somebody else's painting.
A real painter always feels it, a real poet always feels it: he has been only a vehicle - some unknown force has painted it.
The gardener came close to him and asked, "I have been watching you painting. You were so absorbed, so totally in it, that I was afraid to disturb you. Now that you have completed it, I cannot resist my temptation to ask, ???What is the meaning of this painting?'" And he had many, many roses in his hands.
Picasso said, "You ask me what the meaning of the painting is. Can I ask you - what is the meaning of the roses? I have seen you selling roses on the beach every day; I was also tempted to ask you.
You are a gardener, a lover of flowers. I have seen many, many roses, but the roses that you bring are so beautiful, so big, so fragrant, so youthful, so fresh. You must know their beauty."
The gardener had tears in his eyes. He said, "Don't ask that, because I have been asking it my whole life. I know it - but as far as saying something about it, I become absolutely dumb."
Picasso said, "The same is my situation. I have been painting. As far as any outsider is concerned, I am the painter. But as far as I am concerned, I don't know who has painted it; I have been just instrumental. And I don't know what its meaning is, because I am not the painter. You have grown these roses, but you have not given birth to them. They come from an unknown source of existence and life."
Perhaps it is enough to enjoy them and not to ask the meaning. Those who have asked the meaning are lost; they will never find the meaning. And while they are searching for the meaning, life is slipping by. They will not find meaning. They will only find death.
What Kahlil Gibran is saying is exactly the same: Let beauty be your life. Let beauty be in your every expression, in your hands, in your eyes, in your silences, in your love. Live beauty in as many dimensions as possible, and let beauty be the guide, and one day you will know what it is. But I cannot promise that you will be able to define it.
AND HOW SHALL YOU SPEAK OF HER EXCEPT SHE BE THE WEAVER OF YOUR SPEECH?
You cannot speak about beauty unless you are so possessed by beauty that it starts overflowing even in your words; still you will not find the definition. And your hands, your eyes, your words, your silences will not be understood by all; they will be understood only by those who have already tasted something of the same mystery, of the same wine.
Between a master and a disciple, slowly, slowly that kind of relatedness starts existing. The master may say something, may not say something, but the disciple feels it, hears it... perhaps hearts start whispering to each other, and language is no longer needed.
THE AGGRIEVED AND THE INJURED SAY, "BEAUTY IS KIND AND GENTLE."
You will find many definitions, of course, but all those definitions are not about beauty; they are about the person who is defining beauty. They show his need, they don't show anything of beauty. They don't show anything about beauty; they say something about the definer, about the thinker, about the philosopher.
The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle...." Naturally, that is their need; that's what they want beauty to be. In their unconsciousness they are projecting their need in the name of beauty. What is your God except your need? Just look at the different conceptions of God that have come to us from different religions; they seem to show different needs. They don't define God, they only give an indication of what kind of people must have invented these gods.
In the Old Testament the Jewish God says, "I am not nice, I am a very jealous God. I'm not your uncle." The Jews have suffered so much, they could not conceive that God is compassion, that God is love, that God is just. It is impossible for the Jews to conceive that God is nice. They can only conceive of a god who is very jealous, very angry, never forgiving, because their whole experience for thousands of years has been only of misery. If God is love, then from where comes this misery?
No other race, no other part of humanity, has suffered so much. If you say to the Jews that God is love, God is good, it is difficult for the Jew to accept the idea - because God has not been good to the Jews, existence has been very cruel, unkind. Their whole experience is different. Their definition of God - what they are putting in the mouth of God in the Old Testament - has nothing to do with God; it has something to do with the Jewish experience.
The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle"... they are hoping that they will not remain always in pain. The spring will come with all the flowers, and the pain and injuries and the wounds will become faded memories soon... this is their desire. They are not defining beauty, they are defining their hope.
"LIKE A YOUNG MOTHER HALF-SHY OF HER OWN GLORY SHE WALKS AMONG US."
The injured and the aggrieved say..."like a young mother, half-shy of her own glory she walks among us." It is not far away... because life is so intolerable that if beauty also is far away then how is one going to tolerate the suffering, the injury, the pain of the present? Beauty is just walking amongst us, invisible, half-shy like a young mother; it is not far away... it is the dream of the grieved and the injured.
If you are thirsty in the night you will have a dream that you are sitting on a beautiful lake with crystal clear water, and you are drinking. This dream is nothing but a protection; otherwise your sleep will be disturbed.
In the past people used to think that dreams were disturbances in sleep. That's not true. The latest experiments about dreams and sleep say something totally different - not only different, but diametrically opposite. They say dreams are not against sleep. They are not disturbances, they are efforts to protect the sleep. You are feeling hungry; if the dream does not protect you, you will wake up, the hunger will not let you go on sleeping. But a dream comes that you are invited by the king to have dinner with him. Now you can sleep at ease; you can forget all about the hunger. The body will be hungry, but the mind is consoled by the dream.
AND THE PASSIONATE SAY, "NAY, BEAUTY IS A THING OF MIGHT AND DREAD."
Those who are full of passion, for them beauty is a question of might and dread. Just because they are powerful they think beauty can be reduced to a commodity. All that you need is power, all that you need is money, all that you need is might. And might is always right - at least to those who are blinded by power. To them, beauty is something that you have to take away with power and force. It is not something to be contemplated; it is something to be used. And we have amongst us different kinds of power.
In India just a hundred years ago it was a custom, particularly in the south, that whenever somebody was married, the first night was not of the husband, the first night was of the priest. And man is so cunning that he can manage to find explanations for everything - it was for the priest, so that he could make the beginning sacred. But in fact the priest was powerful.
Only the king's wife was not.... It is strange that poor people's wives were being made sacred and the king's wife was not being made sacred. Because he was mightier than the priest, he was an exception. Anybody could see the cunningness of the logic. If it was true that the priest was going to make the life of the new couple sacred by making love to the virgin girl, if the argument was not just a rationalization, then the king could not be an exception.
But it was not a truth, it was not a question of making the life of the new couple sacred; it was simply a question of might. The priest was powerful. And the king in his own right.... Any beautiful woman in the kingdom first has to be offered to the king. If he was not interested, that was another matter; otherwise, she would join his vast harem.
Krishna had sixteen thousand wives. Any beautiful woman anywhere - whether young, whether virgin, whether married, whether a mother of small children, did not matter - his soldiers would bring her to his palace, which was nothing but an imprisonment. And having sixteen thousand women is so ugly, so inhuman - you are reducing womankind to cattle!
But still the man was so mighty that the priest went on praising him with songs in his glory, saying that he is the full incarnation of God. There have been other gods - they were partial incarnations; a part of God descended on earth in them. But in Krishna, God has descended in his totality. The priests were not praising God, they were praising might, power. Whoever has power, then whatever he is doing is right. All these sixteen thousand women were not married to him; only one woman was married to him, and she was lost in the crowd.
I used to have meditation camps in a beautiful place in Saurashtra. It is a beautiful valley surrounded with forests and hot springs of water. The valley was named Tulsishyam. Shyam is another name of Krishna because his color was not white nor black, but just in between, a little bluish.
Shyam means a darkness, but not black, not white - just in the middle. That color also has its beauty. Because white has a flatness, white coloring cannot be so beautiful; it has no depth. And also black - it is too black, again flatness. Just in the middle the skin seems to be transparent, has a depth. Hence all Hindu gods have the same color, shyam.
But I was puzzled, because Krishna's wife's name was Rukmani, and the temple in the valley is of Krishna and one of his girlfriends, Tulsi. It is a strange temple. In the whole of India.... I have been traveling all over the country, and it is a strange temple. Just on the hill far away, behind a big tree, is a small temple of Rukmani, who is just watching from there what is happening in the valley - just the ordinary feminine mind. But Krishna is dancing with his flute with a girlfriend! And the married wife is alone, far away, hiding. You cannot see from the valley the temple of Rukmani, but from the temple of Rukmani you can see the valley!
Power has its own definition: it is might and dread. Beauty is a thing that has to be taken away, and you have to create fear with your power.
Just today I was seeing a press-cutting. In one of the places in North India two dozen police officers entered into a poor village of untouchables - the poorest of the poor, the sudras, and they raped the women of those poor people, particularly one young girl. They dragged her on the road, raped her, and created such fear in the poor people with their guns. Nearby villages heard screams, shouting, strange noises, so people gathered from the other villages.
Seeing that other people were coming, the police officers escaped, but a few of them forgot to take their guns with them. You cannot make love to a woman with a gun, so they must have put the guns aside. Reaching their police station they thought that those guns would become a proof, so in the middle of the night they came again and started beating the poor people - whose women, whose daughters were raped - to create dread that they should not report it, and they should not talk about it. Thirty families became so afraid that they escaped from the village.
Now these thirty families are wandering without any roof in the streets of the surrounding cities with their small children, old mother, old father, a raped woman, a raped girl. And the whole country is silent. Nobody has condemned it. And I don't think that any action is going to be taken against those police officers, because this is not an exceptional case!
It has been happening for centuries - they rape their women, they burn their whole villages, and no action is ever taken against them. On the contrary, they are promoted because they are mighty people. Who cares about the poor and the weak? Who cares about the downtrodden and the oppressed?
So each definition will show you something of the mind of the definer.
AND THE PASSIONATE SAY, "NAY, BEAUTY IS A THING OF MIGHT AND DREAD.
LIKE THE TEMPEST SHE SHAKES THE EARTH BENEATH US AND THE SKY ABOVE US."
What you say about beauty is not about beauty, it is about you. What you say about God is not about God, it is about you and your psychology. So beware of the net - don't be caught in it. Watch what you say and why you say it, and you will find the causes inside you. Your observation is not objective, your observation is subjective.
THE TIRED AND THE WEARY SAY, "BEAUTY IS OF SOFT WHISPERINGS. SHE SPEAKS IN OUR SPIRIT."
The tired and the weary - to them beauty only whispers. She speaks only deep in their spirit. They are not passionate, they are not young, they are not powerful; their definition has changed.
It happened that in the great temple of Calcutta of the mother-goddess Kali.... That is one of the ugliest things still in existence; there used to be many temples of that type. Every day animals are killed and the worshipers are given their blood and their meat as prasad, as a gift of God. Because they have been sacrificed to the mother-goddess, their blood and their meat have become sacred and holy.
One man was always very interested in every holiday, and in India there are perhaps more holidays than everywhere else in the world. When I was a teacher in the university I once counted and found that seven months out of twelve are holidays! And of the remaining five months, one month you can take leave. There remain only four months. There are so many gods, and each god needs a holiday.
There are so many religions and every religion needs its holidays.
This man was always bringing to Ramakrishna - he was a devotee of Ramakrishna - prasad, the gift of god from the temple of Kali. But suddenly, one day he stopped bringing the prasad. He used to take the animals to be killed there - he was a rich man. He stopped that.
Ramakrishna asked, "What has happened? So many holidays have passed and you have not taken any animal to mother-goddess Kali as sacrifice. Have you changed your religion?"
He said, "At least to you, I cannot lie. The fact is that I have lost my teeth, and I cannot eat meat."
The mother-goddess and the sacrifice were simply an excuse. Now, because he has lost his teeth and has become old and cannot eat meat and cannot digest meat, all that old philosophy is forgotten.
All those explanations were not real explanations, they were rationalizations.
So be aware where you are rationalizing. Never rationalize! Otherwise you will never find your true being; you will be lost in the jungle of lies.
"HER VOICE YIELDS TO OUR SILENCES LIKE A FAINT LIGHT THAT QUIVERS IN FEAR OF THE SHADOW."
It is from the tired and the weary. Beauty is not possessive, it is no longer a strong force that attracts like a magnet. It has become a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow.
BUT THE RESTLESS SAY, "WE HAVE HEARD HER SHOUTING AMONG THE MOUNTAINS, "AND WITH HER CRIES CAME THE SOUND OF HOOFS, AND THE BEATING OF WINGS AND THE ROARING OF LIONS."
The restless are always having nightmares; even their sleep is not a rest. Their day is restless, their night is restless, their whole life is unacquainted with relaxed experience. To them, beauty is something like shouting amongst the mountains.
"AND WITH HER CRIES CAME THE SOUND OF HOOFS...
as if it is a warfield...and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions." Strange definitions, you will think, but if you look around and ask different people their definition of beauty, you will find as many definitions as there are people.
AT NIGHT THE WATCHMEN OF THE CITY SAY, "BEAUTY SHALL RISE WITH THE DAWN FROM THE EAST."
He is waiting for the morning. A night watchman - to him beauty looks like the end of the night and the beginning of the day.
AND AT NOONTIDE THE TOILER AND THE WAYFARERS SAY, "WE HAVE SEEN HER LEANING OVER THE EARTH FROM THE WINDOWS OF THE SUNSET."
Tired, working the whole day, they are looking again and again to see when the sun sets. To them beauty is a sunset, so they can go back home and rest and sleep.
IN WINTER SAY THE SNOW-BOUND, "SHE SHALL COME WITH THE SPRING LEAPING UPON THE HILLS."
They are projecting their desires. When there is snow and it is too cold, they are waiting for the spring to come, leaping upon the hills.
AND IN THE SUMMER HEAT THE REAPERS SAY, "WE HAVE SEEN HER DANCING WITH THE AUTUMN LEAVES, AND WE SAW A DRIFT OF SNOW IN HER HAIR."
Kahlil Gibran is giving expression to different angles of different needs, of different hopes, of different consolations.
ALL THESE THINGS HAVE YOU SAID OF BEAUTY, YET IN TRUTH YOU SPOKE NOT OF HER BUT OF NEEDS UNSATISFIED, AND BEAUTY IS NOT A NEED BUT AN ECSTASY.
In this statement he comes very close to the definition of beauty - as objectively, as humanly as is possible. Beauty is not a need, it is an ecstasy.
It is not there outside you, it is deep in your being when you are overflowing with the dance of life, when you are so blessed that you can bless the whole existence. You can shower your blessings all over existence. In that moment, everything becomes beautiful, because everything is beautiful. Just as everything is good, everything is beautiful and everything is truth.
All that we know is how not to look through the eyes of need, not to look as a beggar, but to look from the highest peak of your consciousness - that's what he means by ecstasy. Then the whole existence becomes an ocean of beauty. And it is not a question of your need, because the needful cannot see the truth. Only the fulfilled, the contented, only one who has come to his innermost treasures and is no more a beggar but is crowned, is an emperor - only he can see what beauty is.
Ecstasy opens your eyes to the phenomenon of beauty.
IT IS NOT A MOUTH THIRSTING NOR AN EMPTY HAND STRETCHED FORTH, BUT RATHER A HEART INFLAMED AND A SOUL ENCHANTED.
A heart inflamed and a soul enchanted....
IT IS NOT THE IMAGE YOU WOULD SEE NOR THE SONG YOU WOULD HEAR, BUT RATHER AN IMAGE YOU SEE THOUGH YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES AND A SONG YOU HEAR THOUGH YOU SHUT YOUR EARS.
It is not something outside. It is not something that you see from your eyes or you hear from your ears or you touch with your hands - it is something that... when you are sitting in deep silence with closed eyes, with closed ears, as if your whole body has disappeared, only pure consciousness has remained. In that purity, in that innocence, in that ecstasy is beauty.
IT IS NOT THE SAP WITHIN THE FURROWED BARK, NOR A WING ATTACHED TO A CLAW, BUT RATHER A GARDEN FOR EVER IN BLOOM AND A FLOCK OF ANGELS FOR EVER IN FLIGHT.
It is not something that goes on changing. That which goes on changing is only a reflection. The moon remains the same, but the reflection in the lake goes on changing - just a little pebble thrown in and the reflection is shattered into thousands of pieces.
Once in a while you see beauty in a face, but soon the face will become old and the beauty will disappear - this was only a reflection. In a flower, in a beautiful woman, in a beautiful man, in a child, in the high mountains, in the silent forests - these are all reflections which will change. But that which is reflected is hiding within you; it never changes. It is a dance of eternity forever and forever.
PEOPLE OF ORPHALESE, BEAUTY IS LIFE WHEN LIFE UNVEILS HER HOLY FACE.
Everybody is living with a mask. Nobody is making an effort to find his original face. The mask is cheap, no effort is needed. When it becomes old you can change it; it is available in the marketplace.
But your original face needs a tremendous search, an arduous effort to go within yourself, destroying all barriers that the society has created and reaching to the point which has not been created by the society but has been given to you as a gift by existence itself, which you have brought from your very birth and which you will take even when the body dies.
In that pure and immortal space within you is beauty, is your original reality.
Once you have known it, you live a possessed life, you live aflame. You don't live the way the masses live. You start living like a god. You become a holy shrine.
... BEAUTY IS LIFE WHEN LIFE UNVEILS HER HOLY FACE.
BUT YOU ARE LIFE AND YOU ARE THE VEIL.
Nobody is hindering you - you can reach to your original face this very moment. But perhaps you have investments with your mask, perhaps you have become too attached to your false face, perhaps you are afraid whether there is any original face behind it, or only a skeleton. And it is better to have a false face than not to have any face at all... these are the fears that are preventing you.
Otherwise...you are life and you are the veil.
BEAUTY IS ETERNITY GAZING AT ITSELF IN A MIRROR.
BUT YOU ARE ETERNITY AND YOU ARE THE MIRROR.
Kahlil Gibran is trying to say to the poet, "Don't look outside for beauty. Outside you can find beautiful things, but not beauty." And those beautiful things are beautiful only because your inner beauty is reflected in them; that's why people differ in their opinions.
There are millions of people who will not stop for a single moment to see a beautiful sunset - they don't see anything in it. There are only a few people who will see a beautiful experience in a sunset, but that beauty is really a reflection - the sunset is not more than a mirror. And if you are silently gazing at the sunset, without any disturbance from the thoughts continuously passing and disturbing the image, the sunset is beautiful... some woman is beautiful, some man is beautiful.
Have you observed the fact that the same woman who is beautiful today may not look beautiful tomorrow, or may even become a pain in the neck? Today you are dying to get her, and tomorrow you will be dying to get rid of her! Strange... what happened to the beauty?
The beauty is within you. And when you are allowing the woman freedom to be herself, or the man the freedom to be himself, they function like a mirror. The moment you start saying, "You should be like this, you should be like that," you are not allowing the woman or the man to be a mirror, you are starting to make them into a film of a camera.
A mirror is always empty; that's why it can go on reflecting continuously for eternity. The film is finished in only one reflection because it clings to the reflection. It is not a mirror.
If we allow our relationships with people with this great understanding that the allowing should be...
that the other should be allowed total freedom to remain whatever she is or he is, perhaps every moment more and more beauty may be revealed.
When people are not possessive of each other they feel the beauty. The moment they are married things start becoming difficult, because now possession comes in. And you always see what you want to see. When the woman was not available to you, it was a challenge - and the greater the challenge, the more beautiful she was. But once she is chained the challenge is lost, the beauty disappears. The greatest lovers are those who never meet. Meeting is a tragedy.
I have heard about one psychoanalyst who was visiting a madhouse. The superintendent was showing him around. One man was just crying and weeping tears and tears, and he was holding a picture on his chest. The psychoanalyst asked, "What has happened to this man? - because I know, I remember, he used to be a professor in the university."
The superintendent said, "He is a very nice fellow. But do you see the picture he is holding? That is the picture of the woman he wanted to get and could not get. So he has gone mad."
The psychoanalyst felt very sad. In the next room, another man was trying to hit his head against the wall, and two persons were holding him back.
The psychoanalyst asked, "What has happened to him?"
The superintendent said, "Nothing happened to him, he got married to the same woman."
The one who could not get her still thinks he has missed an opportunity of being in love with a beautiful person. The one who got the opportunity is trying to kill himself - but nobody allows him to kill himself. He has become so much of a nuisance in the house that his family has put him into the madhouse to be taken care of, because with anything he finds, he starts making an effort to kill himself; he is so tortured by the same beautiful woman.
It seems that in life whatever looks beautiful to you is only beautiful because it is not yours - the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. It is not the fact, because the same is the problem with the neighbor - when he sees your lawn, the grass is greener. It is a mirage that distance creates.
But this is not the true experience of beauty. Only a man like Gautam Buddha can experience beauty, because he has no need and he does not want to possess.
Just here one beautiful Japanese girl is present with her mother. The girl is in many ways exceptional. She used to come to the commune in America, and there she became a sannyasin.
And naturally, the people who become sannyasins have fallen in love with me.
When she went home and she told her mother that she had fallen in love with a man, the mother - who had no experience of her own of ever being a disciple - could not understand. She understood only one kind of love - that which exists between a man and a woman. And naturally, she started torturing her, to such a point that the girl stopped eating, stopped moving out of the house, was sitting in her room. Her mala was taken away. She has one of my pictures; she was keeping it in the room and meditating. But the mother was puzzled. She wanted her to get married, but the girl said that marriage is not for her.
Seeing that she would die the way she was going - never going out of the room, continuously sitting in meditation with my picture - the mother has brought her here. And the moment she came here she became perfectly okay - she is eating and she is coming to every lecture, to the meditations.
The mother has sent a message to me: "I want to see you." So I inquired, "What is the problem?"
She said, "The problem is that my girl has fallen in love with you. And it is not the love you talk about, it is the love that exists between a man and a woman."
I said, "Tomorrow you both come to me. You have misunderstood the poor girl, you are killing her.
And if she is refusing to get married, it is not that she wants to get married to me." That is the conclusion of the mother.
It is simply that the girl has found a far higher love. Marriage cannot afford that. Marriage is a bondage, an imprisonment. It destroys all beauty, all love, all tenderness.
To be in love and to be totally free... humanity has not yet come to that stage. But my people, at least, I hope should understand it. That girl certainly understands it. But the mother has only one experience; she projects her experience. So I'm going to see them and make every effort that the mother also falls in love with me!