The road from beauty to reality can be seen only by purity

Some people ask, “When God has created the beauty of this world, why do scriptures decry it as illusion?”

Firstly, scriptures don’t decry beauty itself as illusion. It is one of the six opulences of Krishna, the topmost reality. So beauty has an integral, even central, existence in the highest reality.

Secondly, scriptures don’t dismiss even worldly beauty as illusion; the Bhagavad-gita (10.41) indicates that it manifests a spark of Krishna’s splendor. So, worldly beauty is not just created by Krishna, but it also reflects his beauty. Thus worldly beauty can, in principle, remind us of him.

However, in practice, worldly beauty usually captivates us so totally that we rarely see its connection with Krishna. In fact, the spell of worldly beauty is one of the commonest causes of forgetting him. That’s why scriptures warn that beauty is a cause of our illusion – not that beauty is an illusion in and of itself.

Worldly beauty deludes us as long as our hearts are impure. The impurity of lust makes us imagine worldly beauty to be a source of immense pleasure, whereas actually it can offer only fleeting pleasure at best. Why? Because it is temporary and because it manifests just a spark of Krishna’s beauty.

We can best purify our heart by bhakti-yoga centered on sustained remembrance of Krishna. Only when our heart becomes more attached to him than to worldly beauty can it remind us of him.

If we follow other yogas that do not have any conception of a supremely beautiful God, then worldly beauty can never be connected with reality; it is forever seen negatively, as something to be dreaded and avoided.

Thus the path from worldly beauty to the supreme reality of Krishna can be seen only by the purity of our devotion.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 Text 41


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1 Comment

  1. Wonderful article.
    “scriptures warn that beauty is a cause of our illusion- not that beauty is an illusion in and of itself”
    Taught me to see the connection with Krishna in everything.
    Thank you very much for sharing.

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