Chapter Twenty
The Finest Conception
When you are conscious, you want to eat something, you want to feel something, you want to do something, you want to enjoy something. You want a life in which everything is palatable and beautiful. In your room you choose your lights, your windows, different kinds of decorations, and so on. You make everything the way you like it. Your very nature shows that you want a beautiful life.
Where does beauty exist? How can we find beauty? There is a nice story in the Purāṇas about Mother Lakṣmī Devī’s owl-carrier which explains this. Once, Mother Lakṣmī Devī tested her owl by giving her a garland of pearls and saying, “Give this garland to whomever you think is most beautiful. Go out and search. When you find someone who appears most beautiful to you, give them this garland.”
The owl went out and searched all over the whole world for anyone, any animal, human or thing, who had completely attractive beauty. Everywhere she went, she could always find some deficiency. She saw so many persons who were beautiful but she could always find some deficiency in them. Finally she became thirsty and returned to her home. When she saw her child, she immediately felt, “Oh! So beautiful!” and gave the pearl garland to her child. Later Mother Lakṣmī Devī asked, “What happened in your search?” The owl replied, “I went around the whole world but I did not see anyone who was perfectly beautiful. Finally I became thirsty and went to my house. There I saw that my own child was so beautiful! I gave the garland to her.”
Vision of love
So, where is beauty? Beauty is in the heart. We see beauty through the love and affection in our heart. If someone wants to dissect everything then everything will appear ugly to them. Sometimes people say, “That person has a beautiful face.” Where is the beauty of that person’s face? If you perform a dissection in a laboratory will you find the beauty of that person’s face? No. You will find blood, tissue, DNA, and so on.
You will never find beauty if you search for it externally. Beauty exists within our consciousness. When we understand this then everything around us will become auspicious and beautiful to us through the love and affection we hold in our hearts.
premāñjana-chchhurita-bhakti-vilochanena
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti92
(Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā: 5.38)