Friday, February 17, 2017

The Most Beautiful



Mankind from time immemorial has given a prime importance to beauty. Poets enthralled by the beauty of nature, beauty of women and beauty of their beloved has sung numerous verses.  The great philosophers has praised, discussed and lectured on beauty. The Sumerians, The Mayans, The Greeks, The Arabs, The Chinese and every others had left the trace of beauty in their available remains. The reminiscence of beauty left by these cultures are evident in the architecture and art of these lands. However, India stays quite a bit different. Along with the material aspect of beauty the Indians have jumped into the deepest waters of spiritual beauty.  Indian concept of beauty is evident in the architecture, literature, music, dance and other art forms but all linked to the spiritual realm. Other cultures have portrayed everything good as beautiful and everything bad as ugly. Anything in order is beautiful and disordered is ugly.

But if we think on a wider perspective what we portray as beautiful and ugly meet at a point where both vanishes and something else remains which I would like to term as The Most Beautiful or The Most Elegant. Love is order and Lust is disorder.  Both vaishes at the meeting point and what remains is Parama Prema or the Eternal Bliss. This principle is seen in Indian spirituality. Generally among humans unlike animals female is treated as beautiful. Indian spiritual principles go beyond these duality of male-female. Whether male or female beauty is something elese, ie. Spiritual and non material. Lord Krishna is described as a person with dark complexion. If Krishna was a European character, the dark complexion might given him an ugly look. But here in our scriptures Krishna the dark complexioned man is the beautiful lover of gopis. Everything is being attracted by him. He is the one who attracts the minds of every other creature.  Similiarly Lord Muruga is also portrayed as beauiful. The word Muruga itself  is derived from the Tamil word Murug meaning beauty. So in India the concept of beauty is beyond complexion.

In the Dasamahavidyas one form of Devi is the Tripurasundari. She is not just Sundari (beautiful woman). She is Tripurasundari,ie. Beautiful of all the three worlds. She is the most elegant in all the three states of experiences. In other words she represents that underlying principle where order and disorder meets. The meeting point is The Self. She reigns as The Atma or Self which is the most beautiful. There is neither order nor disorder in Self. It is self- effulgent and Pure. Interestingly there are seemingly ugly representations of Devi in the dasamahavidyas like Dhoomavati and Chinnamasta. Why so? It again represents the route to the most beautiful where beauty and ugliness meet.  Dhoomavati the old widow or the headless Chinnamasta paves a way for the one who contemplates to unravel the mystery of beauty. Self is the most beautiful. Devi is described as Sarvasaundaryapaaravaara, theocean of whole beauty. And scriptures say Thathvamasi, You are That. I am That. Ahameva Devi, Ahameva Vishnu, Sivoham, Aham Brahmasmi. Beauty what we see outside is just a little manifestation of this Self-effulgent Elegance. That which is the most beautiful lies within and that is the substratum for everything manifested.The focus of all teachings is to understand and realise this Elegance as ones own Self the ultimate Truth.

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