There is an old Indian tale that goes like this;
Once a prince met a very beautiful girl, and pursued her relentlessly, but this girl was not interested, to his surprise, because he was a handsome prince. She wanted to have a more spiritual life than he could offer her but she couldn’t shake him off. So, one day she told him that if he wanted her beauty she would give it to him in ten days.
The prince was thrilled and agreed, looking forward to this lovely girl becoming his own. As soon he left the beautiful girl started to take very strong purgatives and became thin, grey in complexion, and weak. In fact she became unrecognisable; her beauty was gone. Well not gone, because she had kept all the bodily fluids expelled by the purgatives in buckets.
After ten days the prince returned and the girl opened the door for him. He asked for the beautiful girl, because he didn’t recognise her, and to his horror she introduced herself, and then introduced the buckets of her distilled beauty.
It’s a graphic tale about reality, substance, and relationship. The beautiful girl valued herself to be more substantial than fleeting beauty. She thought her life eternal and this beautiful body just a youthful phase. She thought the beauty of a loving heart to be a thing of real beauty. The prince thought that her physical beauty was her essence, and learned a lesson.
It’s often the case that we take some aspect of ourselves, or others, more seriously that we should; our sexuality, our nationality, our religion, or our position. And our mistake causes suffering to others. Please help us see the whole person, the whole picture, and not just what suits our small desire. Hare Krishna[ bbc ] [ beauty ] [ essence ] [ soul ]