The physical beauty is just skin-deep — temporary, fleeting, fading, vanishing, changing, or deceptive (i.e., Maya).
However, the Beauty the Gurbani holds is that Beauty which is perceived in the state of Bliss (i.e., Anand)!
A flower does not “try” to be beautiful. It is beautiful by its very nature!!
The mind’s Mool (ਮੂਲ – Source, Jot, True Blissful Nature…) is mentioned in the Gurbani to be of unsurpassed Beauty — Perfection itself, not an effort at Perfection or Beauty. That is His Nature. The Gurbani Teaches us that the mind is made in this True Image of unsurpassed “Beauty” (“ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ” – “Joti Saroopu“); and the Blissful Nature.
- ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੁੰਦਰੁ ਮੈ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣੀ ॥: My Mool is beautiful, (but I) do not know the essence (of my Mool). (sggs 561).
- ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Thus says Nanak – O mind! Your “Saroopu” (nature, identity…) is “Joti” (Divine Light). (O mind!) Recognize your Mool (Source, Jot, Origin…) ||5|| (sggs 441).
Thus, in nutshell, the essence of “Beauty” the Gurbani referred to is the eternal Bliss (“Anand“). Whatever is perceived Blissfully is Beautiful. To the contrary, whatever is perceived through tarnished consciousness is “Mailu” or “filth”. That is, when the connecting link between Aatman and Parmaatam is corroded, the “Beauty” becomes dimmed or obscured.
- ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਜਨ ਅਚਰਜ ਆਨੂਪੁ ॥੩॥: Meditating on (This) embodiment of wonder and incomparable (Beauty…), Jan (His Bhagat, Gurmukh, Daas…) remain in Bliss. ||3||(sggs 677).
Apparently, the sublime “Beauty” talked about in the Gurbani cannot be captured by any camera! Simply put, this “Beauty” mentioned in the Gurbani is none other than the constant abidance in one’s Mool within (Source, True Blissful Nature, Jot…). It is through the mirror of Divine Qualities that one is able to behold his own true Beauty. This “Beauty” alone is — only the Mool is, whence the phenomenal world emerges like a magic show due to the movement of the deluded mind.
- ਪ੍ਰਾਤਮਾ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕਾ ਰੂਪੁ ॥: Soul (ਜੀਵਾਤਮਾ) is the form of Paarbrahm (sggs 868).
- ਸੇਈ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਸੋਹਣੇ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਜਿਨ ਬੈਹਣੇ ॥: They alone are Beautiful (i.e., Gurmukh…) who ever abide in Holy Communion (i.e., who have accomplished complete mastery over the mind…). (sggs 132).
In other words, the Gurbani’s “Beauty” is not to be found in the beauty salons — eyeliners, nails, skin, make-up, hairdo, and so on. As time and again stressed in the Gurbani, the physical beauty (Maya) is fleeting. Accordingly, the bodily beauty in the Gurbani is called “thief”, “useless”, “false”, “enemy”, or simply “fraudulent”. Thus, any beauty other than the “Beauty” of one’s Mool is like decoration on a dead body; for one day it must finish. The Gurbani labors to make us understand the difference between the real “Beauty” and the fading beauty as follows:
- ਧਨੁ ਜੋਬਨੁ ਅਰੁ ਫੁਲੜਾ ਨਾਠੀਅੜੇ ਦਿਨ ਚਾਰਿ ॥: Wealth, youth and flower are guests for only a few days (sggs 23).
- ਰਾਜ ਕਪਟੰ ਰੂਪ ਕਪਟੰ ਧਨ ਕਪਟੰ ਕੁਲ ਗਰਬਤਹ ॥: Pride of power, beaut, wealth, and ancestry – are all fraudulent (sggs 708).
- ਬਿਨਸੈਗੋ ਰੂਪੁ ਦੇਖੈ ਸਭ ਦੁਨੀਆ ॥: (Your) beauty will vanish, as the whole world watches (sggs 325).
When the Mool (Source, Jot, True Blissful Nature…) is covered with the “filth” (of false ego-sense or Haumai, doubt, Maya…),the Mool gets confounded with the physical body-frame, and consequently the Mool’s wholesome “Beauty” becomes obscured or dimmed. Once the mind gets so tarnished, the mirage-like universe of names and shapes streams forth like waves from the see. The result is stronger attachment to the illusory world (Maya) of the senses.
- ਜਾਣੁ ਵਸੰਦੋ ਮੰਝਿ ਪਛਾਣੂ ਕੋ ਹੇਕੜੋ ॥: Know that (Mool) dwells within; (but) a rare one realizes this (sggs 1099).
The spirit of the entire Gurbani is to make the “filthy” mind (i.e., sense-bent mind…) to trace its steps back to its unsurpassed “Beauty” by applying the make-up or embellishment of the Divine Wisdom or Virtues through the Shabad-Vichaar!
- ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਸੁੰਦਰਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਮਜੀਠੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਰੀ ॥: (Dye) this mind of yours with the Majeeth-like (strong, lasting) color of Hari Naam (sggs 400).
- ਮਨਿ ਭਾਵੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਹਾਇਆ ॥: (Those whose) minds are agreeable with the Shabad, (their lifestyle) becomes beautyful (sggs 591).
- ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੁੰਦਰਿ ਜੋਗਾਧਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥: Gur kai sabadi marai manu maare sundari… (sggs 993).
As the Gurbani repeatedly holds, the mind is That “Beauty” Itself. Therefore, the Gurbani’s advice is to become the Gurmukh (the Follower of Truth, Divine Life…), and then see one’s own “Beauty” within. The more one comes closer to this ever-fresh “Beauty”, the more he will be in Love with It.
Accordingly, the Gurbani edict is: There is nothing more Beautiful then the Heart in which the Supreme Consciousness abides.
- ਜਿਤੁ ਘਟਿ ਵਸੈ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਸੋਈ ਸੁਹਾਵਾ ਥਾਉ ॥: That Heart, in which the Supreme Lord abides, is the most beautiful place. (sggs 218).
The Gurbani tells us the moment one becomes linked to this Inner “Beauty” (one’s True Essence) within, one’s body-mind-intellect apparatus blossoms forth with the Natural “Beauty”, which never fades. In other words, external beauty becomes meaningful only when one realizes the Spiritual Beauty within (Gurmukh-hood).
- ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਨ ਕਾ ਰੂਪ ਰੰਗੁ ॥: Hari Naam is the Beauty and Delight of Jan (Gurmukh, Daas, Bhagat…). (sggs 264).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਇਆ ਸਵਾਰਿ ॥: Gurmukhi ihu manu laiaa savaari (sggs 159).