Beauty

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(Sri Aurobindo:) “The day when we get back to the ancient worship of delight and beauty, will be our day of salvation; for without these things there can be neither an assured nobility and sweetness in poetry and art, nor a satisfied dignity and fullness of life nor a harmonious perfection of the spirit.”[1]


(Mother to Satprem, 1958:) “To do this Yoga, one must have at least some sense of beauty. Without it, one lacks one of the most important aspects of the physical world.
         There is a beauty of the soul, a dignity of the soul – it is a thing to which I am very sensitive, a thing that moves me and arouses great respect in me, always.

(Satprem:) A beauty of the soul?

Yes, it shows through in the face; this kind of dignity, beauty, harmony of an integral realization. When the soul shows through in the physical, it imparts this dignity, this beauty, this majesty, the majesty that comes from being the Tabernacle. Thus, even things that have no particular beauty assume a sense of eternal beauty, of THE eternal beauty.”[2]


(Sri Aurobindo:) “There is a profound intrinsic delight and beauty in all things and behind all experience whatever face it wears to the surface mind, which makes it to a spirit housed within us other than its first appearance, makes it, that is to say, no longer a thing exciting mental interest, pain, pleasure, but rather a revelation of the truth and power and delight of being and our feeling of it a form of the universal Ananda of the old philosophical thinkers, the calm yet moved ecstasy with which the spirit of existence regards itself and its creations. This deeper spiritual feeling, this Ananda is the fountain of poetic delight and beauty. It springs from a supreme essence of experience, a supreme aesthesis which is in its own nature spiritual, impersonal, independent of the personal reactions and passions of the mind, and that is why the poet is able to transmute pain and sorrow and the most tragic and terrible and ugly things into forms of poetic beauty, because of this impersonal joy of the spirit in all experience, whatever its nature.”[3]


(Student:) “In one of your writings you have said that beauty is universal and that one must be universal in order to see and recognise it.

(Mother:) Yes. I mean one must have a universal consciousness in order to see and recognise it. For instance, if your consciousness is limited to one place, that is, it is a national consciousness (the consciousness of any one country), what is beautiful for one country is not beautiful for another. The sense of beauty is different. ...
         It is very difficult, one must go right down, right down within oneself into the subconscious — and even farther — to discover the root of these things. Therefore, if you want to have the sense of beauty in itself — which is quite independent of all these tastes, the taste of the race — you must have a universal consciousness. Otherwise how can you have it? You will always have preferences. Even if these are not active and conscious preferences, they are subconscious preferences, instincts. So, to know true beauty independent of all form, one must rise above all form. And once you have known it beyond every form, you can recognise it in any form whatsoever, indifferently. And that becomes very interesting.”[4]




  1. The Future Poetry, p.257, “The Soul of Poetic Delight and Beauty”
  2. Mother's Agenda 1951-1960, July (?) 1958
  3. Ibid., p.258
  4. Questions and Answers 1953, p.329-330


See also