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Real Beauty- Explore it within yourself!

I would like to introduce my definition of 'Real Beauty' with this beautiful sanskrit subhashitam:

Kim api asti swabhavena sundara va api asundaram
Yada ayva rochate yasme bhavet tat' tasya sunadaram!

(Meaning: Whatever exists in the world, is it beautiful or ugly by its own nature? Of course not! It is beautiful because someone fancies it to be beautiful!)

My thought process regarding 'real beauty' reminds me of two things:

The movie "Thodasa Rumani Ho Jaaye", where the protagonist Barishkar (the Rainmaker) leads the girl Binni and her family to believe in themselves and their dreams. He teaches them to be optimistic. Binni is an elderly lady, a spinster who has a very low self-esteem. She's not beautiful or feminine in the worldly sense. This guy brings about a drastic change in her where she starts believing in herself..in her inner real beauty! "Main Sundar Hoon" is what he teaches her and this belief changes her life. She learns to smile, to laugh, to admire the beauty in herself and in her life. The rain that he claims to get in the small dry town is symbolic to the hopes and aspirations that he gifts the people with.

Another incident that led me to think about 'real beauty' was something that I observed in my college days. We had a ladies' room in our college. There were two mirrors in the room. Girls used to visit the room intermittently for freshening up or sometimes just to have a chat amongst themselves. Whenever we used to sit there, I observed one thing. Almost every girl visiting that room would make it a point to have a look at herself in the mirror.

I found this very amusing initially. But then I started observing this fact closely. As the world defines... some girls were pretty, some were really beautiful and fair, and some of them had average looks while there were some who were dark, short or even ugly as the world may classify them. Yet, every girl looked at herself in the mirror with the same admiration. What was it that every individual was observing? Complexion, features, make-up?  In some cases yes...but not in all.

It was more of an admiration for one's own self, one's identity that was far more precious and relevant than the outer looks. It was this self-esteem that brought a smile on the faces of even those so called "average" looks when they peeped into the mirror. This incident taught me that every individual is beautiful from within. No matter what our height, complexion and features say, we believe in ourselves from the bottom of our heart. This makes us stand apart from several other faces in the crowd.

Yes, its true that life is beautiful, so is nature. The sunrise, the moon and stars, the mountains and the sea, the flowers and the dew..everything is beautiful. But all this seems beautiful when we have the vision or perception for this beauty. And this is possible only when we realize our own real and inner beauty. A person who is depressed will never even bother to take a look around, let alone appreciating these things.

The insight into this beauty leads us to realize our virtues and nurture them. It teaches us to introspect and also work on our vices. Last but not the least, there is a fine line between self-esteem and pride that decides what real beauty is. One who is beautiful from within is confident but never proud, and one who is proud can never be beautiful no matter what the features say!

I would close the article by some more pearls of wisdom from Sanskrit that truly reveal what real beauty is all about:

Narasya abharanam rupam, rupasya abharanam gunaha
Gunnahas abharanam dnyanam, dnyanasya abharanam kshama!

(Meaning: Beauty is like an ornament of a human being. Virtue is an ornament of beauty. Knowledge is an ornament of virtue and forgiveness is an ornament of knowledge.)

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