Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Desired by all, possessed by few, flaunted but fleeting; exalted in by those who have it, evoking jealousy in those who don't; difficult to define, but known when its seen; said to be the twin of Truth, but to often just a thin veneer - Beauty. The Buddha had his own take on beauty. He said; 'If someone is jealous, selfish or dishonest, they are unattractive despite their eloquence or good features. But the person who is purged of such things and is free from hatred, it is he or she who is really beautiful' (Dhp.262-3).

Hears another interesting take on beauty, this time beauty in popular culture

And after you’ve watched that, watch this one too.



shande said...


"The Broken Buddha" had travel to US Tucson.

Also appears in forum.


Han & Zan said...

My children like Roald Dahl's books very much and your post on beauty reminded me of this from The Twits, a story about a truly horrible couple. I always love Quentin Blake's illustrations.


Anonymous said...

Dear Venereable, I had a friend who once commented about another on her beauty and character. As the person she was commenting on seemed to have a bad character, she said that she once heard from a wise person that human beings that are ugly in their present life usually have bad hearts, presummably brought forward from their past lives...

Beautiful or pretty people on the other hand are good hearted as they have been good in their past lives, thus reborning beautiful in their present life.

What's the buddhist take on this?

ps: just so you know, i do find this statement quite naive... especially from a supposedly wise person.

Shravasti Dhammika said...

Naive,poorly considered and rather silly. As the concept of physical beauty changes all the time, this would mean that the law of kamma would have to be constantly keeping track of social trends and predict what is going to be considered beautiful 15 or 16 years after a person's birth so will be considered beautiful. It also fails to take into account that some physically plain or even ugly people
can be happy and fulfilled while some attractive people are not. Kamma conditions mainly our feelings, not our physical being or environment.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Venerable!
Great minds think alike. heh

Well, rather unfortunately though, i know a person who's not a good looker that have misfortunate events happen time after time in her life. And the friend who made this comment, (who's pretty to boot), is leading a rather sucessful and great... by society standards, life.

I won't deny this. But I sometimes feel that what ever happens in our present life is so because of a past action or doing, though i also personally believe that that doesn't determine our present state, but with change of action and doing, things change. I guess that's part of the impermanence, ay?

I was just asked this question recently. Quote: "I really question the theory of kamma that you've been taught - (I read Good Question, Good Answer and told her what kamma supposedly meant.) If kamma really is all about the intention, then why are some people rich, beautiful and happy, and some poor, have misfortunate events keep happening in their lives and miserable, sad?"

I was dumbfounded. I didn't know how to answer her as I myself have asked this question many times to myself. And that too made me question the theory of kamma... The 'kamma' that we are not traditionally, or social conditionedly, taught.

Enlightenment please, Verenable.

Shravasti Dhammika said...

Please go to www.buddhismatoz.com and look up 'Kamma', 'Determinism' and 'Free Will'. I'm sure this will answer your questions.