Beauty is Truth

“The beauty of God is vast.  To enjoy flowers for their loveliness is good,
but far greater is to see
behind their purity and beauty the face of God.”
~Paramahansa Yogananda

At this time of year, I often recall visits we’ve made to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Just the memories of walking in the rain forest, the beauty of the giant cedars and other trees, the luscious ferns growing on the forest floor, fills me with peace and luminosity.

When the beauty of nature fills us with luminosity, in Kriya Yoga we say that we are feeling the effects of sattva guna. As most of you know, all of nature is comprised of varying degrees of three attributes or qualities called “gunas” in Sanskrit. Sattva guna contributes to order, purity, and luminosity. Rajas guna contributes to movement and transformation.  Tamas guna contributes to heaviness and inertia. All of nature, including us – our bodies, our minds, and our thoughts – are made up of these three qualities to varying degrees. All are necessary in this realm. We would not be able to sleep without tamas guna. Rajas guna helps us get up from the couch and do what needs to be done. However, if we aspire to grow spiritually, we want to increase the luminosity of sattva guna in our life as that is what allows us to see the Truth.

John Keats summarizes how beauty and this truth of our being are related with his last lines in Ode to a Grecian Urn,

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,
—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

When we look deeply into the beauty of nature, we see the face of God and touch the Truth of our being. If we stop and pay attention, we can find that same beauty all around us. I encourage you to intentionally look for the beauty of God in all you see and do.

~Rev Nita Shankari Kenyon