Rabindranath went inside. Two minutes passed, five minutes passed, ten minutes passed. Gandhi was surprised that he was taking so long. What was he doing inside? He looked through the window and saw that Rabindranath was standing before a full-length mirror, combing his hair. Gandhi simply could not tolerate this anymore. He said, “I cannot understand what you are doing! The time for our walk is being wasted. And why do you need to comb your hair? What is the point of combing your hair at your age?”
Rabindranath went outside and he said, “When I was young it would not have mattered if I did not comb my hair, but now that I have become old it will not do if I don’t comb it. And don’t think that I am trying to look good; I just don’t want to disturb anyone by appearing ugly to them.” Rabindranath said, “Don’t think that I’m doing this to look good. The body which I am beautifying and moving around in will turn into ashes tomorrow. I know that one day soon it will be on a burning pyre and will turn to ashes. But I don’t want to be an ugly sight; I don’t want to disturb anyone – this is why I give it all this attention.”
A lover of beauty like Rabindranath will think in these terms. Ugliness is a type of violence towards others. This ugliness can be in any form: it can be in your behavior, in your language or in any other form.
So if you would like to appear to be beautiful, then do it with totality. Become completely beautiful so that your whole life becomes beautiful.
So I don’t say that the person who is combing his hair is doing something wrong. I am only saying that besides your hair, there is something else that needs to be beautified. I am not saying that if you are wearing jewelry you are doing something wrong; I am saying that it is okay if you are wearing jewelry, but why not also be a jewel? You have come here wearing spotlessly white clothes. It is good that you are wearing white clothes, but make your inner self also as white as that.
So try to understand what beauty is and you will find that truth and goodness will automatically follow. If you try to understand what goodness is you will also understand beauty and truth. If you try to understand truth you will get the other two also. You can make any of these three your foundation. If one of these is of any interest to you, make it your focus and let all your thoughts revolve around it. Allow your interiority to be touched by it. Choose one of these three and concentrate on it. And if you practice it throughout your life, in every aspect of your life – in your behavior and in your actions – slowly, slowly you will observe a strange phenomenon happening: you will be amazed to find that the more you practice it, the more all the unnatural things in your life and all the impure thoughts will become weaker.