BEAUTY and joy can never be divorced from each other. A thing of beauty gives unfading joy. Where there is no joy, there is no beauty. An architect expresses beauty through stone; a poet through words; a man of culture through manners; a ‘bhakta’ through his emotions; and when we see these things, we feel more of ourselves than we were.
The hunger for Beauty in words, in colour and in stone, in life and in character has no transient limitations set up by different ages, races or countries. It is not given to everyone to satisfy this hunger.The capacity to satisfy the hunger for Beauty cannot be given by law, or public opinion, or the votes of men, or by ingenuity of artifice. But the man to whom this capacity is given has but one law-to enjoy Beauty, to create Beauty and to impart to others such a vision of it as he can.
Perception of beauty depends not upon the natural beauty which surrounds us but upon the presence and the power of the fundamental aspiration. We may nourish the aspiration by a study of beautiful things. We may train it to remain with us for some time, once it has been evoked. But its source and strength are both derived from the spirit within.
When I am alone, quiet and patient, I enter into an all-embracing calm. Then I live in the beauty that lies in the stream, that makes the music, or the birds that twitter in ancient trees, or in the vast spaces on every side, or in the stream which spreads out at my feet.
The tree, the cloud, the flower, and the stream which give us this mysterious satisfaction are but magic symbols of the beauty that lies within. It is there, real, insistent, undeniable. It is a symbol of Reality. If once the spirit of beauty is captured, the gates of Life Divine are opened and not even death can close them.
_ K. M. Munshi