Once upon a time a prince met very beautiful young girl. He visited her house to see her but she was very chaste. The prince wanted to marry this beautiful girl but she didn’t want to marry him. So she said to him, You want to marry me, you are attracted by my beauty, so I will distill my beauty in the next ten days.
So the prince agreed. Then the beautiful girl said, “If you still want to take me as your wife then you can take me.” The prince replied, “All right, that’s fine, I’ll come back in ten days and certainly I’ll take you as my wife my beautiful young maiden.”
As soon he left the beautiful young girl started to take very strong purgatives [medicine which would cause her to vomit and pass stool]. She kept all the vomit and stool in a big pot. She didn’t eat anything, she was simply passing stool and vomiting, so within ten days her whole beautiful body was destroyed. She was a gray color, she was very skinny, very weak, you couldn’t recognize her as the same person.
After ten days the prince came back to visit the beautiful young girl. She opened the door for him. When the prince saw her he said, “I have come to see one very beautiful lady who I am about to marry.” So the girl said, “I am that beautiful young lady.” He replied, “No it isn’t true. How could it be possible?” She said, “Yes I am that beautiful young lady, I have distilled my beauty, come and see it.” She took the prince to the place where she was keeping the big pot containing all of her stool, vomit and urine and she said, “Here is my beauty.”
This is the story of liquid beauty. In reality the material body is simply a bag of pus, stool, urine, blood, mucus, so many horrible things. And we are simply attracted to the beautiful skin and as soon as the skin is no longer beautiful we are not attracted any more.
Our society is simply going on the basis of this “skin disease.” So we see so many divorces and so many marriages. A man is being attracted to a woman on the basis of the skin. He thinks, “Oh, here is a very nice woman. She has very nice hair, a very beautiful complexion, a very nice bodily structure. She is a very beautiful woman.” The woman is thinking in the same way, “This is a very handsome man, he is very strong, very beautiful, a very attractive man.” Then they come together and for a short time enjoy sex life and soon there is some problem with the sex life, some difficulty, so they say, “I’m sorry it’s just not working any more, the magic has gone from our relationship. I have to find somebody else.” Then there is a divorce.
Everything is based on the skin, and the skin is temporary. We can never be satisfied, we can never be happy with a relationship based on the skin because our skin is a very temporary thing.
A beautiful girl is beautiful for a few years only, it is a fleeting moment only. Every body gets old, every body gets sick, every body dies. But we are not the body we are the spirit, the soul. The soul is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss (sat cit ananda). But currently the soul is covered by the material body and we are misidentifying the body with the self. We think if we satisfy the body we will become satisfied. But, no matter how hard we try to satisfy the body, the soul, the spirit is never satisfied by any amount of material so-called “pleasure.”
If we are attracted by the skin only, the beauty of the skin, we’re bound to be dissatisfied because the person, I, the self, is different from the body. Krishna describes in the Bhagavad-gita (2.13):
dehino ‘smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati
Here Krishna says the soul, even in this life, is changing bodies. In the beginning we have a child’s body, then we get a boy’s body, then a man’s body then we get an old man’s body, so the time of death is simply another change of body. A self-realized soul can understand this, he can see this.
Our bodies are always changing. You can see. No one can argue with this. It’s a statement of a very plain fact. I have this man’s body now, previously I had a boy’s body, prior to that I had a child’s body and before that a babies body. They are all different bodies.
I can see, my parents have the pictures and they can show you I had these different bodies. Now those bodies have gone. Now I have this man’s body and in due course it will also be finished and I’ll have an old man’s body and ultimately that old mans body will be gone and I will be taken away to another body at the time of death.
This is the process of life and death in the material world. The bodies are changing but the soul is not changing. I the person am the same person I was in the babies body, I’m the same person I was in the child’s body, I’m the same person I was in the boys body. I can remember things, I can remember my childhood body, I can remember my boys body. I can remember the activities I performed in these bodies. These activities are performed by me, but the body I had then is gone. So we can understand that I, the self, the person, I am permanent, I am eternal, but the body is always changing. I am not this body, I am the occupier of this body, I am the driver of this body, I am the controller of this body, but I am not the body. The body is a machine.