At a recently attended seminar, I found, to my dismay, that instead of listening to an erudite lecture on "Macroeconomic Variables", some members of the audience were mocking, in hushed tones, at the noted professor's simple clothes, dark skin and diminutive stature.

Sadly, things have come to such a pass that a person is judged only by the clothes he wears, expensive cars, gadgets that he possesses, rather than his intrinsic traits.

Crazily, marriages nowadays are founded, largely, on deceptive external appearances rather than inner qualities. No wonder, marriages in the contemporary times are falling apart in great numbers, divorce cases piling up in various courts.

Ashtavakra, a renowned vedic sage, was once asked by a king to give a sermon to his ministers. As soon as he entered the courtroom, the king as well as his ministers started making fun of his congenital physical deformities. Ashtavakra, however, calmly came on the stage and said, " I was invited to address an august gathering of spiritual seekers but I find myself in the midst of bunch of cobblers who are interested only in my skin. Perhaps I have come in the wrong place". Having said that, Ashtavakra darted out of the courtroom.

Well, अंजाम (result) of the "beautiful" body has been aptly described by the famous mystic Kabir, in his following दोहा (couplet) :

हाड़ जले ज्यूँ लाकड़ी, केश जले ज्यूँ घास।
सब तन जलता देखकर,भया कबीर उदास।।

( Only fools brag about their achievements, riches, power and beauty. They don't know that everything here is फ़ानी (transient). At the funeral pyre, the bones of all - rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, the elite or the dregs - burn like sticks of wood while the lustrous hair burn like dry, lifeless straw. Death equalizes all. Having seen that all the things or beings here are evanescent, Kabir has become disenchanted with this world itself.)

~ Sanjay Gargish ~

External Appearances Are Deceptive