The following is an excerpt from Ayurvedic practitioner, Manisha Kshirsagar’s new book Enchanting Beauty: Ancient Secrets to Inner, Outer & Lasting Beauty. We found this book incredibly inspiring and received permission from Manisha to share this wonderful excerpt about beauty with you all. We hope you skinjoy!
What is real beauty? If you don’t know the true source of beauty – authentic beauty – then you will constantly chase after an ideal that can never be satisfied or attained. Real beauty has been buried, entombed, confused and forgotten in our modern day climate. Excessive glamour, razzle-dazzle and airbrushing have led to serious misinterpretations of what beauty means, where it comes from, and how to achieve it. The media has overwhelmed our instinctive connection with the nature of authentic beauty, and we have been left with only a veneer of beauty’s character. What we need to recover is the wisdom of beauty – the timeless, universal and absolute truth that exists in our palpable, sensual experience of beauty.
I want to share this wisdom with you, and remind you of what you already know deep inside. I want you to taste the sweetness of the real beauty that exists within yourself, so that you can see it in others and in the world as a whole. When you find this precious gem of beauty, your life will be filled with magic and magnificence because you’ll remember, finally, the truth of who you are and the miracle of your life.
It is our birthright to experience this profound understanding of beauty.
There are three stages of true beauty – the first and foremost entails a personal process of allowing our inner beauty to resurface in our awareness. Inner beauty encompasses all of our virtuous qualities that stem from a strong sense of self worth, value and respect. Once this secure foundation based on inner beauty has been established, the second stage is a natural and healthy inclination to care for our outer beauty or physical body. Finally, with the ongoing care of the inner and outer aspects of our beauty, we are organically inspired to make an even deeper commitment to living a wholesome, balanced life. In doing so, we approach the mastery of beauty, or what I like to call lasting beauty.
These are the three stages or aspects of real beauty, as it exists as an expression of truth, virtue and love. Each of these three stages are rich in wisdom and infused with insights from the ancient, holistic medicine of India known as Ayurveda.
Being that Ayurveda is the science of life, it must also be the science of beauty. There are three fundamental subtle energies which Ayurveda credits to the evolution of beauty. They are universal qualities, which are the fundamental forces behind all the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the Universe. They are prana, tejas and ojas.
Prana: Nature’s intelligence pervading the universe. It is the initial essence of creation.
Tejas: The expression of radiant light that transforms food, nutrients and all experiences into the cellular structure.
Ojas: Cosmic glue that holds and binds everything together.
Prana is the force of Life, Tejas is the force of Light and Ojas is the force of Love.
Since all of us are inherently a part of Nature, these three subtle energies exist within us, and their presence manifests in unique ways:
- When we are full of prana, we experience a sense of vitality, clarity, calmness, and health.
- When tejas is strong within us, we have a good metabolic fire, which allows us to have a clearer perception of the world around us, and the ability to see things for what they really are.
- When ojas is robust, we have a natural glow and luster that are testimony to a life full of health – giving a strong immunity, happiness and a delightful demeanor.
When we live in harmony with the Self, we support the smooth flow of our energetic prana, tejas and ojas. Together these three components of our health modulate our vitality, strength and longevity and thus, beauty.
Ayurveda has expressed beauty in a few simple words. It says, “Shubhanga Karanam Sundaram.”
- Shubha – Auspicious
- Anga – Body / Mind
- Karanam – Transformation
- Sundaram – Beautiful
Combined, these words express that true beauty involves the transformation of all aspects of body and mind to the most auspicious level. Or in other words, the secret to true beauty lies within our ability to attain harmony within the Self. A life that is lived as a reflection of our highest Self, is a life filled with beauty.
When you protect and rejuvenate your prana, tejas and ojas you can enjoy a lifetime of beauty. This kind of lasting beauty that Ayurveda describes is available to anyone so long as they follow the sequence of nourishing their beauty from the inside-out.
Developing real beauty that lasts is a lifelong process of diving deep within ourselves to uncover the love that already exists to transform our minds, bodies and spirits.
**Reproduced with permission from Enchanting Beauty: Ancient Secrets for Inner, Outer and Lasting Beauty, by Dr. Manisha Kshirsagar. Lotus Press, a division of Lotus Brands, Inc., PO Box 325, Twin Lakes, WI 53181, USA, www.lotuspress.com ©2015 All Rights Reserved.