4: The Stories of Siva and Sati, and of Rishabhadeva and Bharata
There is also a beautiful story, called Puranjana Upakhyana. Puranjana was a king who was attached to the glamours of sense. He was caught up in the lure of maya and everything was beautiful for him, until it was time for him to depart from this world. I am not going into the details of this story now.
Puranjana represents the caught-up individual who is deluded by the Disneyland, as it were, of this world, where we do not know what we are seeing. Everything is shining everywhere. We do not know what we are actually seeing. One thing is here, and the same thing is also somewhere else—like a magic show. There are certain shows where mirrors are positioned in such a way that everything is reflected everywhere. One thing is here, and the same thing is there. Wherever we look, we see only that. And we may hit our head against the mirror, thinking it is a passage.
This world is also like that, where we hit our head against something under the impression that it is another thing altogether. We hug a snake, thinking it is a rose; we drink poison, thinking it is nectar; and we live in this body, thinking it is beautiful—whereas it is the ugliest thing that has been created by the admixture of the five elements. If the skin is removed, we will see the beauty of this body.
Everyone will run away from a person who has no skin, and crows will eat the flesh. So, there is a point in saying that beauty is skin deep. Where is the beauty of a person who has no skin? Therefore, beauty is in the skin only. Is it not so? All is chaos.
To be continued ...