Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Beautiful Concept

I just recently came across the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi and it touched my heart and soul. The Japanese really do know their Zen! T he idea is so heartwarmingly beautiful and simple and true and pure. Of how beauty becomes so much more than looks. Wabi-sabi means that beauty is that which is “imperfect, impermanent and incomplete”. It means that beauty comes not from perfect looks, body or face but from the dents, bruises and wrinkles that come from a life lived truly and deeply. An idea that acknowledges that the thokars and dhakke of life mar us and scar us- only to make us even more beautiful.

It also encompasses the view that as objects age and accumulate more experiences in life, they become more precious. After all, we have so much more sentimental value in the stuff we own for longer. When translated, Wabi means simplicity and quietness and the uniqueness of each of us as we are: unadorned and natural and pure. Sabi translates into serenity that comes with age, along with evidence of its impermanence, wear and tear and repair. Therefore, Wabi-sabi is the aesthetic of beauty that comes from being imperfect. That comes from being human. That comes from being flawed.

Isn’t that a beautiful concept? Each of us carries both within and without, the battle scars of life. A life lived that was full of challenges and choices, dilemmas and difficulties, of parallel universes and parallel paths. A life which breaks your heart and tears your soul. An imperfect soul in an imperfect body in an imperfect universe. Yes, that is indeed what makes me beautiful. What makes all of us beautiful and blessed.

In our world imperfection means being less of a human being, not just less of a beauty. We are always striving towards unattainable ideals of beauty, perfection, work and life. In our world, carrying the scars of a painful life is not acceptable. Or at least, make sure they don’t show. The Japanese knew that Zen comes from acceptance and awareness. Of one’s flawed, human, hurting self. For through pain and joy and living comes experience. For hurting and healing happens all the time. The scars and scabs are proof of living with passion and love and sorrow and pain.

Yes, we are all living an imperfect life in an imperfect body. We are all living with incomplete joys and sorrows. Living a life that is ephemeral and transient. Living a life that sometimes leaves us doubled over in pain. Sometimes smiling in our sleep. Each experience that is lived outside is etched somewhere within our souls. There is the wear and tear and visible repair. This is us. This is Wabi-sabi. This is what makes us beautiful.

(Image source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/glassware-ceramic/all-day-wabi-sabi-mugs-at-viva-terra-040567)


I am entering this post for the Indiblogger contest, "What does real beauty mean to you". Please do go and vote for it at Indivine or like it on the given Facebook link. Please!

Dove Real Beauty on Yahoo! India


Arti said...

Imperfect, impermanent and incomplete... That is something really so different yet explains the meaning so well! Nice, fresh perspective here.. Impressive article, All the Best :)

Farila said...

Different from other posts and a good one ... Good luck!


Rachna said...

@Arti- Thanks a lot!
@Farila- Thank you :)
All the best to both of you too!

Rifaque said...

Different from other posts and a good one .looking forwardfor more... Good luck!

Neeraj Kumar said...

The post is serene from within and enlightening from without.

Best of luck for the contest.

Rachna said...

@Rifaque- Thanks!
@Neeraj- Thanks a lot!

Someone is Special said...

very different post and unique way to define what does real beauty means.. here is a heart expressing what does true beauty means

Someone is Special

Neeraja said...

Extremely beautiful thoughts on beauty! Beautiful writing...the best I have ever read! :)

Rachna said...

@Someone is Special-thank you so much :)
@Neeraja- Thanks! Loved your blog too :)