Essay No. 264:
Beauty Provoketh Thieves Sooner Than Gold: The maxim means that beauty provokes a man to turn to a thief much sooner than the temptation of gold. People adopt different immoral ways to get hold of gold, which is a symbol of prosperity and prestige.
Thefts and dacoities are committed to get gold. Man wishes to possess maximum quantity of gold in order to bring himself into limelight in society. Hence the greed for gold makes man a thief. Man gets infatuated with the beauty of woman. Beauty of a woman is more tempting than that of gold, as man cannot escape it.
Man is a slave of beauty and he cannot resists the temptation of beauty. Be it of a woman or any piece of art. Those who are lovers of the art of sculpture, are tempted to possess a piece of it even if they were to steal it. Beauty in any form is a great weakness of man. It is the aesthetic feeling which impels man to run after beauty.
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Even in case of gold, it is its hypnotic power which maddens man to acquire it even though he were to indulge in unethical ways like stealing or theft. Blessed are those who overcome the desire of gold to avoid theft to acquire it. Similarly, it is the men of moral strength which can overcome the temptation of physical beauty.
Saints undergo many spiritual exercise to kill their beauty desire. However, they run after the ultimate truth, which is beauty. They are the seekers of the spiritual beauty, which is ever lasting. Ordinary mortals show obsession for physical beauty, which is ever lasting.
Ordinary mortals show obsession for physical beauty, as manifested in the well-proportioned body of a lady, coupled with her striking facial complexion. They can go to any length to acquire it, even if they were to commit a crime. In short, beauty has more hypnotic power than gold, which could induce man to turn to a thief.