Smart Isn’t Beautiful???

Recently I heard someone say, “We [devotees] shouldn’t be too philosophical, because that would drive all the non-philosophical people away.”

This is like a mother saying to her daughter, “Don’t be so beautiful, it will drive away all the ugly men.”

First, who cares if she scares away the ugly men?

Second, what kind of girl thinks it is important to attract people other than her boyfriend? Or to attract friends that her boyfriend doesn’t like so much? In other words, what kind of devotee cares about attracting people besides Krishna, or attracting people Krishna finds unattractive?

In the seventh chapter of Gita, Krishna says that of all the people who come towards him, the philosophical are the “most dear to him.” (priyo hi jñānīno’tyartham). Krishna loves philosophical devotees, and that should be enough information for us!

Third, everyone is attracted to beauty, including the ugly. It makes no sense to say that people who are less philosophical are not attracted to people who are more philosophical.

Knowledge  is one of the six aspects of bhaga (the stuff that is attractive).


aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
jñāna-vairāgyayoś caiva ṣaṇṇāṁ bhagam itīṅganā

“The six parts of attractivness are:
Superlative power, bravery, renown,
beauty, knowledge, and dispassion.”

(Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47)

Two types of people are not attracted to these qualities. (1) Those too blunt and dull to even comprehend the difference between attractive and unattractive, (2) Those who have  psychological complexes about their perceived lack of these qualities. These people have a negative attraction to the qualities – feeling threatened by those who possess them in greater abundance. A group of such people only attract more of the same.


Knowledge is attractive. Even All-Attractive Krishna finds it attractive.

However, putting lipstick over warts does not constitute beauty. Pride in academics and intellectual musculature is such “knowledge-lipstick.” Pride is the opposite of vairagya (“dispassion”) and is therefore ugly. Real philosophy has a shy, humble character to its strength. Real philosophy is essential for understanding Krishna, and also happens to be beautiful and immensely attractive to the sort of people that Krishna likes.

Vraja Kishor das (

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