Outer Appearance Reflects Inner Beauty

Zheng Jian, Contributor, Dora Li, Contributing Translate

A wealthy landlord lived during the Ming Dynasty. Because he was very kind and often helped others, the local people called him Kind Lord Zhang. When he was 50 years old, his wife gave birth to a girl named Tianci (“Heaven’s Gift”). Usually, a newborn baby’s skin is very soft, but this baby girl was different: Her skin was dark and very rough, just like the bark of a tree.

When he saw the baby, Lord Zhang became worried that people would talk about his family. So, to protect the family’s good name, the baby girl had to live in a secret room and was never allowed to go outside. Almost no one knew that this poor girl existed.

When the little girl grew up, she married a young scholar. She lived in a luxurious villa far from the city. To enter, one had to pass through five locked gates. Only the scholar had the keys to the gates, and no strangers were allowed inside.

Whenever Lord Zhang held a gathering or party, only the scholar attended. As time went by, people began to talk. They thought that Lord Zhang’s daughter must be very ugly, so her husband was ashamed to bring her with him .

One day, overcome by curiosity, a group of young people made the scholar very drunk, and they took the keys. Using the keys, they opened all the gates. When they opened the fifth gate, they were shocked by what they saw.

You see, every time her husband went to a party, Tianci sat alone in her room and reflected on what she must have done wrong to be so ugly. She sincerely repented and prayed to the Buddha. She said, “Buddha, I must have done something very bad in a previous life, which is why I am so ugly in this life. My appearance disgusts my father and husband so much that I have never been outside.”

She wept while she spoke to the Buddha. But then she thought, “Perhaps being shut away in a dark room is not a bad thing. This way, I can pay back the karma* I created in a previous life. I have heard that the Buddha has already reincarnated again in the world, so I am lucky enough in this life to exist at the same time as the Buddha! I feel very happy and proud!” When she said this, she put her hands together as a gesture of devotion.

Her sincere wish, like a pure and holy lotus flower, slowly blossomed in her heart. Gradually, the bright light shone from her heart and enveloped her entire body. She said, “Holy Buddha, please be compassionate and merciful to me and save me from this filthy world.” Once again, she bowed deeply and reverently in prayer.

At that moment, the Buddha appeared! Seeing her pure and kind heart, he compassionately swept away all the ugliness from her. Her new, outward appearance reflected her pure inner beauty. With her beautiful face and pale, glowing complexion, she looked like a fairy from Heaven!

At that very moment, the curious people opened the last gate. They were stunned by her appearance! She was so beautiful, like a Goddess, shining with holy light. Thus, they realized the truth in the ancient saying: “Appearance reflects sincerity and pureness of heart!”



Lisa January 23, 2024

I believe that the Creator has instilled in my heart that what one says and how it is said, reflects the outward display of the body. Take to heart that I have seen the inward love of the Shen Yun company for the Creator that their witness of this love is reflected back to this world. Keep up the love and the blessings will continue to be given to you. Thank you for all your love.

Jules November 30, 2023

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