Friday, June 27, 2014

Does God exist?

One day S asked us, "Why does Lord Ganesha have an elephant head?". To this C told him the entire story of how Lord Ganesha was created by Goddess Parvati until how Lord Shiva beheaded the small boy. At this point we changed the story to, 

"...Lord Shiva then asked his army to search for a dead elephant with its head towards the north. The soldiers went on a search and once they found such a dead elephant, they cut its head and put it on the neck of the little boy, Ganesha, whom Lord Shiva unknowingly beheaded. Lord Shiva then blew life into this new form. That is how Lord Ganesha came back to life this time with an an elephant's in stead of a human's head…" 

Today while waiting for our food at the restaurant, 

S: If they put a dead elephant on Lord Ganesha's head, did they sew/stitch the neck and the head? If yes, why can't we see any marks (like the ones mom has after her surgeries)? If the elephant is dead its eyes and other parts of the face will stop working, then how can Lord Ganesha see with those eyes that do not work? And human body tan/white/brown etc in color and elephants are grey in color, then how did Lord Ganesha's head become tan in color?

I tried to answer to the extent possible with answers like, "Once the head came onto Ganesha, Lord Shiva did magic and everything became normal etc etc.." But after having answered S's questions for a straight 3 yrs now (ever since he could talk), I knew S will not be satisfied. And I also knew that more of my answers will lead to more complicated questions. Noticing my plight C answered him thus, 

C: Gods and goddesses live in a different world. The rules, logic, science and all that stuff which is used on the earth does not apply to those in the God world. It is like a magical world.
S: Then how did Amma see God. 
Myself: I did not see God, Siddhu.
S: Yes, you saw. You saw Swami who is God. But he looks more human than the other gods in the story books.
C: That is called an incarnation. When the world becomes full of bad people, from the God World one God comes down onto earth in a form that humans will not be scared of. That one God will correct some people and when it is time to go back into the God World, that God goes back. That form which God takes when he is on the Earth is called incarnation.
S: Nana, then another question. First of all, how was God made? Like, was He made when the earth was made? before that? after that? did He have parents? If so, how did His parents come into existence? did He just some out of space? does God really exist?
C(tired) : Siddhu, of all our family members your PTP Thatha is highly educated. He reads a lot, much more than any of us. So, I think it is best to ask him. 
S: How come Amma you did not get any of these questions when you were a kid? Am I the only one with so many questions? 
Myself : I asked questions, but never about God, His existence etc. I grew up seeing my parents worship come Gods and goddesses and just believed that they were gods. And most of my childhood was spent in a boarding school where questioning delicate matters was not commonplace. But it is very good that you have questions - just get them answered - don't settle with answers that don't satisfy you. Listen to all the answers and decide what you want to believe. 

…and we went on talking about atheist and theists…

OMG! Answering S's questions sometimes make me question my very belief.  Lord Ganesha, please come to my rescue.

Any of you out there with ideas for satisfying a 5 yr old's curiosity about Indian Hindu mythology, please let me know.

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