Yesterday while travelling a local train I happen to overhear a conversation between a small child and her mother. (Yes, I know eavesdropping is bad and one should not do it but at times it is very stimulating and very informative and there are times when you just cannot avoid listening to what others are talking)
I was so much impressed by the questions asked by the young one and the way the mother was struggling to satisfy the curiosity of the child. There were times when I found the answers of the mother to be very weak and I could feel it in her tone but she was trying her best.
This is how the conversation took place. A is the daughter and B is the mother ( for my convenience)
A: Momma God is every where
B : Yes, beta he is omnipresent, found in each and every thing on this earth, living, non living, plants, animals
A: so mummy will you agree to that he is the creator,
B: Yes my child
A: then please tell me why do we pray to him?
B: GOD is that support system which gives us strength, hope, encouragement and confidence to face any obstacles in the life.
A: when he is the giver, he is the caretaker, then why do we ask him for things? He should know what we require?
B : true , but he has to take care of the whole universe, he is extremely busy. So there are chances that he may overlook us, or forget about us so we need to remind him
A: but when he is the supreme power who knows each and every thing that happens on the earth, everything that happens is as per his desires. Then why should we go on asking him to take care of us?
B: Look child I will give you an example, for a mother her child is the most precious thing in the world and her life revolves around her, but even then there are times when due to her work she may forget to feed the young child, then the child has to remind her to feed her by crying and he goes on crying till she gives him milk.
Similarly God also needs reminders now and again.
A: OK mom, you gave birth to me, you take care of me, I am your most precious possession and you don’t want to see me ever in pain or suffering. Right ? Now that God is the creator, he is responsible for the whole world then why does he give us pain, why did he make my friend cry when she lost her mother?
B: he gives us pain so that we should value the things which give us happiness; we should not take everything including him for granted. Pain and happiness both are integral part of life. Without one we cannot enjoy and feel the importance of other. And one should always remember that after night comes the day and vice versa. Similarly if he give us pain he will surely give us happiness.
A: that means if we are happy then we are surely to get hurt too.
The mother was speechless for a second
B : this is circle of life, nothing is permanent. This is why I always tell you to value all the comforts, all the facilities you have. You never know one day you may not have all of them.
A : But mumma, if God wants to take all this back then why give in first place. Why make us get used to a happy life and full of comforts and then let us suffer
(I was admiring the endurance of the mother who was patiently trying to answer every question of the child)
A: OK mummy tell me one more thing, why do you ,many times tell to God that if some wish of yours gets full filled , you will offer a coconut or some sweets to God, Do you offer him bribe or do you pay him for the wishes he grants you. That means even God is corrupt as he doesn’t fulfill your desires till you promise to give something in return. ( very smart question. hats off to the child for asking such a question)
B: ( trying very hard to answer and maintain her cool) this is our way of saying thanx to God for what ever he does for us.
A: A mere thank you will not suffice? And more over whatever we offer to God, it doesn’t reach him but either the pujari, or someone else takes it. Then why do we promise God to give something in return. We all are his children then he should do our work without expecting anything in return.
( the mother was visibly in a tight spot and was getting irritated by now)
A: ok tell me God is one, then why do we have so many Gods.
B: all the Gods are different names or faces of the same God.
A: if it is so, then why do we pray to different Gods on different days? Monday we go to Shiv temple, Tuesday we go to Ganpati, Thursday to Sai Baba, Friday to Mata Rani, Saturday to Hanumanji.
A : And Momma one more thing, if we all his children then why some are poor and some are rich, some are good looking and some are not so good looking? U always say that for a parent all the children are equal and no parent would ever differentiate between children then why does he do so?
My station had come so I had to get down. But I wonder how many more questions the child had in her store and how the mother was managing?
But this entire conversation did make me also think that all the questions asked by the child were relevant and were neither randomly asked nor thought about on the spur of the moment but she must have pondered over them over a period of time .
and I admired the perseverance of the motehr in quenching the thirst (clarification of her innumbearble doubts) of her child