Some days ago, while we were sitting in the main hall of the Ashram in the evening, Ramona had a small conversation with Pranshu, one of the boys at the Ashram, and Apra. I would like to tell you what they were talking about.
It actually started when Apra walked into Naniji’s room and asked for candy. Naniji, who knows that she should not eat sweets before taking food, asked whether she had eaten. First Apra nodded but then decided to say the truth and shook her head. She came out of the room – of course without candy – and Ramona heard Naniji, my grandmother, say from behind her ‘Lying is a sin!’
She didn't think much of it but when Pranshu, eight years old and Apra’s favorite playmate at the moment, repeated those words, she sat down on the couch next to him. “Do you know what a sin is?” she asked the boy. “Naniji said that,” he answered and admitted after another question that he had no idea what exactly that should mean. So Ramona started her own explanation:
“What Naniji means with this is that god would be angry with you if you lie. Now, see, I don't believe in god, so I would not care about a sin, about him being angry with me – because I think he doesn't even exist. Do you think God exists?”
Pranshu smiled and shook his head. Apra, sitting next to him, shouted loud: “No!” and laughed.
Ramona continued: “Well, so this means you don't need to care whether god gets angry but I tell you, I will get angry if you lie and I definitely exist, here in your home, right?”
She finished this with a smile and Pranshu laughed, too.
He understood what she was saying – and we saw that even with small inputs, our boys get to know our thinking and understand it as well. As far as Apra is concerned, I know that for her, god is just another character of a story.
We want our children to have a realistic view on life and part of that is that they know god doesn’t exist.