Hindu believers see existence as never ending; people are born into being, live their lives and die only to be reborn, hopefully into a better situation than they left. Although, if they aren’t lucky or haven’t accumulated enough good karma they might end up as a lesser animal or even inanimate like a rock (or a doll).
The skeptic in me thinks they might very well have gotten this idea by watching plant and animal life cycle through the seasons year after year but who am I to question an age-old belief embraced by so many people.
So, when I look at some of the Hindu gods I have to wonder what kind of karma they accrued in their previous lives. Take Ganesha: human body, elephant head and lots of arms. The story goes he was born of Shiva and Parvati both of whom had lots of arms so that attribute may have been hereditary, but it certainly doesn’t explain the elephant head.
If we assume Ganesha accumulated, in previous lives, sufficient good karma to become a god then maybe an elephant head is superior to a human head; maybe Ganesha is further along the karmic path than anyone else.
I’m not sure how to think about my own karmic destiny. Considering the present quality of my construction my previous life must not have been all that wonderful. Maybe if I’m exceptional this life I’ll come back as …………….a Barbie?