Please prepare yourself for the following.
Do children have an inner knowing or a spiritual side?
They don’t seem to. In fact, life with a small kid seems intensely practical and earthly bound. Yet my child has often made me wonder.
My daughter was conceived in India where a friend joked that she would be a reincarnated soul. She was born in Australia where I settled back into being the cynical skeptic. All that remained of my flirtation with spiritualism and religion (apart from my book Holy Cow available still at only $22 from your nearest bookshop) was a comic about Krishna and a Buddha head statue in my garden.
Yet when my baby was born I was shaken by her stillness and an intense stare that seemed all knowing. She looked deeply into my eyes toward my inner being, as if making a deep soul connection. It was so intense it was almost frightening.
The moment turned out to be a rare moment of stillness for a rather busy baby. By her first birthday we were naming our daughter ‘Swami Bam Bam’ due to her delight in wearing prayer beads while destroying everything she could reach.
Here’s where it gets really weird.
When Bam Bam was two we went to playgroup in a Church. Fascinated by the tortured figure on the cross she asked the female minister who it was. The minister responded, “That’s Jesus honey, do you have Jesus in your life?”
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“Oh yes,” said my daughter. “He came around for afternoon tea the other day with Krishna and Buddha.”
Indian Hindus believe that great beings are reincarnated. Many believe that Krishna, Buddha and Jesus are actually the same great saint or Sadhu coming back to earth in different forms. And apparently my daughter did too, while still wearing nappies.
I don’t remember ever mentioning Krishna or Buddha, let alone the fact that they were holy. Yet somehow she had put them together for an interfaith afternoon tea like no other. With arrowroot biscuits and milk.