“Just because you can explain it doesn’t mean it’s not still a miracle.”
– Terry Pratchet (English Author of comical works and fantasy Novels)
September 21st 1995 stands as a special day for the devout Hindus. Even as die-hard atheists were bewildered, Hindu believers celebrated their worshipable Ganesh idol drinking milk all across India and the U.S.A. One could offer milk in a spoon near the trunk of the elephant faced God Ganesha, and the God would suck the milk inside!
The news – in the days of no internet or social media- spread like wild-fire. Thousands queued up outside temples desperate to witness the miracle, while the milk sales suddenly soared. Soon the rationalists gathered their wits and offered various explanations: capillary action, mass hysteria, and confirmation bias.
However, more than two decades later, those who witnessed this surge of faith then, have a simple explanation to offer: if Lord Ganesh drinking milk is a mere capillary action then why isn’t this happening today. Try feeding milk now, they argue, and you would see Ganesh won’t accept it. The deity did so on that fateful day only to convince the world that paranormal phenomenon exists and God is beyond the logic and science of this world. Thus there are two schools of thought on this historical issue.
What’s my stand on this event? I ask a simple question to myself: what’s the principle in play here? Are we seeking to prove God’s existence through miracles? For that we don’t need to see milk drinking phenomenon; there are innumerable miracles happening daily. When we look into these wonders with an open mind, we can’t but help marvel at God’s miracles!
Seeing miracles v/s Understanding them
It’s more important to improve our understanding of life and divinity than to simply rely on our eyes. In our daily lives there are examples of how we accept many things to be true, even though we don’t see them, and conversely we don’t believe many things even though we see them! Take for instance a mirage; we know it’s false although our eyes reveal water in a desert. Or when you immerse a rod in a beaker and it appears bent, we instinctively know that it’s an optical illusion. On the other hand we don’t see electrons, time, or mind, yet we deeply believe in these concepts. The Vedic wisdom books reveal our inherent four limitations: imperfect senses, tendency to be in illusion, propensity to make mistakes, and to lie or cheat. As a result, the more we rely on our sensual experiences to understand God, the more we’ll be bewildered. We need to go deeper.
To be continued….