The value of innocence

Published April 11, 2007 by axinia

 Life starts with childhood and childhood used to be cherished.

In the highlands of Maharastra in India, there are eight sacred statues of swaysbhus of Shri Ganesha, the God representing the eternal innocence of a childhood, who is the object of tremendous popular devotion.
He has an elephant head, symbolizing the strength and wisdom of the mightiest animal, devoid of human ego.

He is the archetype for the primordial vibration of child-like purity, the first-born, and he is worshipped in India before each official ceremony or collective function for his auspiciousness brings good luck.

In this millennial tradition, it is widely believed that the protection for values associated with childhood, such as innocence or spontaneity are essential for the harmonious working of the community. This mythology made breaking news in the fall of 1995, when Ganesha`s statues enjoyed a new prominence before thousands of bewildered and enthusiastic worshipers. Newspaper reported that in Toronto, New York, Vancouver, London and temples all over India statues of the elephant-headed God were accepting offerings of milk in that the bowls were emptying by themselves.

Maybe this was to tell us that innocence is reclaiming its place?

From “The Third Advent“, Gregoire de Kalbermatten

8 comments on “The value of innocence

  • I’m not sure but I think it’s not bounded on childhood or innocence.Because induismus like buddhismus do not see childhood in the same way as european culture do(and american).Rebirth is the consequence of ignorance and sins and that is why has nothing with innocence.Just opposed sence.
    But I’m really not expert,I’m only studying.

  • :))) I wanted to say hinduismus (I thought you are writing about this religion – you are speaking about the god Ganesha) don’t see the childhood as a state of innocence,I think.
    Because of the fondamental thought of this culture about rebirth.
    From european point of view, yes, the childhood is the symbol of innocence.
    Pardon.

  • I have been living in the USA for a number of years, having spent most of my life in Western Europe. Many people notice that many North Americans do not have a sense of irony. (The Australian writer and humorist, Kathy Lette, noted that “Americans are suffering from an ‘irony deificiency'”.)

    Yesterday, in my dog-run in Seton Park, Bronx, Liz, a very wise psychologist and owner of a wonderful dog called Charlie, said when asked about this that a sense of the double meaning in words doesn’t arise in children until the age of 8 or later and that, in her view, this non undertanding of irony in many Americans might be seen as a sign of arressted deveopment.

    I posited that it might be more to do with an absence of cynicism and a much greater openness to possibilites – which is one measure of innocence.

    When I came to work here, there was a noticeable willingness to try new things which is not present in much of Europe. When presented with a new idea, Europeans would either categorically say “that would never work” or ” we tried that X years ago and it didn’t work.” Americans would be more likely to scratch their heads and say, “Gee, I don’t know – but let’s give it a try and see.”

    My online dictionary defines ‘innocence’ as: the absebce if guilt, or lack of guile or corruption, or purity.

    Many Europeans I have spoken to regard ‘innocence’ as a bad or negative thing, something to be gotten rid of as soon as possible, but it isn’t, it’s a very powerful, positive quality.

    Look at how innocent young babies are, human or animal, and how the vast majority of people relate positively to them.

  • Hi Axinia, the pic of Shri Ganesha is soo good. He’s one of my fav deities and it was nice to read your views on him. Keep going.

  • hey ther..
    you are correct in picturing Ganesha as a symbol of innonence..
    i think ‘liudmila’ is slightly wrong in her comment when she says that hindus dont represent childhood as innocence.. if go into account of Lord Krishna, his childhood mischieviousness is known to every Hindu and his childhood portrayal is more popular amongst them..
    besides..
    thanx 4 representing India in such a manner..
    otherwise what most of foriegner do.. they take the pictures of slums, of roads and traffic, of malnurished urchins.. and so on.. and represent India as a poor country.. they dont see the richness of India.. richness of its culture, richness of values, of traditions and so on..
    in this sense you are truely global..
    you see the good things in all..
    thanx..

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