From the perspective of Denpasar resident Jero Cendana, 42, who owns a homewares shop in Seminyak

What are we here for?
For thinking, having a family and continuing the human race and also for God.

Do you believe in the Big Bang theory that the circa-13.7-billion-year-old universe and all that’s in it was created by a massive explosion of enormously dense matter at what may have been the beginning of time?
No, I don’t. I believe God created the world.

If there is a God, where is this entity?
Hindus believe He is everywhere. We can feel Him but we can’t see Him.
He is watching us all the time.

Is there a mystery to life?

Life is a mystery. I don’t know exactly what life’s mystery is, but I’ve looked for it in books, in the media and in my religion, but I still can’t figure it out.

Do you think we’re alone in the universe?

Yes, I do.

There’s a theory that there may be parallel universes with exact copies of us – doppelgangers – doing exactly the same thing as us right now. What do you think about that?
I don’t believe that at all.

What do you think happens to people when they die?

Again I believe, as all Hindus do, that we will go back to being the elements – earth, water, air – that we are made of and our souls will be reincarnated into a new form.

Where is your soul and what is it?

It is what makes our lives possible. Without a soul we would not be able to think or have emotions.

Science says that all matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore, will our energy, in the form of our soul, live on for infinity?

Yes. Our bodies will return to the earth, water and air but our souls will be reincarnated into a new body or form, depending on how we lived our previous life.

Do you know your place in the universe?

Yes, here with my family.

Some people believe that because we are made of the same matter as the universe – carbon, and other elements, like nitrogen – anything we ask it will be attracted to us, popularized recently in the movie The Secret. What’s your view?

I think it’s partly true, but we still need to work.

Are we being observed?
God is everywhere and watches us. He knows everything we do in this world and He will decide what happens to us later.

If there is a God, why does he allow such colossal suffering of people on earth, either through war, disease or natural disasters?
God is good and wouldn’t cause people harm. People choose to deviate from God’s path. For example, people who don’t want to work and end up stealing or murdering others are going against God’s will.

Filed under: The Big Questions

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