Dear Tiki: I love to visit your site to meet you. Sometimes I don’t understand some of the stuff that is written here because I am only six years old. My mother reads it to me. I study at a school in Delhi, India. I have a question for you. I love to watch cartoons. In some program I learnt about graveyards. When I asked my parents about graveyards, they told me that Hindus are not buried but burnt and Christians are buried in the ground and a cross is put on top. Then I wanted to know, what happens after death. Do the dead people become little stars in the sky or do they come back to earth in any other form like animals or ants or vampires? Do they become monsters ( I love monsters) or ghosts? Do they go to heaven? Where is heaven, is it in space? Do the dead people become aliens and then come back to capture us? My mother suggested that I should write to you to get a good answer. Can you answer my question?
Dear Aditya, Your questions are very difficult! I can answer some, but the others are questions almost everyone asks but the answer is always the same: nobody knows. Also, do remember I’m just a penguin! The bodies of Hindu people are, I think, usually burned when they die. Christian people always used to be buried in the ground, in graveyards, but nowadays, most get burned (cremated) like Hindus. What happens after people die? As I said, nobody knows. Some people think that a sort of spirit continues on and lives somewhere else, perhaps heaven… wherever that is and if it exists. Others think that this spirit enters a new body (like a new born baby) and begins life again as a new person. (This is called ‘reincarnation’.) Still others think that when someone dies, there is no spirit or anything at all left of that person. But there are lots of different ideas. And nobody knows if they’re right or wrong. Vampires do exist but they are real animals: a type of blood-sucking bat (they usually suck the blood of cattle at night while the animals sleep). Monsters, ghosts and aliens, so far as we know, do not exist though once again, many people claim that they do. I’m sorry that I can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to your questions. You see, what people see and what people believe are not the same. And different people believe different things. It’s all very complicated and difficult and, as you grow up, you will probably decide for yourself what the answers to your questions really are.