Matthew: [showing Sri Chinmoy some pictures] Why do the gods and goddesses have weapons and so many arms? This one has a spear, and this one has four arms.Sri Chinmoy: We have one goddess who has ten arms! Her name is Durga. The gods and goddesses can have not only ten arms, they can have as many arms as they want to. Ten arms we can see on this one goddess, Durga. In the case of others, we see that they have fewer arms. Again, if they need to, they can have more arms. There is one god, Brahma, who has four heads.
Something more: we all have two eyes. You have two eyes, your brother has two eyes, your mother and father both have two eyes. But the gods and goddesses have only one eye. With our two eyes, we can look this side and that side, but we cannot see what is behind us. What is very high we cannot see and what is underneath us we cannot see. But with one eye the gods and goddesses can see everywhere. They can see ahead, behind, sideways, high above and as low as possible.
Why do they have weapons? They want to frighten bad beings. Those bad beings are called 'asuras'. The asuras torture many good people. When the asuras see that the gods and goddesses have weapons, most of them get frightened. Again, there are some asuras who are not frightened. These asuras challenge the gods and goddesses. What do the gods and goddesses do? For their good, they kill these asuras.
But when the gods and goddesses kill the asuras, they do not actually destroy them. They transform them into good people so that there will be fewer bad people. First they kill them, and afterwards they transform them, they make them better. There are so many asuras. The gods and goddesses try to kill them and then to transform them so that these hostile beings are no longer hostile. It is for their own good that the gods and goddesses kill them.
Very good! You two have asked such nice questions. Thousands of questions I have been asked in the past forty years, but nobody has asked me these questions. Very, very, very nice questions, Benjamin and Matthew!