There is a festival in the months of August and September in India. It’s called Ganesh Chaturthi. It is a god with an elephant face. It was not supposed to be an elephant, it was supposed to be a ghana. Somewhere one artist made a mistake and it became an elephant. He’s called Ganapati, that means the chief of ghanas.
So, they will make an image of Ganesh with clay, unburnt, and then they will paint him up nicely some people do without paint, some people do with paint, and then they will worship him. And huge festival, music festivals happening around him. Big events – some people build huge ones, hundred-and-eight-feet tall, big ones. But after that period is over – usually one week, fifteen days, in different places different times – then they will go and drown it in the lake or in the ocean, so that god dissolves.
Create a god, create a frenzy around him, make him your entire life. For those fifteen days or one month, there’s nothing else but Ganesh. We eat what he eats, we only like what he likes, everything is about him. But then, one day, we’ll dissolve him. Once he’s dissolved, he’s done. This is the only culture which is still conscious that god is our making.
So, he is the symbol of intellectual activity because he wrote great scriptures. And the sage who dictated these scriptures to him, the challenge for him from Ganesh was, he should not pause in the dictation. He must continuously speak and he will continuously write. He said, “If you pause, I won’t write further.” It’s a test for the sage whether what he is speaking is really a fountainhead of his being or is it something scholarly that he makes up in his head? So Ganesh said, “Only uninterrupted dictation if you do, I will write. If you pause somewhere, once I keep my pen down, I will not write again.” So sage Vyasa spoke uninterrupted. It went on for months on end. Ganesh wrote without missing a single word. He’s the best stenographer you can have.
He [Ganesha] is the symbol of human intellect
He is the symbol of human intellect. This is very symbolically right because this is the nature of your intellect. You can use it to consciously imagine something. Wonderful imagination – a man with an elephant head. An elephant head because that’s the biggest head you can find on the planet, that means lots of brain. So, the symbol of human intellect, dissolving him is the symbol that if you use your intellect right, you can dissolve the world. Dissolving the activity of your intellect is no problem. Once you dissolve the world with your imagination, switching off the imagination is not a big problem. You can obliterate the universe with your imagination. In your experience, universe will not exist if you create a powerful imagination. But then, switching off the imagination is a much simpler process. If the imagination is consciously developed, turning it off is easy.
Right now, bits and pieces of imagination happening unconsciously, it looks like it’s impossible to stop it. So the entire festival is symbolic of this, that we create him. And you must see the festivity that happens around him. Usually, he’s kept in public places. In every home, it’ll be kept, private ones. Apart from that, on the streets, big ones. Many streets will be blocked for these fifteen days to thirty days, traffic stopped, everything, he will be sitting right in the middle of the street. Big celebrations, music, stuff happens around it, people live around him for this period. But when the time comes, they just go dissolve him and that’s about it. He is done, next one year nobody thinks about him.
If you could do this full-fledged with your imagination and your intellect – oh this mind, or this activity that we call as mind. I want you to get this clearly, your mind is not an absolute thing, it is only a certain type of activity. No activity, no mind. Hmm? Yes or no? Suppose you have no thought at all right now. Do you have a mind? “Oh, I… I have a mind, I don’t have a mind”. Yes, you have because that’s a thought. If there is no thought, there is no such thing as mind, because it’s a certain activity.
Activity does not make consciousness, consciousness makes activity
Consciousness is capable of being here without the assistance of activity. Activity does not make consciousness, consciousness makes activity. Hmm? “I move the hand, the hand does not move me. It’s me, who moves the hand.” Similarly, it’s me, who moves the mind. It’s not the other way around. But it’s become the other way around. The nature of your mind has become you, isn’t it? All the freaky stuff your mind does has become your quality, isn’t it? Now, to reverse these roles is most important because if you determine the nature of your mind, something wonderful could happen. If your mind determines the nature of who you are, it is an accident. Is it a terrible accident or not? That, situations decide, but it’s an accident.