Chapter 15: Divorce Yourself
You told last night about the Hindu system of creating a mud idol for worship, and after the worship, about its visarjan, dispersion, into the sea or a river. This happens on the outer physical plane. What is the psychological and inner meaning of this outer ritual? What is it that must be created inwardly? What is it that should be dispersed and when should it be dispersed?
Secondly, please explain whether this dispersion is a gradual process or a sudden happening and whether it is an act of awareness or just a let-go?
Life is a learning and an unlearning also. One has to learn many things, and then one has to unlearn them, and both are necessary. If you don’t learn, you remain ignorant. If you learn and cling to it, you become knowledgeable but you remain unwise. If you also can unlearn that which you have learned, then you become wise.
Wisdom has a childlike quality, but it is just childlike, not exactly the same. The child is ignorant and the sage is wise. The child has yet to know and the sage has gone beyond. The child has no knowledge, the sage also has no knowledge. But in a child it is negative; in a sage that no-knowledge has become positive. He has crossed beyond, he has transcended.
So this is one of the basic principles of spiritual explosion: to unlearn, to go on unlearning, that which one has learned. And it is related to all planes of spiritual growth.
We discussed last night a very strange Hindu ritual. Hindus create gods’ images, mud images, just for a particular ritual, a particular worship for particular days. Then they worship the mud image as divine, and when the time is over, the ritual is finished, they disperse it into the sea or into the river. The same image which was created is being dispersed.
I told you that stone images came with Jainism and Buddhism. Hindus never believed in stone images, because stone can give a false appearance of permanence while the whole life is impermanent. So man-created gods cannot be permanent either. Whatsoever man can create will remain impermanent; it is bound to be manlike. But we can create certain things which can give a false permanence, which can appear falsely permanent. A pseudo-permanence is possible. With metal images, with stone images, with cement, concrete images, a false permanence is created.
Hindus have always believed in mud images: Create them and then uncreate them. And know that they were meant for a particular purpose, as a device. When the purpose is over, dissolve them. Why? Because if you don’t dissolve them, a deep clinging is possible, and that clinging will become a barrier. Ultimately, man has to reach to a point of absolute unclinging; only then is one free. That is what is meant by moksha, freedom: no clinging, not even to gods.
So, ultimately, not only are images to be thrown, but gods also. Everything objective is to be thrown so that ultimately only the subjectivity remains, only consciousness remains, without any object of consciousness. So this is the inward meaning of dispersion.