So, for example, Shiva’s shivalinga has many meanings. One I told you about this morning, that it is the very source of life energy – a sex symbol. But that is only one meaning. The shivalinga is egg-shaped – white and egg-shaped. It happens in a particular state of meditation that this appears before you: a white egg-shaped thing filled with light. Light is coming out of it, rays are coming out of it.
Deep down, whenever you become cool, silent, and the whole being loses heat, this symbol appears. That is why the mythological story is that Shiva lives on the Himalayas, the coolest place in the world, where everything is cool. Just look at a shivalinga – a marble shivalinga. Just by looking at it you will feel a certain coolness entering in you. That is why above a shivalinga a pot is to be held continuously, and from that pot drops of water go on dropping on the shivalinga. It is just to make it cool. These are symbols just to give you a feeling of coolness.
In Kashmir there is one shivalinga, a natural shivalinga, which arises automatically when snow falls. It is a snow shivalinga. Just by dropping of snow in a cave a shivalinga is formed. That shivalinga is the best one for meditation because it is so cool all around that it gives a glimpse of the inner happening – when the shivalinga appears within your consciousness, when it becomes a picture, a symbol, a vision.
These symbols have been found through centuries and centuries of work and effort. They indicate a certain state of mind. To me all mythological gods are meaningful subjectively. Objectively they are nowhere to be found. And if you start trying to find them somewhere objectively, then you will become a victim of your own imagination – because you can find them; you can project them so strongly that you can find them.
Human imagination is such a forcible thing, it has such a tremendous force within it, that if you imagine something continuously you will start feeling it around you. Then you can see it, then you can realize it. It will become an objective thing. It is not objective, but you will feel it as existing outside you. So it is dangerous to play with imagination because then you can be hypnotized by your own imagination and you can come to see and feel things which are not. This is creating a private fantasy, a dreamworld; this is a sort of madness. You can see Krishna, you can see Christ, you can see Buddha, but this whole effort is wasted because you are moving in dreams and not in reality.
Hence, my insistence to always remember that these mythological figures are symbolic. They are meaningful, they are poetic, they are a certain language. They say something, they imply something, but they are not objective personalities. If you can remember this, then you can use them beautifully. They can be of much help. But if you think of them as objective they will be harmful, and by and by you will move into a dreamworld and you will lose contact with the reality. And to lose contact with the reality is to go mad. Be constantly in contact with reality. Still, do not allow the objective reality to kill the inner and the subjective. Be alive and alert in the inner world, but do not mix them.