This dialogue with the deva transpired after intense puja, japa, and meditation. It is believed to be a trustworthy revelation from the Lord when received with sincerity and faith.
Janyananda: Master, teach me the method by which I may reach an end to suffering, the path by which perfection can be obtained.
Ganesha: The ignorant wrongly believe that by bowing in devotion they bring shame upon themselves. They think it a disgrace to bow before divinity, as though it were beneath the dignity of human beings to prostrate before God. I tell you truly that when you enter into praise of God, the divine presence enters into you, so that all fullness returns to you. No debasement of human dignity occurs during worship: rather, by exalting the devas, mortals enter into their highest expression of goodness.
Janyananda: I take you to mean that the world of the devas is above and beyond the human world, as a realm of perfection and beauty. In order to perfect human powers, we must strive to reach the deva loka. Through sadhana, we make contact with the deva loka, and, indeed, actually live in it while we simultaneously live on earth.
Ganesha: Yes, but you must never think of the deva loka as having a separate existence, for it resides within all things. The shining ones are never far away, never remote or unobtainable. The second you call my name, I live within you. I honor even the most selfish prayer: for health, for wealth, for power, for prestige. Through selfish desire many have come to me. Through selfish desire, many have become great saints. I use desire as my vehicle, to draw all things into myself. This is one of the meanings of the many-armed deities: the bottomless desires of human beings represent so many pathways to divinity. Our arms reach out to you though you know them not.
Janyananda: So everyone comes to God through the means of captivation that appeals to that person? Can we say, then, that all paths lead to God, that all paths are equally good?
Ganesha: Some means are, indeed, more efficient, and lead to a less prolonged search. Each day you leave yourself your own inheritance. Each day you harvest what you sowed the day before. In order to have an advantageous position tomorrow, you must do your utmost today. Make only the best sacrifices. Do the best work. Perform the greatest sadhana. Give of the best that you have. No effort, no matter how small, ever goes wasted. You are the direct beneficiary of every deed in which you engage. In this way, you create yourself day by day.
Janyananda: I know this intellectually, but my mind and heart grow dull. I know that I ought to maintain my spiritual practices. I know that I should think only good thoughts, but my strength fades. I fall in and out of love with spirituality: I falter so easily. The slightest distraction throws me off balance entirely.
Ganesha: Not for nothing did Shri Krishna teach the truths of the spirit through the image of the battlefield. Not for nothing did my father, Lord Shiva, clothe himself with ashes from the crematory grounds. You must remember that you fight for life and death, that you engage in fierce struggle. You must compete as though you wanted to win, to overcome, to triumph. The devas march at your side, but you must take up arms yourself. Half-hearted efforts lead to half-realized results. Be unreasonable in your devotions. Be like a madman. Go beyond respectability. Risk becoming a laughingstock for God. The greatest rewards come from the greatest efforts. Do not be deceived by those who teach a doctrine of moderation, who view spirituality as one more technique for self-improvement. Do not be deceived by the false grace which promises something for nothing.
Janyananda: Sometimes I wonder whether I have made any progress at all, whether I am not going in circles rather than advancing in the spiritual life. I wonder whether my practice is just an elaborate fantasy, whether you are just an imaginary friend.
Ganesha: You are not the judge of your own progress. Do not wallow in remorse, depression, or despair. Your only job is to lose yourself in me. Your only task in life is to journey further and further into everlasting bliss. It does not matter whether you succeed in your own terms. It does not matter who does or does not follow you. You must remain focused on giving your all.
Janyananda: I think that I am beginning to understand. I promise to apply myself to the utmost as long as you promise to remain with me.
Ganesha: All you have to do is call my name, and I will be there. I will be your refuge, and I will make you a refuge for many. You cannot imagine now the miracles that wait for those who hope in me. I will make the Satsanga my bulwark on the earth, and no evil will prevail against it. When times of doubt arise, return to these words of mine and draw strength from them. Gaze on an image of me and offer prayers. Make no mistake: I come to my devotees through such simple means. I will not fail those who trust in me.