The big news is from Mauritius where a record number of people came to receive Ganesha’s blessings. At that event, Bodhinatha’s talk was read out to over 6,000 people. We have two reports below and we give you the text of Bodhinatha’s message to the huge crowd here:
The Gods Are Real Beings, Not Mere Symbols
Many people look at the Gods as mere symbols, representations of forces or mind areas. Actually, the Gods are beings, and down through the ages ordinary men and women, great saints and sages, prophets and mystics in all cultures have inwardly seen, heard and been profoundly influenced by these superconscious, inner-plane, inner-galactic beings. Lord Ganesha is just such a being. He can think just as we can think. He can see and understand and make decisions — decisions so vast in their implications and complexity that we could never comprehend them with our human faculties of limited understanding.
In recent history, missionaries and others from the Western religions have told the Indian people over and over again that their Gods are not real beings, but merely symbols of spiritual matters — and unfortunately many have begun to believe this and look at their Gods in this way. Even among Hindus there are quite a few who don’t believe in inner-world beings. Their belief is restricted to the people they see in the physical world, and that is all. You dare not tell them differently. It is very difficult, but not impossible, to introduce them to the grand philosophy which is based solely on worship, meditation, inner discipline and the search for Absolute Truth. But this is too high-minded for those living in the everyday materialistic consciousness. For the knowledge of inner worlds to become accepted, a personal realization has to occur. This is a slow process for the materialist, a very slow process, and only Lord Ganesha can help it along. To contact Lord Ganesha, it is imperative that the materialist visit one of His temples or shrines, to make initial contact. It only takes one meeting.
How to Approach the Deity
When you approach the Deity, you should believe that Ganesha feels your presence, that He sees you just as you see Him. In thus seeing Him in very human terms, you will get to know Him better. You will develop a very human relationship with Him. It is especially important that you develop this relationship with Lord Ganesha. It will not be difficult to nurture a friendly feeling for Him, because Ganesha is the Deity who governs our instinctive-intellectual state of mind. He governs the instinctive mind of all the animals, the insects, the birds and the fish, and governs, as well, all the forces of prakriti, nature. Lord Ganesha is also the Deity who governs the higher intellectual mind, of science and profound knowledge. This is why they call Him Lord of Categories. As Lord of Categories, He organizes and clears the intellectual mind so that individual awareness can flow unhindered in the many areas of developing thought. As Lord of Obstacles, He creates and removes obstacles so that karma becomes more and more perfect as the refinement process of living through the experiences of life continues.