From Ganesha purana – Translated by Prof Gregory Baily and Edited by C. Devadas
Varenya said, ‘In the world of birth and death many difficulties arise, and they are very hard to endure. Remover of obstacles, kindly show me the path to liberation now. How can there be bondage in the realization of You, Dvirad?nana? Declare to me that teaching by which I will attain liberation, that yoga through which I will give up desire, anger and the fear of death.’
Brahma said, “After having listened to this speech, Gajanana kindly sat Varenya on a comfortable seat and placed his hand on his head. Then he began to teach him the Ganesha Gita, casting away all his doubts by presenting His universal form. As soon as he understood the essence of the Gita from Ganesha’s instruction and having transferred the kingdom to his ministers, he went to the forest. Filled with detachment, the accomplished King meditated on Gajanana, fixed on nothing else, and always preached the Gita. Just as water thrown into water stays only as water, so he came to consist of Him by meditating on Him.’
Vyasa said, ‘Four-faced one, Lord of the gods, recite the Ganesha Gita with the highest compassion. For it removes all ignorance.'”
Brahma said, “This very thing was previously requested by the great Saunaka Rsi. The sage recited the Gita as he had heard it from Vyasa’s mouth.”
Saunaka said, ‘You have tasted this nectar which is told in the eighteen Puranas. I also wish to drink this supreme nectar that has an extraordinary taste, with which a man, having been filled with this nectar attains the Supreme Brahman. Blessed one, tell me compassionately about that nectar of this yoga.’
Vyasa said, ‘Herewith I will tell you that Gita which presents the path of yoga. Saunaka, it was entrusted to that inquisitive king by the elephant-faced God.’
Varenya said, ‘Lord of obstacles, mighty-armed God, who is skilled in all the sciences, and who knows the true meaning of all the sacred texts, please tell me about this yoga.’
Gajanana said, ‘O King, your intention has been well determined through my favour. I am going to tell you that Gita which consists of the nectar of yoga. They say that this yoga is not the yoga of prosperity, nor obtainable through the objects of the senses, nor obtainable through the material elements either. The union of mother and father is not yoga, overlord of men, nor is the union with sons, kinsmen and others, nor is it the yoga with its eightfold mystic powers. It is not the yoga of union with women as stated in the sutras. Nor is it the yoga of sovereignty over a kingdom, nor the yoga of controlling elephants and horses, nor the union with Indra’s world, nor the yoga loved by those whose goal is yoga, nor do I consider that yoga union with the heavenly realms. Yoga is not union with Siva’s abode, nor with the abode of Visnu. This yoga does not pertain to Surya, Chandra, nor Kubera, nor V?yu, nor Agni, nor to become immortal, nor to surpass time, nor to become Varuna or Nirriti, nor to reign over the entire earth. Those without true spiritual knowledge practice yoga, Protector of the earth, which is of various kinds.
In the world those who have truly attained yoga have overcome hunger, thirst and the desire for progeny. They purify all the worlds and have brought the three worlds under their control. Their hearts are filled with compassion and they enlighten everyone. They are liberated whilst alive and are immersed in the pool that has the form of the highest bliss. After closing their eyes they see the Supreme Brahman in their heart. They meditate on the Supreme Brahman who has appeared in their heart by this yoga. They consider all beings to be identical with their own self. With their hearts filled with compassion, they wander on the Earth irrespective of whether anyone cuts or strikes them, whether anyone is attracted to them or whether anyone seeks refuge with them. For the purification of all living beings, their anger and senses conquered, they merely carry their bodies. Protector of the earth, a mound of dirt and gold are the same to them. Those who come into contact with such a rare soul are very fortunate, dearest one.
I will tell you about this excellent yoga. Listen attentively, for hearing about it a man is released from evil acts and from the ocean of material existence.
Any yoga involving a fixed mind resting on Siva, Visnu, Shakti, Surya and on me, protector of men, is the right yoga in my opinion. I alone, having taken various froms, create, protect and destroy the world for my own play. I alone am Maha Visnu, I alone am Sad?siva, I alone am the great Shakti, I alone am Aryaman, dear one. I alone am the Lord of men who previously appeared as the five principle incarnations.
Because they are ignorant they do not know me as the cause of the cause of the world. I am considered to be fire, water, earth and I am considered to be ether and air, Brahma, Visnu, Rudra, the world protectors and all the directions, the Vasus, the Maruts, the cows, the sages and the animals, rivers, oceans, yaksas, trees and flocks of birds, and the twenty-one heavens, the snakes and the seven forests, humans, mountains, the s?dhyas, perfected beings and hosts of raksasas. I am the witness, the eye of the world, untouched by all actions, the unchangeable, the immeasurable, I am the un-manifest, omnipresent and imperishable. I alone am the Supreme Brahman who possesses everlasting bliss, King.
My power of maya deludes all these excellent men. The material elements are perceived by the six senses. A person should always concentrate intensely on Me, after gradually leaving behind the veil of illusion over many births. After becoming indifferent to the objects of the senses, one should know Brahman through right knowledge. Brahman cannot be cut by strokes of a sword, nor burnt by fire, nor can it be made wet by living creatures, nor dried up by the wind. Nor can it be killed, even when the body is destroyed, Protector of men.
Those ignorant people who are obsessed with the Vedas praise the flowery words uttered in the Vedas and think of nothing other than that. They always engage in activities that produce birth and death as its result. They are obsessed with power and heaven, their minds are scattered and their intellect absorbed in carnal enjoyment. They produce their own bondage by themselves, Protector of the Earth.
Those ignorant men obsessed with activity are joined to the wheel of samsara. One engaged in activity should do it and offer the results to Me, because the huge sprouts of the seeds of karma will be cut off for him. His mind will be greatly purified. and he will gain spiritual knowledge. The Supreme Brahman is known (by the sages) through this knowledge. Therefore, Overlord of men, one should perform actions with the intellect absorbed in Me.