When considering all that Thatte put into his booklet, especially the final chapters about the different yogas, he closes in advising how a person might know their path. Surely a question each human asks at one point or another in their life. Thatte points out that in Hinduism:
- A person isn’t limited to one path
- A person might end up taking any combination of paths throughout life’s various stages
- There are several examples of saints who achieved moksha through different paths
- All paths ultimately merge into one
He seems to suggest that the path most appropriate, and possibly the easiest, for younger people would be the path of Karma Yoga and that as one ages the emphasis might switch from Karma Yoga to that of Bhakti Yoga or Jnana Yoga.
My thought differs. What I know about myself, and what I have experienced with other Americans is that, typically, Bhakti would be a good place to start, depending on the temperment. Otherwise Raja Yoga(which Thatte fails to address) or Jnana are perfectly fine starting with. I think a person’s mind/soul need to have undergone a certain amount of development before they can functionally act without attachment to the fruits of those actions.
This post designates the very last chapter in Thatte’s booklet. I’m thrilled, actually. I recall when Thatte came to my temple and spoke. Seemed to make a lot of sense. I was glad to be able to grab up his booklet. However, after digging in and giving each chapter an amount more of thought, I’m less impressed than I was initially. I suppose his booklet proves what he said originally to be true for why he wrote it in the first place which is that, unlike so many of the othr world religions, Hinduism can’t adequately be summed up in a catch phrase or a couple of sentences.
P.S. A week or two ago this blog was given a shout out on another blog by Tandava. I’m excited to know that others are noticing my small existence, but I would much like to clarify something said in his shout-out, which is that I’m clearly influenced by Thatte. Not true. Tandava is correct about me in every other way mentioned: advaita, western hindu, and I speak of myself often without directly speaking of myself. Beyond that, this series was hardly more than an experiment, and one I had to force myself through at that. Thatte’s no fool and his seva for the Hindu diaspora is sweet. But I can safely say, and especially after diving deeper into his booklet, that any impressions Thatte-ji made on my brian are likely few and minor. All the same, I’m grateful to Tandava for adding me to his space’s blogroll, for the shout-out, and the rating of 4.5 out of 5 Ganeshas. 🙂
Om Tat Sat Om