Book Reviews - Many paths, one destination
by T. A. Basubramanian
It might well be said of me that here I have merely made up a bunch of other men's flowers, and provided nothing of my own but the string to bind them.”The author of this book, J P Vaswani (popularly called Dada Vaswani), offers this Michel de Montaigne quote in the Preface – and it explains his objective particularly well. Vaswani prompts us to seek out and absorb at least the fundamental building blocks on which the world’s major religions have been founded. Understanding the messages embedded in these sacred works, is, according to him, the missing link needed to foster a universal sense of tolerance and understanding in an increasingly factional world.
Vaswani is the well-known 95-year-old spiritual leader and head of the Pune-based Sadhu Vaswani Mission. This book is an expression of the Vaswani Mission by the author. He begins with a tour-de-force: a masterly, yet brief introduction to selected scriptures and key tenets of the world’s major faiths – Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.
In Offshoots: The Paths Less Travelled, we are shown glimpses of Confucianism, Sufism and Taoism. The Sacred Scripture of the Sindhis (The Nuri Granth by Sadhu Vaswani) comes in for a special review. The last bouquet is a collection of the author’s favourite prayers drawn from different religions. For those who are eager to connect with the roots of their own faiths – or to get insights into the roots of the world’s most followed faiths – this is a short and educative introduction. It serves to take one closer to a seeker’s path by spreading the fragrance of one man’s sincere sharing of a personal journey.
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