LOL... Yoda.But can he tell us HOW Orthodox doctrine on theosis is very close to these schools of Hindu thinking?
Anyway, here is an interesting quote from Paulos Mar Gregorios of the Indian Orthodox:
“The main tenet of the Orthodox faith is the belief that salvation is by being united with Christ who is Isvara incarnate. By being united with Him, we are to grow into God's image by becoming more and more god-like in character, in love, in goodness and in wisdom. This process of transformation is called theosis or divinisation. This is very close to certain schools of Hindu thinking about salvation by yoga or union with Brahama.”
Here's a summary of theosis
, from Orthowiki:
The statement by St. Athanasius of Alexandria, "The Son of God became man, that we might become God", indicates the concept beautifully. II Peter 1:4 says that we have become " . . . partakers of divine nature." Athanasius amplifies the meaning of this verse when he says theosis is "becoming by grace what God is by nature" (De Incarnatione, I). What would otherwise seem absurd, that fallen, sinful man may become holy as God is holy, has been made possible through Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate. Naturally, the crucial Christian assertion, that God is One, sets an absolute limit on the meaning of theosis - it is not possible for any created being to become, ontologically, God or even another god.
Compare that description of theosis with the teachings of a particular tradition within the Hindu family of faiths. Sri Ramanuja, who lived in the 1100s, taught "qualified non-dualism", and his teachings on the relationship between the soul and God have some interesting parallels with theosis:
Emancipation or Passing into Paradise
According to Ramanuja, Moksha means the soul’s passing from the troubles of mundane life into a kind of heaven or paradise (Vaikuntha) where it will remain forever in undisturbed personal bliss in the presence of God. The liberated soul attains to the nature of God. It never becomes identical with Him. It lives in fellowship with the Lord, either serving Him or meditating on Him. It never loses its individuality.
Just to note some parallels between theosis and qualified non-dualism, I would point out that both maintain a distinction between God and soul, while at the same time teaching that God and the soul are able to share their lives in some ways. In the Ramanuja quote above, it is stated that the liberated soul attains the "nature" of God without becoming "identical" to God. This is somewhat similar to the theosis teaching that man can become God by means of God's energies without sharing God's essence.
(The Ramanuja quote uses and defines the word "nature" in a way differently than the way the theosis quote uses and defines the word "nature". They both use the word "nature" but not with the same definition. The Ramanuja quote's "nature" corresponds to the theosis quote's "by grace"; and the Ramanuja quote's "identical" corresponds to the theosis quote's "by nature".)
I would end by proposing that two ideas that look "very close" to one another, can still be universes apart.