“Today I embrace illusion to find truth”
What is truth? What is illusion? This documentary/film explores the question of what is real and what is fake in understanding what a spiritual master is. Film maker Vikram Gandhi goes undercover as a Hindu guru to seek those answers and finds more about who he is as well as the reactions of his ‘followers’ when he unveils his true self.
Born within a devout Hindu family that migrated from India, as a child Gandhi was immersed in Hindu mythology and rituals. As a young man Gandhi started questioning the reality of religion and becoming skeptical with all the ‘New Age’ hoopla. In what started as a documentary on gurus in which he interviewed various ones from the West as well as from India Gandhi wanted to know why spiritual leaders were needed at all. Kumare’ was born as a prank to see what others would believe and turned into a further exploration of what it means to believe, especially in what a spiritual teacher is. Having gathered a small following, throughout the film and throughout his teachings Kumare’ always mentions that he is a fake, an illusion and gives instructions in letting people find it within themselves and that they don;t need a teacher.
The humor and the sincerity within Kumare’ is great. Many people that are interviewed and asked about Kumare’ sense a deep spiritual essence within him. The fake yoga moves and chants are absorbed as truthful lessons. The spiritual practices of others (the past life psychic, the acoustic theologist, leaders of Urantia, Law of Attraction teachers) are truthful in what they teach, yet you can’t keep from finding the humor in it all. You could feel that in a greater sense in other religious/spiritual teachers and even more in the teachers of other practices (science, politics, government, etc). It all comes down to what helps in ones own growth in life. There are many humorous parts within the film yet there are an equal amount of personal stories that finds Kumare’ wondering if he is helping anyone.
The Ideal Version of Oneself
Kumare’s teachings explore the understanding of creating a Truth, an image of what one wanted to become by becoming it. He goes full force in his version, which is a lie, but it all points to the outcome. An outcome that creates a higher sense of being. There’s a part where he and his followers are doing a made up meditation called “the Blue Light Meditation” where he feels its power, a feeling that in some sense is real and is providing healing. Is he starting to believe in himself?
The unveiling of who Kumare really is is pretty profound in seeing the reaction others would have. Would they curse him? Would they embrace him in what he has done? A really great look into the psychology of self reflection, identity, and creating life within a mirror, a vacuum of illusion.
It didnt matter if he was making up being a Hindu guru, a Buddhist monk, a Christian preacher or a Muslim Imam, his experiment brought about a profound feeling in those he touched. Is he a charlatan? A crook? Or a teacher that knows when the student is ready? A very profound film. Loved it!
There is also two CD’s, “Sacred Chants of Kumare” and “Tcha” I was able to get a hold of. The “Sacred Chants..” CD includes four versions of the repetitive chanting of his name, two traditional sounding ones, with one slower and smoother (think Deva Premal) and a faster festive one (think the Hari Krishna[s celebratory dance), a Western Folk version, and the last being a more Techno/Tribal/Trance style. The other CD, “Tcha” includes six tracks that for the most part, feel very humorous and yet Traditional. I can close my eyes and actually see these guys on the corner of some city in India jamming their traditional instruments, smoking from the hookah, drinking some sacred tea and enjoying themselves.
When I listen to the Cd’s I come aware how funny this whole concept was and must realize that these aren’t no “Sacred Chants” from a true Guru (alas what IS a TRUE guru?). The film and music are great tools (or is it a symbolic understanding!?) of ourselves. Please check this out.
Kumare’ Official Trailer #1