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  #1  
Old September 9th, 2018, 09:49 AM
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Ashdoc's movie review---The answer



This movie is about the true story of an American young man's desire to attain spiritual enlightenment , which ends as he finds it in the form of an Indian guru---Paramhansa Yogananda , who resides in the United states .

James Donald Walters ( Leonidas Gulaptis ) is born in Romania and is a kind soul since childhood . But his kindness is taken advantage of sometimes by other kids who bully him . He is dearly loved by his parents , who have him baptized as a Christian . But as war clouds hover over Europe , they take him to America .

Walters grows up to be different from other young men around him as he wants to follow a path of self realisation . As he wanders around in pursuit of this , he begins to believe in God and is in search of a guru . He then stumbles upon the book 'Autobiography of a yogi' and is instantly drawn to the serene features and teachings of the writer of the book---Paramhansa Yogananda .

Walters travels from one end of America to another to reach this yogi eschewing temptations thrown by beautiful women on the way , but is told by his disciples that all appointments of this yogi are booked for months . Many people are in line to wait for meeting the great yogi , and Walters will have to wait .

But then a miracle happens . Walters is called for meeting him by Paramhansa Yogananda himself , and the yogi tells him that he had received a divine communication to meet him right there . With this auspicious beginning , Walters' relationship as disciple of the great yogi begins . He is asked to kneel in front the yogi and is enrolled permanently as his disciple .

Life as a disciple of a yogi is not one of comfort . Walters' quarters are Spartan and his bed is of hard wood with only a mattress on it . But Walters' is most happy as he feels he is on the path he wanted to be from the start . His parents are naturally not happy with his decision but they accept it .

Walters is most happy when Paramhansa Yogananda is teaching him and other disciples and waits for those moments , though they come only once in a while as Yogananda is out on his tours and lectures . But soon he has immersed himself so much in the teaches of his master that he is called to give lectures himself , which is a great honour for a young man as himself .

Many times he is witness to small miracles . When his ladder is going to tilt and fall while painting his quarters , he closes his eyes and remembers his master and it retilts back to it's original position . When another disciple is called to meet Yogananda in blinding rain , the rain automatically stops and the sky becomes clear .

Yogananda says that one should not hesitate to kill if a creature is bent on harm and differs from Gandhi in this . But he otherwise enforces strict vegetarianism in his fold . His beliefs are primarily hindu but include all religions and he teaches the teachings of Christ too and always wears a cross . He sometimes takes teachings of Islam too .

Yogananda entrusts the work of editing his teachings to Walters and soon realises that Walters is the only one who edits his works without changing his message . Soon Walters is with him on many occasions and Yogananda begins to rely on him . Walters for his part has nothing but devotion in his look as he gazes at his master . Only once while editing the works does he begin to doubt his master , but that is because he has stayed away from Yogananda doing his work of editing for too long . On meeting him again , his doubts are cleared . Yogananda asks Walters to grow a beard , and everyone says Walters looks so much like Jesus Christ on growing it . But when Walters' parents come visiting him , Yogananda fondly trims the beard himself .

Walters has not claimed to be the favourite disciple of the guru at all . Indeed as the movie freely admits , others were the guru's favourites . But it is Walters who was instrumental in spreading the guru's message across the world after his death . After the death of Yogananda , Walters became swami Kriyananda and established Ananda universities in many continents .

Watching the movie , one gets transported into a world of spiritual calm and forgets the troubles of life for a brief span . Music is most appropriate for all situations and photography of nature most satisfying . Acting by Victor Banerjee as Paramhansa Yogananda is good and he gives his speeches with a firm and clear voice . Even better is Leonidas Gulaptis as Walters as he brings out his devotion to the guru so effectively . For those seeking a spiritual journey on celluloid , the film is worth watching .

Verdict---Decent .

Three stars out of five .
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Last edited by ashdoc; September 9th, 2018 at 10:25 AM.
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  #2  
Old September 10th, 2018, 02:30 PM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The answer

I must applaud you for watching this movie!

For me, anyone needing any spiritual guidance from a living baba is like being a dumb ass follower of Asaraam Bapu
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Old September 11th, 2018, 10:16 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The answer

Can you learn how to spread your spiritual message and get followers from watching this movie
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Old September 11th, 2018, 10:31 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The answer

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Can you learn how to spread your spiritual message and get followers from watching this movie
by publicity of course . for example i had never heard of paramhansa yogananda and ananda university before this movie . now i know of them .
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Old September 11th, 2018, 11:15 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The answer

I have been through shitty times and felt really low in life. But I never felt like I should go listen to some Babaji ... its all common-sense... You have shitty situation, you need to accept it (and I did) and then get out of it on your own. You can ask friends to help you, you can seek emotional support, but you need to get through shit on your own.

And no, I never had profound questions ever like 'Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose in life?'. This kind of shit happens to those who either have way too much time on their hand, or have tons of money and now don't know what to do with it or total losers who have no desire to work at anything and just blame fate or God.

I can say that I trust and believe in God. Other than that I do not need anyone else to be an agent of God or someone to tell me how to reach God.

Yes, lot of people in your life will make your life hell and/or heaven. But you need to be in charge of yourself and take actions.

I like the Hindu Vedic principle of 4 stages of life - Student age, Married man age, Retirement and Jungle or something.. I mean its called something like Grahasthashram, Vanprasthashram etc.

What it says is that you have to first be a student, then a family man and then retire etc. I cannot recall exact names but the concept is very clear and very good, very practical. All of us have a role to play.

All these swamis and babas of today are for the weak minded.
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Old September 11th, 2018, 11:30 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The answer

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Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
And no, I never had profound questions ever like 'Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose in life?'. This kind of shit happens to those who either have way too much time on their hand, or have tons of money and now don't know what to do with it
Could it be the other way too? If one asks profound questions, one ends up with lot of time, lot of money and no work to do
i.e. become a swami yourself
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Old September 11th, 2018, 12:13 PM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The answer

From what I have seen , the people who follow these babas and swamis are different or rather eccentric.

My maasi's husband is like that and has totally immersed himself in the devotion of some baba . He does agnihotra by burning camphor and ghee on cow dung and even drinks cow piss . He has married his daughters to sons of babas . He is completely eccentric and has these terrible fits of rage in which he shouts and raves and rants on his wife and children.
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Old September 11th, 2018, 12:18 PM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The answer

Also another relative is devotee of another baba . He delayed his daughter's marriage on advice of the baba as the baba was saying that horoscopically the time was not right . In the end she was married too late to a moron . The relative has spent lot of money on the baba without getting anything in return. Completely eccentric !!
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Old September 11th, 2018, 08:31 PM
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Post Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The answer

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Also another relative is devotee of another baba . He delayed his daughter's marriage on advice of the baba as the baba was saying that horoscopically the time was not right . In the end she was married too late to a moron . The relative has spent lot of money on the baba without getting anything in return. Completely eccentric !!
I can never fathom how can literate and educated people fall prey to such babas.

Well, it's no surprise that such nonsense crosses all caste, economic status, education and literacy barriers.

For example, one of the two Ranbaxy brothers - Shivinder and Malvinder Singh - was some baba's bhakt.

Shivinder went into this sect/cult and screwed his duties towards his business entities, mainly Religare. You can read all about it here.
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Old September 12th, 2018, 05:56 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The answer

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From what I have seen , the people who follow these babas and swamis are different or rather eccentric.

My maasi's husband is like that and has totally immersed himself in the devotion of some baba . He does agnihotra by burning camphor and ghee on cow dung and even drinks cow piss . He has married his daughters to sons of babas . He is completely eccentric and has these terrible fits of rage in which he shouts and raves and rants on his wife and children.
Agnihotra is a ritual which many were doing 50 years back. There are some conservative TamBrams who drink water only from a well. One such guy was getting transferred from Chennai to Mumbai and many colleagues were wondering where he would get the well water from. You dont need to follow a Baba for that.
I am supposed to be doing Sandhya vandana every morning, though i have done a good maa behn of what all i am supposed to do.
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Old September 12th, 2018, 05:59 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---The answer

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Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
I can never fathom how can literate and educated people fall prey to such babas.

Well, it's no surprise that such nonsense crosses all caste, economic status, education and literacy barriers.

For example, one of the two Ranbaxy brothers - Shivinder and Malvinder Singh - was some baba's bhakt.

Shivinder went into this sect/cult and screwed his duties towards his business entities, mainly Religare. You can read all about it here.
That is maa behn of the whole point of being a sardar. Nanak started this religion to say that rituals are meaningless and only devotion and good deeds (sacha sauda) matter. Gobind singh started the turban etc to get the followers a distinct identity. In fact they are not supposed to eat halal meat because it follows a ritual.
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