Last night I watched the documentary, Kumare, on Netflix downstreaming. Vikram Gandhi, a 2nd-generation Indian man living in New Jersey wondered about religion, gurus and their authenticity. He searched America and then traveled to his ancestral homeland of India only to find what he felt were “false prophets,” espousing what he already knew. So, he decided to pose as a guru himself, learn yoga, meditation, and see if he could find a following in Arizona. Well, he did.
What he espoused was that he, Kumare, was an illusion, and that the guru was within each one of his disciples. While it almost made a joke of all things new age and spiritual, such as the psychic who saw him as a guru in many past lives, Kumare made a positive impact on everyone he met. He used age-old methods that all Indian gurus have used – yoga, meditation, visualization. And a powerful practice was having his disciples tell him what 5 things he needed to do (as if talking to themselves). Well, they all took their own advice and did what they told him to do.
When he did his unveiling 40 days after leaving the group, a few were shocked and upset, while the rest embraced him as just another fellow traveler sharing his wisdom and knowledge.
The message: We all have the power within us. We are all our best gurus.
But, watching the documentary, it also became clear that we as humans benefit from helping each other, energize each other when doing group practices, and feel happiest when in community. Vikram said he was his best self as Kumare. I think we are all our best selves when helping each other, sharing our inspiration, our knowledge, our wisdom. Because we are all on a search for meaning, for happiness and love.
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