On the Fourth of July, I went to see Kumare with two of my friends. Kumare is the story of Vikram Gandhi, an Indian-American who travels to India to study yoga, returns to the United States and pretends to be a guru. He gets a real following in Phoenix, AZ while teaching made-up mantras and yoga poses, but giving sound spiritual advice all the same. At the end of the film, he comes out as Vikram, confusing many of his “students” but hurting / angering others too. The message he tried to get across that we are the font of spiritual wisdom and we don’t need teachers to tell us how to grow spiritually.
While the message of the documentary resonated with me, I would have appreciated the documentary a great deal more had he explored gurus who were genuine teachers, not just the ones who were fake or were there for the money or sex. In spite of this, I appreciated the sincerity of Vikram’s narration. You go into the cinema hall thinking — no way, this is not possible. No way a FAKE GURU is going to build a REAL FOLLOWING. But you leave challenged. And that’s the best kind of documentary: something that challenges you to think a little differently.
All in all, a great documentary and I recommend it to anyone.
P.S. - On a related note, my friend, Chris Fici, recently wrote a blog for The Huffington Post on why one NEEDS a guru to growth spiritually. Read this here.
Now what do YOU think? Do we need gurus for spiritual growth? Share with me in the comments section (click to comment).