Kumaré

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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

Kumaré

Posts: 487 Join Date: 1/23/12 Recent Posts
Have you guys seen Kumaré?

Basically this Indian-American guy puts on robes, grows a beard, adopts an Indian accent, and pretends to be a spiritual guru. He makes up a philosophy and gets a small following/cult going out in Arizona.

Parts of the movie are hysterically funny. Other parts are serious and deep.

It's worth watching.
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S. Pro, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Kumaré

Posts: 86 Join Date: 2/7/10 Recent Posts
It was mentioned on the old KFDh forum.
I had a look at the trailer (didn´t watch the whole thing though).
Although it might be a good display of the neurotic tendencies of "spiritual seekers" I had the impression it was
also disrespectful of the individuals being presented there.

21st century freak show? Damage caused for laughs?

S.
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Alan Smithee, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Kumaré

Posts: 310 Join Date: 4/2/10 Recent Posts
Fitter Stoke:
Have you guys seen Kumaré?

Basically this Indian-American guy puts on robes, grows a beard, adopts an Indian accent, and pretends to be a spiritual guru. He makes up a philosophy and gets a small following/cult going out in Arizona.

Parts of the movie are hysterically funny. Other parts are serious and deep.

It's worth watching.


I just saw this last week at Eberfest in Champaign/Urbana IL. Director and star Vikram Gandhi was there, as was the producer Brendan Colthurst, and they talked about the film, and answered questions [which was really fascinating]. At one point, someone in the audience asked if Vikram could do the Kumare chant. He agreed, but ended up leading all 1,500 people in the audience through the "blue light meditation" [in his Kumare voice], and concluded the meditation by having Brendan lead us through the Kumare chant.

Weirdly, the film begins by trying to debunk gurus, but it seems that the majority of the people Kumare taught mostly had positive experiences. I'm not sure what that did for the film's thesis. Also, I wish he'd discussed whether he was ever tempted to exploit his students [say, sex or money]: He never really explored the dark side of such power, as it manifested in himself [during Q+A he said he never accepted money for any of his teachings]. Lastly, I thought his philosophy was really actually quite American pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps self-reliance stuff. Not much different than what might have been taught at an EST seminar, for example. In the end, what he did was ethically questionable, to say the least, but, despite it all, I found the film really entertaining, and yes, in parts very moving and compelling. I can't quite get it out of my head.
C C C, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Kumaré

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Alan Smithee:


Weirdly, the film begins by trying to debunk gurus, but it seems that the majority of the people Kumare taught mostly had positive experiences. I'm not sure what that did for the film's thesis.


Yes, they would have had positive emotional experiences. So long as one knows how the mind works, anyone with skill can create happiness and joy...and anyone can choose to follow. The religious rigmarole, the ancient languages and texts don't seem to be at all necessary. Ancient *anything* does have appeal, no doubt. Architecture, books, poetry...there's something about the old style that is beautiful and romantic. I'm just saying its probably not necessary.

Learning how to be happy and joyful is a kind of wisdom in itself, even when led by a fake. It beats the heck out of going to a "real" guru, getting told to do vipassana and ending up depressed, sorry and with no explanation except "keep going" (ie. do more of what made you miserable). Plenty of these real fake gurus around.
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Kumaré

Posts: 381 Join Date: 9/13/11 Recent Posts
Watched it for the first time. It's available online or on netflix:

http://www.videoneat.com/documentaries/3141/kumare-watch-free-online  

Truly fascinating stuff and well done with an overall positive message. Many good insights about people spiritual motivations. I think the most obvious thing is that the persona and the costume allowed him to play outside of social norms. This combined by simply acting kindly allowed an non-judgemental interaction with people which ended up being much more genuine than he expected. Most people took the prank with good humor, except the Yoga teacher that was hosting his sessions...

NPR segment on it:
http://www.npr.org/2014/04/18/304550754/false-guru   

TEDx by the guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3BJ23H5yBQ

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