Documentary Review: “KUMARE”

I have been stuck in bed and sick, sick, sick the past 3 days. What else should I do, except lay there and watch tv show after tv show on my computer? Needless to say, I am now hooked on “Downton Abbey” and “Parenthood”. But, telling you about those two tv shows is not the purpose of this blog post. [I will say though, that they are both excellent shows, and if you’re looking for a new tv show to get hooked on, those 2 are great!].

Anyways, I I know I’ve talked about this website before, but I frequent mindbodygreen.com. You know, I’ve signed up to get daily emails and what not, so I can see what new articles they have. Well, as I was checking my daily MBG digest, they had an advertisement for gaiamtv to check out a documentary called “Kumare“. Intriguing? Absolutely. Did some googling and found that it was on Netflix. Check. Alright let’s see what this is all about.

So, what’s this all about? This dude named Vikram Gandhi from New Jersey is essentially doing this experiment on spiritual leaders. He’s found that a lot of people who willingly call themselves prophets and swamis and gurus and connections with the Divine, are just phonies. Do I agree with this? To some extent. I think a lot of people who make these claims are all a little bit yahoo, and are in it for the wrong reasons. I think this is a cause for blind faith. But, that’s a post for another day. So, Vikram takes on the identity of “Kumare”, an Indian guru from the Himalayas. He goes to Phoenix, Arizona and creates a decent-sized following.
And what exactly does he do? He creates a fake doctrine. He teaches these people yoga asanas he made up, a meditation technique called “Blue Light Meditation”, and teaches them songs and words that are completely bogus. All of this takes guts, a risk I’m not so sure I would be willing to take myself.
His teachings He is basing his whole philosophy off of what he personally believes, which I find very commendable. At least, that part’s not fake. But, he believes that we as individuals don’t necessarily need spiritual guides. That these gurus and swamis and messengers are all within us, that we have the capability to guide ourself down a righteous path. He also taught his followers that the image of an ideal self that we’ve created of ourselves is an attainable truth. We have what it takes to be the ideal self that we envision. We have all the tools and resources to achieve this, we just have to look deep within and find them.
But then what happens? These people that have become his “followers” are so incredibly connected to him. I mean, they really truly believe that he is the solution to their problems. They find so much value in his teachings and the time they spend with him.

I don’t want to spill the ending, because it definitely caught me off guard. Either way, there are some things I agree with, some things I don’t. I do think gurus are necessary to help you walk whatever path you desire to walk on. I think they’re important in guiding you to realize your full potential. Yeah, a lot of them are hokey, but when you find someone who does it for you, you can’t help but fall in love with idea that this person is going to help you attain your ideal self. However, I do agree with Mr. Kumare Gandhi that we have everything we need inside of us already. We just need to figure out how to harness all that energy and power. Enter your spiritual guide.

My recommendation: if you have Netflix, or some other way of getting to watch this documentary, watch it. It took guts for Vikram to do what he did. Someone has to take these risks, and he did, which is something commendable. You might get pulled emotionally either for Vikram or for his followers [or both!] towards the end. Definitely interesting to see how his story played out.

If you want to know the ending, I’ll be more than happy to share with you though.

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