“Kumare” The Movie

Recently I watched the movie “Kumare” in which a Vikram Gandhi , an American of East Indian heritage masquerades as a yoga guru, and through crafty PR (and the presence of cameras) gains a following.

Gandhi  could have been simply played for laughs  at the expense of the unknowing dupes, in the style of Ali G or Borat, but amazingly,Kumare’s  disciples seem to benefit from his bogus presentation. Furthermore, Ghandi himself finds the adventure of playing the character of the guru surprisingly fulfilling as he forges(!!) what he describes as very deep connections with his students and struggles with the idea of revealing his true identity.

I found it quite touching as well as being extremely thought-provoking.

I would certainly unreservedly recommend watching it to anyone interested in the subject matter .

Has anyone here seen the movie?
What were your impressions?

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60 Responses to “Kumare” The Movie

  1. Arpana says:

    Humblest of apa logies Swmi Frank

    Never crossed my mind you were actually being serious.

    Thought you were referring to something like the Love Guru

  2. Parmartha says:

    Thanks Frank.
    Yes I watched the movie with Dom a few weeks back.
    Like the chemical weapons in Syria I am a sceptic, and would not “believe” it until I were to speak to one of those poor people who were duped. Have you not thought there might be an element of “double bluff” about it, and the whole thing might not be, to use the Shakespearian equivalent, of a “Play within a play”.
    I found it very odd that absolutely no-one “rumbled” the fellow, and was interested to hear elsewhere that the only people who really rumbled him were English, when he was in India…. thank God for English nous, if true!
    The movie held me, that is I did not fall asleep. But I dont buy what seemed to be its message, that is it is very easy to con people from the guru role, and therefore should be a warning about all gurus. I still feel there is value in such relationships at certain stages of one’s growth, and that many poor seekers “flounder” when trying to do what Osho claimed he did himself, at least in some of his lectures, which was to have completed his whole seeker trip alone.
    Also there is the view that it does not matter whether the guru is false or true at one level, it is the familiarity of being a disciple which is all important….

    • frank says:

      Parmartha,
      yes,it did occur to me that it could have just been a play within a play,or a set-up.
      for example,it was never explained how the presence of the cameras was explained to the participants.
      and,of course, if people think they are going to be on tv or in a movie,they`ll do just about anything!

      nevertheless,I didn’t really see the “message” as being how easy it is to con people,and to warn people about gurus.
      that would have more been the case if it had been more ali G or borat like.just setting up idiots and ridiculing them type-of-thing.

      one thing I found interesting was the idea of him actually experiencing more intimacy and connection, with his “disciples” than he did in his normal social life as a result of the subterfuge,and how the disciples felt the same way.
      this seemed to really happen.

      the con had positive effects.
      likewise maybe even a “true” guru may have negative effects.
      it depends.

      outside of any moralising however,the movie illustrated beautifully the central tenet/mythology of the eastern world..
      that `god` is an actor,the world is just one big drama and `god` is playing all the parts….
      …just because.

      maybe on that level there`s just good acting and bad acting,
      and the reality or otherwise,trueness or falseness of the actors` show,is in the perception of the spectators.
      as you say its “being a disciple which is all important”

  3. Lokesh says:

    Bottom line is you get the guru you deserve.
    I don’t think there was any double bluff in the story. People are remarkably gullible when it comes to the guru game, especially Americans. I think that is because that many Americans are so fed up with the material programme. They are desperate for anything that has a whiff of the beyond.
    There are many phony gurus around. I’ve met quite a few, some so into the role they actually believe they are self realized beings etc and advertise themselves as such. It is fascinating to behold how people just want to believe in a guru, no matter how unbelieveable they happen to be.
    Many people think Osho was a charlatan, which is quite understandable all things considered. Therefore many people believe those who are or were involved with Osho are gullable peole who have had the wool pulled over their eyes. Osho has become a bit more respectable since he died. In another twenty years he will be ranked as one of India’s greatest gurus. If he were still alive he’d have soon managed to tarnish that image, something I always enjoyed about him.
    Kumare is a fun docu and really quite fascinating in places, as well as educational. I think I recall recommending watching it a couple of months back on SN and still do now.

    • honeysucklerose says:

      utter rubbish- and the English? the French? now the Chinese… Americans are just recent add-ons to the club

      • Lokesh says:

        HSR, your response is more of a reaction than anything else and there are a number of ways that you can poke holes in it. Unlike the Gringos, the chinkos are just gettting used to the idea of having bags of gold after going a long time without. The gringos have had the richest nation on earth for quite some time, long enough for some locals to find out that money does not bring happiness as a direct consequence of having it. New Chinkolandia is still enamoured with the idea of worshiping the dinero god. Meanwhile the Anglais have their tea and the French have their wine and are altogether more cultured than the new barbarians over the pond. HSR are you a gringo?

  4. bodhi vartan says:

    I DL’d the movie ages ago but I couldn’t watch past the first few minutes and eventually deleted it.

    Why?

    The fake wristwatch industry is bigger than the Swiss watch industry. You might say, why would anyone pay thousands of pounds for a small piece of metal? Why would anyone follow a guru indeed. To the uninitiated, a fake watch looks exactly like a real one.

    Watching somebody being taken by Kumare, is like watching somebody being taken by Swami Rajneesh, or like watching somebody paying top dollar for a fake Panerai (and not being able to stop any of them).

    It just isn’t cricket.

    • frank says:

      vartan.
      the wristwatch analogy doesn’t work.
      a `fake` watch tells the time just as well as the swiss watch
      so its not fake on the issue of function.

      in fact , the guy selling the fake watch is like a real guru–
      he is giving his dupe the opportunity,when he finds out hes been taken for a mug, to transcend his crass ego and liberate himself from the idiotic illusion that wearing a small piece of metal on his wrist has any real significance.

  5. shantam prem says:

    “Our religion is the first virtual religion of the world.”
    Introduction to Osho sannyas in 21st century.

    For the real one to one to communication, group feeling and also if you want to enjoy “camel toes”, please visit yoga school in your city, for example Vikram Yoga!

    • Prem Martyn says:

      I once lived many years ago (between and amongst others, but myself was utterly opposed to ) a weird guru story in a noted south English town ..

      That film is somewhere in mind, in fragments and frames.

      I wonder if the politics of family life and social democratic demagogic education has a strong influence on the composure of our body mind, that leads to discerning the difference between margarine and butter, or not. And why anyone would bother to start anyway. Havel said that all politics ( big or little ‘p’ ) is just a living out of these early politics, and begins and extrapolates from therein.

      On one level so are psycho-social-spiritual affinities. Compensations for essentiality and nurture, that could/might have taken other forms more naturally without such overt tagging or displacement activity.All things being equal that is. Which they hardly ever are.
      Anyway…
      I never mention that earlier English experience because they are still extant somewhere, and I’m not giving them air time and to type only in metaphors and allusions would be a difficult task. Still , that film was lived out. Painfully so. Strange how a bunch of pleasant bourgeois boys and girls were attracted to such very plebean lumpen twats, and deeply psychotically too without any of the compensatory polarities of Oshoism, and yet they had all apparently been deeply trained in sannyas and had lived it well in many ways. Sannyas has a lot to answer for too, non, mes braves ?

      And no I’m not reserving or suspending judgement on that southern town story.That’s a vicarious luxury, which getting down and dirty in these scenes of life does not afford.
      As Frank said if you do dust yourself off after the event, then I add, you’ll have notched up what some of our championing forebears literally fought for us to have and we so easily forget as mere history in assessing how we got here….freedom… and the same invitation to say what you think and feel without control from inside or out..because truth and life sometimes has a real cost.And is conversely not a viewed docu-film.

      Wasn’t much of this search for intelligent transparent relevance an expiation of the trauma of the inherited effects of 2nd world war psychosis and not an absolute search in primordis., as well ? It , the trauma, carried with it all the contradictions of permission and risk of speaking out .Almost nothing is ever said of why and how emotional intelligence was made utterly irrelevant and absent and needed fostering after two world wars, ( in any history docs or personal conversations, imo.)
      I hear family constellation work , works back through the generations and is also able to discern these influences. Let’s look at dysfunctionality when talking of absolute truths , duping and the language of covert agendas that goes with it through a lack of familiarity and fear of the latent,intelligent and suppressed ancient gut-brain, when we wax lyrical. As for the new generations in here, its the future not the past that holds them to ransom, for what we’ve laid out as the planet boiling effects on the human condition.

      • Lokesh says:

        Martyn mentions, ‘trauma of the inherited effects of 2nd world war psychosis’. Associative memory being what it is this instantly brings to mind a brilliant German-language film I watched last night. Powerful, brutal, moving and intelligent it deals with a group of young kids who are the offspring of Nazi war criminals and their journey through the Fatherland at the end of World War 2. If Kumare is a five star docu ‘Lore’ is a ten star movie. Not for the faint-hearted and delivers a perspective of the fall of Nazi Germany that I found fascinating, superbly acted, directed and filmed into the bargain.

  6. Preetam says:

    Parmartha perfect differentiate… lots of value in a Master – Disciple relation. Pity our degenerate society fu…. even real values.

    Our life is growing by learning from others. As a Master of Fire teach how to light a Fire. Criticism fits same for our actual power structure, a pseudo idealizing authority that tries impressing people same as Kumare does. Only we are far further forced too tolerate a structure of false godly authorities and false teachers.

    As I see, someone who seeks “enlightenment” is much easier to impress than people whom seek facts. Just as it is in society, a believer is easier to impress. Make from the people believers, take their freedom, and instead give a lie…

  7. shantam prem says:

    Sometime i really ask me, what pulled people to Osho. I mean approx.99.9999999% people showed no interest or simply shrugged their shoulders, ” One more ponzi scheme”.
    Wonderfully, those who showed ineterst many times think too in the majority way.
    Question is who has more insights?
    The majority or the so called misfits.

    • Lokesh says:

      Shri Shantam enquires, ‘what pulled people to Osho?’
      Well, it wasn’t his Rolls Royces, fancy watches and definitely not his secretary. So I can only conclude that it was ‘Oderono’ aftershave. I heard he was offered millions to promote the exclusive men’s product that he wore for over 30 years, but turned it down saying he would not do it unless he was paid $30,000,000 and a 5% share in the TATA company who produced it.

      • swami satyam dhyanraj says:

        people get the guru they deserve – lokesh has his “charlatan osho”

        • Lokesh says:

          I see that old toothless snake, Derage, has crawled back out from under his rock, spitting ineffective venom as usual.
          I’ve met a few charlatans in my time and have by now developed a sense for them. Ultimately their greatest victim is themself. DeRage obviously hasn’t a clue about such things and is quite capable of taking a delusional fraud for someone who has the keys to salvation. What to say? We all have our problems and even Kumare managed to get some of his believers to see a blue light. Conclussion, even a charlatan can help people see the light…in this case a blue one. Maybe the astrocops.

      • Preetam says:

        I thought Lokesh went for Holidays to Mallarco.

        • Lokesh says:

          Preetam, that’s Mallorca. Rarely go there. Too petty Bourgeois for my taste. Naw, right now I’m staying home on Ibiza, home of the decadent Bourgeois and cosmic hobos, and super freaks and millionaire hippies, best music producers in ze world, fab restaurants, partys for me to spin toons at, nature lovers, artists, DJs, poets, writers, musicians and all that jazz. Loving it!

        • swami satyam dhyanraj says:

          how can he ? he has his poison to distribute – the guru of charlatanism has his mission to teach oshos disciples they are deluded in their love for osho – and there are many weak minded who may fall for his philosophy –
          i suppose he is doing the buddhas a favour by capturing those fools who would only waste their time

          • Lokesh says:

            Warp factor nine, Scotty. The Klingons have their heads in the glue pot again and they’ll be staggering down the intergalactic war path before you can say the engines’ll no take it.

          • satyadeva says:

            This is really rather amusing stuff, DR, thanks for providing a good laugh for me to go to bed on.

            To impute any such “mission” to Lokesh shows you just don’t get him (correct me if I’m mistaken, please, Loke).
            You don’t see that he’s out to ‘kill the buddha (oops!) on the road” – and having fun in the process, eg by sending you up and otherwise getting up your rather self-important (and, almost by definition, apparently rather fragile, one might even say rather ‘threatened’) nose.

            As for: “and there are many weak minded who may fall for his philosophy –
            i suppose he is doing the buddhas a favour by capturing those fools who would only waste their time” -

            Well, what a comically misplaced sense of superiority! It’s you, DR, that come across here as “weak-minded”, rising to the bait, as always…

            Classic, absolutely priceless!

            • Lokesh says:

              SD says,(correct me if I’m mistaken, please, Loke).
              Naw, man, you are right on the mullah.
              I don’t reckon DeRage gets much of anything good. Uptight and really outtasight.
              I’m busy getting my DJ sets ready for next week, ambient chill, lounge and funky house. So SN provides me with comic relief.
              Just discovered a cool artist called ABACUS…track Angel Dust. So groovy, perfect for cosmic lounging.
              Thing about being a DJ gotta keep the vibes positivo.

            • swami satyam dhyanraj says:

              satyadeva – if as you say guruloco is out to “kill the buddha on the road”, why does he have to do it again and again month after month in a public forum –
              this is an internal matter for the individual on his “road” who may cling to their idea of the buddha preventing their own dissolution – not something obsessive to preach to others – who can enjoy the buddha and benefit from his aliveness

              there is no need to “kill the buddha” – there is a need to surrender to existence and dissolve oneself –
              all this killing the buddha is futile – it will only help strengthen the sense of ego – that i am killing the buddha – how clever i am

              • satyadeva says:

                Carry on dancing, DR…

                The night is young…

                No need to be so obsessed with another’s obvious failings…

                Surrender to Existence, old boy!

                Dissolve!

                Now!

                And that’s an Order!

                • prem martyn says:

                  the knives are out here again I see

                  still even they can be used for relaxation

                  it all depends

                  enjoy..

                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23810529

                • Preetam says:

                  SD says: Surrender! To what in existence – people should surrender? Seems a New Age way of giving away responsibility. Meanwhile a few run around the planet and murder thousands of peoples with weapons bought with our money and rationality. For complacence we make the whole humanity an offender. Perfect soil to sell Therapies. But our “unconsciousness” whole already surrendered violence of a few and given up its dignity.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Preetam, my “Surrender!” post to DR wasn’t meant to be taken seriously, but in the spirit of a late Saturday night joke.

  8. shantam prem says:

    Those who were feeling like a square peg in a round hole started gathering around Osho. Osho encouraged such people with warm energy.

    With time and meditation, squares started transforming themselves into round pegs.
    Sometime life kicks us to become like everybody, sometime it is the soul mate or the children or the old age!

    • frank says:

      in pumping stage of masters vision (88-90),I was also meeting whiteskin germanic mas and trying to fit round peg into the square hole.
      99.999999% simply showed no interest or shrugged the shoulders and said “one more poncey schemer”
      many times a I have heard the saying “trust in osho and tether the camel toe”, as disciple I was following masters guidelines.
      as hindi proverb say:”when mangoes swing ripe in trees,who needs holy chuddies?”
      sometimes I really ask me what pulled people to osho?
      sometimes life kicks us to become like everyone else,sitting with the soulmate the children or the old age and dreaming about 20 year old mangoes!

  9. swami satyam dhyanraj says:

    kumare showed himself a handsome, sympathetic guy with all the qualities needed to play the role of guru – and the people attracted to him benefited from his play – kumare had a heart and people could see that – even though he knew he knew nothing and believed he was conning people – his warmth and love gave to those people thirsty for something other than the american life of selfishness and greed

    buddhas are very few and people who need help, warmth, love and a pointer for growth are many -
    teachers, gurus are not enlightened people, yet they have their place in the world and help those who will never meet a buddha – and who if they met a buddha would not be capable of understanding him, and would shrink from the fierceness of the fire that he is

    it is a fashion to believe that gurus are simply conmen, and the real masters get tarred with the same brush –
    anyone with eyes can see the lies and hypnotism the society is based on – lies that murder and enslave countless millions – and are creating a hell out of a paradise –
    yet rather than putting attention on the real criminals of the world to dispel those lies that do such harm, some people would rather throw stones at the masters who have done their best to help awaken humanity from such lies –
    masters who are energetic phenomenon – catalysts for those who can dissolve themselves and catch the fire

    • satyadeva says:

      “teachers, gurus are not enlightened people”

      Shouldn’t that read ‘are not necessarily enlightened people’?

      Also, I wonder why you insist on using the term “buddha”. Isn’t the word ‘master’ enough, especially for a westerner?
      Using a word like ‘buddha’ tends to give the impression of someone rather too overwhelmingly ‘special’, too ‘rarified’, sort of too ‘full of eastern promise’, with all the quite possibly misleading ‘glamour’ attached to such a series of images.

      You have too many pseudo-Indian pretensions for me, DR, this being just one example.

      I also think it’s over-simplistic to home in on a few and deem them wholly responsible for all the dysfunction, all the injustice in our world. It’s surely not just a question of a relatively small number of “real criminals”, but a matter of the ignorance of the human race as a whole, by which I mean the unconsciousness of our depths, of our true nature. Which goes for the vast majority of us, certainly for me and, I strongly suspect, for you.

      Bearing this in mind, it’s sometimes useful to recall that famous old saying attributed to Jesus:
      “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
      (“Them” including us, of course).

      Here endeth this evening’s lesson.
      During the next hymn, the Collection will be taken….

      • Preetam says:

        SD you say, a few criminals would over-simplistic conclusion for our dilemma. A general stigmatizing of the whole humanity as unconscious of his true nature is for you more complex and understandable. In my ears it is the old Christian conditioning of Bible’s “Original sin”, no difference in between.

        You make each of our kind a mass murder, only the exception perhaps are a few holy nappies, that is horrible.

        Straight that is the mix Christian conditioning and false New Age dogma, ten times more terrible moralistic than Christianity.

        • satyadeva says:

          And your model of a few dastardly “criminals” oppressing billions of ‘innocents’, while conceivably credible on the surface, falls apart on closer examination, Preetam.

          As I said, the whole human race – including you and me – are part of the ‘problem’. Have you never seen greed, selfishness, exploitativeness, hatred, prejudice, will to power, murderousness, existential fear (now there’s a good one) etc. etc. etc.within your very own self, in and out of any formal meditation?

          I agree we shouldn’t be naive about the world and should see it for what it is, and take social/political action if and when we’re moved to. But let’s not kid ourselves anything less than individual transformation is going to make any fundamental difference ‘out there’.

    • Lokesh says:

      DeRage says, ‘energetic phenomenon – catalysts for those who can dissolve themselves and catch the fire’, Sounds a bit like he never got over the chemistry set he got for Diwali 50 years ago.
      On a real rant he declares as if he would know that, ‘who if they met a buddha would not be capable of understanding him, and would shrink from the fierceness of the fire that he is.’
      This is old sannyas rhetoric and founded in Oshospeak, circa ‘Jump into the Holy Fire’ lets have a singsong and pretend we are Sufis era.
      I don’t believe one need be afraid of approaching a self-realized man or women for fear of being burnt from the fierceness of the fire. What complete bunkum. Truth is, one should embrace an enlightened person any chance you get or failing that just sit silently beside them. We’ve all heard about the 100 watt lightbulb getting plugged into the universal grid, but nobody is requesting that one does that. Leave that to the yogis. Just relax, stay cool and enjoy the good vibes is best recipe for meeting folks running on high vibes. I say, Sitting Bull, don’t hog the peace pipe, man.

      • frank says:

        kumare was a handsome devil alright.
        have you read “fifty shades of rage” ? :

        “diane rage felt a throbbing in his chuddies,he could no longer shrink from the fire that is
        as brian kumare casually let his lunghi slide to the ground revealing his chakras in all their glory…
        diane`s ego dissolved and his knobbly knees wobbled like jellies…
        “come on ,master,hammer me like you hammered those red-bottomed baboons” pleaded diane in a throaty whisper …
        brians naked chest glistened in the mad mad moonlight..
        there was no past,no future,only the now…..
        “I surrender,buddha me,now”, demanded diane breathlessly..
        dianes base chakra was gripped by an energetic phenomenon as he caught sight of brian kumares gigantic throbbing…..

        (ED: THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED)

        • Lokesh says:

          If you were to ask me I’d say SN is getting a wee bit too sanitized. I mean to say how can you guys cut a comment just when Diane catches sight of Brian Kumare’s gigantic throbbing….? That simply isn’t fair. I want to know what happens next. I suspect that Diane is foaming at the mouth but don’t really know.

          • frank says:

            (ED:THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED)

            …..of brian kumares extraordinary and gigantic throbbing.
            diane rage collapsed in a heap on his bed,his base chakra completely dissolved, his mind completely blown away by the energetic phenomenon beneath the brian kumares lunghi.
            he had surrendered and been well and truly Buddha-ed.
            diane took a long puff of satisfaction on his cheap mexican cigarette and fell into a deep spiritual coma……..

            THE END.

            • Prem Martyn says:

              Edited.. Edited ???

              I’m suffering from premature exacerbation here, leaving me lingering with a longing lingam.

              Yours,
              disgusted,
              of Tunbridge Wells

    • bodhi vartan says:

      swami satyam dhyanraj says:
      >> kumare showed himself a handsome, sympathetic guy with all the qualities needed to play the role of guru – and the people attracted to him benefited from his play – kumare had a heart and people could see that

      Don’t let SR hear you say that. He doesn’t like competition.

      • swami anand anubodh says:

        Did Kumare snap this as well?

        http://i.imgur.com/DZG6Q7t.jpg

        • frank says:

          he really is grinding his organ!

        • swami satyam dhyanraj says:

          no – this one is obviously a fake anubodh – looks like you cut it up with scissors – its as tenth rate as you are

          • swami anand anubodh says:

            Well Osho didn’t seem to think I was tenth rate. That’s why he put his trust in me. Something he never did to you or swami R (except in that little ‘bubble’ you have created
            for yourselves.)

            And please no yak, yak, yak lecture about how that trust has been
            betrayed.

            Because if I have to go with Osho’s opinion or your’s – which do you believe I will choose?

            I find it very ominous that you need to point out that the photo I posted was a fake.

            I can only assume that’s because you are afraid that SN followers are as gullible as you.

  10. Anand Newman says:

    Frank , Thanks for the post. I heard about this movie but did not get a chance to watch.
    Shantam: What pulled people to Osho?

    I think, Its his words. People from east saw an authentic mystic ( can’t think of a better word) in him and the ones from west saw an authentic de-mystic ( who can demystify the mystery of spiritual mysticism, again can’t think of a better word) in him.