Film Review – Awake: The Life of Yogananda

Rating-AwakeThe Life of YoganandaThere’s something alluring about Hollywood, and it is not restricted to just us mortals. In the course of their teachings, Paramahansa Yogananda (the subject of this bio-documentary) went there in the 1920s, Meher Baba visited it in 1932. Both these hallowed men count among their followers hundreds of Zoroastrians.

In 1920, at the age of 27, Yogananda landed in Boston and lost no time in importing Kriya Yoga (science of meditation) there, besides transmitting the ancient Vedic scriptures.

The documentary is interspersed with quotes by, amongst others, George Harrison, Ravi Shankar and Deepak Chopra.

Yogananda, in the film which releases commercially on 17th, implores his disciples to strengthen their willpower, for ‘while everything else can wait, one’s search for God cannot’.

Commendably, Floria and Leeman do not steer away from narrating the episode (which involved the fairer sex) which drove a permanent wedge between Yogananda and his close associate Dhirananda.

‘The earth is nothing but movies to me’ said the long haired Yogi with piercing eyes who founded the ‘Church of all Religions’, a.k.a. Hollywood Temple.

Despite Anupam Kher’s staid and enervative narration, and the hagiographic structure of the film, ‘Awake’ promises to reach out in propagating the Yogi’s ideology and tenets to a world driven by excesses and crass commercialism.

Hoshang K. Katrak
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