Toward the middle of the film, I began seeing a change in Vikram Ghandi (Kumare) as he visited Gabriel Urantia and went back to his home yoga center. When Vikram began this journey, his goal was to expose the falsehood of gurus and spiritual teachers. He said he did not have a problem with spirituality but with spiritual leaders. These spiritual leaders, in Vikram’s mind, were just illusions. Vikram’s intent was to reveal to people that “no one is more spiritual than anyone else” and that these gurus are phonies.
He wanted to know if people could find the same peace in a made-up religion that they found in a real one. Why do we need religion in the first place? Is this all just “a bunch of nonsense” that somebody made up a long time ago? Are these spiritual leaders just “full of it”? These are all questions that Vikram asked himself as he began his creation of Kumare, the guru version of himself.
Thus, the guru character came alive as Vikram embarked on this spiritual journey and, little did he know, he would become one with his ideal self, Kumare.
Vikram Ghandi, after his visit to Urantia, changes from a position of negativity toward gurus and their followers into a stance that realizes that gurus, including himself, and people in general are simply all searching for answers in life. Midway through the film, Vikram (as Kumare) visits a spiritual community on a ranch led by a man called Gabriel Urantia. As Kumare observes this place, he says that “everyone seemed genuinely happy, but is this how cults get people to join them by showing them how happy they are? Isn’t that what people saw in Kumare?” In these words, we see Vikram questioning himself and his purpose acting as this guru leader named Kumare. His words, in connection with his question about Urantia, reveal some possible guilt that he is feeling about lying to all these people about his true identity.
He wonders, possibly, if he himself is creating a cult through the character Kumare — falsely showing people how happy they are. Vikram sees that Gabriel has created this fake persona – an ideal version of himself – and says, “He reminded me why I created Kumare in the first place, to show that leaders like him were just illusions.” I think that Vikram’s guilt stems from the fact that he sees how deeply “Gabriel” has pulled these people into believing in his fake person, and he thinks that maybe he has also gone (or will go) too far with the persona Kumare. Vikram does not want to take advantage of people and their spirituality, but he wants to show them that they can help themselves, and they do not need a guru. Furthermore, Vikram’s guilt moves him toward change after his visiting the ranch community led by Gabriel.
As the film displays Kumare leaving Urantia, Vikram (as narrator) states, “I always plan to unveil my true identity. But first, as Kumare, I had to teach something I believed in, and I would start with my own story.” Immediately after this statement, there is a ‘cut’ in the film. The screen goes black. This ‘cut’ has significance in a couple ways: 1) it shows that Vikram is slowly changing from his original position, and 2) foreshadowing to Kumare revealing his true self. This blackness, in my opinion, is a metaphoric symbol of Kumare’s thoughts about how he would share his own story and how he would reveal himself to the people who began to follow him. The cut also symbolizes the slow change happening in Vikram’s life. He is moving from a position that is against gurus, calling them illusions, to a side that believes people (including these gurus) are all just wanting to find deeper answers to life and to find themselves.
Following the cut, Kumare is back in his home yoga center and is talking to his followers. He tells them about a man named Vikram who “is becoming a teacher for many people, and is the only one who did not know he was a teacher.” He continues to talk and asks, “why is it that because he is feel like disguise, he is living in a disguise, but all these people… they feel good?” Kumare is displaying some inner questioning as he explains the story of this man, unknown to them, named Vikram. A woman in the group speaks up and says, “A certain tree bears a certain fruit; their actions, what they do, their service to others, how they treat others, that’s what I hear. And then the story you’re telling me, I think you’re talking about yourself.” At this instant, Kumare admits that, yes, he was talking about himself.
However, I noticed that as Kumare made this comment, his face scrunches, his mouth tightens and his eyes look away as if he is thinking ‘I’ve been caught’ or ‘shit’. While he wants to tell these people who he really is, Vikram is struggling with the thought as he grows closer and closer to this ideal version of himself, Kumare. Nevertheless, he is changing to a place where he can accept these followers of spiritual leaders as people who are trying to find something in life, and he is at a place where he no longer judges them. Vikram slowly watches his initial motive fade as he finds that he, also, is searching for answers. Concurrently, as the film carries on, we see Vikram grow more in tune with this Kumare persona. He is “[making] those two become one” and he says that “Kumare was an ideal version of myself, so maybe if people could create an ideal version of themselves, they could be happier too.” The change in his position is really showing through both Kumare’s words and his actions.
The previous comment displays his change in accepting the gurus, and the following scene with the blue light shows how his actions are adjusting toward a position in favor of the followers as well. After the Blue Light meditation, Vikram narrates, “the blue light was another thing I had made-up, but now it was becoming something real. And for the first time, I felt the blue light.” This moment truly envelops Vikram’s connection to his inner guru, Kumare, and his changing position toward the gurus and followers. Kumare’s teachings have changed his “followers” as well as his true self, Vikram. As he taught these people to connect to their inner selves, he found himself connecting to his inner self too. Tish, a yoga studio owner, speaks quite highly of Kumare as a teacher, not as some supernatural, godly guru. She says that “his teachings have already affected my teachings. It just confirms for me how much people want to know more, and they don’t know where to start their searching for something, for answers.”
Kumare, Vikram, has changed so much in his view toward gurus and the followers that his teachings have become real lessons to other people and to himself. The transition from Urantia to the Blue Light meditation is where I see Vikram truly change from mocking these rituals and people to both loving them and practicing the teachings. Although throughout the film we see Vikram (Kumare) slowly change his position toward these practices and people, this short piece of the film best conveys the adjustment he experiences. Vikram begins by saying the spiritual leaders are phony illusions, but toward the end, as Kumare, he says the “illusion is that this place is somehow better than outside. It is very nice… but you can find yoga center inside” yourself. While Vikram’s initial goal was to expose the fictitious nature of the gurus and the ridiculousness of the followers, he ends up conveying to the people that they do not need a guru, but that “the guru you are looking for is inside of you.”
Monica, one of his “students” in the film, shows that Vikram achieved his end (changed) goal when she says Kumare has made her realize that gurus are no closer to God than regular people. His final message to the people is that you do not need anyone outside of yourself to bring you happiness. Throughout the film, everyone, including Kumare, ends up teaching themselves what they need to change in their lives in order to become fulfilled; thus, most of them realize that they can create their own happiness. Vikram Ghandi clearly shifts from a position of dislike to one of love for these people, and through that change he effectively conveys William Ralph Inge’s belief (written on the screen at the beginning of the film) that “Faith begins as an experiment and ends as an experience.”
Cite this Film Analyzation (Kumare)
Film Analyzation (Kumare). (2016, Jun 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/film-analyzation-kumare/