Category Archives: Movies

Ae Bhai Zara Dekh Ke Chalo

Bollywood songs and spirituality – there seems to be no connection between the two. 80% of the song are romantic songs where the male and female actors express their love for each other or grieving songs because they did not get the love they desired. Other 19% are different genres of songs – travel, dance, kids, or situational. Very few, less than 1% songs would be devotional or related to God, Ishwar or Allah.

Now, if you have a spiritual bent of mind, and if you have never turned over this idea in your mind, let me suggest to you that if you replace the lover in the songs with God, most of these so called romantic Bollywood songs can as well be sung for the love of God. Yes, with no change of lyrics but just a change in direction or rather just a change of image in your mind.

Let me share some examples. Listen to these songs and replace the man or the woman with God, Ishwar, Allah or simply a higher power.

सजदे में यूँ ही झुकता हूँ
तुमपे ही आ के रुकता हूँ
क्या ये सबको होता है

हमको क्या लेना है सबसे
तुमसे ही सब बातें अब से
बन गए हो तुम मेरी दुआ

खुदा जाने के मैं फ़िदा हूँ
खुदा जाने मैं मिट गया
खुदा जाने ये क्यूँ हुआ है
के बन गए हो तुम मेरे खुदा

From Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008)

हम तेरे बिन अब रह नहीं सकते
तेरे बिना क्या वजूद मेरा
तुझसे जुदा गर हो जाएँगे
तो खुद से ही हो जाएंगे जुदा
क्योंकि तुम ही हो
अब तुम ही हो
ज़िन्दगी अब तुम ही हो
चैन भी, मेरा दर्द भी
मेरी आशिकी अब तुम ही हो

From Aashiqui 2 (2013)

तू आता है सीने में
जब-जब साँसें भरती हूँ
तेरे दिल की गलियों से
मैं हर रोज़ गुज़रती हूँ
हवा के जैसे चलता है तू,
मैं रेत जैसे उड़ती हूँ
कौन तुझे यूँ प्यार करेगा
जैसे मैं करती हूँ?

From M S Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016)

Pick any song you like. See how easy it is to get into a spiritual mindset by simply changing the direction of your love.

What is love? Love is love, if we don’t categorize it as parental love or sexual love or compassionate love. You can love a person, love an animal, love an activity or love a higher force.

All of Rumi’s compositions were about love. For instance this one below

“I want to see you.
Know your voice.
Recognize you when you
first come ’round the corner.
Sense your scent when I come
into a room you’ve just left.
Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.
Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.
I want to know the joy
of how you whisper


Or this one

“This is how I would die
into the love I have for you:
As pieces of cloud
dissolve in sunlight.”


So you never thought you could get enlightened by humming Bollywood songs in the shower? I hope you are convinced of the possibility now. You were just thinking of the wrong person all this while.

I particularly like the song – Ae bhai jara dekh ke chalo from Mera Naam Joker, picturised on Raj Kapoor and sung by Manna Dey with music by Shanker Jaikishan. It not only is an entertaining song but also carries a deep meaning, if you care to think about it, as deep as Buddha’s teachings. I don’t know with what feelings the lyricist Neeraj (Gopaldas Saxena) composed this song but I am sure he definitely had some insight. Anyway, here is how this song can be interpreted spiritually.

Ae Bhai Zara Dekh Ke Chalo

ए भाई ज़रा देखके चलो
आगे ही नहीं पीछे भी
दायें ही नहीं बाएं भी
ऊपर ही नहीं
नीचे भी ए भाई

Hey human, be mindful, be watchful, be aware of what you are doing. Do not be distracted by what is on your left or right or up or down. Whatever you do, wherever you go, maintain your awareness. You might trip and fall and hurt yourself or you might hurt others. So be watchful.

तू जहां आया है वो तेरा
घर नहीं गली नहीं
गाँव नहीं कुचा नहीं
रास्ता नहीं बस्ती नहीं

The place where you have come – this earth – is not your home, not your village, city, street or residence. Do not attach yourself to this place and its attractions. It is not what it seems. You may think it is your home or your city but it is not so.

दुनिया है और प्यारे
दुनिया यह एक सरकस है
और इस सर्कस में
बड़े को भी चोटे को भी
खरे को भी खोटे को भी
मोठे को भी पतले को भी
निचे से ऊपर को
ऊपर से नीचे को
बराबर आना जाना पड़ता है

Dear friend, this world can be compared to a circus. And in a circus whether you are young or old, rich or poor, honest or dishonest, the rules are the same. Everyone experiences ups and downs in life. No one is spared. You can desire for a more comfortable life and so you may run after some sort of success or wealth but getting that or having that will not change how life works. You will still face losses sometime and gains sometime, happiness sometimes and grief sometimes.

और रिंग मास्टर के कोड़े पर
कोड़ा जो भूख है
कोड़ा जो पैसा है
कोड़ा जो किस्मत ह
तरह तरह नाच कर
दिखाना यहाँ पड़ता है
बारबार रोना और
गण यहाँ पड़ता है
हीरो से जोकर
बन जाना पड़ता है

And in a circus there is a ringmaster, the one who makes the animals dance to his whip – the whip being hunger, money, and fate. You have to sing and dance to the tune of this whip. With time, a hero may become a joker and a joker may become a hero. It is all a part of this circus.

गिराने से डरता है क्यों
मरने से डरता है क्यों
ठोकर तू जब न खायेगा
पास किसी गम को न
जब तक बुलाएगा
ज़िन्दगी है चीज़ क्या
नहीं जान पायेगा
रोता हुआ आया है
रोता चला जाएगा

So if this is a circus, why are you afraid? Why do you fear failure? Why do you fear death? Unless you experience loss or suffering, you will not know what is life. You will continue to cry all your life that life has not been fair to you. You will complain about other people, the government, the society, and your fate. But you will not experience insight into life if you do not experience the ending of any experience – a relationship or a good phase of life. Because life is characterized by change and impermanence. Everything that starts must end. When you understand this, you will stop complaining and start smiling & accepting what life is.

कैसा है करिश्मा
कैसा खिलवाड़ है
जानवर आदमी से
ज़्यादा वफ़ादार है
खाता है कोड़ा भी
रहता है भूखा भी
फिर भी वो मालिक पर
करता नहीं वार है
और इंसान यह माल
जिस का खाता है
प्यार जिस से पाटा है
गीत जिस के गाता है
उसी के ही सीने में
भोकता कतार है

What an irony it is that dumb animals are more loyal than humans. An animal will suffer the beatings of his master, will stay hungry but will never hurt his master. But a human will hurt the same person whose money he enjoys, whose love he experiences and even whose praises he sings. Humans are the product of this world, they come out of this world, they are born in this world because of this world and yet they speak bad about their life and exploit everyone for their selfish goals.

हाँ बाबू, यह सरकस है
शो तीन घंटे का
पहला घंटा बचपन है,
दूसरा जवानी है
तीसरा बुढ़ापा है

So buddy, this circus is a 3 part show – first phase is childhood, second youth and third old age.

और उसके बाद – माँ नहीं, बाप नहीं
बेटा नहीं, बेटी नहीं,
तू नहीं, मैं नहीं,
कुछ भी नहीं रहता है रहता है
जो कुछ वो – ख़ाली-ख़ाली कुर्सियाँ हैं
ख़ाली-ख़ाली ताम्बू है,
ख़ाली-ख़ाली घेरा है
बिना चिड़िया का बसेरा है,
न तेरा है, न मेरा है

After that, nothing remains, neither mother, father, son, daughter, you and me. Nothing. It is all empty. The house is empty, there is no audience, just an empty nest, which is neither yours nor mine.

Death is the trigger for all spiritual inquiries. Siddharth Gautama, overwhelmed by the prospect of death coming to himself and his family, left everything in his search for the meaning of life and death. In every genuine spiritual teaching, the idea of death is one of the central points for introspection.

Gurdjieff likened humans to goats living in ignorance even while they are being taken to the butcher. How can you enjoy life when you know you are going to die one day and do not know when that day will come. Death is certain but when and how it will come is not certain.

And when life ends, all your achievements, all your wealth, all your legacy – what happens to that? Does it stay with you? Nope. It is all empty. It was empty all along even while the circus was going on. 

To know this emptiness is not the end of motivation for life or the end of the life energy. You may think emptiness is nihilistic but that is only because you have not gone to the very depth. Knowing emptiness deeply, you will no longer be attached. You will in fact be free for the first time. Since there is no you, to rephrase, there will be freedom and an end to suffering. You will not suffer from the ups and downs of life. You will be equanimous in the face of comfort and adversity both. Isn’t that a worthwhile goal, something that every human must aim for?

So, Ae bhai, please, Jara Dekh Ke Chalo! Won’t you?

The Imitation Game (2014)

Director: Morten Tyldum

Alan Turing committed suicide at the age of 42. However, during his short life, he left a big legacy in the form of his contribution in deciphering the German Enigma codes during World War II and laying the foundations of modern computer science. The Imitation Game movie is based on the book Alan Turing – The Enigma by Andrew Hodges.

The history of cryptanalysis contains some of the most thrilling and intellectually stimulating stories of people involved in deciphering messages either long lost by civilization or deliberately used during wartime. Alan Turing’s contribution lies in the fact that he took decryption beyond any individual person’s mental powers by employing machines to perform rapid calculations for decrypting messages.

At the height of the World War II, Hitler’s Nazis started to dominate the war using encrypted communications generated from their innovative machine called Enigma. The machine could accept message in plain German and produce an encrypted output which could be transmitted over open radio signals to the various Naval, Air Force and Army leads in the war. Another Enigma machine which was as small as a typewriter was available with the Generals and they could decrypt the messages and act as per those instructions in a coordinated fashion.

Other countries like England and Poland even though they could easily intercept the German messages found it extremely difficult to decrypt them because the Nazis were changing the settings every day. So England decided to bring in the country’s best brains into Bletchley Park and ask them to try to crack the Enigma codes using an Enigma machine smuggled in by the Polish intelligence. 

Alan Turing, who was a maths professor at Cambridge and who used to advocate universal machines capable of solving any problem was also brought in as part of that elite team. They struggled for 2 years at the problem during which Turing worked on building his universal machine, a sort of a programmable computer, the size of a room. The movie brilliantly captures the mood of the time, the efforts of the team and the frustrations of the Head of the unit who thought Turing was only wasting Govt funds.

Although the movie does not delve deep into the mathematics of the encryption or decryption or the settings of the Enigma machine and what exactly they were trying to solve, there were two scenes which struck me as parallels to the nature of spiritual inquiry and enlightenment.

In one scene, one of the team members of Alan Turing who was feeling depressed by the lack of results said that it seemed as if they were not doing anything while millions were losing their lives out there in the war.  He said his brother was supplying food to soldiers, another cousin was a fighter pilot in the air force and yet other friends were all contributing to the war effort in some way while they were just sitting and building some stupid machine.

So in life, if you are in the spiritual search, a search for meaning or enlightenment, it may seem that all the other people in the world are doing something significant out there – like helping the poor, or leading an organization or teaching part time while you are just sitting and watching your mind and your thoughts, doing nothing. It does seem like wasting your life.

But like in the film, everything is not as it seems. What Alan Turing was doing and what he was able to do, some historians quantify that as shortening the war by 2 years and saving 14 million lives. You may ask what if Alan Turing did not succeed? That’s another thing altogether. He was aiming for the impossible. Is it wrong to aim for what seems to be impossible?

So what if you do not achieve enlightenment? Should you stop the effort? Should you go back to living your regular life and give others the impression you are doing something meaningful while deep down you know the hollowness of it all? Once you are on the spiritual search, there is really no way back. You have to push yourself ahead till you achieve it. And whatever people may say, sitting and doing nothing, watching your mind is the only way it gets done.

The second scene is when Turing actually cracks the Enigma code and is able to deduce the position of the next attack by the Germans, which was targeted on a British passenger ship. The team was ecstatic and was about to call the British intelligence to warn them but Alan Turing stopped them from doing so. They were all angry but gradually the realization sinked in that if they were able to prevent the German attack, it would clearly tell the Germans that their Enigma messages were cracked.

This was a big moral dilemma. If you act on the message, you could save hundreds of innocent lives but if you do that the Germans would shift to another way of encrypting their messages and all the work done by Turning in the last 2 years would be gone down the drain and they would have to start all over again. The Germans should never know that their messages were being read by the Allied forces. But how to use that intelligence if that was not actionable at all? Turing and the British intelligence worked out a camouflage of lies and alternative means which would be presented to the media so Germans would think that their Enigma machines were still safe while the information got leaked through some other sources. The British could not save everyone because doing that would stop the intelligence coming in so they had to choose to allow Germans to win at times and lose at times.

Drawing a parallel with enlightenment, you realize that you did not really attain anything after getting enlightened. During the search, enlightenment meant a lot and you thought you will really find something at the end of it. But when you get it, there is nothing at all. So one Zen master after getting enlightened exclaimed, “The Buddha did not teach anything at all”. And that is a big dilemma for any enlightened person. There is nothing to teach at all and yet when he sees people going about their lives suffering from their petty actions, there is a great urge to teach them about this vast nothingness.

If you really talk too much about emptiness, people think you are crazy and if some people do realize this emptiness, they may think it is too depressing and nihilistic because they do not want to face the truth. So in the end, you cannot help everyone, even your closest family members. You have to allow them to be as they are and experience what life has in store for them. But you can help some at the right time with the right guidance, not less not more.

Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.

Alan Turing

Inception (2010)

Director: Christopher Nolan

The first time I saw Inception, I could not figure out the details. I just came out with the impression that it was a superb movie with some plot involving dreams within dreams and stealing and planting of ideas in other people’s subconscious. The image of the falling van frozen midway between the bridge and the river got forever etched in my mind whenever I remembered the movie.

Only on watching the movie the second time after several years could I follow the whole plot. In the movie, Cobb (Leonardo Di Caprio) gets into the mind of Robert Fischer, heir to a large business empire, to plant an idea (that he must dismantle the business empire) into his subconscious through various layers of a shared dream. The film is stunning with its visual effects and the dream landscapes that really whisk your mind away to another world altogether.

And just like the film The Matrix, there are to be found several tantalizing parallels between real life and the ideas used in the movie.

The pivotal idea of the movie is captured in this quote by Cobb

Our dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake we realize things were strange.

When we dream, it does seem real, isn’t it, as if we are in that world with all its adventures and excitement. While the dream is happening, we are simply sleeping in the real world. Our posture while sleeping or the movement of food in our intestines might create feelings which get visualized as certain emotions or experiences in the dream world. And if in the dream we reach a spot where we are in ‘real’ danger, then than jolts us to wake up. This is same idea that is depicted in the movie – that when you die in the dream world, you wake up in the real world – or one layer up in the subconscious.

In the movie when Cobb’s wife Mal gets too attached to the dream world, Cobb plants this idea in her subconscious. But after waking up into the real world, she still carries that idea around with her and insists on dying, believing that she will wake up into another higher layer of reality. And Cobb could not prevent her from committing suicide.

Due to the inability of our language to express ideas, we have to use the same words to represent vastly different orders of abstraction. “To wake up” is also one such phrase which can have multiple layers of meaning depending on what you are talking about. And one such metaphor that is used in the spiritual teachings, is that – to awaken one must die!

In this case, to die is not referring to the physical death but dying to the attachments of the physical world. And when you die to that, you awaken into the real world. So is there truly such a real world? Is the world we are living in merely a dream?

Gurdjieff’s whole teaching started with the statement that man is asleep and he has the potential to wake up. All his exercises and instructions were meant to help his students awaken to the real. He also wrote a book – Views from the Real World.

Buddha described himself as the Awakened One.

So is there a state of mind, a state of consciousness that these people are pointing to and is that state to be understood in the same way as we understand the state of waking up from a dream?

As a seeker of truth, one must pay attention to these ideas and instead of taking the step that Mal took in the movie, one must use the totem that Cobb used to check whether one is in a dream or in the real world.

What’s the equivalent of the totem in our world? What is it that can tell us without any doubt that we are in a dream and not in reality? I would propose it is self-observation. If one observes one’s mind without judgement, we will at some point realize that whatever we understand of this world is not so at all. And when that understanding takes place, we (so to say) ‘awaken’.

All the great spiritual teachers have always used some or other ways of inception – to plant the idea of awakening into our subconscious. Gurdjieff called this the Influence C which appears to us in the dream as Influence B and points us towards waking up as opposed to the forces of the dream which are Influence A, which keep us in the dream.

So are you awake or dreaming that you are awake? Am I the person who is saying this to you in your dream like Morpheus talking to Neo in The Matrix?

Detachment (2011)

Director – Tony Kaye


In the film, the character of Adrien Brody, Henry says

I realized something. I’m a non-person, Sarah. You shouldn’t be here, I’m not here. You may see me, but I’m hollow.

The film shows the degradation of the American education system where children have no respect for anything and teachers are at their wits end. Henry arrives at this school as a substitute school teacher and is able to bring an unruly class under control. He is a person who does not show any emotions and is completely detached to everything and everyone. At the same time, he is also shown expressing his love and concern for his ailing grandfather. He brings home a street prostitute, heals her physical and emotional wounds and yet refuses to accept her advances. One of this students becomes infatuated with him and starts to click his pictures in secret. Then there is a co-teacher with also whom Henry gets close. He In all these relationships, Henry tries to remain detached. He even arranges for the orphanage to take away the prostitute.

Henry teaches his students to cultivate their own consciousness against what his calls the ubiquitous assimilation of everything around us.

I liked this film because I could identify quite closely with the character of Henry, a person struggling between detachment and involvement with the world.

Is Reality an Illusion?

Is reality merely an illusion? The wise keep saying that. But it is difficult to wrap our heads around this notion. After all, we see, hear, smell, taste and feel things. How can all this be an illusion?

movie hall

Imagine you are in a movie hall engrossed in an exciting movie. As the movie captivates your attention, it begins to influence your emotions and state of mind. Depending on whether the movie is a thriller or a horror movie, you experience the ups and downs of emotions along with the characters in the movie.

So the question is – Is the movie real? Yes it is. It is playing in front of you. But it is not real. The characters are not real. It is an illusion created on the screen in front of you.

I am sure you would have experienced a movie which made you cry, laugh, and once in a while make you jump out of your chair. We think the movie is good, well made, well directed and the actors were superb. However, we forget one very important thing – the fact that we invest reality into the movie. Although it is not done by explicitly thinking “I am going to consider this movie as real” but the overall effect of lights out and loud volume immerses you into the movie and makes it appear as real. Without this serious participation in the movie on our part, we will not enjoy it.

Similarly it is with other things in life. Take for example sports. We have to invest seriousness into something which is fundamentally non-serious. Scoring a goal or taking a wicket is nothing in itself without us making a serious business of it.

Therefore, the wise say that life is merely the game of God – Lila.

All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players… (Shakespeare)

So it takes a slight turning around of our view, although happening in an unaware state, to consider an illusory thing as real. Similarly, it takes a reversal of that turning around in our view, by doing it consciously, to come back to normal perspective on things.

As a child, I cried when Amitabh died in Sholay. My parents told me it is only a movie and that he did not die in reality. Many people are upset when their team loses a match. But it only takes a minor realization that it is only a game in order to get over the sadness.

Getting Stuck

The problem is not that we consider as serious business what is not serious but it is staying for long in that specific state. When we continuously invest seriousness into everything in life, we experience stress. Even a small one minute delay will raise our blood pressure. We become cranky, demanding and pushy if we take everything as real.

However, staying too much on the other extreme is also equally problematic. If we assume the position that nothing in life is serious, then we will not be able to act appropriately in life. We will become casual, non committal when we take everything as illusion.

Those are the two extremes. The true path is in the middle. Discard both views that life is real or illusion and take life as it is. Do not ask how!

Everything is real and is not real. Both real and not real. Neither real nor not real. This is Lord Buddha’s teaching. (Mulamadhyamakakarika – Root verses of the Middle Way by Nagarjuna)

Just notice and be aware and be conscious whenever you invest seriousness (when you act as if it was real and it mattered) or non-seriousness (when you act as it it did not matter at all) into any situation in life.

So life is not serious but let us not take it casually or life is serious but let us not take it seriously!


Groundhog Day (1993)

Director – Harold Ramis


One of my most favorite films – The Groundhog Day is an unforgettable movie. And Bill Murray makes it even more special. He is amazing in this film as always.

There is a superstition around the Groundhog, a squirrel kind of a creature. Depending on whether the Groundhog after appearing from its burrow, goes back in or comes out, people can predict whether the winter will continue for longer than 6 weeks or end within six weeks. The Groundhog Day is celebrated in USA and Canada on Feb 2nd every year.

In the movie, Bill plays the role of a television reporter who is frustrated about having to cover the celebrations of Groundhog day year after year. But this year something unusual happens. Every day he gets up in the morning, it is Groundhog day again. It seems that his life has become a broken record which has got stuck on the Groundhog day. The same sequence of events unfold every single day. And only he seems to be aware of it. He gets so bored of his repeating life that he even tries to end it but unsuccessfully. He again wakes up to the Groundhog day.

In a funny manner, the film draws our attention to how repetitive our own life is – Wake up, get ready, go to office, meet the same people, have tea, have lunch, attend meetings with the same decisions again and again, return home, watch TV and go to sleep. And to somebody who is aware of this repetition, it seems the other people are totally unaware because they seem to be going about their life as if nothing unusual is happening.

In the film, Bill learns to finally accept the repetitions and starts to take advantage of all the knowledge he has about what happened during the day to impress people with his predictions. But as long as he is giving the same report on the Groundhog day, his life keeps repeating. Finally, one day, he gives a very enthusiastic report on the celebrations and also proposes to his girlfriend. The next day he finds he has broken the loop and moved on to the next day.

To me this is highly symbolic. If you do not do anything to change your life, your life will keep repeating as usual. And that change is nothing but in your attitude. You can say the same things and do the same things but when you do it consciously, it has a different outcome.

Another story that follows a similar theme is P D Ouspensky’s The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin. In this story, Ivan gets a chance to live his life again with all the memories of his first life available to him. Armed with this knowledge, Ivan thinks that he will be able to correct all the mistakes he made in his previous innings. But that does not happen. Despite knowing everything, he still takes the same decisions and actions and makes the same mistakes again. This goes to show that it is not easy to change oneself so easily. All our actions follow mechanically from the environment we live in.

Das Experiment (2001)

Director – Oliver Hirschbiegel


This is a German movie. Das Experiment translates to The Experiment. The experiment is about observing human behavior in a simulation of a prison environment.

In 1971, Philip Zimbardo a professor at Stanford conducted a real life prison experiment using college students in order to study the psychological effect of perceived power. This film and many others are inspired by those events.

In Das Experiment, there is a professor who recruits 20 paid volunteers for the experiment of which 8 are selected to play the role of prison guards and 12 selected to play the role of prisoners. He sets one rule that there must be no violence of any kind during the simulation. The job of the prison guards is to maintain law and order and the job of the prisoners is to be locked up in their cells and to follow some arbitrary rules that the prison guards would make.

The movie depicts how the situation deteriorates over the course of a few days as the volunteers start taking their roles seriously, forgetting that they are doing this for money as volunteers in the experiment. As the story develops, it starts to focus on the battle between one dominant prisoner Tarek who tries to break the rules and one sadist prison guard Berus who will go to any extent to subjugate Tarek. Eventually the story takes a violent turn resulting in deaths and injuries. At the end, both Tarek and Berus comment to each other – you started it all.

But if you watch the film, you will not be able to find out where it all started and who was to blame. Maybe it was the setting of the experiment, maybe it was that the volunteers forgot who they were and took their roles too seriously, maybe it was the fact that both prisoners and guards were given their specific uniforms and were told to behave as them.

In real life also, whenever we take our roles too seriously, we forget who we are and resort to physical and vocal violence. We can even take this analogy further. In life we are born into a specific country, a community, a religion and we start taking that position seriously and become prisoners of that thinking.

Just imagine if the prison experiment was conducted on a mass scale across generations, then prisoners and prison guards would no longer know that it was all an experiment. Prison guards would start to believe that they were chosen by God while prisoners would believe that they are being unjustly tortured.

Pushing the analogy to its limits. Self-realization is when we wake up from this identification of who we are – whether a doctor or an entrepreneur or a factory worker, or a man or a woman or a Catholic or a Jain – and intuitively know that we are THAT. In that moment, all our assumed pretenses fall away and we will truly become a nobody. And even if we have to live out a role in the society, we will be able to do that without the associated anxieties and stress.

In the film, Tarek’s co-prisoner Steinhoff (#38) displays this level of awareness during the whole experiment. He is constantly aware that he is only there for the experiment and avoids getting involved in the escalating situation with the prison guards. In the end he also helps the other prisoners escape from the cells.

Warning: The film contains several scenes depicting male and female nudity. So watch responsibly. Also use subtitles as the film is in German


Kiss The Sky (1988)

Director – Roger Young


Sex and Spirituality somehow have a deep connection – Some people find spirituality in sex while others say it cannot be found in sex. This film shows that deep connection in a marvelous manner. The story revolves around two middle aged executives who are tired of their routine – family, mortgage and job. They think they have lost their freedom in the course of making life work for themselves and their wives. They decide to go to the Philippines to find freedom or at least a good holiday (from a man’s perspective).

Their lives are changed forever when they meet the beautiful Andy and later the Zen monk Kozan. All men will very easily relate to the dialogues in the film and not just the sensuous chemistry between the main characters. The film brings out the essential conundrum faced by men – doing everything so seriously in life with the best of intentions and yet not finding that inner satisfaction, either in their jobs or with their wives. The monk suggests to give up the search for the better asking the rhetorical question – whats so wrong with life that you need to struggle to make it better?

Waking Life (2001)

Director – Richard Linklater


George Santayana said: “Sanity is a madness put to good uses; waking life is a dream controlled.” One of the persistent teachings of the spiritual masters is that our waking life – the life in which we walk, talk, think, eat, go to the office, marry, bring up children – is actually a dream. Even though we think we awake from sleep, we are actually day dreaming in our waking life. All our goals, ambitions, memories are simply a common dream. When one realizes this, there is the possibility of further waking up to the ultimate reality beyond time and space.

The film Waking Life is a unique film in many respects. It is a digitally enhanced live-action rotoscoped film. Everything is shaking and fuzzy as if in a dream. The story is about a young man who is in a continuous dream like consciousness – he keeps waking up from one dream but finds himself in another one like the layers of an onion. In his dreams, he meets other characters and discusses with them philosophical issues such as free will, relationships, existentialism, and so on.

I must say that you will need tremendous energy to watch this film – my most favorite mystical movie.

Man or Machine

Human frailties are glorified so much that there seems to be no way of accepting a person who has overcome those weaknesses. “To err is to human” and other similar sayings tend to accept that humans are imperfect. Although, it is true, it also closes the door to perfection. It becomes an excuse to remain imperfect, remain mediocre.

Man has always tried to make machines as intelligent or more powerful as humans. However, there is a general understanding that machines can never learn emotions. Rajnikanth may prove you otherwise.


Emotions are considered to be the touchstone on which to perform the Turing test (A test to differentiate between man and machine). In simple words, humans are humans because they have emotions, which machines can never have.

The point most of humanity misses is how mechanical our emotions are. Emotions are simply reactions to external stimuli. And despite all the talk about emotional intelligence, very few people even think about the possibility of being free of emotional outbursts.

Those who show little or no emotions are considered by other people to be mechanical. Emotions are seen to be so necessary to live and express oneself.

Take the case of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day. He is shown to be a machine, yet when told by young John Connor, not to kill people, takes care not to do that. Now how many humans will be able to take such instructions and follow them? Obviously, we are not machines! We are emotional beings and we will not be able to do anything as perfectly as a machine can do, if we compare apples to apples.


By thinking of machines as inferior to humans and by thinking that emotions are the hallmark of human beings, we can never see how machine-like all our actions and behavior really are.

Someone who realizes that his emotions are simply reactions over which he has no control whatsoever is in a far better position to understand himself than someone who believes she has a right to be angry to express her state of mind or a right to sulk when he does not get what he wants.

Attainment of self knowledge refers partly to this truth about oneself. Take it or leave it. If you take it, you might observe your machine, set it right and be able to do far more marvelous things and have the opportunity to gain something real. If you leave it, you do not lose anything cause you do not have anything in the first place.