“The characteristic features of Indian culture have long been a search for ultimate verities and the concomitant disciple-guru relationship.” Thus begins Paramhansa Yogananda’s world-famous Autobiography of a Yogi.
Millions have read these immortal words, but few have lived them. One who did was Swami Kriyananda. By the force of his example he founded a movement and inspired millions. Now, a movie, The Answer—a living portrayal of the disciple-guru relationship—is about to be released. The first part of the film depicts Swamiji’s desperate search for truth. Then, in scene after moving scene, his yearning is finally satisfied, all the answers he’d ever sought coming through the love and wisdom of his great master, Paramhansa Yogananda. This film is the best visual expression of discipleship I have ever seen. I am not alone in my reaction. Very few people have been able to sit through the movie without tears of joy glistening in their eyes.
There seems to be a special grace behind the release of The Answer. Perhaps it’s a reflection of the times in which we find ourselves, and because the film is one way for God to fulfill the promise He made in the Bhagavad Gita: “Whenever virtue declines and vice predominates, I incarnate on earth. Taking visible form, I come to destroy evil and reestablish virtue.” Whatever the cause, there is a special energy surrounding the release of this film.
One way that grace has manifested is through Sri Rajinikanth, the Indian movie superstar, who has given a moving testimonial for the film. He is a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and Babaji, and was deeply affected when he viewed it recently. For those who are not familiar with him, Rajinikanth is widely considered the most popular and revered actor in India. (We have included a video of his testimonial at the end of the blog.) A second highly acclaimed India actor, Victor Banerjee, plays the role of Yoganandaji in the film.
Another demonstration of grace is the array of prestigious awards the film has already garnered. The producer and director, Kaveeta and Pavan Kaul, have taken the film to over thirty film festivals around the world, at which it has received a great many awards, including best film, best director, best musical score (for Swami Kriyananda’s music), best cinematography, and best script.
The true power of the film, however, lies beyond all the accolades, in the inspiration that it offers and the devotion it awakens. This film has the power to bring many people onto the spiritual path, and to deepen the discipleship of those who already follow a guru. As the name implies, the answers to our problems begin to emerge when we choose to align our God-given free will with the grace of a great soul like Yoganandaji.
The world is stumbling now, lurching through a maze built of self-centeredness and greed. We will not find a way out of this darkness alone. Urgently needed is someone with a torch of wisdom to lead the way. If this film can shine a light into the world at such a time, it will be a great gift to mankind.
In the light,
P.S. The long-awaited release of The Answer will take place in multiple India cities on August 31. The film will be released in the United States in February. More information can be found at www.movietheanswer.com.