Thursday, July 9, 2009

Guru Poornima Chicago 2009

Guruji ushered a breeze of love, knowledge and shakti in the Windy City. The Hilton Chicago, the venue of the event, throbbed with his presence and the purity of a huge advance course, the Guru Poornima celebrations, a YES course and the ongoing TRM. Guruji stayed at the south imperial suite, which we devotees would inevitably refer to as kutir, and Bhanu didi, arvind and ajay were with him. Devotees came from all over the US, Canada, Brazil and Argentina. Blissful bustle marked the celebrations, with every elevator crammed with devotees. The buttons pushed were not all found on the elevator panel, but all the smallness fell aside in the magnificent satsang and Guruji's discourse on the eve of the celebration.
He spoke on the Guru principle, whose excellent verbatim transcript can be found here. Nearly 3000 devotees meditated, sang and celebrated in the beautifully-decorated, grand ballroom.
Once the satsang had reached a crescendo, Guruji asked - "How many of you are confused? That is good - do you know confusion is a sign of intelligence. Only intelligent people can get confused.
A Guru's job is not to convince, it is to ? confuse :). Good good good". And then the joy of satsang continued.

Guruji travels to LA and Montreal in the coming weeks.
Jai Gurudeva!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Gattaca - a review

I discovered this gem of a movie released back in 1997. Directed by Andrew Niccols, who directed one of my favorites - Lord of War, Gattaca is a movie that weaves elements of sci-fi, romance, suspence and drama around the theme of human spirit.

The movie's tagline "There is No Gene for The Human Spirit" reverberates in the rousing tale of its protagonist, Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), an in-valid living in a future of genetically tailored humans who dreams the impossible - of flying into space. Asthma, a weak heart and physical frailness do nothing to deter his courage and perseverance to succeed. As he overcomes his challenges through his will, he inspires his stronger, more-gifted friends by the resilience of his spirit.

The plot is full of interesting twists and turns, and is extremley aesthetic. The screenplay, the cinematography, and the background score exude excellence, but never overshadow the fantastic drama that unfolds between the well-developed characters. Ethan Hawke, Jude Law and Uma Thurman bring their roles to life. The movie is filled with inspiring moments. In one, when Vincent and his younger, genetically-superior brother Antoine are swimming out in the sea to see who can swim farthest before chickening and turning back, Antione says "We are too far out. You do realize every stroke forward means a stroke back." Vincent says "That's the difference Antoine, I never planned on swimming back."

The movie reminded me of Guruji. No obstacles lessen his love, sincerity and efforts to care for creation, which are provided with utmost simplicity, sincerity, innocence and humility. I am reminded of the Vikram Batra IOCL advertisement, which read "For every step we take, there is an inspired Indian leading the way."