Bapuji: The Path of Love
Produced by Kripalu Communications. 28 Minutes. Box 793, Lenox, Massachusetts 01240. $50
For a moment, he sits in breathless stillness. Then, his eyes open, vibrant with life. He looks up, down, to the side. A smile of delight breaks across his face, and his audience of a few close devotees can't contain a spontaneous response of joyous laughter. This is Swami Shri Kripalvanandji (19131981), known affectionately as Bapuji, and this video is his digital portrait. For thirty years - twelve spent in silence - he meditated ten hours daily. It was from this rock-solid foundation of spiritual sadhana that he forthrightly proclaimed to his devotees: "Love is the only path, love is the only God, and love is the only scripture."
Bapuji: The Path of Love is well organized, narrated and edited. Yet, its most enjoyable moments are the simple, candid glimpses of Bapuji telling funny stories of great truth or silting emersed in sadhana, spontaneously moving in a flow of dance-like mudras (gestures of hands and body). Although the film touches briefly upon his boyhood life in India and the USA work of his chief disciple, Yogi Amrit Desai, the emphasis is upon his intense yogic practices. Bapuji took Sannyas from a Swami Shantinanda at the age of 31, but his real spiritual inspiration and training began years earlier with a great sage known simply as Dadaji. The power of this influence and the path Bapuji took to cultivate it is the unforgettable potency of this film.
Getting out of the Muck and Maya
Produced by David Karp. 120 Minutes.
1987 Access Audio/Video Productions
P.O. Box 5547, Berkeley, CA 94705. $39.95.
Getting out of the Muck and Maya is a two-hour discourse. Its one and only visual image is Sant Keshavadas sitting behind a harmonium. Yet, this amiable and congenial sage of music, mirth and mystical lore delivers us from tedium with high truths expressed in high spirits and an easy-going manner. With stories, humor and music, he casually and colorfully describes maya as "attachment." "It's where we get stuck," he says, "So, we call it muck." He also covers other important spiritual territory as he compares reincarnation to "a continued TV series" and ego to "the hide of a buffalo" that constantly suffers "the blows of karma." His solution to the "dilemma" of maya is devotion: "Give up all other attachments for the one Supreme attachment and daily you get closer and closer to the goal." Sant Keshavadas is believable. His unpretentious presentation of Hinduism inspires us to practice what he preaches - as he obviously does himself.