in New Age Religion

Top-Gro$$ing Movies Embrace Hinduism

may the force be with you

Jedi Master Yoda advertising on the London Imax Cinema, Richard Croft, CC BY-SA 2.0

Interstellar, Matrix, and Star Wars are just a few of the top-grossing blockbuster movies with Hinduism as the driving philosophy (probably without you even noticing). Why?

Interstellar’s box office total is $622,932,412 and counting. It is the eighth highest-grossing film of the year and has spawned an endless raft of thinkpieces testing the validity of its science and applauding the innovation of its philosophy. But it is not so new. The idea that propels the plot – there is a universal super-consciousness that transcends time and space, and in which all human life is connected – has been around for about 3,000 years. It is Vedic [of the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism].

Original article appeared in The Guardian

Of course, Hollywood’s eager embrace of Buddhism, yoga and other esoteric Indian systems is not new. David Lynch is an outspoken exponent of transcendental meditation, Richard Gere follows the Dalai Lama and Julia Roberts affirmed her Hinduism in the wake of Eat, Pray, Love – a movie that tells the tale of a modern American woman’s journey towards peace through Indian spiritual practises that grossed over $200m (£128.6m). Hinduism can get the tills ringing even when it urges parsimony.

“Look at the first Matrix movie,” says producer Peter Rader… “Neo achieves the abilities of the advanced yogis [Paramahansa] Yogananda described, who can defy the laws of normal reality.

“Rader’s latest movie, a documentary about Yogananda, who was among the first gurus to bring Indian mysticism to North America in the 1920s, has been a sleeper hit in the US… ‘There’s a big pent-up demand,’ thinks Rader. ‘There are a lot of closet spiritualists who are meditating, doing yoga, reading books and thinking about a bigger reality. And now they can come out and say, ‘Yes, I’m into this.’

“Spirituality is the open-secret,” says Rader. “A lot of people know that if we quieten down we can tap into a deeper power. And the movies that tap into that, like Star Wars and Interstellar, are hugely popular.”

A philosophy to which many are keen to subscribe is what makes religions successful. Movies, too.

Read the full article How movies embraced Hinduism (without you even noticing) | Film | The Guardian

Read my posts Everywhere Religion and “Lived” Religion: See “unnoticed” New Age spiritual- and religious-themes in the popular media and across global society

By examining religion everywhere we see New Age spiritualities as part of the whole “space” of religion in contemporary society. In the last 20 years, the internet and digital technology have accelerated religion “everywhere”–in the mediatized space of religion and New Age spiritualities.

Question for readers: Anything else in popular media or blockbu$ter movies that embraced Hindu themes?

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