The Shawshank Redemption, released in 1994, was written and directed by Frank Darabont. The film stars Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman as Ellis “Red” Redding. It has been widely recognised as one of the most beloved, inspirational, and popular movies ever made. Here are two reviews of the film.
“Why do I want to write the 234th comment on The Shawshank Redemption? I am not sure – almost everything that could be possibly said about it has been said. But like so many other people who wrote comments, I was and am profoundly moved by this simple and eloquent depiction of hope and friendship and redemption.
The only other movie I have ever seen that affects me as strongly is To Kill a Mockingbird. Both movies leave me feeling cleaner for having watched them.
No action, no special effects – just men in prison uniforms talking to each other.
I do not judge it by its technical merits – I don’t really care about that. I have read that Citizen Kane or The Godfather or this or that movie is the best movie ever made. They may have the best technique or be the most influential motion pictures ever made, but not the best. The best movies are ones that touch the soul. It takes a movie like The Shawshank Redemption to touch the soul.”
Author: carflo from San Antonio, Tx (imdb.com)
“I believe that this film is the best story ever told on film, and I’m about to tell you why.
Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, a city banker, wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He is sent to Shawshank Prison in 1947 and receives a double life sentence for the crime. Andy forms an unlikely friendship with “Red” (Morgan Freeman), the man who knows how to get things. Andy faces many trials in prison, but forms an alliance with the wardens because he is able to use his banking experience to help the corrupt officials amass personal fortunes. The story unfolds….
I was so impressed with how every single subplot was given a great deal of respect and attention from the director. The acting was world-class… The twists were unexpected, and although this film had a familiar feel, it wasn’t even slightly pretentious or cliched; it was original. The cinematography was grand and expressive. It gave a real impression of the sheer magnitude of this daunting prison.
But the one thing which makes The Shawshank Redemption stand above all other films, is the attention given to the story. The film depends on the story and the way in which it unravels. It’s a powerful, poignant, thought-provoking, challenging film like no other.
Author: Si Cole from Oxford, England (imdb.com)
The following is a beautiful talk by Baba Mama, Shri Mataji’s beloved brother who brought the creative arts, especially music, to the forefront in Sahaja Yoga. He encouraged and inspired Sahaja Yogis to greater and greater creative heights.
You believe that God is omnipresent, omnipotent and all-pervading. In fact, you believe that He is in every atom. As natural corollary of this belief, you must also know that God knows what you want or what your need is. If the first proposition is true, then second proposition has to be true. It would follow, therefore, that those who know that God is omnipotent and all-pervading are bound to accept that God is all-knowledgeable and therefore is aware of all your problems.
In spite of this fact, we always go to God with certain expectations. Expectations can be of various types, but are basically self-centred or are pertaining to people or relations you are attached to, and then you pray to God that He should grant you a particular relief, or a job promotion, or some benefit to you or your near ones, etc. When you go with this frame of mind, then most of the time you are disappointed. Hypothetically speaking, if your expectations are symbolised in A and what you get is, let us say, B; then A minus B is your disappointment. And then you have to attribute this disappointment to someone. The pessimists will attribute it to their bad luck and will always curse themselves for not being worthy of God’s favour.
The optimists will straight away blame God Himself, and they say that this God is not good and that we should shift to some other God. In this way you keep on shifting from God to God, but disappointment is always there. This may even make you anti-God and an atheist, ultimately. Now take a case where you do not go to God with any expectations. Therefore, the expectations are zero, and let us say that you get B as the reward. Therefore, B minus zero is B which is always surplus.
You should also distinguish between your expectations and desires, and pure desires. Pure desire is always for the benefit of the other, and therefore you are entitled to carry pure desires to the Divinity. I once remember, I was travelling with Shri Mataji from Sydney to Canberra, and it was very hot and the air-conditioning of the car was thoroughly inadequate. Shri Mataji was sweating and I was fanning Her with a newspaper, but I somehow felt that the heat was oppressive and that the weather should give some respite to Her. Reading my mind, She asked me a question as to what I was thinking, to which I told Her frankly that I was unable to see Her suffer because of heat. So She told me that I should make a pure desire and the weather would change. So I closed my eyes and made a pure desire that the weather should change.
Within five minutes, dark clouds gathered from nowhere and it started raining, and the intensity of heat was thus reduced and Shri Mataji said, “See, if you make a pure desire then it will always be fulfilled.”
Coming back to expectations, I may mention here that once you are connected to your Divinity through your Self Realisation, you should feel assured that you have been admitted into the Kingdom of God, that you are His subject and therefore He is duty-bound to look after you, irrespective of what you expect of Him. So please do not expect… Only pray to Shri Mataji that She should make you what She wants you to be.
Baba Mama, 1999
Through simple questions
Shri Mataji, by Her grace,
traces the history of mankind,
offering us a way to face
ourselves, to seek and find
the wisdom, joy and peace
Somewhere – in the Garden of Eden
perhaps – the Power of God
granted us a great gift,
rifting us from the rest of Creation.
She, the Prime Power,
gifted to us our
our perception, a new voice,
our free will, choice.
While the rest of Creation still
obeyed, without question, God’s will,
mankind took its destiny, and
the consequences, into its own hands.
The first desire, in those early days,
was matter –
food, shelter, weapons of security,
the surety of survival
against all rivals.
Even in these latter
days money, things
and what things bring,
are still the way of life
for most, causing envy, greed
the need for more, for new, for speed,
increasing our current
and individual discontent.
The next desire? A towering
need for power,
for praise, obedience.
the other’s fear.
But as we drive
through on-going lives
we tend to find
that things and status bind
and blind us, while stuff
and power are not enough.
There must be something more,
we say, a simple core
to our existence!
So we search the distance
between our world and peace of mind
So we seek outside
ourselves, in humility or pride,
through religions and prisms
of –osophies and –isms,
special visions, special places,
so-called wise, attractive faces,
sects and drugs and cults.
We find among all the congestion,
those key questions
concerning truth, which guide
and we find that the wealth
of answers lies in the Spirit, the Self.
(Photograph by Vishnu Bonneau)
The Vishuddhi Chakra is the place of our communications and our relationships. It is situated at the throat and is a complex centre for receiving and sending. We understand that waves have vibrations, like TVs and mobile phones, and that routinely these instruments pick up these invisible waves and make sense of them. Likewise, to a much more subtle degree we are empowered to pick up and send vibrations, waves. This happens through our Vishuddhi Chakra.
The Sahaja Yoga affirmations for Vishuddhi Chakra are, “I am not guilty,” “Mother, please make me the detached witness and part and parcel of the Whole,” and “Mother, verily You are the sweet countenance of all my words and deeds.”
After Self-realisation, the Spirit is able to interact with our consciousness much more directly. When our Vishuddhi Chakras are clear we can put attention on people, things, ourselves, and get accurate direct knowledge of everything at the vibrational, subtle, actual level. This is a new state of Vibrational Awareness working through our hands and awareness. The whole cosmos both within and without begins to open up to us and we begin to see more of the grandeur and essential nature of the creation. This facilitates our enlightened understanding and we witness things, events and people in a more detached and knowing way.
The Vishuddhi Chakra picks up on the etheric vibrations from wherever we place our attention. This is a very good reason to be careful where and how we place or direct the attention, including the attention of others. The Vishuddhi can and does transmit vibrations, not only in the gross sense of speaking, or arm movements, but by placing our heart-felt and focused attention on people we can literally bestow qualities on them. We soon realise we get our own transmission back, and so we determine, as best we can, to be an instrument of Divine Love. We also have the power to evoke feelings in others, like guilt, anger, jealousy or love, through our speech.
Ideally, we see everyone as a pure spiritual being, a part and parcel of the Whole, of which we are part. This means everyone is sacred, and worthy of the same respect and loving treatment as we would give our sister, brother, child or parent. One of the most dear relationships is the sweet love between the brother and sister. Unfortunately, in the West this relationship is poorly valued. Likewise, the idea of sweetness and diplomacy as an ideal is also almost lost, with the idea of aggressiveness or sarcasm taking its place in order to get what we want. The brother-sister relationship is felt on the left side of Vishuddhi and sweetness is expressed on the right.
The Vishuddhi and accompanying Hamsa Chakra at the top of the nose work as filters. Smoking, anger, guilt or inability to witness are some of the things that can cause this chakra to “catch”.
The personification of this principle is the Lord Krishna and his consort, Shri Radha. His incarnation principle was to clarify our eternally spiritual nature and to urge us to see and witness the divine drama of creation as a play. He was Yogeshwara, the God of Yoga who urges the practice of yoga. “When the mind of the Yogi is in harmony and finds rest in the Spirit within, all restless desires gone, then he is a Yukta, one in God” (Bhagavadgita).
Essentially, in Spirit we are all connected. This connection is felt through our Vishuddhi. Vishuddhi is the hollow flute which expresses the sweetness of the Heart. The sweet music delights the sender and receiver. This whole manifest creation is known as the Virata. The Virata is reflected in all its power and glory within us as the subtle body. We can know absolutely that we are part and parcel of the Whole.