Ram Dass: Fierce Grace
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Harvard professors Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary made countercultural history in 1963 when they were fired from that institution for conducting controversial psychedelic drug research. In the purple haze aftermath, Alpert journeyed to India and found his guru Maharaj ji, who renamed him Ram Dass ("Servant of God"). Best known for his 1971 bestseller BE HERE NOW, which was a spiritual touchstone of the era, Ram Dass became an inspiration to people across the globe. Filmmaker Mickey Lemle--who has known his subject for more than twenty-five years--intersperses vivid archival footage from hippiedom's glory days with intimate glimpses of Ram Dass today, as he continues to remake his life since being--in his words--"stroked" in 1997. Named by NEWSWEEK as one of the Top Five Non-Fiction Films of 2002, RAM DASS FIERCE GRACE is an engrossing, poignant meditation on spirituality, consciousness, healing and the unexpected grace of aging.
- 20 minutes of exclusive additional footage
- Chant Master Krishna Das' prayer "Hanuman Puja," accompanied by a photo montage of Maharaj ji
- "Hanuman Puja" lyrics in Sanskrit and English
- Biographies on Ram Dass and Producer/Director Mickey Lemle
- Personal statement from Mickey Lemle
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Top Customer Reviews
Interweaving current conversations, interviews with people in his life, and archival footage, Lemle then looks back at his childhood, the controversy surrounding his research with Timothy Leary in psychedelics at Harvard, his studies in India with Neem Karoli Baba who renamed him Baba Ram Dass (Servant of God), his work with the Seva Foundation in social action projects dedicated to relieving suffering in the world, and his impact as an author and guru to millions of followers. Several examples are shown of his compassion and his ability to feel the pain of others. In an opening sequence, his beautiful "Rachel's Letter"*comforts a family after their daughter was murdered. In the final sequence, Ram Dass listens to a young woman struggling to overcome her grief at her boyfriend's violent death. In a powerfully moving segment, she brings Ram Dass to tears when she tells him about a dream she had in which her boyfriend speaks to her from beyond with a reassuring message.
When Ram Dass received the "fierce grace" of being "stroked", he admits he did not have any unusual spiritual epiphany. He recalls, "Here I am, Mr. Spiritual, and in my own head I didn't orient toward the spirit. It showed me I have some work to do".Read more ›
There's background of course, home movies of him as a child in the 1930s, one of three lively siblings whose father was the president of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. There's some footage of him with a fresh face and short cropped hair as a professor at Harvard as he and Timothy Leary saw the mind altering drugs of the time as a major breakthrough in human psychology. And then we see him with his guru in India, taking on the spiritually that was even more powerful than the drugs. He then returned home, bearded and dressed in what his father described as a "bedsheet", and held outdoor yogi sessions for his hundreds of his followers right on the golf course of his family's New Hampshire estate. His book, "Be Here Now" became a best seller and is still in print.
But now he's an old man, struggling with his physical challenges. Much of the film focuses on him this way, and sometimes it's hard to watch as he's learning to live with his limitations.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating history, insightful, amazing, I watch it every year.Published 3 months ago by feelinnopain
Inspiring moments--one of them gave me special insight into a personal problem that needed solving. It is difficult to listen to Ram Dass since his stroke. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Rick you meant it to me because I have had a stroke but it wasn't exactly what I was expectingPublished 7 months ago by Vangie Heynen
A beautiful movie about the man who started many many people on the spiritual path.Published 16 months ago by Ernest Isaacs
Great flick. Great man whose thinking evolved throughout life... Kinda reminds me of Mark Twain.Published 19 months ago by Jim
Ram Dass fans will love this in depth look at what our guru has become with age. It's funny to see that the great american sage of his times is just another old man dealing with... Read morePublished on August 9, 2014 by Tater69