Film Trailer

Film-Book-Project

FILM

BLUEPRINTS FOR AWAKENING
Wisdom of the Masters

A DVD film produced by Premananda.
Rare Interviews with 16 important Indian spiritual Masters on the teachings of
Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.

I am very much touched by the presence of the Indian Masters, their special energy and radiance. At the beginning and at the end of the film I had tears in my eyes. Thank you so much!

With Love,

Johannes, Germany



This is a wonderful film on Spirituality and Realization. Getting access to these great Masters is a great experience. Many thanks to Premananda for his wonderful effort.

Rajan, India



Speechless.

Barry, USA



I have watched it at least 20 times. Today again. Again deeply touched.

Lakshmi, Germany



Lovely. Our journey through life begins when we start looking within for what we need. We already are what we are looking for....Thanks for this wonderful documentary.

Many Blessings,

Donna



You can read many books about Advaita, Non-Duality, or Enlightenment, or perhaps take your search to the original land of much of this material, India. This DVD took me directly to this tradition, and to this powerful and sacred place without me having to take a 20 hour flight. The film is a series of intimate dialogues with Indian sages, gurus, masters, and also just normal people who have awakened to their nature.

I could really feel the essence of each person as they speak about a variety of topics, all of which relate directly to the teachings and sayings of the great Indian sage Ramana Maharshi.There are 16 people interviewed throughout the film, all of which create their own unique space, and have their own profound answers to questions such as; 'Who are you? What is enlightenment?

The questions asked in the dialogues are direct, simple, and very much to the heart of what we are looking for upon the 'spiritual path'. For example, there is wonderful moment when the beautiful master Radha ma states that the very title of the film denies the reality of enlightenment, that there are no blueprints, it just is as it is in every moment. This is direct from the heart of India, very special.

The DVD is interspersed with images of rural and everyday life in India, creating a lovely atmosphere and background to the words of the speakers. There could be more footage of the actual masters going about their day, but it's more important that we hear their words, and this is the main focus of the film.

A wonderful DVD.

Edward Calcutt



"If you need something uplifting in between: in this film 16 Indian Masters from the tradition of Advaita Vedanta and in the context of Ramana Maharshi (The wise man of the mountain Arunachala) are giving answers to essential questions.

And if you don't have much time: the trailer is already a feast for the eyes.

Isn't it great to look into the faces and the eyes of all of those wise people? To see their diversity, their wisdom and love? Also watch the joy and easiness, which is expressed here! Each of them -even if he has already left his body- is an enrichment for the soul of the world..."

Dieter Broers, Biophysicist




"This is a brilliant film, packed full of invaluable spiritual advice. It serves as a vivid introduction to the spiritual wisdom of India."

Alan Jacobs
President Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK

 


Premananda is a devotee of Sri Ramana Maharshi, a former pupil of Papaji, and is now, himself, a respected spiritual teacher in the West.

Some years ago he was inspired to make a film of his visits to the leading Indian spiritual Masters of to-day. The result is that after eight years of filming, directing, editing, and arranging for its production, he has produced a glorious film.

The film will be of particular interest to those seeking an authentic spiritual Master whose teaching is based on the ancient traditions of Indian spirituality, the Upanishads and of course the teachings of that recent supreme guru, Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.

The film is carefully organised. Sixteen Masters were asked the same twelve pertinent questions (questions which often perplex earnest seekers) arising out of Ramana Maharshi's teaching. The film carefully edits from the complete interviews the various Masters' answers to the questions in their order, so the film is thematic, and acts on the viewer like a wonderful Satsang with illustrious teachers.

The film contains scenes of exceptional natural beauty and captures the magic and light of India. There is some superb music and the film is punctuated with rare archival film footage of Ramana Maharshi, which is included with the gracious permission of Ramanasramam.

The film should be accompanied by Premananda's book Blueprints for Awakening which gives the full interview texts and biographies of the Masters.

This is a brilliant film, packed full of invaluable spiritual advice and content. It serves as a vivid introduction to the spiritual wisdom of India, and will definitely help Western devotees searching for the essential Truths which point to Self-realisation. Premananda is to be congratulated on his achievement.

Alan Jacobs
President Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK

 

Film-Book-Project

BOOK

BLUEPRINTS FOR AWAKENING

Rare Interviews with 16 important Indian spiritual Masters on the teachings of
Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.

"This is arguably the best and finest introduction to the hallowed teaching of Advaita Vedanta that has ever appeared. A marvellous collection of authentic Sage wisdom-teaching, perfectly designed to give the correct pointers to Self-realisation for today's seekers after essential Truth."

Alan Jacobs
President Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK



This is arguably the best and finest introduction to the hallowed teaching of Advaita Vedanta that has ever appeared. Sixteen enlightened Indian Masters are skilfully interviewed by the gifted Western Advaita teacher Premananda. He asks each chosen Sage the same twelve pertinent questions, which penetrate straight to the core, examining the vexed questions of 'What Is Enlightenment?' and 'How does one reach that exalted state?' Fortunately for the reader the great Masters selected are Indian, deeply steeped in their country's magnificent Advaitic tradition, a tradition which has blessed India and has been her great gift to humanity since the days of the ancient Rishis.

The Masters who Premananda painstakingly interviewed and filmed over several years, read like a roll call of the renowned modern Masters of non-dual wisdom. This finely printed and beautifully designed book is lavishly illustrated with striking portraits of all the Sages who are interviewed.

The book commences with Sri Hans Maharaj who opens this grand Satsang with a clear message of refined spirituality, peace and love. He stresses the need for ardent determination to probe inwards to the centre of one's being, so as to find one's own Truth behind the veil of accumulated tendencies.

Then there is the aged, highly respected and wise Sri Ajja from Karnataka who emphasises the great efficacy of Self-enquiry.

Next, we move on to Mumbai, home of that eloquent pupil of Nisargaddata Maharaj, Ramesh Balsekar, who fundamentally attacks the mistaken notion of 'personal doership' out of compassion for the thousands of seekers and devotees who knock at his ever - open door.

Then there is Sri Brahmam, who can often be found sitting in the Jubillee Hall at Ramanasramam. He stresses the need for finding inner peace before the serious sadhana (spiritual practice) of Self-enquiry can commence.

Then comes Swami Dayananda, perhaps the most traditional of modern Indian Masters. He is steeped in the wisdom of the Vedas and Upanishads and teaches the time tested, traditional approach to this whole question of 'Awakening'.

Also from Tiruvannamalai is that great soul, the eloquent Sri V. Ganesan, grand nephew of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, whose teaching he has scrupulously followed and practised since his youth.

He is followed by D.B. Gangolli, author of many important books on Vedanta, and once the senior sports writer for the Times of India! He masterfully teaches the way of the householder.

Then we have Kiran, a former industrialist, a pupil of Osho, and admirer of the late, radical teacher U.G.Krishnamurti.

Next comes Nannagaru, who has a large following in Andhra Pradesh. He is a devotee of Ramana Maharshi, and now , thanks to his Master's grace , exhibits the amazing power of that silence which can evoke a sense of the real Self in the fortunate recipient of his grace.

The first woman Master in this book, is the youthful Swamini Pramananda, a gifted pupil of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. She also teaches the well tested, traditional approach to this whole question.

A new and radiant face on the scene is the gracious Rhada Ma, who occasionally gives satsang in Tiruvannamalai where she has several devotees studying in her Advaita Monastery.

Then we have Samdarshi from Kanpur, whose Master was Osho. He teaches a Seven Steps to Enlightenment Programme.

Next in this inspiring galaxy of spiritual Masters comes Swami Satchidananda, a pupil of the celebrated Swami Ramdas, the Sage of unconditional love, who now runs his former Master's ashram.

A third feminine guru is the venerable Ma Souris, who, like her father, was an earnest devotee of Ramana Maharshi. Her teaching can be found in her book A Memory .

Next we have an interview with Swami Suddhananda, a pupil of the esteemed Swami Chinmayananda, also a world traveller teaching his Master's pure Advaita Vedanta.

Finally there is the venerated Thuli Baba, a pupil of his father Sri Gurudev .

The twelve questions that Premanda asked these Masters were skillfully designed to unfold and explain the teachings of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi as set out in his original, seminal essays Who Am I? and Self-Enquiry . The full text of the invaluable Who Am I? essay, is given at the close of this book. Ramana Maharshi has probably been, more than anyone else, responsible for the Advaita renaissance now sweeping India and the Western world.

This book is a marvellous collection of authentic Sage wisdom-teaching, perfectly designed to give the correct pointers to Self-realisation for today's seekers after essential Truth. Premananda, himself a gifted teacher of Advaita, is to be congratulated on his dedicated work in interviewing these great Sages so capably, and eliciting from them the fruit of their practical experience. This book is strongly recommended as a superb introduction for all those who find themselves drawn to this great inner quest, to their True Nature, who they really, really are! These interviews have been collated into a brilliant ninety minute DVD film, Blueprints for Awakening - Wisdom of the Masters. It is packed full of invaluable spiritual advice and it serves as a vivid introduction to the spiritual wisdom of India. As an added bonus the book also contains a delightful DVD sampler for this film and introduces a website where you can view each of the sixteen Masters answering the twelve questions: www.blueprintsforawakening.org

Alan Jacobs
President Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK



An excellent idea, brilliantly realized by Premananda in this book, was to ask a number of acknowledged Indian teachers essentially the same set of questions. This enables one directly to compare the differing styles of teaching and the extent to which they are able to communicate the truth about the Self and the world. He chose to use, as his set of questions, those addressed in Ramana Maharshi's booklets `Who Am I?' and ` Self-Enquiry' and these are key elements in the understanding of Advaita.

Accompanying the book is a DVD showing short extracts from the interviews and there is a longer version that can be purchased separately. These are useful to gain a sense of the `aura' surrounding these teachers, their `aliveness' and sense of humor etc. But the book itself contains the complete material and there is no danger of distraction by such aspects as struggling to understand accents or grammar.

The significant advantage of a book such as this over the typical `satsang transcription' type of book common in the West is that, here, we have an informed questioner rather than seekers with varying degrees of prior understanding. Premananda is able to tease out valuable explanations of key points, thereby avoiding the potential for confusion.

The main aspect that struck me was the widely differing levels of ability to transmit understanding, regardless of whether or not these teachers are truly enlightened. What is said ranges from what I would term `mystical mumbo-jumbo' and the neo-advaitin views common in the West, through the simple faith of the more traditional bhakta style to the deep and reasoned understanding, and ability to communicate this to others. One tends to have the notion that perhaps few Western teachers are both enlightened and able to communicate well; that maybe most are probably not enlightened and tend to speak in unsubstantiated, psychological or mystical language, with many using the absolutist and totally unhelpful pronouncements of neo-advaita. And again one tends to think that the `real' teachers, who both know and are able to pass on that knowledge, are all in India. The interviews in this book show such a belief to be unjustified.

In mitigation, it must be recognized that the teachers are answering Premananda's questions in the latter's presence. So, although the understanding may be there (for both parties), the audience is not. The audience will be the readers of the book. They are unable to ask further questions for clarification and the teacher is not in their presence so as to be able to gain feedback and make an appropriate response. The only way around this problem is to take explanations step by step, beginning from a certain ground and using reason to advance to the conclusion, so that the reader is certain to be able to follow. (This argument applies equally to Western satsang books, of course.)

The clear message that I derived from reading the book is summed up by Swami Dayananda: "Go to a teacher who is very well informed, who has teachers. If someone says, `I have not studied anywhere', leave him alone - don't learn from him." And he is referring to sampradAya, here [the tradition or established doctrine of teaching from master to pupil through the ages]. It is necessary to acquire the skills that have been passed down for generations - the stories, metaphors and their meaning; and the systematic methodology of traditional Advaita - so as to be able to represent the truth to the seeker. Knowing the truth on its own is not sufficient.

This book is therefore something of a revelation in that, whether intentional or not, it demonstrates that (assuming the selection to be representative) India is pretty much in the same situation as the West! It does seem common to very many teachers that they make `pronouncements': "This is the way things are (because I say so and I have realized the truth). Just accept it and maybe eventually you will realize it for yourself (perhaps if you keep coming to my satsangs)". This sounds very harsh but shows up in sharp contrast to those teachers in Swami Dayananda's lineage, for example, where statements are always backed up by solid reasoning so that you feel you have understood at the end, even if you cannot yet really `take it on board'.

I suspect that Premananda is not going to agree with me on this. And this may be because he actually met all of these teachers and knows that they are sincere, selfless etc. And I am not suggesting that this is not the case - just that in some cases, on the strength of their responses to the questions, they are not good teachers!

In fact, it occurs to me that `Blueprints' provides an excellent companion to my own book `Enlightenment: the Path through the Jungle'. The latter provided theoretical justification for the assertion that traditional, sampradAya teaching is superior to satsang and neo-advaita. The book under review seems to provide the practical and anecdotal evidence for this!

Dennis Waite, author of Back to the Truth: 5000 years of Advaita



This book is a beautiful and profound collection of interviews.

Some of the wisest souls and purest minds are interviewed in a way that asks simple and penetrating questions. 'Who are you?' 'What is Enlightenment?'

It's so amazing to see all these beautiful teachers sharing what is a timeless wisdom, to know they are alive, and that the truth they are sharing is possible in any lifetime for anybody.

Thank you for this.
Edward



Premananda is one of the many Osho sannyasins who found a safe haven after their master's death at the bosom of Papaji, a direct disciple of the illustrious Ramana Maharshi. Papaji was a friendly man, a lot more open than Osho to declare each and everyone 'enlightened' - among them dubious characters like Andrew Cohen and Arjuna Ardagh- and sending them out in the world to give satsang. But whereas most other Westeners often had a rather arrogant attitude to the tradition and the philosophy they are supposed to represent, British-born Premananda clearly has respect for the Indian roots behind Ramana and the vedantic spirituality.

In this book he has the brilliant idea to travel around India to find and interview Indian Masters on their views about the basic concepts of Ramana. To question them about their experiences and their philosophical and existential outloooks. And their views on enlightenment, spritual practice, meditation, reincarnation.

Some are disciples of Maharshi, others are well-known spiritual figures like Ramesh Balsekar and the late Ajja. There is also an enlightened Osho-disciple Samdarshi, whereas the radical nihilism of U.G. Krishnamurti is represented by Kiran. But above them all shines the gorgous Radha Ma, a truly 'natural born mystic' whose spontaneous and fresh answers stir the heart and soul.

All this makes very compelling reading. You meet some powerful human beings and get lots of stuff for thought (and no-thought!). A profound book that can enlighten your life.

Bodhi Heeren



Film-Book-Project

PROJECT
BLUEPRINTS FOR AWAKENING

February 1, 2009

 

Dear Sri Premananda

It is indeed a pleasure and an elevating experience to read the book and view the  DVD of Blueprints for Awakening. The choice of the title itself shows the deep thinking that has gone into the project. Both the productions are simply fabulous and unbeatable.  

It is a great service to Sri Ramana devotees, who can hear these masters speak. Any Sri Ramana devotee should like to possess them, if he could afford.

A very high level of professionalism has gone into their production.

Posterity will always feel beholden to you.

Devotees at our Kendram what to know the price in Indian rupees and whether they could get these items in India by placing an order, if they are not able to go through the website.

 

Best regards,                       
Prof. Laxmi Narain  

(author of Face to Face with Ramana)

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Dear Premanandaji,

Just wanted to tell you that I loved the Blueprints for Awakening book. Reading the interviews is a wonderful complement, yet it is clear that the presence of those who speak which gives juice and texture to the message really comes through in the videos, that is what is important, it brings the message alive. It is the closest thing to a live darshan. Also, for the discerning eye, so much can be revealed. The film was awesome as well as the interviews on the website which I got to watch here. Surely you could get a great review in the Mountain Path magazine, the readership there could really appreciate it, as well, as it clarifies so much for devotees of Bhagavan! 

I also checked out your website and watched some of the short clips of the Masters, this is also fantastic, that you put this up!  It is really important that videos of Sages be available to all seekers, finders, and lovers of Truth. I will watch more when I have more time, and recommend the site, book, and DVD to many. It is an excellent job!! Good work.

Sw. Satchidananda was a real jewel.  On my first trip to Anandashram in 1982 I met him, he was running the office, and even then he was a being of purity and Light. At that time, Mataji Krishnabai was alive, she had a huge impact on me, she had so much light I would often be in tears as the benediction she carried would pour through every cell of my being. Later on, after Mataji Krishnabai passed away, and I visited Anandashram, It was clear that Pujya Swamiji too carried the blessings and grace that came through Mataji and Papa Ramdas.

Love and Total Liberation NOW!!!,

Krishna