My thoughts : Inception

No doubts. This is a Hollywood movie in this blog on Sri Vaishnavam. But Why? This critically acclaimed movie, I felt has a lot of things depicted that has been well said ages before in our Literature. Here go my thoughts on this movie and our culture.

So what are the things that remind me of Sri Vaishnavam in this movie? Realistic Dreams and how characters do not even realise they are in a dream. Most of the movie takes part in the dreams of the characters. The characters can go into dreams of other persons stealthily. And, only a few characters know that they are actually in a dream. The rest are unaware of the fact that they are in a dream and consider their dreams to be real. Bad guys enter the dreams of their targets and extract information from them, by making the targets believe that they are in the real world. But some targets subconscious mind is trained to defend itself against such intrusions. And time moves slowly in dream state when compared to real world. Finally layers of dreams – Characters go into dreams in their dreams, i.e. a dream inside a dream and very soon the line between reality & dream blurs alarmingly.

When characters die in their dreams, they come back to real life; This I felt is similar to us going back to Sriman Narayana after our lives here. This set a string of thoughts floating in me on how advanced concepts said in this movie has already been said ages ago in our culture. For instance how certain characters defend themselves against intrusions. Such a trained character has an imaginary army that defends against intruders. Similarily a Sri Viashnava who has unflinching faith in Sriman Narayana is always protected be it when he is in conscious or subconscious state. Characters do not realise they are in a dream and are living a fake life; just like us living in this materialistic world and wanting to live for long here. Some characters inspite of knowing they are in dream want to live on in their dreams so that they can be happy, only to see their world getting destroyed as the dreams begin to disintegrate. Reminds of ourselves who want to live here despite being aware of the unstableness of this world. Layers of dreams frighteningly reminds us of the truth. Some characters go into dreams inside their dreams and keep going deep into layers where there is a heavy possibility of them forgetting what reality is and wandering aimlessly in fake worlds. And finally Time spans; time in dream state moves slower than in real and gets slower down the layers – Something similar but opposite to time differences in various Lokas in our literature.

It’s really breathtaking to know that our fore-fathers in this country wrote about all these advanced ideas (and even more) thousands of years back, when the rest of the world had just hunters & gatherers.


7 thoughts on “My thoughts : Inception

  1. Interesting to note that you saw parallels in a movie. While adiyen does agree that the only truth is that we all belong to Sriman NArayana, I would safely dismiss the fact that life and what we encounter here is a dream. This materialistic world is a challenge, a hurdle in the path of realisation of the lord… but NOT an illusion or a dream, atleast according to Visishtadvaitha!


    • You are indeed very right Swami that as per Vaishnava tradition the materialistic world is not an illusion. But what Adiyean proposed to say was that we give undue importance to materialistic world and in the process forget our ultimate goal of attaining Moksha.

      Thank you for your comments.


  2. Material world that we live in is temporary not false. It is dukhalayam asaswatam temporary abode of miseries. Hare Krsna Sudha

    • You are indeed very right that world that we live in is temporary not false. What adiyean meant to say that we tend to be too much affected / attracted by the materialistic world that we forget the higher truth. We just go in deeper and deeper into the ocean of “Samsara”.

  3. I prefer to say (just my humble opinion) that this world is an opportunity for us to live a good life as much as we can rather than see it as a challenge or an abode of misery. Unless there are constraints, we would not strive to rise above it. I recently read a book – Laws of Spritual World – and I could see Vishistadvaitam and Dvaitam written all over it.

    • The point I tried to say was that we should not be carried away by materialistic pleasures that this world offers and forget the ultimate reality. As you say Unless there are constraints, we would not strive to rise above it. But ultimately we can never be truly happy in this world 🙂

  4. One more film, from which interesting parallels can be drawn is The Matrix – depicting an unreal world and real world, state of dream and state of awakening etc. Interesting to know that the makers of the film drew inspiration from our upanishadic concepts. The third film in the series ends with verses from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Though the core film concept leans more towards Advaitam, still good to know.

    I just saw the FB update on Ranga Priya Dasan. Very interesting and inspiring. Infact it would be great to know what drew him towards Sri Vainavam, as ISKON’s Gauda Vainavam is more known in the West than Sri sampradayam.

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