Film: “Awake”, as reviewed by Kaiden Maxwell

Move over, Starbucks. Here comes Yogananda!

Paramhansa Yogananda, the great Saint the LA Times calls the first superstar guru of the 20th century,came to the United States with a message and a unique – and caffeine-free – formula for staying awake. The jolt of energy you’ll get from this film, however, might not wear off… ever!

This epic motion picture, entitled “Awake: The Life of Yogananda,” was filmed in pseudo-documentary fashion and is based on the best selling book, “Autobiography of a Yogi” – the most popular spiritual autobiography of all time. Stunning rare archived footage combines with highly believable reenactments, leaving the viewer transfixed by Yogananda’s radiant eyes and piercing gaze. It is believed in many ancient traditions that a mere glance from a self-realized Master is sufficient to change someone from the inside out. One gets the feeling watching this film and staring into Yogananda’s eyes that s/he is no longer the same, but rather deeply affected by an inexplicably profound presence.

From his early days in India as a young child who lost his mother, with whom he was incredibly close, to his subsequent numerous attempts to escape to the Himalayans to live an ascetic life, and then his eventual encounter with his Guru, Sri Yukteswar, who sent him away to the United States to spread the message of Self-Realization, the events of Yogananda’s life and the way they are chronicled in this film show quite clearly that he was no ordinary person but a spiritual dynamo on a divine mission, one which would eventually pave the way for millions of people to get on their own personal path to enlightenment.

The viewer is invited along with Yogananda as he departs his beloved India on a mission to fulfill his destiny of bringing the science of Kriya Yoga to the West. This mission was no bed of roses for Yogananda. His arrival on the shores of Boston in 1920 with nothing more than a suitcase followed by his first speech at a religious congress quickly led to him becoming widely regarded as a spiritual authority, amassing crowds in the thousands within a short time.

However, as his popularity soared, so did the opposition from various organizations, including from some governmental groups, prompting a move to California, where Yogananda was warmly welcomed and where he went on to establish the Self Realization Fellowship, the US headquarters and several hermitages. Despite continued encumbrances following the relocation, the success of this divinely ordained mission was catapulted by record sales of his book Autobiography of a Yogi and eventual widespread recognition from spiritual and political leaders.

The story of Yogananda reaches a crescendo with the sensational ending to his life. On his last day, and in seemingly good health, Yogananda announced to his senior disciples that he was preparing for his death. Shortly following this announcement he stepped on stage for what would be his last ever lecture and collapsed to the floor midway through the presentation. Despite his body being held in the coroner’s office for one week following autopsy, it showed no signs of decay and was even described as emanating a floral fragrance.

This type of phenomenon not only defies conventional medical norms, it confirms the greatness of the soul which inhabited that body.

The journey the viewer takes during “Awake: The Life of Yogananda” is a worthwhile one and an absolute must for anyone interested in “waking up” and understanding Truth about life and what lies in the unseen realms beyond our physical existence.

YogeshaDr. Kaiden Maxwell is a board certified doctor of chiropractic with extensive training and experience using a variety of powerful healing techniques, from traditional to unconventional. What Dr. Maxwell is best known for is his unique approach to health care, integrating traditional chiropractic spinal adjusting methods with his mind/body/energy area of specialty known as Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (B.E.S.T.). Using the B.E.S.T. system and philosophy as a framework, Dr. Maxwell closely analyzes the spine and energy systems for harmful physical, mental, emotional and energetic frequencies interfering with the flow of vital energy between the brain and the body. This transformational healing system allows Dr. Maxwell to address health challenges in a truly holistic & multidimensional way. Visit MaxWell Chiropractic & Healing in Encinitas, California, or go to to learn more.