Published On: Fri, Dec 26th, 2014

Interstellar Hinduism: And The Matrix, Star Wars, Inception and so on


Wonderful articles that show how Hollywood has embraced fundamental concepts of Hinduism and that has led to some of its greatest hits – Intestellar, Matrix, Star Wars, Inception and so on. The ideas of Maya – or illusion, of an all pervading force that we can connect to, of super powers or siddhis that one can attain from within to name a few


Nl8KjBO_-_ImgurWhen the film’s astronaut hero (Matthew McConaughey), declares that the mysterious and all-knowing “they” who created a wormhole near Saturn through which he travels to save mankind – dissolving his sense of material reality in the process – are in fact “us”, he is simply repeating the central notion of the Upanishads, India’s oldest philosophical texts. These hold that individual human minds are merely brief reflections within a cosmic one.


The idea of time dialation in interstellar comes from general relativity. But interestingly this concept was mentioned in many Hindu mythologies.

In Interstellar, there is a concept- 1 Hour on Miller planet is equal to 7 Years on Earth. Due to a technical snag, the team is forced to spend 3 hours on that planet resulting in the loss of 23 years on Earth. Which means 10 years old daughter of Hero becomes 33 years old and the hero remains of the same age.

In Hindu Mythology, once in the war between Gods & Demons, Indra took the help of (Human) king Muchukunda. King Muchukunda helped gods in the war, but the war lasted for 1 year and that was in heaven. After the war was over, when Muchukunda expresses desire to go back to earth to meet his family, Indra tells him that 1 year in Heaven is equal to 360 years on Earth, hence his family & kingdom must have been destroyed by now with the passage of time.

king-kakudmiShrimad Bhagawata Gita (9-3-27 to 36) gives a story that king Kakudmi went with his daughter Revati to the Brahmaloka (Another planet) to find her a husband. They spent some seconds there, but during those seconds, about 216 years passed on the Earth.They returned after 216 years, but still Rewati was in puberty and her father was alive. Aging factor had stopped working on them.

Red-pill-blue-pill“Look at the first Matrix movie,” says producer Peter Rader. “It’s a yogic movie. It says that this world is an illusion. It’s about maya – that if we can cut through the illusions and connect with something larger we can do all sorts of things. Neo achieves the abilities of the advanced yogis [Paramahansa] Yogananda described, who can defy the laws of normal reality.”

yoda lifting spaceshipBut before Nolan, before the Matrix, before, even, the iPad, there was Star Wars. It was the film, with its cosmic scale and theme of a transcendental “force” that confers superhuman powers on those who can align with it, which opened up mainstream American culture to Indian esotericism more than anything else. 


“Spirituality is the open-secret,” says Rader. “A lot of people know that if we quieten down we can tap into a deeper power. And the movies that tap into that, like Star Wars and Interstellar, are hugely popular. Audiences know what the film is telling them, they have a sense that this story is working on a deeper level. It’s telling them that there’s more to life than just the ordinary. That there’s something much bigger, and they’re a part of it.”

A philosophy to which many are keen to subscribe is what makes religions successful. Movies, too.


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