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Yogananda and the King of Kings

Updated on December 10, 2012

Yogananda Reviews a Movie

Paramhansa Yogananda was the pioneer of yoga in America, and was the author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi. In the East-West Magazine of the July-August of 1927, Yogananda wrote a review of the then newly released silent movie, The King of Kings. Here is the review below. As you can see, Yogananda himself knew Cecil B. de Mille. We hope you enjoy this.

King of Kings poster
King of Kings poster

Review of "The King of Kings"

"The King of Kings" produced recently by Cecil B. de Mille, may be said to be the perfect picture. One cannot detect a flaw in it anywhere, neither in treatment nor pictorially. It is the finest achievement of the motion picture art to date, in the sense of lasting, worthwhile beauty.

Mr. de Mille, who is an East-West subscriber, is a student of religion. When recently asked to define his personal religion, he replied: "I think it is best defined in the words of Rama Krishna: 'God is the same flame, but men see it in different colors.' I believe in all religions. We all are worshipping the same God."

Cecil B. de Mille, director of the King of Kings
Cecil B. de Mille, director of the King of Kings

A Story About Shooting the King of Kings by Cecil B. de Mille

Mr. de Mille tells the following story of what took place when they were filming the crucifixion scene:

"There were 3000 extras-of every creed-as Roman soldiers, Judeans and Pharisees. They had worked magnificently for months. This scene, however, was a severe strain on everyone, as you may well guess. It was the California rainy season. Although the huge set was built inside my studios, it was cold and damp. Fifty wind machines had been hurling dirt for hours. Everyone was grimy, dirty and tired-yet we were all uplifted. We reached the foot of the cross when I called a halt for a rest. The great pipe organ, which we used during the making of every scene, was silent. 'You can do just as you wish,' I told the vast crowd. 'You can laugh, you can sing, you can pray, you can rest. Do what you wish.'

"Suddenly they began to sing 'Lead Kindly Light.' Out of the three thousand extras and players, fully twenty-five hundred fell on their knees. The organ picked up the hymn. I saw tears streaming down the faces of hundreds of the grimy extras. It was as if we had been whirled back two thousand years. That I think was the highest emotional point in my whole life. That is why 'The King of Kings' has the ring of sincerity. We did it with complete sincerity."

Jesus and the Last Supper from The King of Kings - Do you know who the actor is who is playing Jesus? See the Quiz below.

Who is this actor?
Who is this actor?

The King of Kings from YouTube

Have You Seen the King of Kings?

Yogananda strongly urged his disciples to see the King of Kings whenever it was shown. It happened that often, before Easter, Grauman's Chinese Theatre would show this classic silent movie. Now it is available for purchase or for viewing online.

Have you seen the King of Kings?

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Paramhansa Yogananda - Author of the review above

Cover of Autobiography of a Yogi
Cover of Autobiography of a Yogi

Paramhansa Yogananda is the author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi.

Jesus Meditating
Jesus Meditating

Original Christianity and Original Yoga

Dedicated to Yogananda

This lens is brought to you by OCOY.org which is inspired by and dedicated to Paramhansa Yogananda, who introduced yoga meditation and the goal of self realization to the American people, and whose writings reveal the underlying unity of original Christianity and original Yoga.

OCOY.org has articles on meditation and practical spiritual life, including the useful "Dharma for Awakening series of web articles and ebooks. And the Light of the Spirit Blog is a tremendous resource for students of spiritual life. Visit the blog and sign up for our mailing list to have practical spiritual articles sent to your inbox weekly.

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    • juditpaton profile image

      Iudit Gherghiteanu 5 years ago from Ozun

      your link works just fine...this is a very nice lens, i did learn from it.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Very nicely done.

    • cjbmeb14 lm profile image

      cjbmeb14 lm 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens.

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 5 years ago from USA

      I have heard of Kings of Kings but I just can't watch silent films very well. You learn something new every day.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      Thank-you for this lovely tribute to the everliving Yogananda

    • ocoyorg profile image
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      ocoyorg 5 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: Thank you, Sukran, for your comment. As you are a seasoned seasoned lens master, could I ask for your input? I have added more to this lens. Could you critique it and some other of our lenses?

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i love mr. de mille's quote on religion. what a thought provoking quote?