Hacking The Matrix : The Spiritual Journey


Have you ever had this experience that you were doing what you always do, following your daily routine, and suddenly you become aware and wonder what the purpose is of all this? It is like you suddenly ‘wake up’. Most people might never question their existence, but once this happens in your life, it becomes difficult to just continue living the way you were doing before. You want to know more, find out what the purpose of your life is, of this existence. The more aware you become, the more this ‘thirst’ keeps growing…

In The Matrix, Neo has the same question. “Have you ever had this feeling where you are not sure whether you are awake or still dreaming?” His urge to know the Truth about existence is very strong, and just like any sincere seeker, when the thirst is strong enough, the Master, or Guru, appears in one’s life. Morpheus and his team keep scanning The Matrix for people that are ‘ready to be woken up’ or ‘to be unplugged’. Those people are like spiritual seekers, who have reached that level of maturity that will allow their intellect to be open enough to consider the possibility of the Truth: that all this is Maya, an illusion, created by the mind itself. If you watch the movie from this point of view, and if you have some experience with Sudarshan Kriya, meditation and spiritual practices, you will find many interesting dialogues and details.

Trinity tells Neo: “It is the question that drives us. It is the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did: “What is The Matrix?” And the answer is out there. And it will find you, if you want it to.”

Sudarshan Kriya can wake you from The Matrix
Source: getawallpaper.com

When Neo gets a glimpse of The Matrix, he is not sure whether he wants to go through with it. Trinity tells him: “Neo, you have to trust me. Why? Because you have been down there, Neo, you know that road, you know exactly where it ends. And I know that’s not where you want to be.” Neo then realizes that his thirst to know the Truth will only get quenched if he takes this leap of faith.

When they finally meet, Morpheus tells Neo: “Let me tell you why you are here. You are here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You felt it your entire life. You don’t know what it is, but it is there, like a splinter in your mind. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about? The Matrix. Do you want to know what it is? The Matrix is everywhere, all around us, even now in this very room. Unfortunately no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. After this there is no turning back. Remember: all I’m offering is the Truth, nothing more.”

And a little later, Morpheus tells Neo: “Have you ever had a dream Neo, that you were so sure it was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?”

“I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You are the one who has to walk through. You have to let it all go Neo – fear, doubt and disbelief. Free your mind, “ Morpheus tells him.

And my favorite part is when Neo meets a small monk boy when visiting the Oracle. The boy is bending a spoon with his mind, and then tells Neo: “Do not try and bend the spoon – that is impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth. What truth? That there is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”

Meditation and Sudarshan Kriya help you to transcend the mind
Source: doubletakespoon.wordpress.com

Finally Neo realizes the Truth, or reaches self-realization. He is now able to do things nobody even thought possible – he is able to bend, or even break, the rules of The Matrix. It reminds me of the amazing things a fully enlightened Guru, like His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar does. The Sudarshan Kriya taught in The Art of Living Course is like the red pill that has already unplugged millions of people – and that without the pain, slime and nasty plug points all along the spine!

Those who have read the ‘Yoga Vasistha’, the crown jewel of ancient Vedantic scriptures, can recognize instantly how the knowledge in the book has been tweaked intelligently to create The Matrix.  According to Sage Vasistha, “Creation is what one sees and is aware of, and this is within oneself.”  The Yoga Vasistha provides delightful insights into the ancient Vedanta wisdom, the nature of existence, reality, governance and dissolution.

It seems fitting that the theme song at the end of the Matrix Trilogy is the ancient Vedic mantra ‘Asato Ma Sad Gamaya, Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya, Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya’ (which means ‘lead us from untruth to Reality, from darkness to Light, from death to Immortality’).

Enjoy watching the movie (again)! And post any other interesting perspective or dialogues of this movie that you find, as comments to this post! There are many more 😉

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  1. These are exactly the thoughts I had when I watched (and re-watched) the series. Thanks for rekindling that thoughts and reminding about the path 🙂

  2. This is so true! There are other movies which have ventured into the workings of the mind. The Groundhog Day, The Butterfly Effect (only part 1), Inception, Yes Man, Bruce Almighty. These, and I’m sure there are some more which, in their own way have reminded of all those “red pills” offered by Gurudev through the various Art of Living courses. I’ve always felt grateful for being able to take atleast some (if not all ;)) red pills. And it truely has been a great ride down (or is it up) the rabbit hole! What I learnt and find it essential is that there has to be focus! If Neo would have lost awareness of the question, its so easy to get lost in the distortions, disparities and complexities of the Matrix!

    I only wish that freeing the mind was so simple. I might even be but probably I’m yet to find that switch. 🙂

    1. Yes, there are many more interesting movies. A few of the ones you mentioned are already on the list.. I’ll be writing reviews for our Movie Section in the upcoming weeks… so stay tuned! 🙂

      So far Inception, Groundhog Day and a few more are coming up…

      1. Something in me again woke up, it was sleeping in me, and i was not aware of that something, which woke up and gave great shake to settle many unsettled things or play of mind

  3. Wow!
    So beautifully explained and related.
    So true our scriptures have it all n we just need to look inward.
    Such a great thing that u r writing such stuff it just helps to stay afloat 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. JGD!! I had seen the movie in my pre-aol days & frankly did not remember much from it. But while reading thru ur interpretation / passage, I hv got faint recollection of many of the golden messages you have cited. The subtexts of these mesages are much more clearer now than then. Now that we know it somewhat (unplugged after taking the red pill i.e. sudarshan kriya), letz live thru and enjoy the matrix with complete awareness & without entanglements…

  5. I thought I was the only 1 who was rewatching the series again and again for the oracle to speak and replace my self as neo and watch it. There are alot of people. It would be amazing to make a movie like that on Bhagawat GIta also. 🙂

  6. This is Amazingly reproduced 😀
    Loved the way you so beautifully showed the relation as to how its derived from Yoga Vasistha!
    Once you know that the lines are derived from Yoga Vasistha and read back the lines!
    It makes so much more meaning than just words 🙂
    It sure does matter, who does speak 🙂
    Thank you for a beautiful post 🙂
    Waiting for more of the hacks 😀
    Hacking into Reality -the way things should be seen!

    Swapnil 🙂

  7. So true Alex. MAtrix and Inception remind me of only one “Yoga Vasishtha”. I am half way through this book. After reading your post my thirst to complete the book has increased. Thanks a ton.

  8. jgd

    I feel this search for the so called Matrix is within each of us. Some feel it more often some feel it less. Some feel it in a superficial level and some on a deeper level. For some this urge comes and fizzes out and for some this thoughts very desparate.

    I feel this desparateness is directly proportion to the Age of our ‘Soul’. In every life we take the journey and move forward in the search. we die and are reborn. we only change ‘Body’. The soul doesnt forget al it has learnt, So the SOUL only continues its journey from the previous lifetimes.

    The point is the more the desparateness one feels the more lifetimes one has already lived and the more bodies have been changed. So this indicates that one is now may be vey close to understand the MATRIX of life or TRUTH or ENLIGHTENMENT.

    a great analogy drawn in this article. Thanks 4 the amazing thouhht.

  9. Well, our very own Neo (Shri. Alexander Luthra) has very well hacked & at the same time explained ‘The Matrix’ in a simplified & better way for all of us to go through the Spiritual Journey! 🙂 Alex ji keep them coming… Awaiting for more such articles…

    By the way, if all the hackers starts hacking in this manner & give us such insightful explanation, then wouldn’t it be great! Hmm… 😉

  10. Fab article, Alex! I shared it with my son, a Matrix fan. He recollected that we discussed the movie in the same light when we saw it! Thanks for rekindling those insights. We also recollected our fav quote from the film, by Morpheus to Neo after the “fight”, “Don’t think you are, KNOW you are.”
    Love & Light 🙂

  11. Hey Nice… I loved the Matrix series, and fully synced up with the correlation and thoughts presented here w.r.t to the movie.
    Inception and Source Code are similar ones you can check

  12. my favorite part is when Neo meets a small monk boy when visiting the Oracle too.. I saw this movie many times and still wonder how to make it… spiritual techniques give us purity… but there most be something else that give us freedom… Knowing the knowledge is not enough… I read 10 times the yoga vashista and still doing it again… but there most be something else that make the conection with the real reality and make us “realize” and really “experience” our divinity, the way Neo did it… Knowing all the secrets open the mind and give us a broader vision about who we are.. but how to get it.. this is the trick…. if someone knows please let me know.. :))

  13. u have guided a long way to me. this is amazing, after watching the matrix millions of time i was nt able to understand what actually the movie is trying to say..

    but after this article i understood what is this movie ” matrix”.

    thnk u jai guru dev

  14. Brilliant. Actually my 2nd “course” in the Art of Living was “The Matrix – Explained” with Raju-Bai. He now has a Rishi or Swami title but I don’t know what it is. O memory. And what a great knowledge session that was!! I went on to take the Part 2 with him and then to return to Ireland to become National Coordinator.

  15. Matrix has been one of my favorite movies for it has that spiritual depth. In matrix revolution they are showing many worlds which is the obvious reminder of Yoga Vasistha.

  16. Stunning Article…It didn’t ever occur to me to think about this awesome movie from such a realistic perspective.. Kudos for such a brilliant write-up..BRILLIANT..

  17. brilliantly analyzed. i would suggest u avatar. hack that too. it has all spirituality that has been made into movie of goos vs the evil. the good is in us along with the bad. the Shakti helps us to overcome. 🙂

  18. 1 and half year before I am thinking about to start blog for bring out some spiritual thing form movies. but i never start this. only think.

    NOW i really aware that why i do not get success . i only think people do.

    today i make SANKALPA to do all thing first.

  19. 1 and half year before I am thinking about to start blog for bring out some spiritual thing form movies. but i never start this. only think.

    NOW i really aware that why i do not get success . i only think people do.

    today i make SANKALPA to do all thing first.

    1. Morpheus: “Do you think that is air you are breathing? What are you waiting for? You are faster than this. Don’t think you are. Know you are! Stop trying to hit me and hit me!”
      Neo: “I know what you are trying to do.”
      Morpheus: “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You are the one who has to walk through. You have to let it all go Neo. Fear, doubt and disbelief. Free your mind.”


  20. Amazing post alex, reminded me of that My favourite part of the movie is, ”when neo woke up from his death in metrix, realising all this is just an illusion created by his mind & the effortlessly he brushed away his problems by being a witness.” At that time of movie, I also felt like something happened inside me, something woke up from this world. Amazing experience I had. ”Yoga Vasista” is awesome.
    Thanks to Gurudev Sri Sri

  21. I have two comments, the first is critical and the second is conversational.

    The Matrix is still a pretty abstract concept for most people. Although it explains itself well in the context of the film, I think you could do a bit more to connect the concept of mind-as-a-prison to the real world. For instance, what are the parallels between awakening in the Matrix and in our world? What is the significance of Morpheus’ statement that he can “only show you the door”? Quoting lines from the film doesn’t elucidate the beautiful metaphor this film paints for our world and path. Nor does it analyze or connect that metaphor to real life.

    Now for the conversational bit.

    What tripped me up was how ugly and difficult the “real world” is. When Neo is freed from the Matrix (Maya), I would have expected him to wake up to something a little more idyllic. That’s enlightenment: the transcendence from the illusion of the world, right? It is said that reality is duality. Yet when Neo wakes up, he still has to deal with the Real World and the Machine World, both with their flaws and factions. Why is this binary nature not rectified upon Awakening? I’m interested if anyone has any thoughts on this. But I have a theory of my own.

    I wonder if Neo is not truly “enlightened” until the end of the third film. In the end, he merges with Smith, the Machine World and ultimately dies. His character ceases to exist and the story about “him” – this person – ends, as there is no longer a person to talk about. This death, to me, represents the true loss of identity and merging of duality. His personage ends, the fighting ends, and the “story” ends. Metaphorically speaking, he transcends himself.

    Perhaps, at first, he is awakened to the duality, and can move as he pleases through it. But this is not true freedom, or transcendence, as his journey and existence is still defined by this or that, in or out, fight or die. The way I see it, the deeper message of the Matrix is taught in the last act of Neo, who surrenders himself to transcend both the Real World and the Machine World through the death of the self.

    1. Thank you for the elaborate comments!

      1. Yes, you are totally right! We decided to not make the post too long or detailed, as one could probably actually write a book explaining the main concepts of Vedanta with examples from The Matrix :). So I have left most of the ‘connecting’ to the reader… although I feel that most people who have some experience with Sudarshan Kriya and meditation will get most of it ;).

      2. Actually, when Neo is unplugged (wakes up from the Matrix) he is not yet ‘freed’ from Maya – he has become ‘aware’ of the existence of Maya. This post was basically based on the first movie of the Matrix – the second and third part of the Matrix Trilogy add much more depth to this concept and many thoughts found in Advaita Vedanta. A very interesting part of the Matrix is the fact that Cypher feels the same way as what you just mentioned: he has ‘woken up’, but finds the ‘reality’ more depressing and difficult to deal with then life when he was ‘asleep’. Despite of knowing that it is not real, he still prefers to go back to being ‘asleep’. That is why he decides to betray them all. When making a deal with Agent Smith to betray them, Cypher says: “You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realized? Ignorance is bliss. I want to remember nothing! And I want to be rich, someone important, like an actor.” It beautifully shows how Maya can still overpower one’s reason and awareness, even after ‘waking up’. 🙂

  22. So I connected the two also saw the movie before I did my Sudashian Kriya ,doe anyone know if the Cohen brothers have done the Breathing Course ,obviously they must have read some Vedanta

  23. This blog made me watch the movie 🙂 Awesome Blog Alex.! 🙂 As a dialogue in the movie ” Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.”., so is the Sudarshan Kriya and any AOL Course experiences.

  24. I remember Guruji once told the Matrix and Inception movie concepts are taken by Yoga Vasistha Vedic scriptures.
    Would love to read if you are writing on Inception as well 😉
    Thank you, Jai Gurudev! 🙂

  25. Thank you for this interesting blog post.

    I have a few comments… obviously…. 😀

    Who is the master? You or the guru? Or both of you?

    What you seek, is it answers, or is it actually space and question? What have answer ever given you?

    What else is possible?
    With gratitude Jesper

    1. Although this is a little off topic from the blog 😛

      1. In the scriptures it is said that the Divine/God, the Master/Guru and the Self are one and the same 🙂

      2. Very good question… I feel answering that spoils it 🙂

  26. Great to know that such little things can provide people the answers that humanity has been struggling with forever. i wish it was that simple!

  27. How comes we are both watching the same movie at the same time? I have seen the movie for the first time. Right timing. And what you have said is true, sure, and I had the same thoughts while seeing the film. The whole film has but a broader view and larger scale to deal with. When I have seen the film again and all 3 parts of it I will be able to comment on it. Keep up the good work.

  28. gr8 blog!!! recommend reading ramesh balsekar or wei wu wei to all who r interested…

    would appreciate if someone cud put up a synopsis of matrix 2 and 3 bcos i still didnt get the story

      1. i think Rishi Vidyadhar ji knows what every character in Matrix symbolizes according to Spiritual knowledge. I remember he once told us something in our TTC phase 1 long back.

  29. dis is freaky awsm….fanks a ton…i deal wid same question all the tym and get annoyd cz i cnt find a statisfying answer…..wt is the reason behind my existence….what for i am ere……i feel so incomplete thou i ave evryfing…i shuld watch dis movie 2 get my answers…i guess….i wuld be thankfull if anyone culd help me find my answers……………

  30. I must admit I come at the Matrix from a more christian perspective. The tangible world appears to be true, but there is a far deeper truth in God. A truth that is so real that it makes the reality that I normally experience unreal. So, when God commands, I walk on water, or water – because his truth is greater than mine. Ind you, I’ve not actually walked on water yet, I just know someone who has…

  31. That’s a great movie!
    Looking movies from the spiritual point of view is one of my favourite hobbies!
    i noticed a solid point in all this movies…
    You can notice it specially in the main character.
    As soon as they don’t let go to whatever is happening in their life, go with the flow,
    as soon as they don’t just be with it, come what may and “get what needs to be done” 🙂
    as soon they don’t do so, they stay stuck and they struggle soooo much!
    I think this is a great lesson to learn in all the fields of Life.
    Not just the “spiritual” side…
    Lot of Love

  32. Neo itself means New, Revived or A Changing ME. To understand the intangible MAYA around one has to understand oneself, self that is old as universe and yet changing NEO in the every passing moment. Awesome piece of writing Alex.

  33. Sooner or Later, You are going to realize, just as i did, that, “There is a difference between knowing the path & walking the path” – The Best dialogue in the Movie (Morpheus to Neo).

  34. I just got a glimpse of Yoga-vashistha during Arun Madhvanji’s advance course. Very profound knowledge. I’m fortunate to be on the path of knowledge and liberation.
    jai gurudev

  35. I can completely relate what is being said here.
    With my regular practice of Sudarshan Kriya I get glimpse n the question again n again who m I ?
    M really greatfull to have my master my Guru HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar .. You are my way… My journey n my goal too

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