Paramahansa Yogananda, Cecil B. DeMille, Moses and “The Ten Commandments”

new Master photo

Inscription in the Autobiography of a Yogi

To Cecil B de Mille with all my love and very best wishes of the New Year

very sincerely yours

Paramahansa Yogananda

May God’s Cosmic play–shown in the book–be an added inspiration to you in the gorgeous spectacles you produce… Jan 5, 1947

Cecil b de mille inscription to AY crop
Paramahansa Yogananda’s inscription in the Autobiography of a Yogi to Cecil B. DeMille

“…Moses’ gift from God to man in the form of the Ten Commandments…These are eternal verities, universal laws of life that make man’s existence morally comfortable and spiritually fulfilling.  The word “commandment,” however, does not give the best connotation, for it is as if God is a dictator and man His servile attendant.  These dictums should rather be regarded as a code of natural righteousness.  If man does not follow those laws which evince the divine image within him, he falls out of tune with God into delusive suffering of his own making.”

Paramahansa Yogananda, The Second Coming of Christ

Read a biography of  MOSES by Swami Sivananda


CECIL B. DEMILLE was an actor, director and producer who became a giant of the 20th century film industry.  DeMille’s last film released in 1956 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS [based on the life of MOSES] would be regarded as a landmark achievement, an iconic film, with thousands of actors inhabiting a desert setting and grand visual moments that included the parting of the Red Sea.  The movie earned seven Oscar nods, winning for its special effects….

In 1956, millions of Americans flooded cinemas to see the Exodus story brought to life in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments.  Among those moviegoers were American Jews, who could not help but feel that the film spoke to them, personally and profoundly.  When Charlton Heston’s Moses is asked whether he is ashamed upon learning he is not a prince of Egypt but rather a son of slaves, he responds: “If there is no shame in me, how can there be shame for the woman who bore me, or the race that bred me?”

In his book America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story, Bruce Feiler recounts how in the 1950s DeMille had pleaded with Paramount Pictures to make a film about Moses but received only resistance, until its CEO Adolph Zukor, an assimilated Hungarian Jew, rebuked his Jewish colleagues: “We should get down on our knees and say thank you that he wants to make a picture on the life of Moses.”  At a time when “many Jews still struggled with assimilation,” Fieler notes, “Moses’s open embrace of his faith was a powerful statement of self-confidence.”  [YSite Note: this was the period just after WWII and the Jewish Holocaust]

moses the ten commandments

…In the film’s prologue…DeMille himself appeared on screen and addressed the audience.  “Ladies and gentlemen, this may seem an unusual procedure, speaking to you before the picture begins,” DeMille said.  “The theme of this picture is whether men ought to be ruled by God’s law or whether they are to be ruled by the whims of a dictator like Rameses.   Are men the property of the state, or are they free souls under God?   The same battle continues throughout the world today.”


from  The Esoteric/Yoga Teaching Underlying all the Great Religions ~ Bro. Anandamoy

Spiritual laws–the foundation of all the great religions

Another point… The foundation of every religion is basic rules so that we live in harmony with God’s laws.  In yoga it is called yama, niyama, the do’s and don’ts.  In the Bible you have the Ten Commandments…  And we read in the Old Testament again and again, the prophets say, keep the commandments, keep the commandments that it may go well with thee and with thy children.   And when you see the history of the Hebrews, whenever they did that, there was peace, prosperity.   When they turned away from God, and away from the commandments, nothing but trouble and suffering, right?

That is the history of every nation in the world.  And that is what’s going on in the world now, because to a great extent, modern man threw those laws out the window.  Why?  Modern man wants to be free, no restrictions, do as you please, do your own thing.  That’s not freedom, that’s slavery to the lower self, to our passions, to our quirks, to our moods, our selfishness, all that… And I tell you, mankind has to go back to the commandments.  You cannot go against the laws of God and have peace within.  It creates a contrary negative vibration within.  That is why this, these laws, this is the foundation of yoga, of all the great religions.

See also~ YAMA AND NIYAMA: Pathway to Inner Peace and Strength ~ Sw. Smarananandaji, devotee notes



Related Ysite article ~  Master Goes to the Movies ~ “Song of Bernadette”

Song of Bernadette [a Catholic saint] was made by a JEWISH man escaping the Nazis during World War II who found himself in Lourdes.   He was so moved at what he saw there that he promised God if he made it to the US he would make a movie about it.  The story of the making of the movie is on the special features of the movie, very inspiring.


See also~  MOSES and the SCIENCE OF YOGA in the Jewish Scriptures ~ Yogananda and Bro. Anandamoy




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