Bharat Ek Khoj


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Acceptance and Nagation of Life
(Episode 10)

Nehru finds in India tostreams of thoughts and action: the acceptance of life and the abstention from it developing side by side with the emphasis on the one or the other varing in different perioud. Yet the basic background of that culture was not on of other - worldliness or world-worthlessness. Even when it discous the world as maya (illusion), it will took the world as it is and tried to live its life and enjoy its manifold beauty, in the upannishad times, from around 800bc the ethics of individual perfection grew, with the dictum. There is nothing hire then the person.

There is a famous story of Nachiketa who journey to the land of the death and pleases Yamraj with his earnest quest for truth. In the promises boon, the youth seeks the ultimate warty of what happens after death. Enunciating the suprime philosophy of life, Yamraj says that only body dies dies not the soul, which persists to eternity.

Nehru refers to mens restless life, ever questioning why, in surch of what, dos the water run out and cannot stop its flow for a movement? And the super human confidence : O sun of refulgent glory. I am the same person as makes the what thou art from the strong current of materialism came the lokayata shastra (folk-based tresties ) as reveld probdha Chandrodaya, an extant work derived from the atheist sage charavaka. The seen is that of nihilism, where the materialists denounces the Vedas, priest craft and traditional beliefs, inveighing against all forms of magic and superstitions then we see the ajeevika sampradaya (believrs in destiny) who are dancing asserting that there is no other world, no heaven or heal, no soul separate from the body.

Nehru asserts that both budhism and Jainism wer brake aways from the vadic religion. Both lay emphasis on non violence and buildup organization of bhikshus (celibate monks). Nehru feels that there was a certain relism and rationalism in there approach.

Writing on the day of Bashakhi Purnima, when the Budha was both born and achieved parinirvna,(dimes) Nehru visualizes the prince Siddhartha noticing old age, disease and death for the first time and then the life - forsaking Sannyasin (ascetic). The colourfull odissi dancers in court cannot divert him and he leaves home at night in surch of truth. The seraikela Chhau, creates vividly, the ambience of the departures, of rigours in meditation, of many hindrances and finally the arriving at the truth. In teaching Nehru emphasized how the Buddha avoided extremes and adopted the doctrine of the Middle Way. Even the idea of nirvana (enlightenment) was far from mere nothing ness but a positive condition of life-affirmation.

To graphic parables on the brigand Angulimala catch inner significance of Buddhism. Nehru points out how the images of the Buddha radiate sublime serenity and complete faith in human redemption.