‘Jagte Raho’is an old Black & White Hindi Classic (with english subtitles) starring the golden couple of Indian Cinema in the 1950’s, Raj Kapoor and Nargis.
This film won the Grand Prix at the International Film festival Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia in 1957 and is a classic because it epitomises the pinnacle of Indian cinematic art based on the Indian artistic ideal that all great art should contain ‘nav rasa’ (the nine sentiments: love, heroism, disgust, anger, mirth, terror, pity, wonder, peace).
The film is an allegorical film about a villager, newly arrived in the big city, trying to quench his thirst with some water and the unexpected difficulty that ensues, all in the course of one night.
Sahaja yogis will immediately recognise this as a seekers journey to realisation and indeed it does have all the sahaj elements there including Shri Ganesha, The Goddess and the Kumbha that pours forth the waters of life ie the Kundalini. See whether you can spot these.
There is a lingering note from the film which is highly relevant to Sahaj Yogis even in this very moment, after we’ve got our realisation, and it is contained in the title ‘Jagte Raho’ – which means ‘stay awake’ . Something to meditate on.
The film is about 2hrs long. It’s a great film for children because it’s so funny; and aren’t we all after all children :-).
I would like to strongly recommend a film that I saw last night. It is called “Water” directed by Deepa Mehta. It is a story of the fate of widowed women in 1938 India, so on the surface it is film about social reform and the plight of the under-privileged. But. of course, it is also a film about hope and ascent and being the beautiful lotus in the polluted water.
The film speaks about the fact that real change and ascent is often something gifted to the next generation and not for oneself. This may not be the case now with Self Realization, but still the point is selfless struggle is for the benefit of others.
“Water” was at first filmed in India, but the production was disrupted and closed down by Hindu fundamentalist, no doubt angered by the film’s questioning of the dictates of the established order, that widowed women are untouchables and less than whole. Eventually the film was remounted and shot in Sri Lanka. It was filmed simultaneously in both English and Hindi, resulting in two movies, but it was the Hindi that has been released. (Both are available on DVD.)
In appearance, this is an Indian film. It even includes about five or six songs in the Indian fashion, but not sung by the actors. The songs are composed by A.R. Rahman of “Lagaan” fame. But this is not an Indian film, it is Canadian. And I would even dare to say that it is the best Canadian film ever made – deep, subtle and quiet and a beautiful thing to be remembered. It is directed by an Indian-born filmmaker who has made her career in Toronto (often with controversial and questionable films), but now has risen to produce something really great.
My other feeling in watching this movie was, “Why aren’t Indians making films like this? Why does it take the Canadian government (through Telefilm Canada) to finance this film (twice)?” This film is certainly not Bollywood, it is in the rich tradition of Satyajit Ray, the great Bengali filmmaker and student of Rabindranath Tagore.
In the last scene we see Gandhi speaking, “I used to think that God is Truth,” he says. “Now I know Truth is God.” To stand up for Truth is to be that fragrant lotus in the dirty water.
The film has done well in Canada, but is certainly not in the mainstream of awareness, and is now being distributed theatrically in the US and other countries. You can probably watch the trailer on the internet. Try: ‘Water’ Trailer
I have one film that always comes to mind when I think of the best cinema experience I have ever had and that is a film by Wim Wembers called Wings of Desire. It is a black and white German film about an angel who falls to earth and falls in love. Actually City of Angels is Hollywoods version of Wenders original film.
It was shot in Berlin and is incredibly beautiful visually. The poetry of the language used often brings tears of joy, even though it is subtitled in English it has the same effect as the words of William Shakespeare. In the film we see the world through the eyes of the angels which are without judgement and full of love an compassion for this beautiful yet suffering world. Through them we feel the rain on our face for the first time, we drink coffee and we feel the heartbreak of the separation from the divine.
For me the rating would be 9.5 out of 10
Anna Chicos, Australia
I recently saw the film AI As expected of a sci-fi flick, there were alot of impressive special effects and technical wizardry. What was totally unexpected as I came away from it was that this film was actually a metaphor for the search for self-realisation and its finalfulfillment in meeting the Mother.
In the film, directed by Steven Spielberg David, the mechanical boy was desperately searching for the Blue Fairy who he believed would turn him into a ‘real’ boy so that he would be accepted by his adoptive mother. After going through many trials and tribulations, he finally finds the Blue Fairy, if only in the form of an effigy. David nevertheless prays fervently at the feet of this statue and as the world freezes over he is in this position of supplication for 2000 years.
When David is finally revived from the state of deep freeze by some super-beings of the future, he is granted his wish to be with his mother. And in the closing scene, David the ‘mecha’ boy finds his complete satisfaction and peace in the company of his mother.
Highly recommended for yogis.
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