Heartspeak - On Dharma and Dogma
by Life Positive
The film was a strong contender for India's entry to the Oscars this year. But that was not the reason why I went to see it. The reason was the tagline 'Come, question your faith.' The film did a brilliant job of showcasing the present-day misinterpretation of religion.
The story revolves around the life of a Hindu head priest who leads his life as per the written word in the scriptures. He is a hard-core disciplinarian, and his word is considered to be the final moral authority. The turning point arrives when he adopts an orphan who turns out to be a Muslim. Then starts his inner struggle of idealism versus realism.
Indeed, the film's conflict touched me. There were so many instances when I used to read the Vedas and object to certain things. I never understood the necessity of renunciation or self-denial for attaining moksha, or the need to have a spiritual guru or the caste system. The only message I could relate to in the Vedas is about dharma, as Lord Krishna puts it, "When a man does the work God gives him, no sin can touch this man."
Also I loved the symbolism used in the film that shows a boat tied at the banks of the river. The tied boat symbolizes the individual tied down due to various religious dogmas unable to flow naturally with the river of life.
As Rabindranath Tagore said,
"Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads!
Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut?
Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!
He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the pathmaker is breaking stones. He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust."
- Priya Saraiya, Mumbai
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