Buddha

A lot of people, including pim, ask me when Buddha is going to be made,


Buddha is one of those films that has it’s own Destiny, and I found I could not push it along. I just need to let it happen. Just let it go, for it to form itself organically. I tried very hard to make it happen, but then found that in trying hard, in pushing it, I was becoming the biggest obstacle.
I had started developing Buddha not as a script, but as a visual treatment, with music. I wanted to see if I could tell the story of Buddha without words. After all words cannot explain the concept of the infinite, can they ?
But yesterday I was showoing the DVD to Cate Blanchette, and she remarked that the story I was trying to tell in Buddha was so similar to the story I was trying to tell in Golden Age ! So it is true that all directors have only one story to tell. But why not ? The most relevant story I have right now is that which reveberates in my spirit at the moment. Why deny it ? Why not embrace it and keep searching your search in whatever you do, even in your own films ?
Shekhar

71 Responses to “Buddha”

  1. Rohan Jagatap says:

    Shekhar sir,
    Let me tell you one think, You have chosen a gr8 subject to tell but what I am looking for is, how you are going to show his calmness, his way of looking towords life & many………..
    Wish you luck for the same…hope you will make it ASAP………..!!!!!!
    MAY LORD BUDDHA BLESS YOU…
    Regds,
    Rohan Jagatap

  2. neena says:

    Do you show the pain and anguish of Yashodhara when Siddhartha leaves the palace…while the husband’s gone away she might have been left to answer to the world about his flight from the world…did she go through her own journey to find her own meaning to enlightenment…different from what Buddha achieved…when he came back did she ask him ‘Why’…or by that time she herself had achieved Nirvana…and didn’t care….is everyone’s nirvana different from everyone else’s??

  3. Hi Shekhar,
    I accidently clicked on a link leading me here not by deliberate intention, I forgot you had a site. I was prompted to write this.
    Maybe the story should be about “A” Buddha, modern times of course…. with flash backs to the one in history…
    I have a good domain that could work in conjunction with such a movie http://www.buddha.me
    of just type Buddha.me in the browser address bar, some interesting material there already. There is all this old esoteric knowlege but it hasn’t all been evolved to a new level and integrated as well as it could be with actual knew knowledge.
    Just playing with ideas of what to do with it.

  4. The buddha once said.. and it’s one of my favourite quotes… “If you cannot keep company with those as wise or wiser than you, follow the solitary course. It is better to lead the solitary path than to associate with fools.”
    And on the other hand.. when the Buddha attained enlightenment he said to himself, “perhaps its best I leave my body as no one will be prepared for me now.” Upon which the gods approached him and begged him to remain on earth and teach the world… compassion rose in the Buddha and he decided to stay and teach.
    So… I’ve pondered both sides of this a lot.. and the answer I found for myself is that it really depends on your journey….
    There are times when you simply need the space and quiet of a hermit…. which is perhaps why so many mystics go into the forest to attain realisations…
    Yet I am reminded of a very revealing truth… when the Buddha, after attaining enlightenment… returned home to his kingdom… his father the king was deeply hurt that he was wearing a beggar’s garb… and as he explained what he went through to his wife she said to him…. “tell me, could you not have attained enlightenment by remaining with us, in the palace, living the life of a prince?”
    The buddha replied…”yes… but I did not know it then.”
    So…. gathering from all this it occured to me that one doesn’t have to step away from material life… but instead, it is the awareness in which one associates with everyone around them… however foolish they may be… that awareness is the real meditation.
    But for those who do not “know” it… who need the peace and quiet… so be it. 🙂
    It is a sort of paradox that is extremely revealing if one ponders upon it to its entire length…
    There is another saying that explains beautifully, “the buddha sat under a tree and let the whole world come to him.”
    People often misunderstand what this means… but when you see what is being said, its deeply emancipating.
    From years of meditating on this I am certain that the buddha was speaking the absolute truth to his wife…. that before his enlightenment he did not possess the wisdom to see that he could have attained enlightenment even in the palace. And this only makes total sense when you think about it… why do you have to go someplace for enlightenment?
    What is enlightenment? Is it not spoken of as that which sees the “walls that imprison us”…. identifies and trancends the veil of maya?
    And what is maya? Is maya not the restriction of time, space and destination?
    How can enlightenment be bound by that? It is not. This, the buddha realised only later.
    The truth is.. enlightenment is possible anywhere…. a forest, a palace, at the playboy mansion, while on a joyride… at a corporate business meeting…
    The art of meditation however needs to be cultivated to MAKE it possible. That’s the difference.
    There are several levels to this… there are methods.. some more difficult than others… for a person to be in constant meditation whilst engaging in material life, he needs to know HOW to do this. This is where sometimes a teacher arrives.
    I learnt Vajrayana Tantra for a long time from an enlightened man, and he made it a point to make it evident to me that it is about the awareness in which you carry out daily actions that matter.
    Taking time apart to lock yourself away from society and engage in stillness is well and good.. but even that is for a purpose.
    In the end its about stillness… and I guess in summation what the mystics keep reminding us is that we must not mistake the stillness of our surroundings for the stillness within. Sure, an outer stillness can definetely help…. but there are methods in which one can be in loud, chaotic environments and practice a meditation of inner stillness whilst engaging in that environment.
    As the saying goes…”Be IN the world, but not OF it.”
    yes on one hand its very true that its very difficult to transcend the palace… but the higher mystic wisdoms don’t just talk about difficulty in their insightful anecdotes… the entire point I was making wasn’t that we should seek enlightenment wherever we are at any point in time.. nor was I saying we should go into solitude to seek it. Rather I was saying that the very nature of enlightenment transcends time and space.
    Even so, those who need to take time apart will naturally do so.. and those who want to return to the world.. will do so. It’s entirely upon the unique situations in the journey.
    Sometimes… some things.. seem too difficult…
    But if you understand that… then you should be able to easily forgive those who have no time to ponder any fullfilling questions or engage in deep thought… as they too regard it as too difficult. 😛
    I have been slowly developing a screenplay about the life of the buddha over the years… and one of the things that suddenly struck me is that the part of his life where he grows up in the palace… all the way to his enlightenment…. should be magical…. filled with gods, omens, miracles.. boons… out-of-this-world happenings…
    And the moment he attains enlightenment, to everything that proceeds it… I wanted to suddenly make the film very very real, without any mysticism in sight… Raw, rancid, true… that in our state of illusion is where the fantasies.. visions.. trances… miracles all seem to be so “out of this world…”
    And I wanted to play with the idea that once enlightenment is attained the very ORDINARINESS of existence is what begins to take true flair and meaning.
    Form is Emptiness. Emptiness is Form.
    I am sharing this with you now because you definetely have the resources to make this film, and since I have been working on this very story for several years and slowly realising how to make it come alive, I wanted to give you some food for thought, as you have certainly given me things to ponder myself.

  5. Richa Gupta says:

    NOOOOOOOOO !!! Please leave it alone *beg*. Budhha will come to those who seek him.
    The (ignorant) world will take the Buddha from your perspective and won’t seek him for themselves.
    No army of directors will be able to do justice to this. Just like everything else, this cocophony of potential material success which echos contiuously around you shall also pass.
    http://www.dhamma.org

  6. Brando Palomino Bronzino says:

    Shekhar,
    I am the owner of the title BUDDHA @ the MPAA and have all rights to make the story from the LALITA VISTARA. Please contact me concerning the possibility of working together. @ yobronzino@gmail.com

  7. Chaitali says:

    I read ‘the speaking tree’ article in Times of India (dated 9th December 2008). I am just writing a part of it.
    ‘Words are not Enough To Relate Experience’
    Ordinary experiences can be expressed easily in conventional languages. The rub lies with the mystic’s experience when his consciousness undergoes a change. With hightened consiousness mystics are known to become ‘mauni babas’. That is why it is often said that one who knows speaks not. If at all he says something, it is unintelligible to the laity. The intensity of their experience and the shift in consciousness is beyond the grasp of language.
    When sages try to communicate their knowledge through words, they encounter this difficulty and their statements seem contradictory. So much so that paradoxes are almost synonymous with mysticism. Seers from the Buddha to Nanak in the East and Hercalitus to Don Juan in the west brought to light the insufficiency of language in communicating their mystical experiences.

  8. alok says:

    Buddha , Ramayan and Mahabharat are awe inspiring tales from India and wetern world just cant digest the richness/mdernity/greatness/impact these tales have . So they would have discouraged you by their firty tactics to stop you from making this great movie about Buddha .
    Also one thing to note Shekhar is that the greatness of Indian (aryanwart)history is actually the greatness of its golden states of Bihar ( patliputra. Buddha’s birthplace ) , UP ( hastinapur), Delhi and Punjab .Its sad to see these great states which are actually the cradle of Indian civilisation are not shinning that much as the southie states of India .But southie states are rising by copying so i think their progress is fundamentally flawed .

  9. Giri Bushi says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    I liked all your movies. I was always wondering was Buddhism is not so popular in India, even though he was born, lived and preached Dhama there. He could influence many neighboring countries but not his own mother land, why? Some research into this told me that Indian priests managed to *suppress* almost all the Buddhist in India after Buddha’s nirvana. I hope I can find the answer in your movie.
    I know you wouldn’t hesitate to depict the truth in spite of controversies.

  10. vishal says:

    i’ve read somewhere ….after the ‘NIRVAAN’ of budhdha …alot of people tried to write down the teachings of budhdha ….several people came with their versions of “what budhdha said”…….. but they all were rejected ……only one version which budhdha’s cousin Ananda prepared was selected ………..do you want to know why …….. because his versions said “what i’ve heard”…………..which honestly includes this distortions created by Ananda’s mind in interpreting the teaching of budhdha….so it happens always that we interpret truth according to our perception …..preconcieved notions and prejudices…..
    so may be …………….budhdha didn’t intend to say those thing which we commonly interpret from his teachings
    2nd important point that his everybody knows the destination of sidhdhartha gautam ….but very few people know about the journey…..like which meditation /occult/yogic technique he followed ……people only know about some minor characters involved and some events. every technique produces different vibration and anti-vibration in the mind of practioner ……..which will be a visual delight for the viewers…….
    3rd Nirvaan is the only experience which you can’t induce in the viewers because it is not experienced by mind ……it is a no- mind experience. so i think attaining Nirvaan should not be the climax of the film so there must be a parallel in the story ……the reason behind this is a practical difficulty
    technically speaking …….we can relate to the emotions of a hero winning a battle ….winning his love etc. but how can we relate to nirvaan..
    .
    esoterically speaking…….since its a no-mind phenomenon so mind can’t concieve it
    so i think there must be a parallel in this story ….otherwise it could become a documentay
    which can possibly win awards but not hearts of millions.
    vishal mumbai
    9833067513

  11. sunita says:

    isnt it amazing that a single post from you in April 2006 can resonate with so many that even till June 2009, it still attracts comments?
    this must mean something, even as today, i heard from an LA based producer that Buddha the film is slowly being pulled together with another director, and i assured him that he should (must!) organise to speak to you for your insights and perspective.
    your patience is admirable and your impulse comes from a deep place within you, which is why all your actions resonate with the same “story”.
    God bless all your efforts.

  12. Abhinav vats says:

    Hello Shekhar,
    Namaste..three years now,this is the first time i came to know about the movie you intend directing/making.
    If destiny has it,time needs to hit the right moment for this movie to be made,hope it gets made and hope every second elapsed fill the pot of the destiny…
    Best wishes.Hope is a prayer that keeps one going strong in the midst of any dilemma.
    Regards
    .AV.
    A jug fills drop by drop.
    Buddha

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  14. manish says:

    Sir,
    Are you interested in making movie on herman hense “Sidhartha’

  15. Anuj Bhatnagar says:

    Dear sir,
    I understand that you were in process of making a film on “Buddha”. As a writer, I have penned down one feature film script on “Buddha” in English (2 hrs). My story of Lord Buddha is as under:
    “The film is story of Lord Buddha since his birth up to attainment of Nirvana. Born as prince Siddhartha to Queen Maya and king Shuddodana, he was attended by various dancers and musicians after it was prophesized that he would renounce the world. He was married to Koliya princess Yashodhara and had a son from her. Siddhartha renounced the world after seeing the four signs as prophesized. After struggling for six years with inner turmoil, he attained enlightment and became Buddha. Buddha guided the kings and princes of his times for salvation, including his father. He became reformer and reformed noted dacoit Angulimala and also acted as peacebroker between the warring kingdoms. He finally attained Nirvana at the age of 80 years and was given funeral fit for the king of kings”.
    Some eminent persons have read this script and their views are as enumerated below. These are Dr. Momuni Roysome Goswami, Noted Assamese writer and Jnanpeeth award winner and Dr. Birendra Gohain, IAS and State Information Commissioner, Assam.
    Dr. Momuni Roysome Goswami writes- “I feel, we should visualize rather than read the cine-script, BUDDHA, written by Mr. Anuj Bhatnagar; for here he shares Lord Buddha’s moving and unique journey on the path of spirituality in such a compelling way that we are sent to our own centre of awareness within…. Lord Buddha was not a revolutionary of a world, he was a revolutionary, master revolutionary of the inner world. He was talking of the inner world, which Mr Bhatnagar has pointed with streams of spirituality meeting in the ocean of Universality”.
    Dr. Birendra Gohain writes- “The life sketch of Lord Buddha as depicted by Mr. Bhatnagar is unique in the sense that he has blended the Northern and Southern thinking and has given a detailed account of the life of Lord Buddha. Particularly fascinating are the imageries given in the form of dream sequences and the character ‘Mara’ is both fascinating and allegorical. I have enjoyed going through the script and have found that Mr Bhatnagar has depicted a complete biography of Lord Buddha including the inner strife Lord Buddha was going through in his journey towards Enlightment”.
    I would request you to kindly spare some time to go through the script. I would like to meet you personally with the script. Kindly oblige.
    With kind regards,
    Anuj Bhatnagar

  16. Prafulla Kumar says:

    Dear Shri. Shekhar,
    do you also consider gautam as 9 th avtar of bhagwan vishnu? one of my poet friend late and great Dilipji Chtrte said me this is great “Chalaki”of hinuisum and further he said this is beuty of hinduisum very difficult to understand.
    regards,
    Prafulla
    Sr. scientist,
    Hyderabad

  17. Chandresh says:

    Have you seen ‘The Warrior’ starring Irfan Khan? To me it was a movie that was melodious, visual and a flick that required no words. Of course I would expect a filmmaker like you to add several more layers to a movie and help the viewer experience a wider vision of human life.

  18. Did u find “SIDDHARTHA”-herman hesse///interesting?i myself dreamt of an animation film out of it,in textured chinese water-colour effects.

  19. Valerie says:

    Is the date of this movie nearer to being announced? We have been patiently waiting for 4 years. Whenever it is released is the right time for it. Just curious about a possible date. Thanks.

  20. Mukul says:

    Dear Sekhar,
    Today,the Buddha Purnima day the idea struck me that a Mega Movie on The Buddha be made and when I thought who would be the right person to make it,your name came to me discarding all others.This movie has to be a Mega one,an international one and should be able to touch the heart of all especially the young generation.The objective should obviously be to highlite the teachings of the Buddha for the sake of peace of mind for the individual and the society at large.
    I sought you in twitter & facebook and then saw your website.I thought I was first to have suggested the idea but then I saw that so many others had also requested you much earlier.I was also surprised to notice that you already have so much interest in the Buddha.I am reassured.You will certainly make it,you are the right one,you are bound to make it or else why such thought had come to my mind,this Buddha Purnima day.Make it,make it big but make it simple and appealing.I have thought so much about it,so many ideas,so many clues but I end it here today for you consideration and reconsideration.The world needs one Mega Blockbuster Movie on the Great Buddha.Thanks,Mukul

  21. Greg Swanda says:

    Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog.

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