Banaras, A Mystic Love Story

Banaras is not a destination its a journey of our lives. If you go to watch this movie for a ready-made solution or only to "kill" two hours, you may get disappointed. Banaras is aimed to create a thirst for something one is generally uncomfortable to explore.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Revealing 2007?

The dream of the Buddha has always been to remind you of that which has been forgotten, to awaken that which is asleep in you.” ……. OSHO

Osho used to tell us a fascinating story (I used to hear him in ’71- ’72 at cross maidan in Bombay):

God created the human. Gave him the intelligence and the ability to be able to do things... almost anything. Feeling a little insecure about what the human could do to him, ‘thought of hiding from him. Considered a no of places but was afraid that he would be able to dig him. In the end, however, he played a masterstroke. He hid inside the human.

And till today the man is looking for him everywhere except inside himself.

Time to ponder!................What is there, inside me?

An abundance of despair,
Or that occasional flicker of hope?

A mountain of desire,
Or the rare glimpse of that detached feeling?

An ocean of anxiety,
Or those divine moments during the meditation?

The floods of fear,
Or the episodic transcendental moments of love?

The demonic, incoherent and fragmented psyche
Or the omniscient, omnipotent and all encompassing divinity called God?

In Banaras, Swami Purnanand tells Dr Bhattacharya, “Agar Satya to jaanana hai pahchaanana hai to pehle apne aapko samajhne ki koshish keejiye”.

(If you want to know the truth, first you will have to understand yourself)

This year let us resolve to try to look inside ourselves, who knows we might be able to get the glimpse of God.

Wish you all a revealing 2007.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings

Let a zillion stars light up our soul and remind us of the compassion of Jesus Christ. Let those closed eyes show us the way to salvation.

Banaras Team

Monday, December 18, 2006

"Echos from the heart?"

I am full of my memories. I see other’s action through my mind.

I see them the way I expect them to be. I see them the way, I have become. I see how I myself would act in the circumstance the other is. I never make an effort to find out their true intention. In my mind it’s total waste of time to assume presence of goodness in others. I have long convinced myself that everyone around me is selfish that whatever he/she might be doing is to serve their own selfish interests. I am perpetually insecure and defensive. I am always on guard. I am suspicious. I have become a bundle of fear. I live in a world of fear where everyone is a potential attacker. The whole world is busy conspiring against me.

That is the kind of world I have created for myself.

I am reminded of the time when Kaikei faces Rama after he has just learnt about his exile. I feel like Kaikei.

Rama is calm and trying to pacify the situation. He loves Kaikei for he treats her as his own mother. He holds no grudge against her for being sent to Jungle because he is able to empathize with her. A “mother” trying to make her own son the king of Ayodhya. Rama talks to her about the benefit of going to the jungle. He talks about the opportunity to be able to serve the great sages in the jungle…….

As Kaikei listens to the divine words, she sees them only through her own mind. She thinks them as mere taunt. As she listens to Rama, She becomes even more insecure….

Here is a gem from Ramayana in Tulsidas’s words:

Sahaj saral raghubar bachan,
Kumati, kutil kari jaan
Chalai jnok jal vakragati,
Yadyapi salil samaan

Though the words of Sri Ram are simple and sincere, Kaikei interprets them as crooked and wicked and is able to justify her own wickedness. It is as water (in a pond) though by nature, still and calm, is interpreted otherwise by the leach, which swims across it only in crooked manner.

Do I have to continue living in a world which is created by my fear in form of a perpetual hell or begin to create a world which is devoid of insecurity and conditioning and is full of godness?

The choice is really really my own.

I am reminded of Shwetambari who created her own heaven.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Banaras the movie.. A recent post

During the past few months, as the fragrance of spirituality and music of Banaras is spreading, the prophecy of wise men like Steve and Prem seems coming true. Below, I am reproducing the content of a blog posted recently.

November 25

People's Purpose in Life.

Well, last night I saw the movie Banaras starring Urmilla and some hot long-haired dude named "A. Patel." It was a great movie. At first, I just wanted to see the songs because that's what really has to get me interested, the music. The Song "Om Namah Shivay" was what caught me. And then, my sister said well we should for the fun of it. I don't regret a second of it. It was a magnificient. A mystic love story that opened my eyes alot.

A girl fell in love with a highly spiritual man and well we all know how it goes in "Bhaarat" when it comes to love. You should be of the same caste etc and obviously he wasn't. So the girl's mother murdered him. She went crazy and due to the betrayal she left "Banaras." Man, the images of Banaras were vivid and flambouyant. I loved it and I loved the spirituality behind it. Only then to realise that Love sometimes doesn't go the way you want it to go because that's not your purpose in life.

Some people have a hard time understanding that. I mean maybe I am one of them. If you're not in a relationship then you're either Gay or Eccentric or something of that nature, right? Wrong!!!

Last night after looking at the movie I realised that a man's destiny is written for him. We can't really do much to change that. Only if you prayer maybe somethings may. But generally, what's written for you, that's how you have to live. In The heroine;s case in this movie, she was in love but was certainly cut out for greater things in Lord Shiva's eyes. Yes, it hurt to see the love of your life lying there Lifeless yet peaceful. I can't imagine such pain but I felt it last night. Hmmm.... She was a mystical woman. A woman who ended up being spiritually inspiring to others and a fantastic Musician. I loved it.

So the little purpose of this writing, is to convince myself and you too that sometimes things we want in life are not always what's the right thing for us that;s why it doesnt work. I am glad I saw that today. It may help me with my healing.

Remember one thing, what is written in your destiny, that is what will unfold ..... you can't really change that.....


Monday, December 11, 2006


I received a mail from Prem, the mystic from Chicago, that I would like to share with all of you. In time, I would try and answer some of the questions Prem has raised.The deapth of his understanding and his being is so visible......Thanks Prem for taking the time to write.

Dear LalG,

Pranams! I just visited your blog after a long time. Your cat Kittu looks beautiful!

I am happy to see that Banaras was screened in Goa. Mr.Steve is right. Just like that number 1 Xmas movie, Banaras will be remembered as one of the best Mystical movies as time passes by. You have given us all mystics a special gift.

I was watching the movie yesterday night. I was going to ask you more about the Music in the movie. I just found some answers in the June 29 blog archive. The title song NamaShivaya still rings in my ears. Pt.Jasraj is my favorite. Honestly I felt some kind of presence of Pt.Jasraj while listening to the songs, the singers’ voices in the movie reaching tremendous depth before reaching the heights and then moving fluidly. I just realized reading in your blog that Mr.Sanjiv Abhankar is a protégé of Pt.Jasraj. How amazing!

I am not familiar with all the musicians and singers. But when I listen to the depth of notes, vitality of the voice, arousing drums, strings, bells, etc the whole gamut of sound universe coming alive, everyone of them I realize truly is a Creator who can turn people on and make people come alive with the magic of Sound. And above all to put together a Team like that shows how much you are attuned to Divine Music.

The movie deals with important Human questions that it transcends all language and cultural boundaries. Even though it is just a passing scene in the beginning, a girl sits devastated by the accident in total shock in front of Shwetambari. Shweta shows her father the red wedding sari, and her Father gives her the bad news he is killed. Krishna playing the flute as they carry the corpse, the corpse burning on the banks, how the broken to pieces Shweta goes through the pain and emerges out of it - the screenplay and the sequences are gripping, you just get glued to the screen. No scene in the movie is an unnecessary scene.

Every scene is tied to the gravity of the significant questions that the movie deals with? Do I have a Teacher like Babaji watching over me and guiding me, or am I alone here? “Satya Kya Hai”?

I am curious and I have similar questions like your friends on the blog. When the bird flies away and Soham’s nerves gets fired up and he experiences the Cosmos – is that your real personal experience? It is so vivid to the detail, the bird flying off before the experience – it is poetically perfect. I can tell it is definitely somebody’s experience, because the Earthquake, the volcano, etc are all signs mentioned in books about kundalini. But the bird cooing and taking off is a special experience.
I feel the presence of Buddha, Shiva, Krishna and Babaji in your Aura. Have you met Babaji sir? I studied Kriya Yoga for 2 years here in Chicago at the Temple of Kriya Yoga in the lineage of Babaji. People in that school love Babaji, they have a special all day celebration for Babaji every year.

In the first scene during the title Setu Creations, a cosmic baby opens its eyes and looks at the Earth. What does that Baby symbolize? I have had a similar vision while meditating in Shirdi Sai Temple where half of the baby’s body is submerged in the water and the other half of the baby is above the Cosmic water. And the baby’s eye is very big. I have always been very curious what that means.

I din’t know you were here in Chicago sir. I would have loved to meet such a spirited fragrant soul attuned to the vibrations of Banaras. Who in the Bollywood would have had the guts to make such a movie like Banaras! Bollywood caters to the lower needs of Man. Banaras caters to the divine thirst in Man. It points out the nature of True Love. I feel your vibration in the Beautiful Souls of Shweta and Soham; what is not in us does not come out in our Creation!

In Most of Bollywood movies woman and men don’t show maturity in relationships or delicate matters of the heart. The character of Shwetambari shows remarkable maturity - how she stands up and expresses her love with such grace, how she carries herself and how considerate and understanding she is to a spiritually evolved Soham. I fell in love with Urmila after seeing Shwetambari. And there is a certain softness and grace in Mr.Ashmit Patel that perfectly fits the character of Soham – a Soul in poise and balance. The Chemistry in the relaionship of Shwetambari and Soham is so lovely, and how they relate with each other is so perfect.

What does the name Shwetambari mean?

In the love songs, Urmila and Amish interact with each other so fluidly without any stiffness. You don’t see any jerky movements releasing nervous energy that you usually see in most Bollywood songs. The movements have a graceful relaxed flow that is fascinating. Well done by the actors, choregraphers and the Director. It shows how well they understood the spirit of the movie.

The Aspirations of Banaras expresses itself beautifully through Shwetambari and Soham, a love play between Shakti and Shiva. The Character of Shwetambari portrays the well developed Psychic Centers and bodies, and in Soham the Spirit Center Body.

MonaLisa is not a real woman, it is the beautiful soul of DaVinci. Banaras is not just another Bollywood movie, it is a painting, it is the spiritual essence of a soul that has dared to pour its delicate and intimate passions on the Big White Screen. That Soul is an instrument and a seat of the Divine. Time will prove Mr.Steve is right.

The last scene between Shwetambari and her Mother asking for forgiveness. I was in tears watching it. And Babaji and Soham standing behind Shwetambari in the end watching over her from the spirit world…..every mystic soul and perhaps all souls will relate with those scenes, it will strike a chord deep inside. Aum NamaShivaya! Aum NamaShivaya!

The movie and the characters and the places and the story – everything is now permanently etched in my memory. For now my dream to go, visit and see Banaras is fulfilled through Banaras movie. Someday hopefully I will be able to make it to the City. Do you have another story to tell about Banaras may be in Banaras 2 movie? Or perhaps a National Geography or Discovery type documentary on history, traditions, practices, etc of Banaras? Smiles!

Simple dialogues profound meanings: “Yeh Banaras hai! Yahan Soham Marate Nahnee!”

With Love and Respect,

Sunday, December 10, 2006

IFFI GOA Contd...

As people assemble at the beautiful Kala Academy Goa.

Pankuj thanked the producers for giving the opportunity for making a film like Banaras and he thanked the audience who had come in big nos. to watch the movie.

I thanked him for translating the story into a reality. I also read some comments made by people who have written to me about the movie during the last 8 months. I read five quotes who are all on my blog.

1.Prem, A mystic :
I just can’t believe that “they” are making such movies with great awareness, in bollywood.

2. Ulrich Mohroff, Quantum scientist:
Banaras has potential to awaken a soul to higher realities and if this happens to a few, it has achieved more than any of the blockbusters.

3. Gangatreya Pandeya, 90 year old, the author of Nachiketa:

What is depicted in Banaras is revealing, morally soothing, spiritually uplifting, refreshing and elevating.

4. Prof Murthy, Scholar of Upanishads and advisor to TCS in systems and cybernetics:

Banaras is a poetry in celluloid

5. Anonymous (to maintain the confidentiality)

It’s a story of my life. I lost my husband on the 15th day of my marriage. Banaras showed me the way to a new life.

I then said that such were the response from people around the world, however what mattered most that day was, that, how they find the film.