India’s spiritual heritage 

I am of the view that Upanishads are spiritual heritage of India. To my mind, the ancient thinkers, whom we called sage or hermit, were noted but social scientists. They didn’t perceive India a separate geographical entity but the whole world had embarked on their thinking. They mainly contemplated on devising the ways to enable human beings for a comfortable and peaceful life by conquering sufferings and conflicts in the society. They were mainly conceiving a hypothesis so that universality could be proved. Whether their concept of universality is an imagination or a reality, the thoughts of our ancient sages regarding this novel thought and questions related to it have been defined as Vedanta or Upanishads. After Vedanta, many other scholars wrote Bhashya (commentaries) and synopsis on the subject which enriched the treasure of our ancient literature. But with the passage of time, this literature is losing its sheen. Chinmay Creation, a creative wing of Chinmahy Mission, has taken an initiative to resurrect the grandiose of our ancient literature. 

Logic behind selection of the word ‘Ganga’:

I selected the word ‘Ganga’ as the title of my serial because the cultural and ideological development of India took place along the bank of Ganges. As the flow of the Ganga is eternal, so are the ideological thoughts.

Be it Yagyavalkya of Vedic era, Darashikoh of Mughal era or Ramakrishna Paramahamsa - Vivekananda of modern time, only the Ganga was their source of inspiration. In short, Upanishads are the genesis of Indian Philosophy. As the continuity of such thoughts has lost its ground in the modern time, fresh efforts are being made to remove the blockade.

Upanishads have several concepts. But they lack the demands which could be used as a theme to be presented in the form of an audio-visual panorama. Some of them have good beginnings, however, do not have a proper ending. It can be precisely said that the stories of Upanishads could not be depicted in the form of a feature film due to want of ingredients of today.

New art form

After a lot of contemplation, I decided to explore the story ideas emanating from concepts of Upanishads. So, we went through the whole Indian literature starting from the ancient to modern era to discover storyline. Given the profoundness and perplexities of the stories, there was a need of earnest effort to present them in the form of feature film. We developed and adopted the characters from Indian drama like Protagonists, Humorist, Actress and Dancer. Our presentation was based on the craft of Sanskrit drama. In this tradition, first we talk about ideas and then all the characters are introduced to the audiences. The way there is a tradition of singing Nandi in Sanskrit dramas, all the characters present the concepts and ideas based on Upanishads and other contemporary scriptures which later develop in the form of drama. Eventually, we enter into reality of life. We have treated the stage of our drama in the form of cinema. The audiences will enjoy a nice blending of two different art forms in ‘Upanishads Ganga’.

Cumbersome task to script it:

Initially, I had no intention to write it. I invited many famous contemporary writers to present it in a dramatic form, but none dared to take the challenge. Finally, I had to write it. Farid Khan, who lives in Patna, assisted me in accomplishing the work and the script is ready with our efforts.

JPN/ Ajay Brahmatmaj