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Film Review: Water: A Repudiation of Manu

The movie,”Water”, was filmed with elegance and visually poignancy. The way the child, Chuyia, was portrayed with innocence and simplicity showed the nature of children in India. She was playful, cheeky and intelligent. Chuyia gave viewers a chance to see the amazing purity of a village child. Her character was dealt with sensitivity by the makers to remind or introduce the audience to village life. Village and others’ understanding of the complex laws of Manu Samhita, however, has not always been sophistocated or indeed pure.

The ‘undermining’of Manu Samhita seemed to be lack of knowlege on behalf of the makers of the movie, rather than an atheistic challenge. Many Indian people who have been ‘educated’ after the British Raj have little appreciation for their own spiritual culture. It could be an opportunity for someone learned to converse with the producers to discuss the application of Manu’s Laws in this world. These laws were to maintain order, maintain purity and enforce protection of those who could not protect themselves.

The movie gave a voice to those who have been exploited. Adhering to the Laws of Manu for a Vaisnava, is a priority. Sticking to laws out of convenience or tradition or sentiment or ritual don’t necessarily gain the person the benefit of Manu’s blessings. If a widow is given shelter as a dependant and an opportunity to fulfill life’s goal of spiritual emancipation, that was valuable. If a child, married in name only, was abandoned by parents according to the “Laws of Manu” and ithen exploited because of unscrupulous care givers, that was not valuable. What does Manu Samhita say about ‘brahmins’ exploting children?

It seems that “Water” is really not a debate about the Laws of Manu being right or wrong. The debate appears to be that laws adhered to without proper societal and spiritual support, can have disasterous consequences for innocent individuals. The karmic reactions for those who go against the “Laws of Manu” for the explotation of the innocents were not discussed, but can be considered.

» Posted By taraka dd On Nov 25, 2006 @ 2:24 am

Loft Preaching Article

Last week I visited Auckland to teach the Leadership and Management Seminar as requested by HH Devamrta Swami.
The audience was primarily devotees who preach at “The Loft” on Beach Road, Auckland. I found them to be enthusiastic to learn, and happy, satisfied and challenged in their service to their Guru Maharaja and Srila Prabhupada. It was a great environment in which to teach. I thought I could share with you some of the reasons for their success.

The devotees have a service and are focused on doing it well, as a team and according to the directions of their Spiritual Master.
The single ladies run “The Loft” which is a venue for yoga classes, philosophical workshops and a Sunday Feast. They manage all aspects of the centre and it is very clean, visually appealing and the devotees treat each other with respect and affection. Devotees from The Loft aspire to read for two hours a day, which makes their discussion centred on Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, plus they don’t waste time. They recruit new devotees from this arena, cultivating the ladies and the Brahmacaris assist with male cultivation.

The Brahmacaris have a house a short drive from the city where they mastermind tactics for their preaching and book distribution success. Each devotee is trained to clean, cook, play a musical instrument/kirtan, give class and distribute books. Their efforts show in the position they have attained on the World Sankirtana scoresheet. They are well mannered gentlemen and are a great testiment to their spritual father.

Teaching the devotees was exciting because they are already experiencing some excellent training in Leadership and Management from their seniors, especially Devamrta Swami. Many of the principles and values covered in the course were exemplified in the environment in which they serve. Also the devotees are managing themselves very well, so the skills and concepts in the course were not very difficult for them to digest. Already one devotee has let me know about improvements they are implimenting from attending the L & M seminar.

If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, make sure to drop in on “The Loft” for enlivening association and a chance to see cutting edge Urban preaching at its best.

Taraka dd

» Posted By Taraka dd On Jan 19, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

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