Sunday, May 28, 2017


Filmmaker Vinanti Sarkar is to produce a TV series for mainstream America on Ahimsa (Non-Violence), Forgiveness and Peace in Jainism.

After six weeks traveling across India filming exclusive interviews with Jain experts, scholars and eminent figures, Sarkar arrived on Diwali (Festival of Lights) to celebrate the auspicious night when Mahaveeraji's purified soul left the body and achieved complete liberation in a cave in 527 B.C. Although many Americans have heard of 'nirvana,' signifying the release of the soul from this earthly life, not many know the story of the 24 Tirthankas who received 'moksha' as siddhas, gaining pure consciousness, as liberated souls.

As part of her spiritual sojourn, she discovered the magnificent treasures of Annasagar Lake Temple in Ajmeer, and the newly constructed outer space-like Digambar temple site on her way back from the Pushkar Fair. A car ride brought her to Ranakpur where filming continued by sunset and sunrise and then on to Mt. Abu. Vinanti recalled: "For some unknown reason, there was no sign of any fears, no negative or petty vibes, as I was inspired daily by divine inner strength to overcome any obstacles. Doors opened for filming the most sacred chambers in the temples."

Invited by N.K. Sethi, she flew to Shravanbelgola in Karnataka State. After climbing the mountain steps, she was greeted by the 17.38 meter high monolithic stone statue of the Bhagwan Gomateshwara Bahubali, considered the world's largest. For three days she filmed colorful dances relating to the life story of Bahubali by exquisite young dancers.

Attending the Women's Conference in Karanataka, Sarkar interviewed Dr. Sunita Jain, the 2004 Padmashree for Hindi literature and talked with many Jain women from social workers, teachers to prominent writers.

It was during the trip from Ahmedabad to Palitana, where she found herself completely alone on the rugged road at night two hours away from the sacred site. Determined to join the pilgrimage up the steps at 5 a.m. she risked hiring a scooter rickshaw and was able to film the historical grandeur of the ancient Palitana temples displayed in magnificent splendor during sunrise. Within the next twenty four hours, she found herself walking in the ancient Jain temples at Ellora.

The first film: 'In Search of the saintly Lord Bahubali' will be released after the grand head anointing ceremony especially during the auspicious days from 8 - 18 February, 2006, (Festival of Mahamastak Abhishek is held once every 12 years).


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