In a short compass this animated Life of the Buddha manages to tell more of the significant stories from the Buddha’s life than a lot of the high production films ever do.
It is mainly based on the Pāḷi scriptures, though maybe not exclusively so, and concentrates on getting across the meaning of the teaching, rather than the heroics of the endeavour.
It covers the birth, youth, marriage and departure of the Bodhisatta to the forest, before turning to his original teachers and ascetic practices. It then shows how the Buddha Awoke to the Truth and went on to teach his first discourse.
Most of these sorts of films more or less stop there, but it was a pleasant surprise to see the story continued with the conversions of Yasa, his family and friends, and also of the 1,000 fire-worshipping brahmins.
We also catch glimpses of the lives of some of the Buddha’s relatives and disciples like Devadatta, Ānanda, Gotamī, Angulimāla and Kisāgotamī, before moving on to the parinibbāna at Kusinārā.
Somehow they manage to squeeze all of this and more into a mere 30 minutes, and one can only feel it’s a pity it was not made into an hour long film, where they could have taken just a little more time over the stories.
The film was made by Premanand Kolhapure Abhijeet for Rajsrhi, and is part of a series of Mythological Animation Films made by the company in both Hindi and English.