A Spiritual Perspective
With such rigour have I tried to make you mine, that every particle has conspired to unite us. They say if you really want something from the depth of your heart then the whole universe strives to make it yours… Today, I am convinced that just like my films, in my life all must turn right by the time the end approaches. Happy endings! and if things aren’t resolved, then perhaps it is not ‘the end’, the movie still continues, my friend!
Om Shanti Om, Bollywood Film
Bollywood has become a part of life for many people. The dances, the songs, probably even some of the dialogues are now famous throughout the world. In India and beyond, we have learnt to imitate the actors, dress like them, and have integrated these films into our daily lives. But maybe there is more to these films than just entertainment, a message that we fail to see, or just overlook, that is in fact the base of most Bollywood films.‘Bollywood’, a term given to Indian cinema, stems from the culture of storytelling. Initially the films were heavily inspired by the early nautankis (street dances), which portrayed famous epic mythologies like the Ramayana, or just parts of it. The Ramayana tells a story of good triumphing over evil. Rama is the hero who, through an injustice, goes into exile. Sita, his wife, accompanies him along with his brother Laxmana. During this period Sita is abducted by the evil Ravana, the monarch of Lanka. Rama faces a series of obstacles when in search of his wife, and has to fight a war against Ravana to rescue her. Finally, Ravana is defeated and Rama and Sita return from their exile to rule their kingdom. Apart from being a great influence both culturally and philosophically, it is the ultimate love story.
Love is the favoured topic in all Bollywood movies. The early movies would have the hero play the role of Rama, and the actress, Sita. However, over the years the characters have changed; the sets have evolved; the costumes have become fashion statements; almost everything has been altered to suit the modern day taste. But one thing that remains unchanged in many films is the basic storyline. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, but they have to face a variety of obstacles, which could come in the form of a villain, family discordances, or differences in caste and social status, before they can be united in their love. But eventually, fighting against the odds, they do come together in a happy ending. When we watch these films, we might often think, “oh it’s such a common story”, but despite this, why does this story of love we keep seeing again and again appeal to us?
Love also is the very essence of our spirituality, and our spiritual lives follow a similar story to the one described above. Our soul, which is naturally inclined to the beloved, has been abducted from her true home, where she lived with her beloved. The mind keeps her trapped in this world. The Master is looking for her, and when he finds her, he initiates the soul, and then, the battle between the mind and the soul begins. The Master is always there, helping the soul to overcome the mind. All we (as souls) have to do is to follow the guidance our Master gives, and work with him to win this battle. Once the mind has been defeated, we will be united with our Master in our true home.
Looking at this from a Bollywood perspective, our spiritual journey is like a film, where our Master, is the film’s hero, our soul, the heroine, and the mind is the villain and the reason for the separation of the soul and the Master. We need to put in our effort to unite the two and control our mind through our meditation with the grace of the Master. Until then there is no union and no end to this everlasting film, and we will keep reincarnating in different forms. So until we unite there is no happy ending and if there is not a happy ending then … the movie still continues, my friend. We usually get bored if a film drags on for too long. So let’s find a happy ending to our spiritual film. Through meditation, defeat the mind, unite with our Master and ‘live happily ever after’.
The soul, an essence of the Supreme Being, is here dominated by the mind and the latter is led by the senses with the result that the whole creation is running wild and out of control, under the impulse of one or more of the five passions. Thus the mind goes astray and in its never-ending pursuits, finds little repose or respite. Continually does it come to grief but it does not seem to heed the lessons of its bitter experiences. Mind is an excellent servant but a very bad master. Rightly used, it may be made to work wonders, but if allowed to assert itself in a lawless manner, it may bring unspeakable disaster. The right course should have been for the soul to control the mind and the mind to guide the senses and thus reverse the grim situation where men have forgotten their high origin, the purpose of their sojourn on this planet and their real destination. The more they attach themselves to the things of the world, the farther they move away from their Home. The only remedy lies in seeking a true adept and following the path of Nam – an absolute must for ending the rounds of birth and death.
Maharaj Jagat Singh, The Science of the Soul