Buddhism – A Living Religion in the North East of India (Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim)

Project Director: Molly Kaushal
Director: Bappa Ray
Camera: Karan Thapliyal
Editing: Vishal Chauhan

60 minutes/ HD Digital Video/ 2013/English/ Produced by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.

Mahayana Buddhism, both as a religion and a way of life has influenced the outlook of diverse communities in the Himalayan region. From Ladakh and Himachal in the west to Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim in the east, in small villages scattered throughout the areas bordering Tibet, are communities who have adopted the Buddhist way of life.

From the 7th century, Buddhism underwent radical changes, and new forms appeared which were called Mahayana and Vajrayana or Tantra. The discipline combines yoga practice with highly complex ritualism, mixed with magic, and involves the worship of a large number of divinities, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Knowing that death was near….the Buddha himself foretold… “there will be born one who will be much wiser and more spiritually powerful then Myself. He will be called padmasambhava and he will transmit the Esoteric Doctrine in the world”.

Padmasambhava, also called Guru Rimpoche, was the greate Master of Tantra, and Tibet became the centre of its dissemination. And from here his popularity conquered the whole of the Himalayan region. Wherever Buddhism prevailed, artistic pagodas, monasteries and beautiful stupas now dot the landscape.

The film looks at the influence of Buddhism – a Living Religion, on the socio-cultural heritage, dances, festivals, arts and craft of Buddhist communities in the North Eastern region of India, especially Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

The film has been produced under the ‘North-East Study’ programme of the Janapada Sampada Division of the IGNCA.

Copyright IGNCA

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