Searching for the light within

Searching for the light within


Endeavouring to find peace within oneself, the second edition of ‘The Inner Path - Festival of Buddhism’ was recently organised at Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), Azad Bhavan.

The five-day festival founded and curated by Aruna Vasudev and Suresh Jindal was a melange of visual and performing arts wherein films based on Buddhism were screened and photographs and artworks on the same theme were exhibited at
the venue.

The opening night saw an enthralling performance by Dharma Bums. The American band captivated the audience with Buddhism-themed songs. Founded by Buddhist scholar Phil Void in the early 1970s while researching in India and Nepal, the group performed chants and spiritual songs.  

The following days celebrated Buddhism through world cinema and screened extraordinary films such as The Buddha (directed by David Grubin), Cave in the Snow (Liz Thompson), The Giant Buddhas (Christian Frei), Impermanence (Goutam Ghose), Land of Buddha (Abha Dayal) and Samsara (Pan Nalin) to name a few.

These comprised twenty-one features, documentaries and shorts which have
received critical acclaim worldwide. Selected from all across the globe, the films were from China, Europe, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and USA. However, Aruna Vasudev, director of ‘The Inner Path’ shared that “there are not many films being made on Buddhism in Asia in the recent time. Instead, there are more films on Buddhism being made in Europe.”

A nice sample of these was witnessed at the festival but the artworks by renowned artists garnered more attention. Photographs by German journalist Christel, Spanish journalist Jaime León Ros, Nicholas Vreeland and Shefali Munjal are relevant to the context of Buddhism and display the life and living of Buddhist monks. These were displayed along with sculptures by Shakti Maira from his ‘The Sangha’ series. It was a group of twelve figures, each about six feet tall that represented the community of spiritual seekers.

There were also panel discussions with participating photographers and artists and discourses by  the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa and Dr Ravindra Panth from India, Prof Askar Chingizovich Aikmatov from Kyrgystan and Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa from Thailand which drew attention of Delhiites towards
the festival.