The Indie Documentary “Bodh Gaya: The Seat of Enlightenment” captures the holy Buddhist site in its true spirit.

Indian filmmaker, MSN Karthik, tries to capture a slice of life at this holy site through his latest short documentary film “Bodh Gaya: The Seat of Enlightenment”.

<em>Bodh Gaya</em>
Bodh Gaya

About a hundred kilometers south of the capital city of Bihar in India lies a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which attracts around 2 million people each year from all around the globe. Roughly around 2600 years ago, the journey of a Prince from Nepal to this place has resulted in the birth of the Buddha. The place is called Bodh Gaya, and this is where the Buddha got enlightened under a peepal tree.

Bodh Gaya is unarguably the holiest of places for all the Buddhists, just as Jerusalem is for the Christians and Mecca is for the Muslims. Thousands of monks travel to Bodh Gaya each year in search of enlightenment. The documentary revolves around the kind of transformation Buddhism can bring in people's lives and the role it can play in today's chaotic world. In the journey through the film, we also explore the story of the Buddha, the historical relevance of the ancient Indian pilgrimage site and the personal experiences of Buddhist monks and practitioners.

<em>The Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya</em>
The Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya

In the film, we see Dechen, a student of Buddhism from Bhutan, who laughingly says that being a monk frees him from the tensions of marriage or family and explains how Buddhism has changed his life. Karma Jampa, another Buddhist monk from the USA takes us through his journey of becoming a monk and settling in the foothills of the Himalayas.

<em>Dechen, Student of Buddhism from Bhutan</em>
Dechen, Student of Buddhism from Bhutan

The film is set in the winter months of 2016 when five hundred such monks from various parts of the world have reached Bodh Gaya to offer a World Peace “Monlam” Prayer.

You can watch this beautiful and an insightful documentary film below.

If you are a filmmaker and want to understand the process that went behind making this film, then read his detailed article posted on Medium.

You can find more works from the film maker MSN Karthik at his Facebook and YouTube channels.

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