A preview of the excerpts of the first 23 episodes of the TV serial was arranged at the Raj Bhavan

The life of the monk from Kolkata, who channelised the quest for spiritual salvation towards the service of man, has been captured for the Tamil television audience in 52 episodes by Krishnaswamy Associates.

Mostly shot in period locations, the serial takes the viewers through the unique moments of the life of Narendranath Dutta, who later transforms into Swami Vivekananda, in fluid Tamil, embellished by soulful music.

A preview of the excerpts of the first 23 episodes of the TV serial, Swami Vivekananda, was arranged at the Raj Bhavan here on Saturday. The serial begins with the projection of a rebellious Narendranath, who does not immediately fall in line in matters of faith but later experiences God through ‘sparisa diksha’ (ordination by touch) from Sri Ramakrishna, and takes the viewer through his journey by foot across India and the founding of Sri Ramakrishna Mutt.

Interspersed are poignant episodes of young Narendra querying his teacher about ecstasy; his oft-repeated question, “Have you seen God?”, sharing a cobbler’s hookah to demonstrate that discrimination on caste lines is a perversion and eating a cucumber offered by a Muslim Fakir to show that all are equal in the eyes of God. The director of the serial, Gita Krishnaraj, shows how Sri Ramakrishna experienced equal spiritual bliss by practising Islam and Christianity.

The Governor, K. Rosaiah, described the serial as a timely tribute to Swami Vivekananda on the occasion of his 150th Jayanthi celebration. As S. Krishnaswamy, who has written the screenplay, dialogue and lyrics for the serial, put it, Swami Vivekananda, which will be telecast by Doordarshan’s Podhigai channel at 9 p.m. on Saturdays from July 13, is sure to make the viewers laugh, joke and cry with the protagonist. Mohana Krishnaswamy, producer, thanked the Ramakrishna Mutt for its support and The Hindu for providing access to its archives that contain reports on the 19th century monk.

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