DVD ‘Kashi, The Eternal City’ captures every aspect of the holy city vividly. Malathi rangarajan

Unanswered questions and ambiguous thoughts become comprehensible and clear to the ordinary mind as you watch ‘Kashi, The Eternal City,’ the DVD brought out by Isha Foundation and Moser Baer Entertainment.

Kashi is a place where ratiocination and rituals, legend and logic, and tradition and science co-exist, without the dichotomies turning into debatable issues. A city projected as a mathematical marvel designed to perfection, you begin to think of Kashi with a sense of yearning.

“It is not for nothing that people flock to Kashi to live or die there,” says Jaggi Vasudev in his interaction with lyricist and script writer Prasoon Joshi as the two walk through the city that is “stacked with layers and layers of energy.” ‘Kashi….’ showcases day-to-day rituals religiously followed in its 468 temples, daily chores of burning the dead, the city’s hoariness and much more. Fascinating facts about the temples situated symmetrically in perfect geometrical patterns, each built with a purpose, make the DVD a worthy watch. Interestingly, Benares, as a hub of art, culture and Mathematics, even before Athens, Egypt and Rome came into existence, is said to be older than history itself! The myths and realities of Kashi are discussed threadbare in simple English. It’s disheartening to note that the greatness of the city, extolled by savants and saints, litterateurs such as Mark Twain, and philosophers, is being eroded. Every aspect of Kashi is brought to the fore, under different titles. The 468 temples that dot Kashi aren’t random constructions. They are mathematically calculated and meticulously created structures. The DVD explains very lucidly the logic behind the number!

Kashi draws the godly and the lay, and is believed to be above every other place on this earth – on Siva’s Trishul! Another significant number touched upon is 108, which again comes with a logical explanation.

The rest houses built for pilgrims centuries ago are still intact, as you see. Also, the Panch Kroshi Yatra, which lakhs of pilgrims undertake annually, in the month of April, and which begins with a dip in the Ganga, has been well-captured.

The legend of Kala Bhairava, with Anita Ratnam acting out the salient parts of it vividly, is yet another segment that stays with you. Finally, the treatise on death makes you ponder over the importance given to the mere physicality of life, when there’s so much beyond!

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

Kashi -- The Eternal City

Devotional DVD -- English

Moser Baer & Isha Foundation

Price: Rs.99