Yesterday, I attended a screening of a documentary entitled The Bhagavad Gita at the Rubin Museum in NYC. Perhaps it’s the years of reading distorted descriptions about Hinduism and its texts that tend to make me weary of these types of efforts, but I decided to hop on the subway and view the documentary. Plus, I also had an inkling that this documentary was going to be different because my friend, Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, the Hindu Chaplain at NYU and Columbia, was a speaker in the documentary and was also present for the following Q&A. My gut was right – the documentary was truly well done and incredibly unique.
Instead of presenting ludicrous interpretations that countless Hindu “scholars” in academia tend to offer, the documentary presented the Gita with a deep sense of respect and dignity. Moreover, it offered views from individuals who have been inspired by the Gita – from composers to screenwriters to a Hindu monk. It was refreshing to be presented with non-academic, non-scholar perspectives on this ancient book held sacred by Hindus around the world. The film can viewed online at http://www.learner.org/courses/worldlit/gita/watch/.