Is it wrong for devotees watching Mahabharatha and Ramayana on TV?
The question from a girl devotee (Name hidden):
“I watched Mahabharath in STAR channel. In a few places, I found some differences from the original script. A temple devotee advised that devotees should not watch such serials based on puranas. I want your advice in this matter. Please guide me.”
I have some practical views in this matter of devotees watching Mahabharatha and Ramayana on TV. Let us not allow our conservative views affect our general awareness.
I have no hesitation to say that I too have watched that serial in STAR PLUS and also in Tamil in Star Vijay. I also watched Ramanandha Sagar’s Ramayana and B.R Chopra’s Mahabharatha when it was telecast in doordarshan.
These serials really explain the difficult puranas like Mahabharatha and Ramayana very attractively and beautifully.
When we see any story visually, it creates much impact in our mind and that story gets fixed in our mind strongly.
(TEN PRIMARY SUBJECT MATTERS IN BHAGAVATHAM! READ HERE!)
I have read full version of Original Mahabharatha that has 10 volumes. It was very good.
But, the impact given by the versions telecast by Doordarshan and STAR PLUS are exceptional. They had difficult task of telling the big story with many small and big events and they chose suitable director, actors, music director, dubbing artists, camera persons, etc to present the story to the viewers attractively.
It is not an easy task to produce such difficult serials. They have really taken pains to bring such nice serials.
So, we should not be very conservative to discourage those producers and channels who take such difficult stories to the common people nicely.
The directors were successful in bringing every scene as it is visually in these serials. They would have taken more pains to bring such exceptional treat for our eyes and ears.
The actual feel that I had was, I forgot the surrounding when I watched the serials as I always support every single effort by anyone to give good things to the people.
(SRUTIS & SMRUTIS : BHAGAVAD GITA Vs RAMAYANA & MAHABHARATHA! READ HERE!)
In this process, there may be one or two oncept mistakes, omissions, etc. For example, the dice play system shown in STAR PLUS and DD were different. But, the efforts of the producers and the channels are exceptional and should be appreciated.
In Srimad Bhagavatham (1.5.11), it has been said:
“On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.”
Srila Prabhupada has said in his Purport:
“It is a qualification of the great thinkers to pick up the best even from the worst. It is said that the intelligent man should pick up nectar from a stock of poison, should accept gold even from a filthy place, should accept a good and qualified wife even from an obscure family and should accept a good lesson even from a man or from a teacher who comes from the untouchables. These are some of the ethical instructions for everyone in every place without exception”
(LIST OF 18 MAHA PURANAS & UPA-PURANAS CLASSIFED! READ HERE!)
Therefore, we should have broad mind in accepting the good work of others. We, in ISKCON do not have the full version of Ramayana and Mahabharatha. Only brief versions have been written by the spiritual masters of ISkCON. So, we are relying on other authors only if we like to read them elaborately. So, devotees watching Mahabharatha and Ramayana on TV is justified.
In such case, in any literature/scripture based serial, there may be one or a few mistakes or violations. But, the efforts of the producers and the channels in bringing ot such serials should be lauded. If they do not do that, how will the layman learn the stories of such scriptures?
In some scenes I had to shed tears while watching both the epics. Particularly when I watched the beautiful relationship between Draupati and Krishna and the mercy of Krishna to save Draupati when she was stripped in the court of scholars
So, those serials explain the base story nicely and they create good impact in the minds of viewers.
(How to react when Krishna, His devotees and Scriptures are ill treated? READ HERE?)
There are some people.. Only the mistakes will fall in their eyes. Not the good work.
So, my advice is that it is not wrong for the devotees watching Mahabharatha and Ramayana in standard television channels.
Be broad minded and learn from such responsible channels.
They will help you atleast to become familiar with the names of the important characters and the relations between them.
A devotee shuld know what is happening around him. So, you can also watch the news half an hour daily from a responsible / decent channel and you can also read a decent daily news paper.
I know most of the devotees do what I have advised above. This post may help them atleast to avoid the guilt of watching these essential Programs.
Hope you are clear now about the devotees watching Mahabharatha and Ramayana in Television.
(LATEST PROOF FOR THE EXISTENCE OF KRISHNA AND AUTHENTICITY OF VEDIC SCRIPTURES! READ HERE!)