August 8, 2011 Leave a comment
A new first for BAPS! Saturday, Aug. 6,2011, Pramukh Swami Maharaj blessed the first copy of Swaminarayan Charitra – a new animated telling of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s life. The first episode, titled Ghanshyam and the Storm of Evil, covers a the stories of Ghanshyam’s birth and his defeat of his evil tantric uncle, Kalidatt. The story is a production done in-house at the Swaminarayan Aksharpith Animation Studio and largely a volunteer effort with very little professional industry involvement. As such the product is quite an achievement for first-timers.
This telling of Ghanshyam’s story is borrows both from imagination as well as the historical account given by H. T. Dave in his biography of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. It adds talking animals to the tale and tries to reconstruct piece by piece what the battle between Kalidatta and Ghanshyam might have looked like.
The main plus points of the films are the dialogues, scripted by Kamlesh Pandey, and the face of baby Ghanshyam. The story as a whole needs some help in flow and development. The animation, while a great first effort, still seems simple and formulaic but I’m sure it will improve as time goes on. After all, they are going to be putting out one episode per year for some time into the future.
So, get to a BAPS mandir book store and buy this historic DVD – if for nothing else, then to support a unique undertaking.