If anyone hasn’t yet seen the Netflix series about the Buddha (52 episodes) you might enjoy watching his spiritual development in a serialized drama that provides great insight into Siddhartha himself and his remarkable journey. We saw this weekly show in 2014 on Zee-TV (from India) and I’m glad it’s been on Netflix for a wider audience. The series is subtitled and has a bit of Bollywood, especially in a couple of early episodes, but it is well-worth binging to see how Buddha developed as an enlightened being.
Update: No longer available at Netflix, but if it ever becomes possible for streaming again I’ll post an alert.
Glad you were able to see it. It’s unavailable now in the USA for streaming for the time being. Previously, I never saw The Buddha as a person, Siddhartha, who became the Awakened One, but rather as the statue or paintings for devotionals. So, seeing him grow up, develop and teach over a period of time was amazing, and made it so I feel a closer relationship to him and his words. We first saw this as a weekly series over Zee-TV, so viewing it stretched out over a year is somewhat different from streaming one episode after another. Did that as well. Watching it in toto a few times, while studying the Dharma, has made it even better.
We did a Buddhist pilgrimage in 2014 visiting all the main places that are significant for people with such interest, and it was really special, particularly when you know the significance of those places without a guide’s explanation. So that’s where and how the relationship with Buddha developed. When I visualize Buddha I see a living, breathing person.
What are your impressions of the series?
Thanks. Read the review. It ended with,
“Rude Awakenings is a heady record of survival and spirituality set against the dramatic backdrop of one of India’s most lawless regions.”
This jibes with my experience so I ordered it. Looking forward to seeing what I saw, and seeing what I missed.
In the TV version there was a short lesson from Siddhartha’s life, shown in that episode, which I didn’t see in the Netflix version. Also, the title song changed after he gained enlightenment which was not apparent during the streaming episodes.
Another thing that stood out in the series is how The Buddha walked, measured steps throughout the episodes after enlightenment. Not too fast, not too slow, just measured.
Doesn’t seem to get there from the US, but using VPN to India is not a problem. Just checked, good to see it’s available but without subtitles it makes it hard for non-Hindi speakers to really appreciate what is happening. The first episode was basically the predictions for Siddhartha’s birth and the Sage’s prophetic words. It also established all the relationships in the palace.
Missed this last year when you posted it. I’m ready for another viewing after a significant year of Dharma practice.