I watched the Tamil movie Rhythm yet again two days back. I have seen this wonderful movie at least twice before and I don’t mind seeing a few times more. This is one of my favourite movies.
When watching the movie, what I realized is that every prominent character in the movie – there are about half a dozen of them – tries to out do the other in being unselfish and to sacrifice his/her personal interests for others. Then I started wondering if this is uncommon in movies. Upon some recollection, I realized that almost every movie – Indian or American – glorifies sacrifice (tyaaga). The concept of unselfish sacrifice of one’s personal interests for others is the theme of almost all movies. I am not able to name even one movie where this concept of sacrifice is glorified. Every single movie that I can think of glorifies sacrifice.
When Swami Vivekananda meets Sri Ramakrishna for the first time at Dakshineswar, Swamiji ponders over the meeting and odd behaviour of Sri Ramakrishna. Swamiji thinks him as a monomaniac. But then, he quickly adds that Sri Ramakrishna’s renunciation was extra-ordinary. By this, Swamiji declares Sri Ramakrishna as a holy man. Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi also characterizes Sri Ramakrishna with his renunciation, than any other quality. This renunciation – the willingness to sacrifice one’s self interests and conveniences for the good of others – is the one mark of holiness, which applies beyond all religious, creed and cultural boundaries. Renunciation is the universal test of holiness.
We seem to subconsciously recognize and appreciate this holiness inherent in man. We all know in the heart of hearts the glory of renunciation and altruism. This is beautifully reflected in our movies.