Hindus have applauded Catholics for praising a film whose central theme is reincarnation.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that reincarnation or rebirth (punarjanma) was a central tenet in Hinduism. Ancient Hindu scriptures, including Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), elaborate it.
Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting described “Dean Spanley”, releasing on March five in Australia, as “just a delight for ear and eye, for the emotions and for the mind” and “For those who like their films visually appealing and literate, intelligent and delightful, this will be a most satisfying entertainment.”
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, says that Chapter two of Bhagavad-Gita states: “As a man sheds worn-out garments and acquires new ones, so when the body is worn out a new one is obtained by the soul, who lives within.” Brihadaranyaka Upanishad points out: “As a caterpillar, approaching end of blade of grass, draws itself together and reaches out for the next, so the soul, having come to the end of one life and letting go all ignorance, collects his faculties and moves from the old body to a new one.”
This film, “Dean Spanley”, revolves around a cleric’s belief in reincarnation and his recollections of past life as a dog and deals with topics like transmigration of souls.
Filmed in New Zealand and United Kingdom, this Paramount Pictures about 100 minutes long film is directed by award-winning Toa Fraser (No. 2) and its cast includes Jeremy Northam (Gosford Park), Sam Neill (The Dish), Bryan Brown (The Umbrella Woman), Peter O'Toole (Lawrence of Arabia)
Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting, which reviews the films, has been established by the Bishops Commission for Mission and Faith Formation under Australian Catholics Bishops Conference of Catholic Church in Australia. Rev Dr Richard Leonard SJ is its director.