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Filmography - Hinduism: Home

Titles on DVD and streaming as of June 2018


Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2018.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentication by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library catalog.


Ancient India-Sacred Cows and Ayurveda. 1 online resource (streaming video file) .  Ancient India gave birth to culinary traditions that still carry wide influence. Learn about the culture of the Aryans, whose religion prefigured Hinduism; food customs relating to caste; and the traditions of vegetarianism in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Also study the dietetic system of Ayurvedic medicine and the components of Indian cuisine. Streaming video. 

An appointment with the astrologer personal consultants in Hindu society. 1 videodisc (40 min.).  Prominence of astrology in everyday Hindu life is explored. Campus use only. DVD 5657.

The Birth of World Religions. 1 online resource (1 video file (14 min., 37 sec.)).  Civilizations and Ideas. The world's major religions and philosophies have their origins in ancient civilizations - and while much has changed since then, countless millions of people through history have maintained a faith and belief in religious principles and teachings that have remained unchanged for millennia. This charming program on the origins, sacred texts and beliefs of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam is an ideal introduction to the topic. Streaming video.

Brahmanic Synthesis.  1 online resource (streaming video file) (31 minutes).  While the regional governments remained fragmented at the turn of the Common Era, the Brahmins worked to rebuild their cultural prominence. They formally developed what is today Hinduism, thanks to a series of written manuals, or shastras, which lay out the principles of an ideal life—including notions of dharma, kama, artha, and moksha. Streaming video.

Buddhism The Noble Path. 1 streaming video file (21 min.). Let's Look at World Religions.  This program offers a profile of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha and an overview of teachings found in the Tripitaka, then takes viewers to the ordination of a Thai Buddhist monk. With stops at Sarnath and Bodh Gaya along the way, the video covers the Three Jewels, the Eightfold Noble Path, and differences between the Theravada and Mahayana schools. A discussion of the historical development of the sangha and links between Buddhism and Hinduism rounds out the program. Filmed on location in Thailand, India, Canada, and Iceland. Streaming video.

Celestial dance. 1 online resource (28 min.). Sanghyang Deling is a special religious ceremony performed in a remote village in the volcanic region of northern Bali. This beautifully poetic event is meant to protect the village and its inhabitants from demons and practitioners of black magic. To ward off the insidious creatures with magical powers, all of the inhabitants of the village participate in preparing the ceremony. They decorate the temple area, prepare sacrificial gifts and the food. This event has rarely been seen by outsiders. The key part of the ceremony which is based on Hinduism, consists of two young girls who dance according to strict Balinese traditions. The girls chosen for the task have never received any dance training although they have seen the dance many times before. They only dance while in a trance. The ceremony is led by a Hindu priest who asks the deities to descend into their midst in the temple and to enter into the body of puppets which are representations of the two girls. While dancing the girls murmur chants that have healing properties and exorcise the evil spirits that threaten the village. Streaming video.;1641256

Death, Rebirth, and Liberation in Hinduism. 1 online resource (streaming video file) (32 minutes).  In Hinduism, death is part of a grander cycle of rebirth and suffering—with the ultimate goal of liberation (moksha). Here, ponder the concept of the Atman (one’s immutable soul); meet the Hindu gods who personify death and, relatedly, time; and learn what rituals can prevent a spirit from becoming stuck between worlds. Streaming video.

Dharma in the Bhagavad Gita. 1 online resource (streaming video file) (29 minutes).  The Bhagavad Gita is arguably one of the most famous texts in world history. Explore the origins and context for the story, delve into the complexities of philosophy and religion that the narrative contains, and understand why it has resonated throughout Indian history and around the world. See how its wisdom is still the basis for Hinduism today. Streaming video.

Eastern Mystics Discovering the sacred in the ordinary. 2010, 4 videodiscs (504 min.).  A series of interviews with Dr. Huston Smith and mystics from the Buddhist, Hindu, Advaita, and Taoist traditions. The mystics address profound questions about the meaning of life and love, Ultimate Reality, the path to spiritual awakening, and the way to true peace in our own lives and around the world. They encourage viewers to look beyond their apparent differences, realize the truth that unites all, and manifest the truth in their daily lives. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 10304.

Eastern philosophy. 2006?, 1 videodisc (146 min.).  A three-part series exploring the major religions the Far East and Middle East, covering: Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Judaism, and Islam. DVD 5971.

Essentials of faith Hinduism. 1 streaming video file (24 min.).  It is not a religion in itself-rather, Hinduism is more of a family of faiths that focus on God in different ways. Nevertheless, the majority of Hindu traditions share the same colorful festivals, reverence for sacred animals, and scriptural use of Sanskrit. This program sifts through perspectives from four practitioners of the Hindu faith who discuss both unified and divergent ways in which their spiritual energy is expressed. The interview subjects are Dr. V. P. Narayon Rao of the Balaji Temple, Girish Patel of Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in the London neighborhood of Neasden, Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies, and Kripamoya Das of Bhaktivedanta Manor. Streaming video. 

Eunuchs India's third gender. 1 videodisc (50 min.).  The film interviews a couple, Dinesh, a male, and Kiran, a eunuch who dresses as a female and fulfills a housewifely role.  The film also features a eunuch community that supports itself by the traditional roles of faith healing and blessing ceremonies celebrating major life events. It also shows a community in Bombay where eunuchs can no longer support themselves in the traditional manner but instead have turned to prostitution. Two new recruits are admitted into this community in a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. DVD 5670.

Experiential approaches to Hinduism. 1 online resource (16 min.). Inspirational AST and RE specialist Georgina Mulhall believes children learn RE best from enriching experiences, and from being taught  by  concept  rather than by  religion .  Georgina teaches three lessons exploring the concept of devotion. Year 4s first role-play as archaeologists speculating about Hindu artefacts and then go into role as devotees worshipping in a Hindu temple. Finally they apply the concept of devotion to their own lives. It's fun, inclusive, there's no right or wrong and it encourages higher-order thinking. As RE is culturally sensitive and subjective, Georgina believes it's often side-lined. Here she sums up the values of a creative, concept-driven approach and advises on how to use role-play with confidence. Streaming video.;1742943

Forest of bliss. 2001, 1 videodisc (ca. 90 min.).  A documentary on the Holy City of Benares, India. The daily customs and religious rituals. DVD 984.

The fourth stage. 1 videodisc (42 min.).  Retired Indian journalist, E.R. Seturam is considering whether to embark on an ancient Hindu quest for self-realization through the fourth stage of life (sannyasa).  Film accompanies Seturam as he discusses his possible decision with colleagues, family members, other sannyasins, and holy men throughout India. DVD 5656.

Given to dance India's Odissi tradition. 1 videodisc (57 min.).  An account of the thousand-year tradition of Hindu temple dancing at the Temple of Joggernaut and elsewhere in eastern India and of the women who perform the dances. Concentrates on the Odissi tradition of dancing. DVD 5302.

Heaven How Five Religions See It. 1 streaming video file (90 min.).  Throughout history human beings have dreamed of heaven, built their lives around it, and even killed for their particular religion's version of the hereafter. This program explores the concept of heaven according to some inspiring followers of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. Viewers meet a Catholic priest working with gangs, an unusual Thai Buddhist monk, a Hindu priest who is also a hydraulics engineer, Sufi dervishes, and the remarkable Mountain Jews of Azerbaijan. The video includes expert commentary about the historical evolution of the notion of heaven. With Diana Eck (professor of comparative religion, Harvard University), Alan Segal (professor of religion, Columbia University), and Carol Zaleski (professor of world religions, Smith College). Streaming video.

Hindu Spiritual Pathways. 1 streaming video file (14 min.).  In this program, a group of young Hindus define the Bhagavad Gita's Four Paths to God and reflect on which path he or she feels the most affinity with-Bhakti (Devotion), Jnana (Knowledge), Rajah (Contemplation), or Karma (Action). With feedback from experts such as Jay Lakhani, director of the Vivekananda Centre in London, the teens examine the practices and philosophies of the paths, explaining that Hinduism accommodates many ways to worship. The teens also touch on the concepts of Brahman and atman, and their families' use of devotional music, meditation, and ritual to connect with the Divine. Streaming video.

Hindu temples. 1 streaming video file (25 min.).  Building Faith: Sacred Architecture: Hindu temples are models of the Hindu universe. And while no two temples are exactly alike, they do share some common architectural features. This video compares modern Hindu temples in North America to the classic northern- and southern-style Indian temples of a thousand years ago. Elements that have survived the centuries-the sikhara tower and the statues of the myriad manifestations of the universal spirit, Brahman-are illustrated alongside more recent aspects of temple architecture, like the assembly hall and the om symbol, in Hindu theology the sound of creation. The concepts of karma and moksha are also touched upon. Streaming video.

Hinduism. 1 streaming video file (28 min.).  I BELIEVE-with Dennis Wholey. In this program, Dennis Wholey has a conversation about Hinduism with Sadhvi Vrnda Chaitanya of Arsha Vijnana Mandiram. Topics of discussion include the history of Hinduism; the Vedas, which are typically committed to memory; the meaning of the words karma, samsara, and moksha and their relationship to one other; the concept that everything is God and that secular and sacred therefore are one; and the individual rather than congregational nature of Hindu prayer. In addition, Siva Subramanian tours viewers through Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, Maryland. Streaming video. 

Hinduism The Eternal Way. 1 streaming video file (22 min.).  Let's Look at World Religions: Its followers prefer to call it Sanatana Dharma - the Eternal Way - but in the West the 4,000-year-old group of practices and beliefs is known as Hinduism. This program traces the origins of Hinduism before examining its main tenets, major deities,  and sacred texts. Particular attention is paid to how cultural customs in India  are shaped by Hinduism, with information on bhakti yoga, Diwali, and the Bhagavad Gita, and what living according  to the Dharma means to Hindus today. Filmed on location in India, the U.K., and Iceland. Streaming video.

Image India. 2 videodiscs (122 min.).  Explores Hindu rites and religious practices, including the role of Hinduism at various stages of life. All but part 8 filmed within the Tengalai brahmin community of Srivaisnavas. DVD 13936.

India's Dalits. 1 streaming video file (22 min.).  Twist of Faith:  In fast-paced modern India, some traditions still hold fast. Though the country's notorious caste system was officially abolished half a century ago, discrimination remains widespread. We meet Hema, a leader of Delhi's sewage workers' union. Despite having a master's degree and successful career, Hema is considered an "untouchable" because she is a Dalit, a member of India's lowest social caste. The Dalits make up one-fifth of the country's population. They are forbidden from marrying into upper caste families or even going to the same religious temples. We watch Hema's struggle to rise above her assigned status, at great personal cost. Streaming video.

India the empire of the spirit. 1 videodisc (57 min.). Legacy.  The ancient traditions of non-violence and spiritual search, honored by Hindus in the present, were born in the Indus Valley 5,000 years ago. Looks at how ancient India is with us today in the living tradition of the Hindu religion, the basis of Indian culture. Also describes how India has kept true to its ancient tradition of non-violence and spiritual search, even as it became part of the modern world. DVD 5702

Indo-European Vedic Culture. 1 online resource (streaming video file) (32 minutes).  Explore the ancient foundations of Hinduism, which emerged from a diverse community of people who identified themselves with the Vedas. By studying these sacred poems and hymns, you’ll discover much about this civilization’s culture and cosmology. You’ll also trace the origins and development of the Indo-European language in this fascinating lecture. Streaming video.

The Kalasha Rites of Spring. 1 streaming video file (52 min.).  Disappearing World.  The Kalasha are an ancient mountain people living in the Chitral district of northwestern Pakistan. Surrounded by a predominantly Muslim population, they adhere to an old religion based on Hinduism. This film presents a picture of their way of life and features the celebrations of Goshi, their three-day spring festival. Streaming video.

KS3 RE. 1 online resource (14 min.).  Education in video, volume 1.  This classroom resource gives an introduction to Hindu beliefs and practices. It focuses on the four pathways to God - karma, raja, jnana and bhaki yoga  - introducing the Hindu pluralistic approach to spirituality.  Four young Hindus share their understanding of what Hinduism means to them and who or what God is. They quiz four Hindu experts, including Jay Lakhani from the Hindu council of Brent, on the four pathways to God, and reflect on which pathway best suits their personalities.  The programme relates to the religious beliefs and practices element of the national curriculum. It is designed to be watched either in one viewing, or in separate sections.  i.e:. What is Hinduism;  What or who is God;  A summary of the main Hindu beliefs; The four yogas or pathways to God;  How do these four pathways relate to your personality?  There is an accompanying programme, "Hinduism and Spirituality - A Lesson", showing how one teacher uses elements of this resource in her lesson. Streaming video.;1780702

Living goddess. 1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 87 min.).  A powerful portrait of a young girl venerated as a goddess growing up in a country on the verge of civil war, this is the story of Sajani, who is worshiped as one of three living goddesses in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. Her peaceful existence is contrasted with violent political turmoil that threatens their traditional way of life. Streaming video.

The lover and the beloved a journey into Tantra. 1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 70 min.).  A documentary feature film about one man's journey across northern India and his search for enlightenment. Rajive McMullen, a history teacher suffering from a debilitating illness, makes the painful journey into the heart of Tantra, searching for meaning in holy shrines, coming close to death in cremation grounds and enjoying the chaos of the Aghori seekers. This film offers dramatic insight into Tantrik ideas about the life cycle, particularly death, and contributes much to our understanding of how we seek knowledge and how we die. The lover and the beloved also represents a realistic attempt to understand both the practice and illusive theory behind Indian Tantrism, and is intended to challenge widespread Western misinterpretations of this system of thought. Along the way we visit Kamakhya Devi in Assam and Tarapith in West Bengal, two of the most important centres of Tantrik Hinduism."... The Lover and the Beloved captures the atmosphere of this kind of milieu extremely well and I found it genuinely compelling viewing." Jonathan Parry, LSE (author of Death in Banaras)"... dazzled, moved, shaken, engaged...  the evocation of a certain and wonderfully wierd India is perfect." Lee Siegal, (Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of Net of Magic: Wonders and deceptions in India) Filmmaker: Andy Lawrence. Streaming video.

The Mahabharata. 89, 2 videodiscs (325 min.).  The Mahabharata (which can be translated as 'The Poetical History of Humanity') is an epic tale of two sets of cousins: the Pandavas, the five sons of Pandu, the king of Hastinapura, and the Kauravas, the one hundred sons of Pandu's brother, Dhritarashtra. The eldest brother of each set of cousins claims the throne of Hastinapura for himself and a struggle arises between them. At first the kingdom is divided, but, as a result of a rigged gambling match, the eldest of the Pandavas, Yuddhishtira, loses his half, and he and his brothers are forced into exile for thirteen years, after which time they will be given back their kingdom. However, when the eldest of the Kauravas, Duryodhana, refuses to do so the two sets of cousins gather their armies and go to war. DVD 6252.

The Mahabharata. 2008, 1 videodisc (170 min.).  Epic retelling of the sacred Sanskrit poem, "The Great Story of Mankind," that forms the basis for much of Hindu culture. Film is an intimate journey to the very heart of Indian mythology, religion, history and thought as it brings to life the conflict between two feuding royal families,  the Pandavas and the Kauravas, as they wage genocidal war, bring down their civilization and eventually find redemption. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 6251.

Maharajah Burger. 1 online resource (51 min.).  This film takes a wry look at the cultural confrontation of East and West, as reflected in attitudes towards the cow. In India, the cow is revered and cared for well beyond its prime. We see a hospice where cows spend their last days in comfort. When the BBC reports on the mass slaughter of cows due to mad cow disease, the Indians are appalled. One suggests that the British send their sick and old cows to India for caretaking. When McDonald's opened up in New Delhi, featuring the Maharajah Burger, there was outrage at this affront. To many Indians it is a symbol of Western cultural imperialism -- Western greed undermining traditional values in India. One elderly maharajah hopefully observes that the Indian culture has survived thousands of years and will not succumb to this latest onslaught. Streaming video.;1689350

Navakalevar (New Embodiment). 1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 49 min.).  In Orissa on the eastern coast of India, the temple of Jagannath in Puri is an ancient center of pilgrimage for Hindus. Over the centuries, they have flocked there for the worship of Vishnu in the form of Jagannath, Lord of the Universe, seated in the temple with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. Streaming video.

Ngaben emotion and restraint in a Balinese heart. 1 videodisc (16 min.).  "Ngaben: Emotion and Restraint in a Balinese Heart takes an impressionistic look at the ngaben from the perspective of a mourning son, Nyoman Asub, and reveals the intimacy, sadness and the tenderness at the core of this funerary ritual and the feeling and force that underlie an exquisite cultural tradition"--.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 13852.

The Poojari's Daughter. 1 online resource (streaming video file).  The Poojari's Daughter opens with flashbacks of the South Indian priestess Rajathiammal 'cutting the goat' and ritually having her head tonsured. The year is 2001; the place Madurai, Tamilnadu. Both these moments fulfill the priestess' deepest desires: to have herself filmed performing the annual goat sacrifice to the Saivite God Paandi that her famous priest father once carried out, and to renounce her family life altogether. Using experimental film techniques that recall the work of Trinh Minh Ha, The Poojari's Daughter weaves dramatic footage of these rituals and temple life at Paandi Kooyil with Rajathiammal's moving narration of her process, interviews with close family, and brief narrations by the filmmaker. Together, these create a vivid and unforgettably intimate portrait of the devotional worlds of this remarkable woman and South Indian Hinduism. "This film is, indeed, a brilliant attempt at conveying the richness of a female ascetic-householder. I would recommend it to students of anthropology and religious studies who are studying issues of health, healing, ritual possession, South Asian Studies, Tamil ritual life, women, and religious leadership." " (3 )4y  (BVijaya Nagarajan, American Anthropologist, Vol. 114, No. 2 Filmmaker: Gillian Goslinga. Streaming video.

Seven Faiths What They Have in Common. 1 streaming video file (20 min.).  Let's Look at World Religions. Organized religion may be influenced by culture as much as by divine inspiration, and yet there are many similarities among the mainstream faiths. This program compares the defining features of the seven largest religions and finds common threads among Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and the Baha'i Faith. Using detailed examples, the video looks at structural similarities-a persecuted prophet, the importance of scriptures and prayer-as well as recurrent themes such as compassion, spiritual development, and the moral consequences of one's actions. Streaming video.

The Story of India The Meeting of Two Oceans. 1 streaming video file (56 min.).   The fifth installment of Michael Wood's journey through Indian history moves on to the time of the Renaissance in Europe, when India was the richest, most populous civilization in the world. The major focus is on the history of the Mogul Empire, its legacy, and the rulers most readily associated with it: the redoubtable Babur, founder of the Mogul dynasty, and his grandson Akbar the Great. The Mogul cities of Delhi, Agra, and Fatapur Sikri are featured, along with the inimitable Taj Mahal and the desert cities of Rajasthan. Streaming video.

Vaastu Marabu. 1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 52 min.).  The Vishwakarmas, the holders of the architectural and artistic heritage in India, have maintained the skill and the theoretical basis essential for designing and executing almost all aspects of the man-made environment.Vaastu Marabu documents the theory and practice of the Vaastu tradition of Indian art, architecture, craft and design. Streaming video.;763991

The world before her. 1 streaming video file (90 min.).  A documentary examining opposing cultural movements in India (tradition vs. modernism), contrasting the experiences and attitudes of contestants in the Miss India beauty contest with those of participants at a Hindu fundamentalist camp for young girls. Streaming video.