Education About Asia: Online Archives

Sadhus: India’s Holy Men

Download PDF

(3 films)

The Rolling Saint (52 min.)

The Living God (52 min.)

Living with the Dead (52 min.)

1995. VHS. Color.


A Bedi Films/Denis Whyte Films Production for BBC TV Produced by Denis Whyte

Canal Plus, Premiere; Multicultural Programmes Department, BBC http://www.bediji.com/filmographysocll.html

How would your students respond to dramatic images of a man who, after standing in place for seven years, rolls his body 2,500 miles through busy streets, over rough roads, and up mountains to manifest religious devotion? Or of a living man revered as a god by several hundred million people? Or of another man who lives and meditates in Hindu cremation grounds and eats human flesh when the urge overtakes him, disregarding all social and religious rules regarding purity? These are the absorbing stories contained in the three-part video series titled Sadhus: India’s Holy Men. Even for sophisticated students with knowledge of other peoples and cultures, these stories of Hindu holy men in contemporary India are remarkable and sometimes fantastic. Students are given a rare opportunity to see in action the disparate group of holy men in India, and, almost without exception, are eager to engage in lively discussion about various issues raised such as practice, devotion, and the concept of religious “leaders.”