For all Surangama Sutra Fans out there! This Buddhist movie was produced with knowledge and care. Although the cast is Chinese, efforts made to preserve the authenticity of the set is commendable. Monks and teachers were also consulted to ensure that the teachings in the sutra is being correctly conveyed.
The movie in 3 portions. 1st part described how the sutra was smuggled out of India and how it was translated and interpreted. Thus we have better appreciation that in ancient days, knowledge is highly priced and not as freely available as today. I won’t spoil the fun for you and will let you discover the hardship from watching the movie.
2nd part is more of a story or play. It narrated the story of how an innocent and good-willed Ananda (who has not gained enlightenment at that point in time) unintentionally caused a girl to fall in love with him. Such is human nature and it reflects how human longs for relationship and cling to love; believing that that is a cause of happiness. Due to her great infatuation, she sought her mother’s help to cast a spell on Ananda so that he would break his celibacy vow to sleep with her. Shakyamuni Buddha came to his rescue by taughing Manjushri Bodhisattva the Surangama Mantra to break the spell. It is good entertainment for me.
3rd part is the serious part. Buddha began dispelling ignorance by preaching to Ananda. At the core of the teaching is non-other than non-self. This part is very important for surangama practitioner because it dispel ignorance and misconception about Buddhist spiritual practices. In another word it dispel all spiritual obstacles and hindrances.