Thousands of English people got a chance to see a little of Vrindavan at Christmas in The Hidden Story of Jesus. You will, most likely, have missed this piece of thought provoking television on Christmas Day, but here’s an opportunity to watch it.
Channel 4 broadcast an extended documentary about the life of Jesus and how his life is viewed by other faith traditions, including ours. The researchers came to our Radha Krishna temple in central London and were given lots of information and contact details of other expert sources to interview, both at the OCHS in Oxford and in Vrindavan, India.
Personally, I think they treated Vaishnavism and devotion to Krishna with great sensitivity and the scenes of Vrindavan, kirtans and temples certainly contributed a sparkle to the film’s first 15 minutes. And for this to be shown on Christmas Day in the evening was definitely an exercise in adventurous and courageous programming.
The narrator / interviewer of the film, Dr. Robert Beckford, is himself a Christian, so the sub-text of the film, which we should also be aware of, is that Jesus Christ is such a figure that all the world’s religions have some sort of an opinion on him. There is an attempt to highlight the commonality between all the faith traditions, something which is helpful in today’s climate, albeit somewhat counter-productive when it comes time to teach a specific tradition.
Everything considered, this film will have helped some people to understand many helpful messages and perhaps, for some people, it will have been their very first exposure to kirtan and the Krishna tradition. At the very least, we must wonder at the phenomenon of Hare Krishna kirtan being broadcast to millions of homes in England on Christmas Day!
The link is here