indian cinema heritage foundation

Nav Ratri

03 Jan, 2023 | Archival Reproductions by Cinemaazi
King Mahishasoor (Sapru), the Demon King, rules despotically. He kills and pillages, his rakshasas terrorise the people.

Mahishasoor, the mighty king, has conquered all other rulers and proceeds mercilessly to crush anyone who dares to oppose him. His rakshasas terrorise the populace.

Saranyu, a woman of peerless beauty and courageous daughter of the sage Twashta Muni, alone raises the banner of revolt against the tyrant.
 

In Prince Shatrughana she has a worthy comrade-in-arms. Moreover, the prince has lost his kingdom in the fight against the demon king and his parents have been slain.
Saranyu (Nirupa Roy), the beautiful daughter of the sage Twashta Muni,
raises the banner of revolt against the tyrant. The Demon King covets her.

In Prince Shatrughana she has a worthy comrade-in-arms. Moreover, the prince has lost his kingdom in the fight against the demon king and his parents have been slain.

Praise of Saranyu's beauty reaches the celestial region of Indralok and the god Indra is moved to ask the sage for her hand in marriage. At the same time Mahishasoor desires Saranyu for himself and demands of Tawashta Muni that she be made his wife.
 
Saranyu rejects both of them, for Indradev already has a wife and the demon king is bestial and cruel. Enraged by the slight, Mahishasoor sends men to bring her by force to him, but he is forestalled by Indra who has already carried Saranyu away to Indralok.
 
Mahishasoor plans to invade the celestial regions of Indralok, to which Saranyu has
been taken. He is heedless to entreaties of Queen Suloma (Lalita Pawar), his wife.


There Indra is infatuated by Saranyu's beauty, but she tells him that it is as sinful for a man to have two wives as for a woman to have two husbands, and refuses to marry him. The god heeds her word and Sachi Devi, his wife, also intervenes on her behalf. Saranyu leaves the heavenly court a free woman.
Mahishasoor's old ambition to conquer Indralok is awakened when Indra takes Saranyu away.
Mahishasoor's old ambition to conquer Indralok is awakened when Indra takes Saranyu away. But he is as yet no match for the god and therefore performs tapasya to obtain from Lord Brahma the boon of immortality with which he hopes to overcome Indra's power. Brahma, however, lays down a condition.
 
The Demon King captures Indradev (S.N. Tripathi) and Sachi Devi (Roop Laxmi).

 
While granting Mahishasoor his boon and making him immortal before any dev, danav or manav, he does not promise that he cannot be killed by a woman. Only a woman, says Brahma, will have the power to kill the demon king. Mahishasoor laughs with scorn at this.

Assured of the immortality of a celestial being, Mahishasoor proclaims himself almighty and forbids the people to worship any other god but himself. Hundreds are ruthlessly put to death for refusing to do so and the demon king even urns a deaf ear to the pleadings of Suloma, his wife, who is sickened by his cruelty.
 
Saranyu is married to Prince Shatrughana (Manhar Desai), 
She is kidnapped from her husband's care by Mahishasoor.


Then, drunk with power, he invades the kingdom of Indralok, sweeping all before him. He drives out the devatas and captures Indra and the other gods, seizes Kam-Dhenu, the Divine Cow, and abducts Sachi Devi, Indra's wife. He brings them all as captives to his palace.
 
In the meanwhile, the sage Tawashta Muni has given his daughter Saranyu in marriage to Prince Shatrughana and, his conquest of Indralok completed, the demon king now turns his attention to Saranyu and to fulfill his long-cherished desire to make her his. He kidnaps her from her husband's care and, when she stands helpless before him, he offers her his whole kingdom if she will only become his wife.
 
When Saranyu reviles him, the Demon King orders her father, the Maharishi 
Twashta Muni (Niranjan Sharma), to be blinded.
Saranyu remains scornful of the demon king and his base proposals. She is adamant and, as a means of bending her to his will, Mahishasoor then imprisons her father and blinds him. She is firm even when he captures her husband and puts him to death.
Saranyu remains scornful of the demon king and his base proposals. She is adamant and, as a means of bending her to his will, Mahishasoor then imprisons her father and blinds him. She is firm even when he captures her husband and puts him to death.

Saranyu's cup of suffering is full to overflowing and all the devatas and devis banished from Indralok beseech the Lord Vishnu to bring an end to the demon king's evil doings and his unholy reign.
 
But Vishnu says, "Only a woman who is more powerful than I am can kill him. Such a woman is the goddess Durga." So they pray to her and Jagdamba Durga Mata, seated on her lion, appears to them.
 
Everyone prays for the Demon King's overthrow. The Goddess appears in answer
to their prayers and destroyes Mahishasoor.

Moved by everyone's prayers, the goddess annihilates Mahishasoor. She also restores his sight to Twashta Muni and brings to life again the murdered Prince Shatrughana. The faithful Saranyu and the dauntless price are reunited.

This article was published in Filmfare magazine’s July 8, 1955 edition as a picture preview of the film "Navratri" (1955).
Images appeared are from the original article.

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