indian cinema heritage foundation

Basant Panchami (1956)

  • LanguageHindi
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Tulsi and Shaligram-these two names are always uttered together. Tulsi is worshipped in every home and her marriage day is celebrated as a religious festival every year. Behind the festival is the story of a great woman's devotion and faith.

A Gopi wandering from birth to birth was born as Vrinda on earth. She worshipped the Lord like a Gopi in Gokul. Lord Vishnu was so moved by her devotion that he often left his abode and came to her. This frequent disappearance caused concern to Laxmidevi and appraised of its reason by Narad Muni, she arranged Vrinda's marriage with Jalandhar who regards Laxmidevi as sister to prevent her Lord from going often to her.

After the wedding, Vrinda brought the image of Lord Vishnu along with her to her husband's home. She worshipped her husband and Lord Vishnu with equal zest; but her husband who loved her intensely did not appreciate her devotion to Lord Vishnu, though she claimed that in the image of Lord, she saw her own husband.

God protects his devotees and their honour. So whenever Jalandhar went out on war, and Vrinda prayed for his success, Lord granted her wish. But Jalandhar felt that he owed his success to his strength and not to his wife's prayers. Once when thanks to Vrinda's prayers even 'Sudarshan Chakra' turned back and Lord Indra was defeated. This victory went to Jalandhar's head; his ego knew no bounds.

Naturally, the revelation of the truth shocked him. He felt insulted. To test the power of his wife's prayers, Jalandhar threw her among lepers; but when the lepers were cured by the magic of her prayer, he got them beheaded out of sheer jealousy and anger. Then he restored to a clever ruse and succeeded in making Lord Vishnu as his gate-keeper. When Vrinda saw the gate-keeper, she recognized her Lord and offered him her respects. Jalandhar stopped her from coming to the gate.

The news that Lord Vishnu had become a gate-keeper in the demon Jalandhar's palace shocked the world. Vrinda's devotion to her husband as well as her Lord was being put to test.

The evil Jalandhar went to the length of sending message to Lord Shiva asking him to send Parvati to his palace inspite of Vrinda's pleadings. When Narad Muni brought the message, Lord Shiva got angry. But the realization that Jalandhar was his son and Lord Vishnu's protection to him made him ponder. Meanwhile Jalandhar attacked Kailash; when Vrinda tried to stop him, he cut her tongue, hands and threw her into Jungle and marched to Kailash only to come back without Parvati.

Did Vrinda get back her tongue, hands and feet? Was Jalandhar killed? And how did Lord Vishnu become Shaligram (stone)? The thrilling climax would answer all these querries on the silver screen.