indian cinema heritage foundation

Devyani (1952)

  • LanguageHindi

Mythology is in a Way history told in form of legends; and like history mythology also repeats itself in different forms. Here is a story from mythology which has a topical flair. It is the story of love, sacrifice on one hand and the great evil which runs even the most intelligent clever and brilliant men. It is the story of the old days when there were frequent wars between Angels and the Demons. The Angels were powerful and would have vanquished the Demons but for the fact that they were immortal-thanks to the 'Sanjivani Mantra of Shukracharya, their high priest. All the Demons killed by the Angels were brought back to life by this mantra. So the Angels sent the son of Jupitor-Kach to find out the secret 'Mantra' without which they could never demolish their enemies.
Kach came to the land of Demons and became the disciple of Shukracharya and won the heart of Devyani. Indeed, had Devyani not sided Kach, the Demons would have got rid of him easily. But with Devyani, whom her father loved more than anything else in life, Kach felt rather secure. Yet Shukracharya was shrewd enough not to divulge the Sanjivani Mantra to him knowing fully well that Kach belonged to his enemies-the Angels.
Yet a folly on the part of the Demons turned the tables against them. In order to kill Kach and make it impossible for Shukracharya to bring him back to life, the Demons put his ashes in wine and offered it to Shukracharya, whose only weakness was drinking. Shukracharya drank the wine and when Devyani came and asked for Kach, he realized that he could not bring Kach to life without reciting the Mantra which the soul of Kach now residing in his body would learn. But for the sake of his daughter he recited the mantra. Kach was brought back to life, Shukracharya died. The grateful disciple who now knew the 'mantra' saved his guru. But, alas, the 'mantra was no longer a secret; besides Kach who had more regard for duty than love rejected the hand of Devyani. How did the proud daughter take this defeat? The moving climax presents a very touching end to the immortal story of "DEVYANI" brought to screen in all its splendour and significance.