Netflix is a company a lot of people hate for good reason. BUT even an evil conglomerate can sometimes be an unwitting tool of the divine. On December 9, 2022, Netflix started airing the Hindi dubbed version of Kāntāra. The film was both written and directed by Rishab Shetty who also portrays the main character whose name is Shiva – that’s like people naming their sons Jesus, but in this case, it has a lot more significance. Kāntāra was produced by Vijay Kiragandur under Hombale Films. It was not expected to become a global blockbuster.
If you do not know this about me, now is the time for me to confess that I am a HUGE fan of foreign made supernatural themed films and TV series, preferably with subtitles. I can’t stand dubbed films and avoid them, but in this case, the actors are speaking a language called Kannada – the official language of the state of Karnataka in Bengaluru, India. I love to see characters from other countries and time periods and scenery and architecture and food. When I logged into Netflix and saw the ad for Kāntāra, I clicked with delight. I NEVER expected a film to have so much power, nor did I ever expect to get blasted on an etheric level from a film! I took several nights breaking it up into 30 minutes at a time because it was that intense, and I wanted to stop a scene and look up to find a background story to help me make sense of what was happening. The film is VERY VERY fast paced and the subtitles fly by. I rarely have a problem speed reading subtitles but the action-packed acting plus reading forced me to stop and replay a scene just to catch my breath.
HOW fast paced is it, you ask? Shiva hanging on to water buffalo tails in a race called Kambala blew my mind. There are slow motion segments of the race where you feel the mud getting in your own eyes. And then there are the fight scenes – a lot of fight scenes.
And a scene that at first gave me pause and when I went to research it made me REALLY pause.
In it the character Mahadeva, portrayed by Prabhakar Kunder as a blacksmith and a seer, steals the scene. He and Shiva are seen smoking something and getting “high”. What I did not expect to learn was that they were grinding up ANTS – yes, ANTS.
Now you might ask, so what? Well, Lord Shiva, also called Mahadev (see the names of the characters above), has long been associated with
And this is where the Notorious Doc pops back up. The late Harry Leo Duran, MD, PH.D., MPH, was a board certified Addiction Medicine Specialist AND a drug user! He boasted about using LSD and DMT and mushrooms. And he used to yap about Lord Shiva ingesting mushrooms boasting that he was a SHIVA devotee – NOT!
AND, it gets weirder, trust me.
The Notorious Doc had a boar tattooed onto his torso, paid $5,000 for a taxidermic boar’s head at Stitched inside the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, paid Chris Ihle to create a boar in LEGOs for him which cost $3,500, and boasted on Grindr that he was a BOAR who was into pig play.
And it is a BOAR that appears in the film, but this boar is a supernatural boar and it protects the villagers. This boar is like the avatar Varaha. For a CGI depiction of how Vishnu manifested Varaha check out Episode 1005 of Vignaharta Ganesh! Lord Vishnu emits an essence that is then inhaled by Lord Brahma and exhaled out as Varaha as Vishnu’s third avatar (I’m still working on the series – don’t worry, I’ll resume work on the avatars).
I was surprised to find Sadhguru talking about the film!
Here is some context
Each village has a bhūta for whom an annual kōla is held, each household is also associated with its own bhūta, and even some castes have their own tutelary bhūtas. The numerous bhūtas are closely related to and also embody the wild, dangerous, and fertile aspects of divine power — originating as apotheosized local heroes or the spirits of wild animals dwelling in forests — which eventually came to be grounded in the larger umbrella of the Hindu pantheon centuries ago through their association with the gaṇas and bhūtas of Lord Śiva or Īśvara or absorbed into the tenets of Śakti worship or mahātmya traditions.
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The ceremony mainly involves two central participants, the vaidya and the patri, wherein the purpose of the vaidya is to rhythmically beat the dakke (drum), and sing and dance, in order to completely attune the priest-mediums or oracles1 to sublimate his/her personality and permit for full possession by the spirit being invoked. When invoked in the prescribed manner, accompanied by all the ritual offerings and other arrangements, the patri or mānye or māni moves into ecstasy and gets “possessed” by the concerned divinity. Priest-mediums, belonging to the Nalike, Parava, Pambada or certain other prescribed castes conduct the ritual, with the patrons often being local landlords. (https://brhat.in/dhitiblog/cinemareview-kantara/)
BUT never fear, this rabbit hole is DEEP – so DEEP, I almost couldn’t climb back up!
I only just found The Ranveer Show when I went searching for videos about Nagas. The interview I was watching ended and because I was still researching Kāntāra, this next video was recommended. And now to send the readers on a FULL hard U-Turn back to where I started. Mind you Rishab Shetty did his own stunts in the film, so watch it and your stomach will already be flying around when you watch this next clip!
And it is in this interview with Shri Rajarshi Nandy, a Sadhaka and an adherent of the Sanatan Dharma, a speaker, columnist, and author of Hindu spiritual practices, which confirmed that the deities REALLY did come through in the film! Listen to the presentation. Nandy minces no words. THIS was REAL tantra!
Nandy firmly believes that “some shift” has happened. Both Ranveer and Nandy feel that this movie could not have been made up until a few years ago and Ranveer said he felt he never would have even dared conduct such an interview until very recently. Nandy saw that people in Calcutta, after watching the movie ORGANICALLY started putting their hands together in pray.
AND he then says
THERE IS SOME SHIFT THAT IS HAPPENING AS IF SOME OF THE OLD GODS ARE WAKING UP!
SO, it’s not just me and handful of friends. I have friends who insist they SEE deities and speak with them. Squirm if you will, but that’s what they tell me. And mediums who see spirits – of dead people, fae, dragons, you name it.
To continue Nandy goes on to say that if a deity blesses a creative endeavor, out of the ordinary success happens through the transmission of the shakti of the deity and THAT is what I felt when I finally watched the last 20 minutes of the film. I felt the SAME jolt I have felt when I’ve received darshan. The same HI – I’m HERE kick inside my mind and the same SEEK and YEA Shall FIND feeling. A sense of URGENCY to dig up everything and immerse myself and connect the dots.
Watch the movie. In January 2023, it’s supposed to be dubbed into English if you can’t stand reading subtitles but I urge you to watch this version. It’s awesome. It’s SPELLBINDING, and it’s got a lot of teachable moments squished between martial arts scenes and life in a forest village. A MYSTICAL forest village – hence the title kāntāra
FOR FURTHER READING
Mantra Chanting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6m8T9QYBUU
- Rishab Shetty as Kaadubettu Shiva and Shiva’s father
- Sapthami Gowda as Leela
- Kishore as Muralidhar, a Deputy Range Forest Officer (D.R.F.O)
- Achyuth Kumar as Devendra Suttooru
- Pramod Shetty as Sudhakara
- Shanil Guru as Bulla
- Prakash Thuminad as Raampa
- Manasi Sudhir as Kamala, Shiva’s mother
- Naveen D Padil as Lawyer
- Swaraj Shetty as Guruva, Shiva’s cousin brother
- Deepak Rai Panaaje as Sundara
- Pradeep Shetty as Mohana
- Rakshith Ramachandra Shetty as Devendra’s Henchman
- Chandrakala Rao as Sheela, Sundara’s Wife
- Sukanya as Ammakka , Devendra’s Wife
- Sathish Acharya as Tabara , Leela’s Father
- Pushparaj Bollar as Garnall Abbu
- Raghu Pandeshwar as Raghu, Forest Officer
- Mime Ramdas as Naaru
- Basuma Kodagu as Guruva’s father
- Ranjan Saju as Lacchu
- Rajeev Shetty as Rajeev Bhandari
- Atish Shetty as Devendra’s specially-abled son
- Radhakrishna Kumbale as a native resident
- Naveen Bondel as Demigod Interpreter
- Shine Shetty as Devendra’s father
- Vinay Biddappa as the King
- Pragathi Rishab Shetty as the King’s wife
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