"Believing in yourself is not a religion ... it's a way of life!" If a man who walked the earth in the year 500 BCE had the vision to say something that remains so relevant in the year 2013, it is no wonder, then, that he is counted amongst the most important personalities to have been born in the recorded history of India - Buddha!
We have all read about Buddha at one point or the other. Yet, so much remains to be explored about this powerful, magnetic thought leader who woke up to the 'Ultimate Truth' under the Bodhi Tree.
For instance, did you know that it was Prince Siddharth who pioneered elephant warfare in his time? Do any of us even know what he was like, as a child? What were the influences that shaped his thinking as a youth?
We know the leader and his school of thought, but little do we know about the beautiful person within.
Presenting Siddhartha's illustrious journey of being born in the lap of luxury as a prince to his growing years to denouncing his throne and living the life of an ascetic to attaining 'The Awakening' is Zee TV's next historical magnum opus 'Buddha' produced by Spice Studios.
Starting Sept 8, Sunday mornings will never be the same again as 'Buddha' will air at 11 am on Zee TV.
Told in 52 gripping episodes, this series will be an entertaining action drama that showcases the unexplored life of Buddha as Siddharth.
The show has an international appeal with its grand scale, opulent sets at the Film City spread over a sprawling 5 acre plot, an impressive cast with renowned names like Kabir Bedi, Samir Dharmadhikari, Nigaar Khan, state-of-the-art 3D graphics used to re-create the look and feel of a bygone era, well-researched costumes bought out of Jodhpur and Jaipur and customized jewellery sourced from Patna that bring alive the majestic lifestyles of the royal family of Kapilavastu.
Subhash Chandra, Chairman of ZEEL and Essel Group, said, "We have been working with many researchers and experts on the subject. Buddha is shown as one who has great compassion, is completely impartial, and embraces all living beings without discrimination."
Amongst the cast, veteran actor Kabir Bedi will be seen making a comeback to acting after a long hiatus.
Kabir has an important role to play in this epic drama.
"I am playing a sage who foresees the coming of the Buddha." says Kabir.
Very few people know that the actor has a karmic connection with Buddhism.
His mother has spent 15 years as a Buddhist nun in Tibet.
Kabir himself has lived a life of a monk for a year in Burma.
He feels a deep connection with the role and gave an instant nod when approached for it.
The handsome Samir Dharmadhikari, most remembered for his portrayal of King Gagadhar Rao, the husband of 'Jhansi Ki Rani', will play the righteous King Suddhodana, father of Prince Siddhartha.
Nigaar Khan will dazzle as always in the negative role of Mangala, the vicious and cunning aunt of Prince Siddhartha.
Actors Deepika Upadhyay, Gungun Uprari and Siddhartha Vasudev will play the roles of Queen Mahamaya, Queen Prajapati and Dronadhan respectively.