Jai Santoshi Maa (1975) Poster

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A Hindi film in praise of the goddess Santoshi
jedi95312 September 2006
This was one of my favorite films during my childhood. Even today I can't watch it without being moved to tears. It's a lovely film about devotion and faith winning over malice and jealousy.

The Director also made the film Gopal Krishna which was another of my favorites. I just wish that films like these two were made today as well, instead of the meaningless rubbish that makes up so much of Hindi cinema these days.

Jai Santoshi Maa is worth watching to understand more about real Indian culture and ideals, as well as the enjoyment factor that comes from good acting, good script, good music (very good music) and a beautiful script. It's wonderful.
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Heart Warming and Hope Giving
rnsharma29 October 2002
I am not that big on religious films, but this is one of two Hindi films dealing with Hindu deities that are well-done, tasteful, and inspirational in the way devotional films should be (the other film being Gopal Krishna.) Hinduism recognizes three separate "paths" or "connections" between the mortal world and the immortal. The most modern of these (a youthful 2,500 years old) is called 'bhakti' or devotion, where devotees maintain a personal and spiritual connection to a god/goddess, or several.

Jai Santoshi Maa demonstrates this 'bhakti' element in modern Hindu life quite well. Essentially, it is the story of a young woman, Satyavati ("she who possesses the truth" in Sanskrit) who meets the obstacles of life through her devotion and faith in the goddess Santoshi (the goddess of domestic contentment.) The songs are beautifully done, and at the end of the movie, I think everyone will feel warm-at-heart, whether Hindu or not.

As a note, though, Santoshi as a goddess is a rather late-comer. Her existence in the textual record dates to the Hindu medieval period (between 100 CE and 1500 CE), but it was this film, in fact, that gave her a definitive place in the Hindu pantheon on a global level.

If you do not know Hindi, watching may be difficult as much of the content is language- and culture-specific, and translation, unfortunately, cannot overcome those gaps.
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