The movie was released in Sri Lanka in March 2014 and will screen again in theaters from May 15 in view of Vesak.
This is an extraordinary tale of over 2600 years ago, of a Prince who is endowed with everything he needs and more. Luxury, palaces and all heart’s desires, are provided to him by his father, a warrior King of the kingdom of Shakya. The story unfolds dramatically with the Prince leaving all his luxuries and possessions as well as his newborn son and loving wife, caring parents, to an unknown journey of finding the end to human sorrow and suffering.
The Prince, born auspiciously, is named Siddhartha, meaning; the one who fulfills his aim. Brahmins and Seers predict the Prince to be a Universal Monarch; yet highly respected Sage Asita and Brahmin Kondanna predict firmly, to the King’s disappointment, that the Prince will leave all his worldly possessions and attain enlightenment.
At a tender age, the Prince is enticed into marriage, with beautiful Princess Yashodhara; in spite of the Prince giving a list of qualities which are almost impossible to find as his perfect match. King Suddhodhana strategically appoints the Prince as Yuvraj (deputy to the King), to further tie him down to worldly life. Prince Siddhartha and Princess Yashodhara fall deeply in love and enjoy life happily for several years. In spite of this bond, Siddhartha is in search for the truth which he finds difficult to discover within the luxury of the palace walls.
During brief tours of duty around the kingdom, he witnesses the life of commoners and is confronted with the harsh reality of life. He decides to leave his kingdom to seek the truth. After fulfilling his dear wife’s wish of having a child as to keep her from loneliness, Siddhartha leaves the palace into the unknown, to become an ascetic. Deep in the wilderness away from all royal comforts, Ascetic Siddhartha goes through many challenges in his search. He elevates his intellect with the interaction with Sages and Brahmins during his spiritual journey, but is unable to reach his goal of finding the end to human suffering. Having experienced austerities, his near-death experience makes him realize that the extremes are not the answer to his quest.
Ultimately, discovering that the middle path is the only way to end worldly suffering, Ascetic Siddhartha attains supreme enlightenment, becoming the Buddha.
The movie received five of the eight awards presented at 2014 UN International Vesak Buddhist Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam including the Best Featured movie, Best Actor award, Best Director award, Best Editor award and Best Music award.