Neeraj Pandey-Manoj Bajpayee return with Secrets franchise, Secrets of the Buddha Relics

Secrets of the Buddha Relics is a look at lesser-known facts about Gautam Buddha. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

Gautam Buddha’s eternal wisdom has resonated with countless generations, transcending the boundaries of time and echoing through the ages. However, what remains to be told are ancient legends surrounding the final days of Gautam Buddha and relics that surround the very centre of Buddhism.

Unraveling the history around the relics, Warner Bros. Discovery returns with the third edition of the Secrets franchise, Secrets of the Buddha Relics, releasing on January 22nd on Discovery Plus and on February 26 on Discovery Channel. Created by Neeraj Pandey of Friday Storytellers and hosted by National Award-winner and Padma Shri-awardee Manoj Bajpayee, the documentary will acquaint viewers with the historical and cultural significance of Buddha’s relics.

Speaking about Secrets of the Buddha Relics, Manoj Bajpayee said, “I am thrilled to continue my ongoing collaboration with Warner Bros. Discovery for the Secrets franchise. Working alongside Neeraj Pandey is always a rewarding experience with insightful takeaways that contribute to shaping the documentary. The documentary promises to transport viewers to the time of the Buddha, delving into the historical period that witnessed his life and teachings. It aims to connect audiences with profound stories that have played a pivotal role in shaping our spiritual heritage.”

Created by showrunner Neeraj Pandey, the documentary traces the origins, cultural significance and mystical stories behind these relics, exploring their spread worldwide and the role they play in making Buddhism the world’s fourth-largest faith. Delving into the types of relics and their classification, the documentary combines historical and mythological narratives to provide a comprehensive understanding of their role in Buddhism.

Sai Abishek, Head of Factual & Lifestyle Cluster, South Asia, Warner Bros. Discovery said, “As we continue to pioneer the history genre at Warner Bros. Discovery, the Secrets franchise remains a sought-after and successful series. In the third edition, we delve into lesser-known facets of the relics, offering insights into their contemporary significance. Our ongoing collaboration with Neeraj Pandey and Manoj Bajpayee, both pioneer storytellers, reflects our commitment to delivering compelling narratives. The success of the franchise has revealed tremendous potential, prompting us to expand our history genre on the platform and provide compelling and engaging stories to our viewers.”

The documentary will showcase insights from a diverse panel of experts, including scholars, practitioners of Buddhism, historians and archaeologists. Renowned spokespersons such as filmmaker Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi (Padma Shri awardee), Dr. B. R. Mani (Director of General National Museum, New Delhi), Dr. Tishyarakshita Bhargav (Senior Research Asst., Anthropology Dept., SSP University, Pune), Dr. Gurbaksh Singh (Ex-Researcher, International Buddhist Exchange Center), Tarit Kanti Roy (Governing Body Member, Maha Bodhi Society of India, Kolkata), Dr. Halle O’Neal (Co-director, Edinburgh Buddhist Studies, University of Edinburgh, Scotland), and Dr. Anil Kumar (Head, Ancient Indian History Culture and Archaeology Visva Bharati, Shantiniketan) will contribute their insights to unfold the narrative. With captivating storytelling and creative treatment, the documentary is poised to leave a lasting impact on viewers.

Director Raghav Jairath reflects, “Through extensive research, we uncovered intriguing facets of Gautam Buddha’s life, sparking questions about his last day, the purpose behind the relics, how his followers connected with the relics and the profound impact of his teachings. Supported by our research team, subject experts, and Neeraj-sir’s vision, we delved deep into the historical and cultural significance of Buddha’s relics, finding answers to many queries.”

“The success of the first two Secrets installments inspired us to explore Buddhism’s spiritual and cultural dimensions further. Our ongoing collaboration with Warner Bros. Discovery allows us to tell stories that are bigger, better and bolder. Working with Manoj-sir has been a pleasure, as he elevates the storytelling with his remarkable expertise,” Raghav added.

In 2021, the first of the series, Secrets of Sinauli was released. In the following year, Secrets of the Kohinoor was also out. The first traced the history of Hindu civilization even before Mohenjo-Daro, while the latter story documented the lesser-known facts about the Kohi-i-noor Diamond.




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