Prem Sanyas (The Light of Asia)
Seeta Devi as Gopa in Prem Sanyas (The Light of Asia) 1925.jpg
Seeta Devi as Gopa in Prem Sanyas (The Light of Asia) 1925
Directed by Franz Osten
Himansu Rai
Produced by Great Eastern Film Corporation
Münchner Lichtspielkunst AG
Written by Edwin Arnold (story)
Niranjan Pal (screenplay)
Starring Seeta Devi
Himansu Rai
Sarada Ukil
Music by Hansheinrich Dransmann
Cinematography Willi Kiermeier
and Josef Wirsching.
Distributed by Münchner Lichtspielkunst AG
Great Eastern Film Corporation
Release date(s) 22 October 1925 (Germany)
5 July 2001 (restored version)
Running time 97 min
Country Germany & India

Prem Sanyas (The Light of Asia) (Die Leuchte Asiens in German) is a 1925 silent film, directed by Franz Osten and Himansu Rai. It was adapted from the book, The Light of Asia (1879) in verse, by Edwin Arnold, based on the life of Prince Gautama Buddha, who after enlightenment became the Buddha, the learned one..


The film had Indo-European co-production,[1] with German technicians and Indian actors, and managed to steer clear of usual exotic depiction Indian culture by western film makers till then. It was made with the cooperation of the Maharajah of Jaipur and a cast of thousands, it was shot in Lahore, Pakistan, where the set decoration by Devika Rani, wife of Himanshu Rai, and a noted actress. The film was released in the USA by Film Arts Guild on 11 May 1928.


A tale from India about the origin of the Buddha. Prem Sanyas depicts the story of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the man who became the Buddha, portrayed by Himansu Rai, who journeys from privilege and seclusion to awareness of the inevitability of life's suffering, renouncing his kingdom to seek enlightenment.

Restoration and release

The film was restored by the 'European cultural channel Arte', and released in 2001.[2]



  1. Overview New York Times.
  2. ‘A Throw of Dice’ and Summer Serials New York Times, 15 July 2008.

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Prem Sanyas. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.