The Buddhist Monk

Inspired by true events, this is the story of one man’s personal battle between right and wrong, his devotion to his country and his love for his wife, until their lives are forever changed after the British use him to steal Sacred Scriptures from the Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace in Tibet.

In the 1940’s, while India struggled to gain independence from the British Empire and Queen Victoria’s rule, the British created a secret group known as the Pandits. Their objective was to carry out secret missions to gather information, influence people and organized crime.

When they get to the city to seek medical help for Aruna, Nain is fortunate to get a job in a library and print shop. All is well until the British send agents to relay an order from the ‘White Sahib’ that they want Nain to go to Tibet, sneak into the Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace and steal ancient Tibetan Scriptures because the British know Nain has a deep knowledge of Buddhism and want to use him as their agent to get inside the Palace.

Dressed as a Buddhist Monk, Nain sneaks into the Potala Palace, steals the Scriptures and flees from the Palace with the Palace Guards in pursuit right behind him.

Nain reaches his final destination and hands the Scrolls to a British Agent, leaving those who had helped him deal with their own dire consequences.

Filmed on location in Leh, Ladakh (Kashmir), bordering Tibet, and in Pataudi, Haryana, located near Delhi, India.

  • Rattan Mann
  • Usha Singh
  • Rattan Mann
  • Rattan Mann
  • Rajeshwar Mann
  • Madhu Kandhari
    Key Cast
    Mrs. Scooter
  • Shantanu Arora
    Key Cast
  • Nayana Sagar
    Key Cast
  • Kavita Seth
    Key Cast
  • Shivansh Dutt
    Key Cast
  • Abbas Haider
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Bodh Bhikshu
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Adventure, Historical, Drama
  • Runtime:
    2 hours 10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 2, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    200,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Rattan Mann, Usha Singh

At 70 years of age, Rattan Mann is an accomplished Indian mathematician, physicist, author, scriptwriter, and film producer. With a MSc. in physics, and two BSc. in electronics and physics, he spends much of his time developing new ideas in the various fields of his interests.

Rattan has written 6 short stories and 3 books including a novel, The Prime Minister, and an autobiography, Silence with the Storm. He has also written another film script, The Cricket Math.

The Buddhist Monk is his first film, which was realized in 1968, written in 1978 and finally produced by Rattan Mann Films in 2015, by the combined effort of the Mann family who pulled everything together to make this meaningful film about a part of India’s history.

Rattan lives in Oslo, Norway.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The Idea.

“I have always been interested in many things, including Buddhism. In 1968, when I was a young man in my 20s, I did some deep study of Buddhism at the Delhi University library. There I came across a book in which I found that during the British Raj, a clerk from Kolkata was sent to Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace in Tibet to steal some secret scriptures.”

“No date was given, but this intrigued me, and it remained stuck in my mind. After about 10 years, I wrote the script for a possible film in 1978. After that I tried (to make a film), but it is very hard for newcomers to do anything. Now after the help and push of my own family, I (finally) made it. I directed it and also wrote the dialogues.”