30 November 2009

A mystery to be honored

The lines for Kali River Rapids in Disney’s Animal Kingdom are not what they once were, and more often than not many of the queue rooms are bypassed. The beautiful visuals, culture, and history presented inside is also overlooked as a casualty. Included in these quickly passed through sections is a small temple showcasing some of the oldest and greatest morality tales on record.The Jataka Tales, dating back to 3000 B.C., were created to instill the reader with a sense of enjoyment found from reading but also to leave the reader with a bit of guidance as to how their lives should be lived. Both of these traits can be found in morality tales throughout the world. This set of stories, which number over five-hundred, form an important piece in the fabric of Buddhist literature. The tales present Buddha in various previous incarnations, both in animal or human forms.The small temple found along the road to Kali River Rapids obviously does not have the room include all five-hundred and forty-seven stories in the temple’s design. However, eight of the Jataka Tales are presented along the two tiered ceiling of the building. The eight morality tales presented each give a snapshot of their story, the name, and a synopsis of the parable.

Below are the Jataka Tales as they are presented in Kali River Rapids queue.

The Swan with the Golden FeatherA father returns as a swan whose gift is a golden feather each day.

The Banyan DeerOne deer is offered each day to stop the slaughter of the hunt. The King of the deer sacrifices himself, and his compassion teachers the human King to care for all living things.

The Monkey KingA ruler desires the fruit from the monkey’s tree.

The Fearless Lion and the Brave ElephantThe lion and the elephant hear the frightened cries of the merchants. Bravery kills the great beasts, their compassion a mystery to be honored forever.

The Tortoise and the GeeseThe tortoise must close his mouth for the geese to carry him.

The Jackal and the IguanaThe iguana teases the jackal, for only the foolish pretend to be kings.

The Hare’s SacrificeThe compassionate hare offers himself so a beggar can eat.

The Monkey and the CrocodileThe Hungry crocodile tries to catch the monkey by offering to take him across the river.

1 comment:

Princess Fee said...

How fascinating! I will be honest and admit that I have never noticed this before...but I am going to make a note to look this out next time I visit, as I imagine it is just as beautiful and intricate as the photos show. Thank you, Ryan!