The Lion King

Disney’s movie The Lion King is a child’s movie. Although it is an animated “family” film that teaches children conduct, morality, and societal codes it also has subliminal messages that can relate to theme based on religion and rituals. Those who have not seen the movie, it’s about a Lion family.

The Lion father is the king of the village Mufasa, gave birth to a son “Simba”. In Simba’s youth, Simba had dreams of becoming the king of the village. Simba spoke to Mufasa’s brother, Scar who envied Mufasa. Scar told Simba he will fulfill Simba’s wish.  Mufasa  then was murdered by scar. Throughout  Simba’s youth, Scar led him to believe that he murdered his father, but in all actuality Scar murdered Mufasa to become king himself. Simba left the village, years later Simba came back to the village and realized that Scar lied to him. The village kills scar and Simba becomes the King.

The opening scene to “The Lion King”, Simba is introduced to society.

During Simba’s birth, Rafiki (primate) cracks open the fruit and places it on Simba’s head. That practice/ritual is similarly used in the Hindu Community. It is also popular throughout India. The ritual of breaking the coconut takes less than a few minutes. Children at very young ages watch the ritual.

According to an article “The Hindu Ritual of Breaking The Coconut”, the hardest coconut is used with the water inside.  In order to break the coconut, it is broken on a slab of stone. Coincidentally, The Lion family, and the ritual takes place on stone.

The significance of the coconut ritual is to humble yourself before ”god”  Coconuts are also broken during normal worship for the same purpose. Usually the village attends this ritual for support.

The song, “Circle of Life” is a representation of the Hindu Caste System.After the coconut was placed on Simba’s head,  Hindu’s place markings on one’s head to distinguish the caste system, the color also have important symbolism, which is considered to be a blessing.

The representation of nature and animals is sacred. The animals are to produce food oxygen clothing etc… again part of  “The circle of life.”

Below is an actual example of  “The Coconut Ritual”

Continuing the notion of the ritual; Simba’s birth, Rafiki introduces Simba to society. Rafiki is considered to be the enlightened one. As Rafiki walks through the path of villagers, the path is lit, which again is symbolism of “god” shining light. As Rafiki continues the ritual, Rafiki lifts Simba and presents him to the village and  gods, while the sun is lit upon him.

During Hinduism Rituals, welcoming a honored guest, or saint there is singing, clapping etc. is apart of the ritual. Int he movie, the animals/ villagers were excited to see Simba.

Towards the end of the movie,  Mufasa was murdered by Scar. The question is who will take the place as the “King”?

This scene starts off Rafiki meditating doing yoga. In the Hinduism belief,yoga is a practice of freedom of the flesh in fulfillment of knowledge. Yoga is used for self control, religious observance, meditation, posture.

After Rafiki meditated, he taught Simba his role in society as well as a religious like observance because Rafiki was able to contact Mufasa.

Based on  Hindu’s belief in reincarnation, Mufasa lived in Simba after he died.

The verdict is out. What is the Lion King actually teaching?

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2 Responses to “The Lion King”

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    Religion and Popular Culture » Blog Archive » The Lion King

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    Religion and Popular Culture » Blog Archive » The Lion King

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