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Walking in Wat Pho next to the Royal Palace in Bangkok I came across this rather small statue and was quiet excited about it.

This statue is a so called 'Kinara':
Kinara are a pair of Buddhist mythological characters, half human and half bird. While Kinaree is half woman and half-bird, Kinnorn is half man, half bird. Both are believed to be celestial beings that spread goodness through music, and they are also beloved symbols in Thailand. The most popular type of Kinara are the ones bird's wings and legs. The virtues of these spirits are love and royalty .



In one of the Thai Literatures, these creatures have wings that allow them to fly. When they bathe, they remove their wings, and if they are stolen, they will be forced to live as a normal human being and never fly again. There was once a hunter who caught a pair of kinara (kinaree and Kinnorn) alive in the Himavanta forest. The hunter took them to the king, who asked why he had brought them. The hunter answered that kinara have two interesting qualities: they have sublime voices, so if you can get them to sing they are able to do so more beautifully than people. The second interesting point is that kinara dance wonderfully, much more beautifully than people. The king commanded them to sing and dance, but they just stood there looking at the king. The king saw that the kinara would neither sing nor dance, then he ordered his minister to have them roasted for dinner. The female kinara, Kinaree finally spoke up:

"The reason that we do not dance is not because we can't and that we do not sing is not because we are afraid of losing our voices. In fact, we would really like to sing and dance because we are sure that we do so more beautifully than any human being. The reason why we do not sing is because nearly all the songs known to man are just idle chatter. If we were to sing such songs, then we would not be following the belief of Right Speech."

Because they were afraid of doing anything bad was the reason why they did not sing for the king. The reason why they do not dance was that such dancing would only cause His Majesty to be sensually aroused which again was a source of evil. To sing and dance would be harmful to themselves and harmful to His Majesty, and they, therefore, would both fall into hell as a result. The king was then pleased by what he heard. He said, "This is indeed an artful thing that has been said.These words were true, polite and said at the right time, with the right intention. Then again, what the two kinara had said also qualifies as artful speech'' The king therefore, released the both of them, and had the hunter take them back to where they had been caught, together with a golden ornament fitting for a couple able to speak artful speech. "

[Taken from: http://www.geocities.com/thaimythicalbeings/kinaree.htm]


Big THX to plahgat

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