Book Review: The Banyan Deer
“The Banyan Deer : A Parable Of Courage & Compassion”
Written by Rafe Martin
Published by Wisdom Publications
“So you would actually risk your safety and that of your herd, for this other herd, though they are none of your own?”
“I would, Great King,” said the Banyan Deer. “I shall.”
“The Banyan Deer” is one of the Jataka Tales, a collection of stories believed to be about the Buddha’s previous births. It is a story of compassionate action, not of self preservation, a story we as Buddhist practitioners should be emulating.
The story is truly inspiring. “The Banyan Deer”, faced with moral decision after moral decision takes the path of self sacrifice for his fellow animals. Whether they are a four legged animal, one with wings and feathers, or one beneath the sea, the Banyan Deer’s compassion does not see a difference.
Not only is this a beautiful story, but the illustration by Richard Wehrman is just as moving. Very graphical and telling of the story. I’ve never spoken of binding and such in a book, but having worked on the printing industry for a bit, this book is a gem all over.
I cannot wait to read this to my son’s at bedtime. But don’t get me wrong, this is a book worthy to read at any age. Beautiful, moving and thought provoking, the Banyan Deer is a fabulous book inside and out.