Images of the Journey to the West - by Chen Huiguan
The Divine Root Conceives and the Spring Breaks Forth,
As the Heart's Nature Is Cultivated, the Great Way Arises
The Divine Root Conceives and the Spring Breaks Forth
As the Heart's Nature Is Cultivated, the Great Way Arises
Before Chaos was divided, Heaven and Earth were one;
All was a shapeless blur, and no men had appeared.
Once Pan Gu destroyed the Enormous Vagueness
The separation of clear and impure began.
There was once a magic stone on the top of a mountain. Ever since Creation began it has been receiving the truth of Heaven, the beauty of Earth, the essence of the Sun and the splendor of the Moon; and as it has been influenced by them for so long it has miraculous powers. It develops a magic womb, which bursts open one day to produce a stone egg about the size of a ball. When the wind blows on this egg it turns into a stone monkey, complete with the five senses and four limbs. On his mountain the monkey is soon able to run and jump, and he makes friends with other monkeys and apes. One day after bathing, they discover a waterfall suspended like a curtain. One monkey makes a suggestion: “If anyone is clever enough to go through the fall, find the source, and come out in one piece, let's make him our king.” The stone monkey leaps out from the crowd and answers at the top of his voice, “I'll go, I'll go.” Splendid Monkey leaps straight into the waterfall. After a while he comes out again, and tells the other monkeys to follow him. After they have all entered the cave, he says: “Gentlemen, A man who breaks his word is worthless. Just now you said that if anyone was clever enough to come in here and get out again in one piece, you'd make him king. Well, then. I've come in and gone out, and gone out and come in. I've found you gentlemen a cave heaven where you can sleep in peace and all settle down to live in bliss. Why haven't you made me king?” On hearing this all the monkeys bow and prostrate themselves, not daring to disobey. They line up in groups in order of age and pay their homage as at court, all acclaiming him as the “Great King of a Thousand Years.” The stone monkey then takes the throne, makes the word “stone” taboo, and calls himself Handsome Monkey King.
The Monkey King and other monkeys have an enjoyable life but one day the Monkey King says: “Although I'm happy now, I'm worried about the future. That's what's getting me down. The time will come when we are old and weak, and the underworld is controlled by the King of Hell. When the time comes for us to die, we won't be able to go on living among the Blessed, and our lives will have been in vain.” A gibbon jumps out from their ranks and shrieks in a piercing voice, “If Your Majesty is thinking so far ahead, this is the beginning of enlightenment. The Buddhas, the Immortals and the Sages are free from the Wheel of Reincarnation. They are not born and they do not die. They are as eternal as Heaven and Earth, as the mountains and the rivers.” “Where do they live?” the Monkey King asks. “Only in the human world,” the ape replies, “in ancient caves on magic mountains.” The Monkey King is delighted to hear this. “I shall leave you all tomorrow,” he says, “and go down the mountain. The next day he leaves his friends in search for a teacher.
He Becomes Aware of the Wonderful Truth of Enlightenment,
By Killing the Demon He Realizes His Spirit-Nature
After a ten-year search, Monkey finds a teacher who gives him the name `Sun Wukong`, which means `Monkey Awakened to Emptiness'. Monkey studies language and deportment under his spiritual elder brothers, expounds the scriptures, discusses the Way, practices calligraphy, and burns incense. Thus six or seven years slip by without his noticing them. One day the Patriarch takes his seat on the dais, calls all the Immortals together, and begins to explain the Great Way. Monkey learns spells, magic and a somersault with which he can cover one hundred eight thousand miles from his teacher.
True spells, revealing secrets and all powerful,
Are the only sure way of protecting one's life.
Grasp all the Five Elements and turn them upside down,
And when you are successful you can become a Buddha, or an Immortal.
On a day when spring is giving way to summer, and all the students are sitting under some pine trees listening to lectures for a long time, they say, “Sun Wukong, in what life did you earn your present destiny? The other day our teacher whispers to you how to do the transformations to avoid the Three Disasters. Can you do them all yet?” “It's true, brothers,” says Sun Wukong with a grin, “I can do them all.” “This would be a good time for you to give us a demonstration.” At this suggestion Sun Wukong braces his spirit to show off his skill. “What's it to be, brothers? Tell me what you'd like me to turn myself into.” “Turn into a pine tree,” they all say. Sun Wukong clenches his fist, says the magic words, shakes himself, and changes into a pine tree. When the students see it they clap their hands and chuckle aloud, saying, “Good old monkey, good old monkey.” They do not realize that the row they are making disturbs the Patriarch, who rushes out through the door, dragging his stick behind him. “Who's making a row out here?” he asks. The students hurriedly pull themselves together, straighten their clothes and go over to him. Sun Wukong, who has now resumed his real appearance, says from the forest, “Master, we were holding a discussion here, and there were no outsiders making a din.” “Yelling and shouting like that,” the Patriarch angrily roars, “is no way for those cultivating their conduct to behave. If you are cultivating your conduct, the subtle vapors escape when you open your mouth, and when you wag your tongue, trouble starts. What was all the laughing and shouting about?” “Just now Sun Wukong did a transformation for fun. We told him to turn himself into a pine tree, and he did. We all praised and applauded him, which was why we disturbed you with the noise, master. We beg you to forgive us.” The Patriarch sends them all away except for Sun Wukong, to whom he says, “Come here. Is that a way to use your spirit? To change into a pine tree? Is this a skill you should be showing off in front of people? If you saw somebody else doing that, wouldn't you ask him to teach you? If other people see you doing it, they're bound to ask you to teach them, and if you want to keep out of trouble you'll have to do so; otherwise they may do you harm, and then your life will be in danger. ”Sun Wukong kowtows and says, “Please forgive me, master.” “I shan't punish you,” the Patriarch replies, “but you'll have to go.” Sun Wukong's eyes fills with tears. “Master, where am I to go?” “Go back to where you came from.” Sun Wukong has a sudden awakening, and he says, “I came from the Water Curtain Cave on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit in the country of Aolai in the Eastern Continent of Superior Body. " “If you hurry back there,” the Patriarch replies, “you will be able to preserve your life. If you stay here it will be absolutely impossible to do so.” Sun Wukong accepts his punishment.
Wukong goes back to the water curtain cave to live with the other monkeys again. Because a monster had been making life difficult for them, Wukong goes to fight him. He pulls out one of his hairs, pops it in his mouth, chews it up, and blows it out into the air, shouting, “Change!” It turns into two or three hundred little monkeys, who all crowd aroung him. Sun Wukong now has an immortal body, and there is no magic transformation of which he is not capable. Since he has followed the Way he can change each of the eighty-four thousand hairs on his body into anything he wants. The little monkeys are too quick and nimble for sword or spear. Look at them, leaping forwards and jumping backwards, rushing up and surrounding the demon king, grabbing him, seizing him, poking him in the backside, pulling at his feet, punching him, kicking him, tearing his hair out, scratching at his eyes, twisting his nose, all picking him up together and throwing him to the ground. They go on until they have beaten him to a pulp. Sun Wukong snatches his sword from him, tells the little monkeys to get out of the way, and brings it down on the crown of his head, splitting it into two. “Where did you learn such arts, Your Majesty?” the monkeys ask insistently. “When I left you,” Sun Wukong replies, “I followed the waves and the currents, and drifted across the Eastern Ocean to the Southern Jambu Continent. Here I taught myself to take human form and to wear these clothes and boots. I swaggered around for eight or nine years, but I never found the Way, so I sailed across the Western Ocean to the Western Continent of Cattle-gift. After long enquiries I was lucky enough to meet a venerable Immortal, who taught me the True Result, which makes me as immortal as heaven, and the great Dharma Gate to eternal youth.”
The Four Seas and Thousand Mountains All Submit,
In the Ninth Hell the Tenth Category Is Struck Off the Register
Monkey is worried about attacks by some human monarch or king of birds or beasts, so he procures weapons for the monkeys. Monkey decides he needs a weapon himself and visits Ao Guang, the Old Dragon King of the Eastern Sea and ask him for a weapon. Not wishing to refuse this request, the Dragon King shows him several weapons, but Monkey doesn`t like them saying, “They`re too light, far too light; and they don't suit me. I beg you to give me another.” The Dragon King gives him another weapon which weighs three thousand six hundred pounds, but it is still not good enought for Monkey. The Dragon King, now really terrified, says, “Exalted Immortal, I really have nothing else.” As he was speaking, his dragon wife and dragon daughters come in from the back of the palace and say, “Your Majesty, by the look of him this sage must be really somebody. The piece of miraculous iron that anchors the Milkey Way in place has been shining with a lovely rosy glow for the last few days, and creating a most auspicious atmosphere. Perhaps it has started to shine to greet this sage.” The Dragon King takes Monkey into the middle of the sea treasury, where all of a sudden they could see ten thousand rays of golden light. Pointing at it, the Dragon King says, “That's it, where all the light is coming from.” Sun Wukong hitches up his clothes and goes to give it a feel. He finds that it is an iron pillar about as thick as a measure for a peck of grain and some twenty feet long. Seizing it with both hands he says, “It's too thick and too long. If it were a bit shorter and thinner it would do.” As soon as these words are out of his mouth this precious piece of iron becomes several feet shorter and a few inches thinner. Sun Wukong tosses it in his hands, remarking that it would be even better if it were thinner still. The precious iron thereupon becomes even thinner. Sun Wukong is taking it out of the sea treasury to have a look at it when he sees that it had two gold bands round it, while the middle part is made of black iron. There is a line of inlaid writing near the bands which says that it is the AS-YOU-WILL COLD-BANDED CUDGEL: WEIGHT 13,500 POUNDS. Monkey takes the weapon and shows it to the other monkeys. He clasps his `As You Will Cudgel` and uses heaven and earth magic to become as tall as a mountain.
One day the Handsome Monkey King has a dream. In the dream, Monkey`s soul is taken to the Underworld the Underworld by two fetchers of the dead because his life in the world above is due to end. The Monkey King loses his temper and smashes the two fetchers of the dead to pulp. Since he has cultivated the Way of Immortality and will live as long as Heaven he is no longer under their control, so he tells the Ten Kings of Hell to show him the Register of Life and crosses out his name from the Register of Life and Death. Some time later Ao Guang, the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea visits the Supreme Heavenly Sage the Jade Emperor in Heaven and complains that recently one Sun Wukong, bullied him and occupied his watery house by force. The Jade Emperor also receives a memo from one of the ministers of the Underworld that the Heaven-born Monkey of the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit killed the devil messengers of the Ninth Hell with his magic, and terrified the Ten Benevolent Kings of the Underworld with his power.
Dissatisfied at Being Appointed Protector of the Horses,
Not Content with the Title of Equal of Heaven
It is decided that Monkey is to be invited to Heaven to be given office as an Immortal to keep him from further misdeeds. Monkey is made Protector of the Horses, but after finding out it is a bottom grade job, Monkey feels insulted, leaves Heaven and returns to the Mountain of Flower and Fruit. The monkeys ask him what office he held. “It hurts me to tell you,” replies the Monkey King with a wave of his hand. “I feel thoroughly humiliated. That Jade Emperor doesn't know how to use a good man. A man like me—'Protector of the Horses'. “Your Majesty has such miraculous powers: you should never have been feeding his horses for him. You should have been made a 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven,' shouldn't you?” The Monkey King is beside himself with delight at this suggestion and keeps saying how splendid it is. “Get me a banner made at once with the words 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven' in big letters on it, and put up a pole to hang it from,” he orders. “From now on I am to be called 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven,' not 'Your Majesty' or 'King'. Pass this order on to all the other kings of the monsters.” The Jade Emperor is told that Sun Wukong, the new Protector of the Horses, has left Heaven because he thought his office was too humble. On hearing this the Jade Emperor commands, “ we shall send heavenly soldiers to capture this devil.” He appoints the Pagoda-bearing Heavenly King as Demon quelling High Marshal, and Prince Nezha as Great God of the Seas. He tells them to take their forces down to the lower world at once. Heavenly King Li and Nezha kowtows, take their leave, go straight back to their own palace, and assemble their troops, commanders and officers. They put the Mighty Miracle God in charge of the vanguard, and General Fishbelly in command of the rear, while General Yaksa was made adjutant. Within an instant they are outside the Southern Gate of Heaven, and they go straight to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. They choose a piece of level and open ground on which to construct a fortified camp, and order the Mighty Miracle God to issue the challenge to battle. The Mighty Miracle God is no match for his opponent. He hastens to block the Monkey King's first blow with his axe, which brakes in two with a crunch. He flees for his life as fast as he can, and the Monkey King says mockingly, “You bag of pus, I'll spare you this time. Hurry back with my message, and look sharp about it.”
The Mighty Miracle God returns to his camp, goes straight to the Pagoda-bearing Heavenly King Li Jing, kneels before him, and says with an awkward laugh, “The Protector of the Horses has really tremendous magic powers. I was no match for him. He beat me, and now I have come to take my punishment.” “This fool has ruined our morale,” explodes the Heavenly King Li in a fury. “Take him away, and off with his head.” Prince Nezha, who is standing to one side, steps forward, bows, and says, “Do not be angry, Your Majesty. Forgive the Mighty Miracle God, and let me go and do battle; then we'll see who's boss.” The heavenly king accepts his advice, and tells Mighty Miracle God to go back and look after the camp while he awaits his punishment. When he has put on his armour and helmet, Prince Nezha charges straight out of the camp to the Water Curtain Cave. Sun Wukong, who was just going to pull back his troops, sees the ferocity of his onslaught. “Change,” yells Nezha in a passion, and at once he has three heads and six arms, which make him look most ferocious. In his hands he holds six weapons, a demon-beheading sword, a demon-hacking cutlass, a demon-binding rope, a demon-quelling pestle, an embroidered ball, and a fire-wheel—and wielding all these he rushes straight at Sun Wukong. At the sight of him Sun Wukong exclaims with astonishment, “Well, my boy, you certainly know a trick or two. But just behave yourself and watch what I can do.” Our dear Great Sage shouts “Change,” and he too has three heads and six arms. He shakes his gold-banded cudgel, and it turns into three cudgels, which he grips with his six hands to ward off Nezha's blows. It is a great fight, and it makes the earth shake and the mountains tremble. Nezha is in the middle of performing a spell when he hears the whistle of the cudgel through the air and twists away as fast as he could. But he is unable to avoid the blow and has to flee wounded. He brings his magic to an end, puts his six weapons away, reverts to his true appearance, and abandons the field of battle in defeat Prince Nezha reports to the Heavenly King Li Jing, “Father, the Protector of the Horses is very powerful. My magic was outclassed and he has wounded me in the shoulder. Outside the gates of the cave, there is a banner on a pole that reads 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven'. He bragged that if the Jade Emperor gave him this title he would call everything off; otherwise he said he would attack the Hall of Miraculous Mist.” “In that case,” said the Heavenly King, “we'll disengage now, go back to Heaven, and request that more heavenly troops be sent to capture this wretch. However, it is now decided that Monkey will be invited to Heaven again, in order to keep him from his wicked behavior, and can keep the title `the Great Sage Equaling Heaven`, which he gave himself. This time he will be given a high rank and salary.
After Chaos Among the Peaches the Great Sage Steals the Pills,
In the Revolt Against Heaven the Gods Capture the Demons
Since Monkey is idle and has nothing to do in Heaven, he is to administer the Peach Orchard. Anyone who eats of the peaches becomes an Immortal and understands the Way and one day Monkey tries some of the peaches. That same day, seven fairies come to pick peaches for the Queen Mother`s Peach Banquet and Monkey finds out that he is not invited. Feeling insulted, Monkey changes himself into the likeness of the Bare-foot Immortal who is invited to the banquet, and goes to Hall of Universal Brightness. The guest haven`t arrived yet and Monkey grabs rare delicacies and exotic foods and drinks from the vats and pots until he is completely drunk. He then goes to Lord Lao Zi's palace in the Tsushita Heaven and there eats up his five gourds of pills of immortality. Quickly becoming sober because of the pills, Monkey realizes the colossal disaster of what he has done, leaves Heaven, and goes straight down to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit.
The Jade Emperor, now furiously angry, orders the Four Great Heavenly Kings along with Heavenly King Li, and Prince Nezha to mobilize the Twenty-eight Constellations, the Nine Bright Shiners, the Twelve Gods of the Twelve Branches, the Revealers of the Truth of the Five Regions, the Four Duty Gods, the Constellations of the East and West, the Gods of the North and South, the Deities of the Five Mountains and the Four Rivers, the star ministers soldiers of all Heaven, and a total of a hundred thousand heavenly soldiers. They are to descend to the lower world with eighteen heaven-and-earth nets, surround the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, and capture that wretch for punishment. First the Nine Bright Shiners fight Monkey but have to flee from the battlefield, unable to defeat him. Heavenly King Li then sends the Four Heavenly Kings and the Twenty-eight Constellations into battle, but they are also forced to withdraw because the Monkey King is so ferocious.
Guanyin Comes to the Feast and Asks the Reason Why,
The Little Sage Uses His Might to Subdue the Great Sage
Guanyin sends down his senior disciple Prince Moksa to fight Monkey but after some fifty or sixty rounds, he can resist the Great Sage no longer and turns away and runs. Next the Illustrious Sage and True Lord Erlang are asked to fight Monkey but after fighting over three hundred rounds the outcome of the fight is still undecided. Erlang braces himself, and with a shake becomes ten thousand fathoms tall; in his hands his two-bladed trident look like the peaks of Mount Hua. His face is black, his fangs are long, and his hair is bright red: he looks ferociously evil. He hacks at the Great Sage's head. The Great Sage, also resorting to magic, gives himself a body as big as Erlang's and a face as frightening; and he raises his As-You-Will gold-banded cudgel, which is now like the pillar of Heaven on the summit of the Kunlun Mountain, to ward off Erlang's blow.
The Emperor, Lao Zi, the Queen Mother, Guanyin and all the immortal ministers are observing the fight from the Southern Gate of Heaven. The Bodhisattva addresses Lao Zi and asks, “What do you think of the god Erlang I recommended? He really does have divine powers. He's just got that Great Sage cornered, and all he has to do now is to catch him. I’ll give him a little help and drop my pure vase of willow twigs on the monkey's head. Even if it doesn't kill him it will knock him off balance and enable the Little Sage to catch him.” “That vase of yours is made of porcelain,” Lao Zi replies, “and if you hit the target that will be fine. But if it were to miss his head and smash into his iron club, it would be shattered. Just hold your hand while I give him a little help.” He pulls up his sleeve and takes a bracelet off his right arm. “This weapon,” he says, “is made of tempered steel to which I have added the magic elixir. It preserves my miraculous essence, can transform itself, is proof against fire and water, and can snare anything. One of its names is Diamond Jade and the other is Diamond Noose. Just watch while I throw it down and hit him.” Then Lao Zi throws his Diamond Jade bracelet from heaven to hit the Monkey. Monkey is too preoccupied with fighting, to notice the bracelet falling and it strikes him on the forehead. He loses his balance and is finally caught.
The Great Sage Escapes from the Eight Trigrams Furnace,
The Mind-Ape Is Fixed Beneath Five Elements Mountain
To the ape's immortal body is matched a human mind:
That the mind is an ape is deeply meaningful.
It was quite true that the Great Sage equaled Heaven:
The appointment as Protector of the Horse showed no discernment.
Horse and ape together make mind and thought;
Bind them tightly together, and do not seek elsewhere.
When all phenomena are reduced to truth they follow a single pattern;
Like the Tathagatha reaching nirvana under the two trees.
It is decided to put the Great Sage in Lao Zi`s Eight Trigrams Furnace, to refine out the elixir of the immortal pills that he stole and reduce him to ashes at the same time. After forty-nine, days Lord Lao Zi's fire has reached the required temperature and burned for long enough so the furnace is opened. Since Monkey is of the element fire himself, fire cannot harm him and he leaps out of the Furnace unharmed and escapes.
The Jade Emperor then asks Buddha to help subdue Monkey and Buddha has a wager with Monkey. If Monkey is clever enough to get out Buddha`s right hand with a single somersault, he is the winner, and there will be no more need for weapons or fighting and the Jade Emperor will abdicate the Heavenly Palace to Monkey. But if he cannot get out of the palm of his hand he will have to go down to the world below as a devil and train himself for several more kalpas before coming to argue about it again. Since Monkey can cover one hundred and eight thousand miles with a somersault he thinks that Buddha is a complete idiot to suggest the wager. The Buddha, who is watching him with his wise eyes, sees the Monkey King whirling forward like a windmill and not stopping until he sees five flesh-pink pillars topped by dark vapors. “This is the end of the road,” he says, “so now I'll go back. The Buddha will be witness, and the Hall of Miraculous Mist will be mine.” Then he thinks again, “Wait a moment. I'll leave my mark here to prove my case when I talk to the Buddha.” He writes THE GREAT SAGE EQUALING HEAVEN WAS HERE in big letters on the middle Pillar and makes a pool of monkey piss at the foot of the pillar. Then he turns his somersault round and goes back to where he has started from. “I went, and now I'm back. Tell the Jade Emperor to hand the Heavenly Palace over to me,” he says, standing in the Buddha's palm. “I've got you, you piss-spirit of a monkey,” roars the Buddha at him. “You never left the palm of my hand. ” “You're wrong there,” the Great Sage replies. “I went to the farthest point of Heaven, where I saw five flesh-pink pillars topped by dark vapors. I left my mark there: do you dare come and see it with me?” “There's no need to go. Just look down.” The Great Sage looks down with his fire eyes with golden pupils to see the words “The Great Sage Equaling Heaven Was Here” written on the middle finger of the Buddha's right hand. The stink of monkey-piss rose from the fold at the bottom of the finger. “What a thing to happen,” exclaims the Great Sage in astonishment. “I wrote this on one of the pillars supporting the sky, so how can it be on his finger now? He must have used divination to know what I was going to do. I don't believe it. I refuse to believe it! I'll go there and come back again.” The dear Great Sage hurriedly braces himself to jump, but the Buddha turns his hand over and pushes the Monkey King out through the Western Gate of Heaven. He turns his five fingers into a mountain chain belonging to the elements Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth, renames them the Five Elements Mountain, and gently held him down. Monkey will have to stay under the mountain for five hundred years as punishment.
Our Buddha Creates the Scriptures and Passes on Perfect Bliss,
Guanyin Obeys a Decree and Goes to Chang'an
The story continues with Buddha observing that in the Southern Jambu Continent the people are greedy and lecherous and delight in the sufferings of others; they go in for a great deal of killing and quarrelling. The continent can with truth be called a vicious field of tongues and mouths, an evil sea of disputation. Buddha has Three Stores of True Scriptures with which they can be persuaded to be good. Bodhisattva Guanyin volunteers to go to the East, choose a worthy believer and bid him to make the arduous crossing of a thousand mountain and ten thousand rivers to receive the Scriptures from Buddha. Buddha tells Guanyin:
“Give this cassock and staff to him who will come to fetch the scriptures: they are for him to use. If he is determined to come here, he can avoid the Wheel of Reincarnation by wearing this cassock,
and he will be free from evil if he carries this staff.”
If you try to ask about the dhyana
Or investigate the innumerable
You will waste your life and achieve nothing.
Polishing bricks to make mirrors,
Or piling up snow to turn it into grain— However many years have you wasted like that?
A hair can contain an ocean,
A mustard-seed can hold a mountain,
And the golden Kasyapa only smiles.
When you are awakened you will surpass the Ten Stages and the Three Vehicles,
And stop the four kinds of life and the six ways.
Buddha also tells Guanyin that if he meets any devils with great magic powers on his journey he should persuade them to reform and become the disciples of the pilgrim who will come to fetch the scriptures. Along the Journey to Chang`An Guan Yin encounters an ogre who is actually the Curtain Raising General, who was exiled to the lower world for accidentally smashed a crystal dish at a Peach Banquet. Guanyin converts him to truth, gives him the Buddhist name of Wujing (“Awakened to Purity") and tells him to wait for a pilgrim and accompany him on a journey to fetch the scriptures.
Guan Yin encounters another monster who used to be Marshal Tian Peng in the Milky Way and was exiled in the mortal world because he took some wine to seduce the moon maiden. Guanyin also converts Marshal Tian Peng to truth, gives him the Buddhist name of Zhu Wuneng (“Pig Awakened to Power") and tells him to wait for a pilgrim and accompany him on a journey to fetch the scriptures. Next Guanyin converts a wicked Dragon who is to turn into a white horse when a pilgrim comes on a journey to fetch the scriptures. Guanyin then meets the Great Sage who has been crushed under the Five Elements Mountain for almost five hundred years. Monkey agrees to accompany the man who will fetch the Scriptures and will be freed from under the mountain by the monk when he comes.
Chen Guangrui Comes to Grief on His Way to His Post,
The Monk of the River Current Avenges His Parents
At that time in Chang'an city, Emperor Taizong holds an examination in accordance with the practice of the ancients. All the Confucian scholars on the civil or military rolls in every prefecture, district and county who have distinguished themselves in the three-stage examinations for their understanding of literature are to go to Chang'an for a final test. Chen Guangrui achieves the highest grade in the exam and the emperor rewards him with an appointment as prefect of Jiangzhou. After finding a wife, they depart for their new appointment. However, along the way a boatman who lusts after his wife, kills him and throws him overboard. The boatman takes Guangrui`s wife, pretends to be Guangrui, and assumes his job as prefect. Guangrui`s wife Miss Yin, wants to kill herself, but being pregnant with an unborn child, she forces herself to go with him. After she has delivered the child she hears an invisible voice say, “Man-tang-qiao, you must do as I tell you. I am the Lord of the Southern Pole Star, and I have come to give you this son on the orders of the Bodhisattva Guanyin. One day he will be extraordinarily famous. When the villainous Liu comes back he will certainly want to kill this boy, so you must look after him with great care. Your husband has been rescued by the dragon king; one day you will be reunited with him and your son, and your sufferings will be at an end. Remember my words. Wake up, wake up!” Miss Yin decides to abandon her son in the river as soon as possible and let fate determine whether he is to live or to die. She ties the child to a board with her sash, and pushes him out into the stream to go where he will. The boy floats downstream on the plank until he comes to a stop under the Jinshan Temple. The abbot of this temple, a monk called Faming, finds the child, gives him the milk-name Jiangliu, “River Current,” and arranges for him to be fostered. Time passes like an arrow, and the days and months move as fast as a shuttle. When Jiangliu reaches the age of seventeen the abbot tells him to have his head tonsured and enter the religious life. Giving him the Buddhist name Xuanzang he lays his hands upon his head and instructs him to observe the monastic discipline. Xuanzang is determined to cultivate the Way.
The story continues with the Dragon King of the River Jing, who visits a soothsayer, transformed as a scholar. The Dragon king is in charge of making rain and has a wager with the sooth-sayer that he can`t predict the right time of rain. The sooth-sayer gives him the time of the next rain and to his great surprise the Dragon king receives an Imperial Decree from Heaven to make rain at the exact same time. In order to win the wager the Dragon King flouts the degree from the Jade Emperor, which is a crime against heaven that will cost the Dragon King his life.
In a dream the Dragon King visits Emperor Taizong of Chang`An to ask him for help to spare his life. The dragon king takes human form, goes up to him, kneels and bows before him, crying, “Save me, Your Majesty, save me.” “Who are you, that we should save you?” asks Taizong. “Your Majesty is a true dragon,” replies the dragon king, “and I am a wicked dragon. As I have offended against the laws of Heaven, I am due to be beheaded by Your Majesty's illustrious minister Wei Zheng, the official in charge of personnel, so I have come to beg you to save me.” “If you are supposed to be beheaded by Wei Zheng, we can save you, so set your mind at rest and go along now,” says the Tang Emperor. The dragon king, who is extremely happy, kowtows in thanks and leaves. The Tang Emperor sends a personal aide with a decree summoning Wei Zheng to court. Wei Zheng enters the emperor`s private quarters, where they discuss the policies to bring peace and stability to the country. At about noon he orders the palace ladies to bring a large weiqi chess set and says, “We shall now have a game of chess.”
With a Stupid Plan the Dragon King Breaks the Laws of Heaven,
Minister Wei Sends a Letter to an Officer of Hell
As sovereign and minister play their game of chess it is half past one. Although the game is not over, Wei Zheng slumps down beside the table and starts to snore, fast asleep. “Worthy Minister,” says Taizong with a smile, “you have exhausted your mind in strengthening the country and tired yourself out building the empire; that is why you have fallen asleep without realizing it.” The Emperor says no more and lets him sleep. Not long afterwards Wei Zheng wakes up, prostrates himself on the floor, and says, “Your subject deserves ten thousand deaths. I fell asleep without knowing what I was doing, and I beg Your Majesty to forgive your subject's criminal discourtesy to his sovereign.” “What criminal discourtesy have you committed?” the Emperor asks. “Rise, and take the Pieces off the board so that we may start again.” Wei Zheng thanks him for his grace, and is just taking the pieces in his hand when he hears shouting outside the palace gates. Qin Shubao, Xu Maogong and some others bring in a dragon's head dripping with blood, throw it to the floor in front of the Emperor, and report, “Your Majesty, this dragon's head fell from a cloud at the crossroads at the end of the Thousand Yard Portico, and your humble subjects dared not fail to report it,” says Qin Shubao and Xu Maogong. “What does this mean?” the Tang Emperor asks Wei Zheng in astonishment. “Your subject beheaded it in a dream just now,” replies Wei Zheng, kowtowing. “But I never saw you move your hand or body when you were dozing,” says the shocked Emperor, “and you had no sword, so how could you have beheaded it?” Emperor Taizong's feelings on hearing this are mixed. On the one hand he is happy, because he is proud of having so good a minister as Wei Zheng; for with a hero like that in his court he needs to have no worries about the safety of the empire. On the other hand he is distressed, because although he had promised in his dream to save the dragon, it has been executed.
When he returns to the palace that evening, the Emperor is depressed as he remembers how the dragon had wept so bitterly in his dream, begging to be saved. That night, as he lies in a fitful sleep, the Dragon King reappears, this time holding his head dripping with blood in his hands. “Emperor Taizong of the Tang,” he shouts, “give me back my life, give me back my life. Last night you were full of promises to save me, so why did you double-cross me yesterday and order Wei Zheng, the official in charge of personnel, to behead me? Come out, come out, and we shall go to the King of Hell's place to have this out.” He pulls at the Emperor's clothes and won't stop shouting. The dragon then goes down to Hell to submit a full report. The next day a decree is brought out that reads, “As our mind is not at ease all the officials are excused court.” Six or seven days quickly pass, and the Empress issues a decree summoning the royal doctors to the palace to administer medicine. However, he Emperor's condition deteriorates day by day. One day the Empress Dowager issues an edict summoning the officials to discuss funeral arrangements. Taizong sents for Xu Maogong and gives him orders about affairs of state, instructing him to look after the heir to the throne. When he has finished speaking he is bathed and puts into clean clothes. All he has to do now was to wait for the end. The disease reaches his heart and the Emperor`s life comes to an end.
After Touring the Underworld, Taizong Returns to Life,
By Presenting a Pumpkin Liu Quan Continues His Marriage
Emperor Taizong`s soul is taken to the underworld and meets the Ten Kings of the Underworld. Taizong finds out that the ghost dragon of the River Jing has brought a case against him, saying that he was executed despite his promise to save him. The Ten Kings decide that it was not the Emperor`s fault that the dragon was beheaded. They look in the Register of Life and Death and see that the Emperor still has twenty years to live, so they sent him back to the world of light. Taizong bows to express his thanks to the Ten Kings. “When we return to the daylight we shall have nothing with which to show our gratitude except for fruit and melons,” he says. “We have gourds, Eastern melons and Western melons, or water-melons, here, but no pumpkins, no Southern melons,” say the Ten Kings. “When we return to the world of the living we shall send some,” replies Taizong, and with that they raise their clasped hands to each other, bow, and part. On his way back to the World of Light, Taizong meets the ghosts of the kings and chieftains of the sixty-four groups of rebels and the seventy-two troops of bandits who were all killed unjustly and cannot be reborn. Taizong promises to hold a Great Mass when he is back in the world of light to enable all of them to be reborn. After Taizong has returned tp the world of the living, he issues a notice calling for a worthy man to take pumpkins to the underworld. Some days after the notice has been issued a worthy man called Liu Quan from Junzhou comes forward to deliver the pumpkins. He came from a family worth ten thousand strings of cash. When his wife Li Cuilian had taken a gold pin from her hair to give as an offering to a monk at the gate, Liu Quan had cursed her for being a loose wife who would not stay in the women's quarters. Li Cuilian, bitterly resenting this, had hanged herself, leaving a little boy and girl who had been crying night and day ever since. Liu Quan, unable to bear it any longer, wanted only to end his own life and abandon his family and his children. For this reason he has volunteered to deliver the pumpkins in death and comes to the Tang Emperor with the imperial notice in his hand. The Emperor orders him to go to the Golden Pavilion, where he is to put a pair of pumpkins on his head and some gold in his sleeve and drink poison. Liu Quan drinks the poison and dies. In an instant his soul appears at the Devil Gate with the pumpkins on his head. The demon officer at the gate asks, “Who are you, and how did you come here?” “I have come on the orders of Emperor Taizong of the Great Tang to present some pumpkins to the Ten Kings of Hell.” The officer is only too pleased to let him in, and he goes straight to the Senluo Palace, and when he is given audience with the Kings of Hell he presents the pumpkins to them and says, “I have brought these pumpkins a great distance in obedience to the decree of the Tang Emperor, who wishes to thank Your Majesties for their great mercy to him.” “How splendid of the Tang Emperor to be as good as his word,” exclaim the ten delighted kings as they accept the pumpkins. Then they ask him what he was called and where he was from.
On hearing his story, the Ten Kings order a search for Liu Quan's wife, Miss Li. The devil messengers soon bring her to the Senluo Palace, outside which Liu Quan is reunited with her. They thank the Ten Kings for their kindness. On consulting the Registers of Birth and Death, the kings find that they are fated to become Immortals, so they order demon officers to take them back at once. The demon officers, however, ask in a report, “As Li Cuilian has been dead for some time her body has perished, so what is her soul to be attached to?” “Li Yuying, the sister of the Tang Emperor, is due to die a sudden death today,” says the Kings of Hell, “so we can borrow her body to put Li Cuilian's soul back into.” On receiving this order the demon officers take Liu Quan and his wife out of the underworld to be brought back to life. When the devil officers leave the underworld with Liu Quan and his wife, a dark and whirling wind blows them straight to the great capital Chang'an, where Liu Quan's soul is sent to the Golden Pavilion and Li Cuilian's to an inner courtyard of the palace, where Princess Yuying can be seen walking slowing beside some moss under the shade of some blossoming trees. Suddenly the devil officers strike her full in the chest and knock her over; they snatch the soul from her living body and put Li Cuilian's soul into the body in its place. With that they return to the underworld.
The Tang Emperor Keeps Faith and Holds a Great Mass,
Guanyin Appears to the Reincarnated Golden Cicada
Emperor Taizong decides to hold a mass for the rebirth of lonely souls in the underworld. He issues a notice summoning monks to come and hold a mass in Chang`an. The notice travels throughout the empire and local officials everywhere recommend that holy and venerable monks go to Chang'an for the service. By the end of the month monks arrive in Chang'an from all over the empire. Three court officials assemble all the monks at the altar among rivers and hills, and they go through them all one by one. Reverend Xuanzang is chosen from among all the monks. On hearing his name Taizong thinks deeply for a long time and then asks, “Is that the Xuanzang who is the son of Grand Secretary Chen Guangrui?” “Your subject is he,” replies Xuanzang with a kowtow.” Then you were indeed well chosen,” says the Emperor with satisfaction. The third day of the ninth month of that year is chosen an auspicious day on which to start the seven times seven days of the Great Land and Water Mass. This is all reported to the throne, and at the appointed time Taizong, the high civil and military officials, and the royal family go to the service to burn incense and listen to the preaching. On his dais Xuanzang reads through the Sutra to Give Life and Deliver the Dead. Guanyin, who has chosen Xuanzang to be the man who will fetch the Scriptures goes up to the dais, hits it, and shouts out at the top of her voice:
“Why are you only talking about the doctrine of the Little Vehicle, monk? Can you preach about the Great Vehicle?” “That doctrine of the Little Vehicle of yours will never bring the dead to rebirth; it's only good enough for a vulgar sort of enlightenment. Now I have the Three Stores of the Buddha's Law of the Great Vehicle
that will raise the dead up to Heaven, deliver sufferers from their torments,
and free souls from the eternal coming and going.”
Xuanzang asks where the Buddha's Law of the Great Vehicle is and Guanyin answers that it is in the Thunder Monastery in the land of India in the West, where the Buddha lives. The Emperor then asks those present in the monastery, “Who is willing to accept our commission to go to the Western Heaven to visit the Buddha and fetch the scriptures?” Before he has finished his question, the Master of the Law comes forward, bows low in greeting, and says, “Although I am lacking in ability, I would like to offer my humble efforts to fetch the true scriptures for Your Majesty and thus ensure the eternal security of your empire.” The Tang Emperor, who is overjoyed to hear this, goes forward to raise him to his feet. “Master,” he says, “if you are prepared to exert your loyalty and wisdom to the full, not fearing the length of the journey or the rivers and mountains you will have to cross, I shall make you my own sworn brother.” Xuanzang kowtows to thank him. At court the next morning Taizong assembles his civil and military officials and writes out the document Xuanzang will need to fetch the scriptures, stamping it with the imperial seal that gives the right to travel freely. The Tang Emperor asks, “Brother, what is your courtesy name?” “As I am not of the world, I do not have one,” replies Xuanzang. “The Bodhisattva said that there are Three Stores of scriptures in the Western Heaven. You, brother, should take a courtesy name from this. What about Sanzang?” “Dear brother, when will you return from this journey to the Western Heaven?” “I shall be back in this country within three years,” Sanzang replies.
Great are the Three Jewels, and honoured be the Way;
The Four Kinds of Life and Six Paths are all explained.
Whoever knows and teaches the law of Man and Heaven,
Can pass on the lamp of wisdom when he sees his original nature.
It protects the body and makes it a world of gold,
Leaves body and mind pure as an ice-filled jar of jade.
Ever since Buddha made his cassock.
He Falls into the Tiger's Den and Is Saved by the Planet Venus,
On Double-Forked Peak Boqin Entertains the Priest
Sanzang starts the journey in the company of two attendants. While they travel in the early morning when it is still dark, his horse stumbles and all of them fall into a pit and are captured by a thoroughly evil demon king. The demon king eats his two attendants and keeps Sanzang for later. Just when all seems lost, an old man appears, walking towards Sanzang with the help of a stick. He comes up to Sanzang, breaks all his bonds with a wave of his hand, and revives him by blowing into his face. Sanzang falls to his knees and bows low to him, saying, “Thank you, venerable ancient, for saving my humble life.” “The reason they did not eat you was because your fundamental nature is enlightened. Come with me and I'll show you the way.” Overcome with gratitude, Sanzang puts the packs on his horse and leads it by the bridle as he follows the old man out of the pit and on to the main road. Tying the horse to a bush beside the road, he turns round to bow low to the old man and thank him, but the old man changes into a puff off wind and rises into the sky on the back of a red-crested white crane. All that could be seen was a piece of paper drifting down in the wind with four lines of verse written on it:
I am the Planet Venus of the Western Heaven,
Who came to save your life.
In the journey ahead you will have divine disciples:
Do not in your troubles feel angry with the scriptures.
Sanzang continues his journey alone when a ferocious tiger appears in front of him. Being by himself and unable to think of a way out, Sanzang prepares to abandon his mind and body and let Heaven do as it will. However the tiger runs away when a man comes across the hillside with a steel trident in his hand who introduces himself. "My name is Liu Boqin and I am known as the warden of the mountain. I came along here because I wanted a couple of animals for the pot. You must come with me to my hut, and your horse can rest. I'll take you on your way tomorrow.” Sanzang, who is delighted to hear this, thanks him and goes along behind him, leading the horse. After they arrive at the hut Sanzang is introduced to Liu Boqin`s mother. She says; “Tomorrow is the anniversary of your father's passing away, and I would like to trouble the venerable monk to say some prayers and read a sutra for him; you could take him on his way the day after.” The next day, Sanzang recites first a prayer to purify his mouth, then a holy spell to purify his body and mind, and finally the Sutra to Deliver the Dead. When he has finished, Boqin asks him to write out a letter of introduction for the dead man and also recite the Diamond Sutra and the Guanyin Sutra. Sanzang recites them in a loud, clear voice and then ate lunch, after which he reads out the several chapters of the Lotus Sutra and the Amitabha Sutra. The soul of Boqin's father, now delivered from being a drowned ghost, comes to the house that night and appears in a dream to everyone in the family. “I suffered long in the underworld, unable to find deliverance,” he says, “but now that the saintly monk has wiped out my sins by reading some scriptures. King Yama has had me sent back to the rich land of China to be reborn in an important family. You must reward him generously, and no half measures. Now I'm going.” The next day Sanzang is thanked for recommending their father for delivery from sufferings and rebirth. Sanzang refuses to accept any gift of gratitude. He simply asks Boqin to escort him for the next stage of his journey. The warden accompanies Sanzang for a while and then says: “Venerable monk, I must ask you to take yourself on from here. I have to go back.” On hearing this Sanzang tumbles out of his saddle to say, “Please, please, take me another stage, High Warden.” When Sanzang is bowing repeatedly to the hunter, a shout like thunder comes from under the mountain: “My master's come, my master's come.” “That must be the old monkey who lives in a stone cell under this mountain shouting,” says the high warden. “What old monkey?” asked Sanzang, and the high warden replies, “This mountain used to be called Five Elements Mountain. I once heard an old man say that in the days when Wang Mang usurped the Han throne, Heaven sent down this mountain and crushed a monkey under it. It must have been him shouting; there's nothing for you to be afraid of, venerable sir. Let's go down and have a look.”
Great is the significance of the majestic Law,
That saves the dead from suffering and the morass.
The Mind-Ape Returns to Truth, The Six Bandits Disappear Without Trace
Sanzang has to follow him, leading his horse down the mountain. A mile or two later they see that there really is a monkey poking out his head out of a stone cell, and making desperate gestures with his outstretched hands as he shouts, “Master, why didn't you come before? Thank goodness you're here, thank goodness. “I am the Great Sage Equaling Heaven who wrecked the Heavenly Palace five hundred years ago. The Lord Buddha put me under this mountain for my criminal insubordination. Some time ago the Bodhisattva Guanyin went to the East on the Buddha's orders to find someone who could fetch the scriptures. When I asked her to save me she told me that I was to give up evil-doing, return to the Buddha's Law, and do all I could to protect the traveler when he went to the Western Paradise to worship Buddha and fetch the scriptures; she said that there'll be something in it for me when that's done. Ever since then I've been waiting day and night with eager anticipation for you to come and save me, Master. I swear to protect you on your way to fetch the scriptures and to be your disciple.” Sanzang, delighted to hear this, said, “Although you now have these splendid intentions and wish to become a monk thanks to the teaching of the Bodhisattva, I've no axe or chisel, so how am I to get you out?” “There's no need for axes or chisels. As long as you're willing to save me, I can get myself out,” the monkey replied. “I'm willing to save you,” Sanzang said, “but how are you going to get out?” “On the top of this mountain there is a detention order by the Tathagata Buddha written in letters of gold. If you climb the mountain and tear it off, I'll be straight out.” Accepting his suggestion, Sanzang turns round to ask Liu Boqin if he will go up the mountain with him. When they have reached the summit, they see a myriad beams of golden light and a thousand wisps of propitious vapor coming from a large, square rock on which is pasted a paper seal bearing the golden words Om mani padme hum. Sanzang goes up and knelt down before the rock, then read the golden words and bowed his head to the ground a number of times and gently tears the paper seal off. A scented wind blows in his face and carries the paper up into the sky as a voice calls, “I am the Great Sage's guard. Now that his sufferings are over I am going back to see the Tathagata and hand in this seal.” Then there is a great noise as the mountain split open. As they are all shaking with terror, the monkey appears kneeling stark naked in front of Sanzang's horse and saying, “Master, I'm out.” He bows four times to Sanzang.
Sanzang and Monkey are attacked by six bandits, but they are no match for Monkey and he kills them all. Sanzang thinks that even though Monkey said that he would be his disciple and observe and uphold the faith, he hasn`t actually given up his evil-doing and becomes angry with him. Monkey, who has never let himself be put upon, flares up and leaves the Monk to continue the journey alone. Before he has been traveling for long he sees an old woman on the mountain path in front of him. “Where are you from, venerable monk,” the old woman asks, “traveling all alone and by yourself?” “I have been sent by the great King of the East to go to the West to visit the Buddha and ask him for the True Scriptures,” he replies.“The Buddha of the West lives in the Great Thunder Monastery in the land of India, one hundred and eight thousand miles away from here. You'll never get there, just you and your horse, without a companion or disciple.” “I did have a disciple, but his nature was so evil that he would not accept a little reproof I administered to him and disappeared into the blue,” says Sanzang. “I have here an embroidered tunic and a hat inset with golden patterns that used to be my son's,” the woman says, “but he died after being a monk for only three days. I've just been to his monastery to mourn him and say farewell to his master, and I was taking this tunic and this hat home to remember the boy by. But as you have a disciple, venerable monk, I'll give them to you.” “Thank you very much for your great generosity, but as my disciple has already gone, I couldn't accept them.” “Where has he gone?” “All I heard was a whistling sound as he went back to the East.” “My home isn't far to the East from here,” she says, “so I expect he's gone there. I've also got a spell called True Words to Calm the Mind, or the Band-tightening Spell. You must learn it in secret, and be sure to keep it to yourself. Never leak it to anyone. I'll go and catch up with him and send him back to you, and you can give him that tunic and hat to wear. If he's disobedient again, all you have to do is recite the spell quietly. That will stop him committing any more murders or running away again.” Sanzang bows low to thank her, at which she changes into a beam of golden light and returned to the East. He realizes in his heart that it must have been the Bodhisattva Guanyin who has given him the spell. Monkey returns, notices the tunic and hat and asks Sanzang if he can wear it. As soon as he has them on, Sanzang recites the Band-tightening Spell, giving Monkey a terrible headache. “Master,” says Monkey, “What a curse you put on me to give me a headache like that.” “I didn't put a curse on you, I recited the Band-tightening Spell,” Sanzang replies. “Say it again and see what happens,” says Monkey, and when Sanzang does as he asked, Monkey's head aches again. “Stop, stop,” he shouts, “the moment you started reciting it my head ached. Why did you do it?” “Will you accept my instruction now?” Sanzang asks. “Yes,” Monkey replies. “Will you misbehave again in future?” “I certainly won't,” says Monkey.
On the Coiled Snake Mountain the Gods Give Secret Help,
In the Eagle's Sorrow Gorge the Thought-Horse Is Reined in
Sanzang and Money reach Eagle's Sorrow Gorge in the Coiled Snake Mountain. As master and disciple watch they hear a noise in the gorge as a dragon emerges from the waves, leaps up the cliff, and grabs at Sanzang. In his alarm Monkey drops the luggage, lifts Sanzang off his horse, turns, and flees. The dragon, unable to catch him up, swallows the white horse, saddle and all, at a single gulp, then disappeares once more beneath the surface of the water. Monkey makes his master sit down on a high peak and goes back to fetch the horse and the luggage. When he finds that the horse has gone and only the luggage is left, he carries the luggage up to his master and puts it down before him. “Master, that damned horse of ours must have been eaten by the dragon—I can't see it anywhere.” Monkey fights the dragon but can`t capture the dragon and goes to Guanyin for help. Guanyin tells the dragon that Monkey is the disciple of the monk he was waiting for, who is going to fetch the scriptures and changes him into a horse.
Monkey, and Sanzang on his dragon-horse, continue their journey.
The Monks of the Guanyin Monastery Plot to Take the Treasure,
The Monster of the Black Wind Mountain Steals the Cassock
Sanzang and disciples stay overnight at the Chan Monastery of Guanyin. The abbot of the monastery offer them tea and food. Everything is beautifully arranged in exquisite porcelain. When Sanzang sees all this he is full of praise. “What splendid things,” he says, “what splendid things. Wonderful tea in wonderful vessels.” “They're not worth looking at,” the old monk replies. “After all, sir, you come from a superior and heavenly court, and have seen many rare things in your wide travels; so how can you give such exaggerated praise to things like that? What treasures did you bring with you from your superior country that I could have a look at?” “I'm afraid our Eastern land has no great treasures, and even if it did, I would have been unable to bring them on so long a journey”, Sanzang replies. “Master,” puts in Monkey, who was sitting beside him, “isn't that cassock I saw in our bundle the other day a treasure? Why don't I take it out for him to see?” Monkey shows Sanzang`s cassock to the Abbot. When the aged monk sees how rare a treasure it was, his heart is indeed disturbed. He goes up to Sanzang and kneels before him. “Sir,” the aged monk says, “it is already evening, so my eyes are too dim to see it clearly. Would you let me take it to my room to examine it closely during the night, I will return it to you in the morning to take to the West. What do you say to that?” This request startles Sanzang, but Money assures him that everything would be fine, and that he would be responsible.
The Abbot wants to keep the cassock and tries to kill Sanzang by setting fire to the monastery. Monkey finds out about the Abbot’s plan and steels back the cassock. He then keeps the Tang Priest, the dragon horse, and the luggage, safe from the fire with his magic. However, during the fire a monster of the black wind mountain, who notices the fire and comes to see what it is all about, sees a magic glow and propitious vapors coming from one of the rooms. When he sees it is a rare treasure of the Buddhist religion, he grasps the cassock and makes off with it. When Monkey wants to go off to find the cassock, Sanzang is afraid that there will be no one to protect him. Monkey replies: “Don't worry, gods are watching over you in secret”.
Brother Monkey Makes Trouble on the Black Wind Mountain,
Guanyin Subdues the Bear Spirit
Monkey finds the demon but can`t defeat him and asks Guanyin for help. “What have you come for?” the Bodhisattva asks. I beg you in your mercy to help me catch that evil spirit, get the cassock back, and carry on towards the West”, replies Monkey. “That monster's magical powers are certainly no weaker than yours,” the Bodhisattva says. “Very well then, out of consideration for the Tang Priest I'll go there with you.” As they were on their way, a Taoist priest appears on the mountain slope. He is carrying a glass salver on which were two pills of the elixir of immortality. Monkey is immediately suspicious of him, so he strikes straight at his head with the iron cudgel, sending blood splattering out from brain and chest. “Are you still as wild as this, you ape?” the shocked Bodhisattva asks. “He didn't steal your cassock, you didn't even know him, and he was no enemy of yours. Why kill him?” “You may not know him, Bodhisattva,” Monkey replies, “but he was a friend of the Black Bear Spirit. Yesterday they and a white-clad scholar were sitting talking in front of the grassy mountainside. Today is the Black Spirit's birthday, and tomorrow he is coming to the 'Buddha's Robe Banquet'. That's why I recognized him. I'm sure that he was coming to greet that monster on his birthday.”
I have got a plan to catch the monster,” says Monkey. “Tell me about it,” the Bodhisattva says. “The two pills of immortality you see on that salver will be the present we take to visit him with,” says Monkey, “and the words inscribed underneath—'Made by Master Emptiness-reached'—are the bait we'll set for him. You change yourself into that Taoist. I shall eat one of those pills and then change myself into a pill, though I'll be a bit on the big side. You are to take the tray with the two pills on it and go to wish the fiend many happy returns. Give him the bigger of the pills, and when he's swallowed me, I'll take over inside him. If he doesn't hand the cassock over then, I'll weave a substitute out of his guts.” The Bodhisattva can only nod her agreement. “What about it then?” says the laughing Monkey, and at this the Bodhisattva in her great mercy uses her unbounded divine power and her infinite capacity for transformation to control her will with her heart and her body with her will—in an instant she turns into Master Emptiness-reached. “Great, great,” exclaims Brother Monkey at the sight. “Are you a Bodhisattva disguised as an evil spirit, or a Bodhisattva who really is an evil spirit?” “Monkey,” she replies with a laugh, “evil spirit and Bodhisattva are all the same in the last analysis—they both belong to non-being.” Suddenly enlightened by this, Monkey curls up and turns himself into a pill of immortality. The pill he changed himself into is indeed a little larger than the other one. The Bodhisattva notes this and goes with the glass salver to the entrance of the fiend's cave. She offers the pills to the monster and as soon as he swallows them, Monkey resumes his true form and strikes up some acrobatic postures, at which the fiend falls to the ground. “Beast, will you return to the truth now?” asks the Bodhisattva. “I swear to, I swear to, if only you spare my life,” the monster repeats over and over again. The Bodhisattva places her hands on his head, and administers the monastic discipline to him; then she tells him to take up his spear and accompany her. “Sun Wukong,” orders the Bodhisattva, “go back now. Serve the Tang Priest well, don't be lazy, and don't start trouble.”
The Tang Priest Is Rescued in the Guanyin Temple,
The Great Sage Removes a Monster from Gao Village
Who knows when the journey will end as they find the true word ?
Sanzang and Monkey arrive at a village where a monster has taken Old Gao`s youngest daughter for his wife. Old Gao shows Monkey the building where the monster has shut up his daughter, who hasn`t been seen for six months. Monkey frees the girl and uses his magic powers to turn himself into the likeness of the girl. He tells Old Gao and his daughter to leave and sits down in the room to wait for the evil spirit.
The monster comes home, put his arms around Monkey and wants to kiss him. Monkey thrust his hand up under the monster's long nose to throw him off balance and the monster falls off the bed. The girl (Monkey) tells the monster that her father said that he'd asked that fellow by the name of Sun, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven who made such trouble up in the Heavenly Palace some five hundred years ago, to come and capture him. The monster somewhat taken aback on hearing this name, decides to leave immediately.
In the Cloud Pathway Cave Sun Wukong Wins over Zhu Bajie,
On Pagoda Mountain Xuanzang Receives the Heart Sutra
Monkey changes back into his real form and challenges the monster to fight him. During the fight, Monkey tells him that he is now protecting the Patriarch Sanzang on his journey to the Western Heaven to visit the Buddha and ask for the scriptures. When he hears this, the monster drops his rake to the ground and asks Monkey to take him to meet Sanzang. He tells him that Guanyin converted him and told him to obey the monastic rules and eat vegetarian food, till he could go with the pilgrim who's going to the Western Heaven to worship the Buddha and ask for the scriptures. Sanzang meets Pig and takes him as his disciple.
Sanzang and disciples reach the Pagoda Mountain where there's a Rook's Nest Hermit cultivating his conduct. The hermit tells Sanzang that although the journey is a long one, he is bound to get there in the end. But there will be evil influences that he'll find hard to dispel. The Hermit has a Heart Sutra, a total of 270 words in 54 sentences, and if one recites it when one encounters evil influences one will come to no harm.” Sanzang prostrated himself on the ground and begs the hermit to tell him to teach him the Heart Sutra. The hermit teaches Sanzang the Prajna-paramita Heart Sutra and the Prajna-paramita Spell: Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi, svaha! This sutra is the kernel of the cultivation of the truth, and it is the gateway to becoming a Buddha.
The Tang Priest Meets Trouble on the Yellow Wind Ridge,
Pig Wins Mastery Halfway up the Mountain
The Dharma is born in the mind,
And in turn is destroyed by the mind.
Who do life and death come from?
Decide for yourself,
If it is all from your own mind.
Sanzang and disciples have been going for half a day and reach a mountain. As they look at the mountain they hear a whirlwind blowing up. It certainly isn't a good wind,” Monkey remarks. “It smells like either a tiger wind or a monster wind. There's definitely something suspicious about it.” Before the words are out of his mouth, a ferocious striped tiger leaps out at the foot of the slope, slashing with its tail and rushing towards them. Pig throws down the luggage, grabs his rake and roars, “Animal, where d'you think you're going?” The tiger stands up on its hind legs, and with a swing of its front left claws rips at its own chest and tears off its skin, then lays it over a rock that is shaped like a crouching tiger. Then it abandons its real body, turns into a hurricane, goes to the path where Sanzang is reciting the Heart Sutra, grabs him and carries him away on the wind.
The Protectors of the Faith Build a Farm for the Great Sage,
Lingji from Sumeru Pacifies the Wind Devil
The monster takes Sanzang to the Yellow Wind Cave of the Yellow Ridge, ties him up and offers him as a dish for the table of his chieftain, the Yellow Wind Monster. Monkey discovers where Sanzang is kept prisoner and challenges the Yellow Wind Monster. After some thirty rounds of combat between the old fiend and the Great Sage the issue is still not settled. Monkey uses an “extra body” trick: he plucks a hair out, chews it into little bits, blows them all out, and shouts, “Change!” They turn into well over a hundred Monkeys, all dressed like him and wielding iron cudgels.
The Monkeys surround the monster in mid-air, and in his fright he counters with a trick of his own. He turns his head sharply to the Southeast opened his mouth three times, and blows. A yellow hurricane suddenly arises. It is really terrible. The hurricane that the monster had summoned up made all the little Monkeys that the Great Sage had produced from his hair whirl round in mid-air like so many spinning-wheels, and, far from being able to use their cudgels, they could not even control their own bodies. After Monkey recovers he finds out that the only one who can suppress The Yellow Huricane wind is the Bodhisattva Lingji. The Bodhisattva comes down from Little Mount Sumeru and captures the monster by dropping his Flying Dragon Staff on him which makes him revert to his real form—a brown marten. The marten had obtained the Way underneath the Vulture Peak, and once he stole some of the pure oil from a crystal lamp. When the lamp went out he was so afraid of being caught by a Vajrapani that he ran away and became a spirit monster.
Pig Fights a Great Battle in the Flowing Sands River,
Moksa Obeys the Dharma and Wins Friar Sand Over
Sanzang and disciples reach the three hundred miles wide Flowing Sand river. As the three of them approach the water they hear the waves make a roar like a collapsing mountain as a most hideous evil spirit emerges from the water: Pig fights the monster several times since monkey can`t fight in water, but he can`t beat it. Finally Monkey decides to use his somersault and goes to Potaraka Island in the Southern Sea to see Guanyin and tells her that his master can`t cross the Flowing Sand river because there's an evil monster in the river who is blocking their way.. Guanyin tells him that the ogre of the Flowing Sands River is the mortal incarnation of the Great Curtain-lifting General and a believer whom she converted herself and instructed to protect those who would be coming to fetch the scriptures.
The Bodhisattva sends for her disciple Huian and produces a red bottle-gourd from her sleeve. She tells Huian to take the gourd and go with Sun Wukong to the Flowing Sands River. Then he should shout 'Wujing'—'Awakened to Purity'—and he will come out. First he should take him to submit to the Tang Priest, and then make him thread his nine skulls on a string like the Sacred Palaces. If he puts this gourd in the middle of them, it will make a dharma boat to ferry the Tang Priest across the river. Huian does as he is told and Sanzang and his, now four disciples, continue their journey.
Sanzang Does Not Forget the Basic,The Four Holy Ones Have Their Piety Tested
As they are travelling along one day they see a farm in the distance. The house is inhabited by a widow and her three beautiful daughters. The widow wants to remarry and is also looking for husbands for her daughters and thinks Sanzang and disciples would suite them nicely. When Sanzang hears this he pretends to be deaf and dumb and keeps his eyes shut and his mind calm. He makes no reply as Pig tugs at his clothes, and says, “Master, why are you paying no attention to what the lady is saying ? Sanzang then politely declines her proposal. In the face of his refusal the woman turns round, goes out through the door leading to the back of the house, and slams it behind her, leaving master and disciples outside with neither food nor tea. Nobody else comes out to see them. Pig becomes upset and thinks Sanzang should have been more flexible and given her some noncommittal answer, then they would have got some food out of her. Besides he thinks they've all been thinking the same thoughts anyway. It's always said that 'a monk among pretty women is a hungry ghost.
Under the excuse of going to feed the horse, Pig leaves the room. He goes to the back of the house, where he sees the woman and tells her he wants to marry one of her daughters. The woman calls her daughters and says: “I have a handkerchief here. Tie it round your head to cover your face, and we can let Heaven decide which one you'll marry. I'll tell the girls to walk in front of you while you stretch your arms out. The one you catch, will be yours. The idiot gropes about to his left and his right, without being able to catch any of the girls when he falls to the ground with a thump and finds himself tightly bound with many ropes. He is in great pain, and the women have all disappeared. The next morning, when Sanzang, Monkey, and Friar Sand wake up, they see none of the lofty buildings that had been there. They had all been sleeping in a grove of pine and cypress. The woman and the girls last night were Bodhisattvas who appeared to them in disguise, and went away in the middle of the night. They see a piece of paper hanging from a cypress tree and fluttering in the breeze. Friar Sand hurries over to fetch it and shows it to their master, who sees eight lines of verse on it:
“The Old Woman of Mount Li had no yearning for the world,
But the Bodhisattva Guanyin persuaded her to come.
Samantabhadra and Manjusri were both present
Disguised as pretty girls among the trees.
The holy monk were too virtuous to return to lay life,
But the unreligious Pig was worse than worldly.
From now on he must calm his mind and reform—
If he misbehaves again, the journey will be hard.”
On the Mountain of Infinite Longevity a Great Immortal Entertains an Old Friend,
In the Wuzhuang Temple Monkey Steals Manfruit
Sanzang and disciples arrive at the WuZhuang Temple on the Mountain of Infinite Longevity. The temple has a rare treasure, a miraculous tree that has been formed when primeval chaos was first being divided, before the separation of Heaven and Earth. The fruit of the tree is known as “Grass-returning Cinnabar” or “manfruit.” It takes three thousand years to blossom, three thousand years to form the fruit, and another three thousand years for the fruit to ripen, so that very nearly ten thousand years has to pass before the fruit can be eaten. Only thirty fruit are formed each ten thousand years, and they are shaped just like a newborn baby, complete with limbs and sense organs. Anyone whose destiny permits him to smell one will live for three hundred and sixty years, and if you eat one you will live for forty-seven thousand years.
That day the Great Immortal Zhen Yuan of the Wuzhuang temple was invited to the Miluo Palace in the Heaven of Supreme Purity to hear a lecture and instructed the two youngest disciples Pure Wind and Bright Moon, to look after the temple. He told them that an old friend of him would be coming to the temple and they should pick two manfruits for him as a token of their old friendship. After Sanzang arrives, they offer him the manfruit, but at the sight of it Sanzang recoils some three feet, shaking with horror. “Goodness me!” he exclaims. “How could you be so reduced to starvation in this year of plenty as to eat human flesh? And how could I possibly quench my thirst with a newborn baby? Since the fruit does not keep for long without becoming hard and unedible, the boys each eat one. Pig overhears the boys talking about the manfruit and persuades Monkey to pick some for them. Pig told him that a golden rod is needed to obtain the fruit so Monkey steals it from the disciples' room, goes shooting up the tree and with one blow from the golden rod sends the manfruit tumbling down. He jumps down to fetch it, but it is nowhere to be seen. He searches the grass all around, but can find not a trace of it. He makes some finger magic and utters the sacred sound “Om,” which forces the garden deity to come forward, bow and say, “You summoned me, Great Sage. What are your orders?” Monkeys asks him why the manfruit has disappeared and the deity answers: "These fruit fear only the Five Elements.” “What do you mean, "fear only the Five Elements?” Monkey asks. “If they meet metal,” the deity says, “they fall; if they meet wood they rot; if they meet water they dissolve; if they meet fire they are burnt; and if they meet earth they go into it. If you tap them you have to use a golden rod, otherwise they won't drop; and when you knock them down you must catch them in a bowl padded with silk handkerchiefs. If they come in contact with wooden utensils they rot, and even if you eat one it won't make you live any longer. Monkey goes up the tree again, holds the rod in one hand while he undoes the lapel of his cloth tunic and makes it into a kind of pouch. He pushes the leaves and branches aside and knocks down three manfruits, which he catches in his tunic. Monkey goes straight to the kitchen where hem Pig and friar sand each have one of the manfruits.
The Immortal Zhen Yuan Captures the Pilgrim Priest,
Monkey Makes Havoc in the Wuzhuang Temple
When the boys discover that some manfruit is missing they accuse Sanzang`s disciples of stealing the fruit. After Monkey admits taking the fruit the Taoist boys become very angry and curse and swear at Sanzang and his disciples. This in turn makes Monkey angry and he pulls a hair out from the back of his head, breaths a magic breath on it, says “Change,” and turns it into an imitation Monkey. The imitation Monkey goes straight to the garden and strikes the manfruit tree with his gold-banded cudgel. Then he uses his supernatural strength that can move mountains to push the tree over with a single shove. After pushing the tree over Monkey searches through the branches for manfruit, but he can`t find a single one. These treasures drop at the touch of metal, and as Monkey's cudgel was ringed with gold, while being made of iron, one tap from it brought them all tumbling down, and when they hit the ground they went straight in, leaving none on the tree. Early in the morning Sangzang and disciples leave the temple.
When the Great Immortal returns to the temple the boys tell him what happened. The Great Immortal pursues Sanzang and disciples on a beam of auspicious light. It takes him but an instant to cover three hundred miles and after catching up with them he does a “Wrapping Heaven and Earth in His Sleeve” trick, and gathers up the four pilgrims and their horse in it. Back at the temple the Great Immortal agrees not to punish them if Monkey can find a way to revive the tree.
Sun Wukong Looks for the Formula in the Three Islands,
Guanyin Revives the Tree with a Spring of Sweet Water
Monkey visits the Star of Longevity, the Star of Blessings and the Star of Office but none of them know how to revive the tree. He next visits an immortal called `the Lord Emperor of Eastern Glory` to ask for a formula that will bring the manfruit tree back to life, but has no luck there either. After he visits the Nine Ancients in Yingzhou without getting any result, he finally goes to Guanyin. Guanyin has 'sweet dew' in her pure vase, which is an excellent cure for magic trees and plants.
Guanyin goes down to the temple on her cloud, meets the three stars who also came down and revives the tree. The Great Immortal, now extremely happy, knocks down ten of the fruits with his golden rod. He invites the Bodhisattva and the Three Stars to come to the main hall of the temple to take part a Manfruit Feast to thank them for their labors. Sanzang who realizes at last that this is an Immortal's treasure, and his disciples, are also offered a manfruit.
The Corpse Fiend Thrice Tricks Tang Sanzang,
The Holy Monk Angrily Dismisses the Handsome Monkey King
There is a saying that goes, “If the mountain is high it's bound to have fiends; if the ridge is steep spirits will live there.” Sanzang and disciples reach a mountain which has an evil spirit. It strides through the clouds on a negative wind, and on seeing the venerable Sanzang on the ground below thinks happily, “What luck, what luck. At home they've been talking for years about a Tang Monk from the East who's going to fetch the 'Great Vehicle'; he's a reincarnation of Golden Cicada, and has an Original Body that has been purified through ten lives. Anyone who eats a piece of his flesh will live forever. And today, at last, he's here.” Seeing the Tang monk`s disciples the evil spirit decides to try a trick on them and see what happens. The splendid evil spirit stops its negative wind in a hollow and changes itself into a girl with a face as round as the moon and as pretty as a flower. Her brow is clear and her eyes beautiful; her teeth are white and her lips red. In her left hand she holds a blue earthenware pot and in her right a green porcelain jar. She heads East towards the Tang Priest.
Sanzang cannot see through the evil spirits disguise but Monkey does and hits it with his gudgel. The fiend, who knows a trick or two, uses magic to aband its body. Shortly after, the evil spirit returns disguised as an old woman and again Monkey kills the demon, who is able to escape in time. The third time the evil spirit returns disguised as an old man. This time, it is not quick enough to abondon it`s body when Monkey hits it and the demon is killed. Each time Monkey kills the demon Sanzang becomes angrier, because he can`t see it`s actually a demonn. Sanzang dismisses Monkey who returns to the Mountain of Flower and Fruit.
On the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit the Devils Rise,
Sanzang Meets a Monster in the Black Pine Forest
After Monkey returns to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, he finds out that the number of monkeys living on the mountain has been reduced from forty seven thousand to about one thousand. The monkeys tell him that after the Great Sage left, every season hunters came and shoot them with arrows, speared them, poisoned them, and beat them to death. They took them away to skin them and cut the flesh from their bones before boiling them in soy sauce, steaming them with vinegar, frying them in oil, or stir-cooking them, with salt. Monkey goes out to find the hunters and kills them all.
While Pig and Friar are looking for food, Sanzang goes out for a walk when he sees a dazzling golden light. On closer examination he finds that it is the golden roof of a pagoda. When going into the pagoda it appears to be inhabited by an evil monster who has his junior demons capture Sanzang and tie him up. After discovering the cave where Sanzang is held, Pig and Friar Sand fight the old monster Yellow Robe.
Sanzang, Delivered, Crosses a Border,
A Grateful Pig Tours Mountains and Forests
Meanwhile, as Sanzang is fretting and wailing in the cave, he sees a woman come out from the innermost part of the cave. After asking Sanzang some questions, she explains him that she`s the third daughter of the king of Elephantia, and her childhood name was Prettier-than-a-flower. Thirteen years ago, on the fifteenth night of the eighth month, an evil monster came and snatched her away in a whirlwind while she was out enjoying the full moon. She has been his wife all these thirteen years and borne him sons and daughters, but she`s never been able to send any message home. She tells Sanzang that if he takes a letter to her parents for her, she`ll make the monster spare his life.
With a clever story, the Princess persuades the monster to release Sanzang. Sanzang travels to Elephantia, meets the King and gives him the letter from his daughter. After the king reads the letter and weeps loudly, he asks for volunteers to rescue Princess Prettier-than-a-flower for him. When Pig volunteers, the king is thoroughly delighted, and orders nine of his Royal Consorts to fetch a bottle of his own royal wine with which to send the venerable Pig off. After he drains the cup in one gulp clouds sprout under Pig's feet and he shoots up into mid-air. Friar Sand follows Pig and together they take on the monster. While Pig goes off for a shit Friar is captured by the monster.
An Evil Monster Harms the True Law, The Mind−Horse Remembers the Heart−Ape
The old Monster Yellow Robe decides he wants to get to know his relatives better, transforms himself into a handsome young man, and visits the King in Elephantia. He tells the King that thirteen years ago as he was out hunting saw a ferocious striped tiger carrying a girl on its back down the mountainside. He fitted an arrow to his bow and shot the tiger, then took the girl home and revived her with hot water, which saved her life. "When I asked her where she was from she never mentioned the word 'princess'— had she said that she was Your Majesty's daughter, I would never have had the effrontery to marry her without your permission. I would have come to your golden palace and asked for some appointment in which I might have distinguished myself. As she said she was the daughter of ordinary folk I kept her in my home. With her beauty and my ability we fell in love, and we have been married all these years. When we were married I wanted to kill the tiger and serve him up at a banquet for all my relations, but she asked me not to. When she said that I untied the tiger and spared its life. Little did I realize that after escaping with its life it would have spent the past years making itself into a spirit whose sole intention is to deceive and kill people. I believe that there was once a group of pilgrims going to fetch scriptures who said that they were priests from the Great Tang. The tiger must have killed their leader, taken his credentials, and made himself look like the pilgrim. He is now in this palace trying to deceive Your Majesty. That man sitting on an embroidered cushion is in fact the very tiger who carried the princess off thirteen years ago. He is no pilgrim.” The feeble-minded king, who in his mortal blindness can not recognize the evil spirit, believes that his tissue of lies is the truth and says, “ turn him back into his real form to show me.” The monster does an Eye-deceiving Body-fixing Spell. He recites the words of the spell, spurts a mouthful of water over the Tang Priest, and shouts “ Change!” Sanzang's real body is hidden away on top of the hall, and he is turned into a striped tiger.
The king then orders his household department to lay on a large banquet to thank his son-in-law for saving his daughter from being killed by the monk. That evening, after the court has been dismissed, the monster drinks until the second watch of the night and becomes too intoxicated to restrain his savagery and longer. He jumps up, bellows with laughter, and turns back into his real self. A murderous impulse comes upon him, and stretching out his hand as big as a basket he seizes a girl who was playing a lute, drags her towards him, and takes a bite from her head. The seventeen other palace women flee in panic and hide themselves. While the monster is enjoying himself inside the palace the news is being spread outside that the Tang Priest is really a tiger spirit.
Pig Moves the Monkey King Through His Goodness,
Sun the Novice Subdues the Ogre Through Cunning
When Pig hears the rumor, he decides that the only way to save Sanzang is to ask help from Monkey. He visits Monkey, but rather than telling him his master is in trouble, he simply asks if Monkey won`t return and continue the journey with them. Monkey refuses and the idiot does not dare press Monkey harder in case he loses his temper and hits him a couple of blows with his cudgel. All he can do is mumble a farewell and be on his way. As Monkey watches him go he details two stealthy young monkeys to follow him and listen to anything he says. The idiot has gone hardly a mile down the mountainside when he turns round, points towards Monkey, and starts to abuse him. “ That ape,” he says, “ he'd rather be a monster than a monk. The baboon. I asked him in all good faith and he turned me down. Well, if you won't come, that's that.” Every few paces he cursed him some more. The two young monkeys rush back to report, “ Your Majesty, that Pig is a disgrace. He's walking along cursing you.” “ Arrest him,” shouts Monkey in a fury. The monkey hordes go after Pig, catch him, turn him upside-down, grag his bristles, pull his ears, tugg his tail, twiste his hair, and thus bring him back. As Pig finally tells the truth, the Great Sage jumps down from the cliff, rushes into the cave, and takes off all his devil clothes. He puts on an embroidered tunic, ties on his tigerskin kilt, seizes his iron cudgel, says goodbye to his subjects and mounts a cloud with Pig.
Monkey goes to the demons cave, tell the Princess who he is, and that he has a plan to capture the monster. The Monkey King turns himself with a shake of his body into the very image of the princess and waits for the ogre. Yellow Robe returns but soon finds out his wife is an imposter and takes on Monkey . After they fight fifty or sixty rounds without issue, the Monkey King raises his cudgel and does a “ Reaching Up to a Tall Horse” movement. The monster, not realizing that this is a trick, and imagining that he sees a real opening, takes a tremendous swipe at Monkey with his sword. Monkey at once does a high swing to avoid the blow, then strikes at the monster's head with a “ Stealing a Peach from under the Leaves” movement and knocks him so hard he vanished without a trace. Monkey can`t find the ogre anywhere and decides to go up to heaven to ask for help. They investigated outside the Palace of the Dipper and the Bull, and find out that one of the Twenty-eight Constellations, the Strider, is missing. On receiving an edict from the Jade-Emperor, the twenty-seven other constellations go out through the gates of Heaven and startle the Strider as each chant his own spell. As the monster is now captured, the Great sage goes to the Kings palace and tells him what happened. He then takes some water in his hand, says the words of a spell, and spurts it at the tiger's head. The evil magic is dissolved, and the tiger-aura is dispersed. Sanzang is seen in his true form once more and is full of gratitude and towards Monkey.
On Flat−Top Mountain, the Duty God Delivers a Message,
In Lotus Flower Cave, Pig Runs into Trouble
The Duty God, disguised as a woodcutter warns the Monk and company for demons on the mountain. As they traveled along they realized that woodcutter had disappeared some time back. “Why can't we see the woodcutter who gave us the message?” asked Sanzang.“He must have gone into the forest to look for some more firewood,” said Monkey. “I'll take a look.” Opening wide his fiery eyes with their golden pupils, the splendid Great Sage searched the mountain, but no sign of the woodcutter was to be seen. Then he looked up into the clouds and saw the Duty God of the Day there. He sprang up there himself and cursed him for a hairy devil several times before saying, “Why didn't you tell me straight instead of transforming yourself and putting on that act for me?” The Duty God bowed to him anxiously and said, “Please forgive me for being so late with the warning. Those monsters really have enormous magic powers and can perform all kinds of transformations. You'll need all your skill and cunning to protect your master. You won't possibly reach the Western Heaven if you are at all slack.”
Monkey sends Pig to investigate the mountain. After two or three miles of walking, Pig drops his rake, turns back to look at the Tang Priest, and begins to curse at him, gesticulating widely. “Soft-headed old monk,” he says, “vicious Monkey, and weak-minded Friar Sand. They're all enjoying themselves back there while they fool me into walking off here. We're all going to fetch the scriptures and we all want our reward, so why should I be the one to reconnoiter these mountains? Hm! If they know there are monsters around we should hide up for a while. But that's not even half good enough for them. They have to send me off by myself to find them. What lousy luck. I'll go and have a sleep somewhere. When I go back I can give him some kind of vague answer and say I've reconnoitered the mountains. That'll pay them back.”Feeling pleased with himself for the moment Pig grasps his rake and sets off. When he sees a reddish grassy slope in a mountain hollow he goes straight to it, makes himself a bed with the help of his rake, and lays down to sleep, saying as he stretched himself out, “This is the life. Not even Monkey can be as comfortable as I am.
Heterodoxy Confuses the True Nature,The Primal Deity Helps the Original Heart
Pig is captured by two demons, Silver and Golden Horn. “Brother,” said Gold Horn the senior demon king to Silver Horn the junior demon king, “as you've captured Pig we can be sure that the Tang Priest is here." "In my opinion we must catch him by cunning, not by being vicious, says Silver Horn, I`ll go and try to capture him. Silver Horn changes into an aged Taoist with a broken leg and sits down beside the path. Sanzang, not realizing it is a demon, tells Monkey to carry him. The demon recites spells and puts monkey under three mountains, so he cannot move, pulls Sanzang from his horse with his right hand, then grabs Friar Sand and uses his magic to levitate them and carry them in a puff of wind back to the Lotus Flower Cave.
"We can't eat the Tang Priest before we get Sun the Novice. That Monkey King has enormous magical powers and can turn himself into all sorts of things", says Gold Horn. “I can get Monkey without lifting a finger," Silver Horn replies, "I just need to send two little devils with a couple of treasures to bring him back in.” “What treasures?” “My gold and red gourd and your vase of mutton-fat jade.” The older monster fetches the two treasures, hands them to him, and asks which two little devils were to be sent. “Send Dexterous Ghost and Skillful Beast,” replies the younger monster. He then instructs them, “Take the two treasures straight to the top of a high mountain, put them there upside-down and call out to Sun. If he responds he'll go straight inside. You must immediately paste this label on: 'Supreme Lord Lao: to be dealt with urgently in accordance with the Statutes and Ordinances.' Within three and a half hours he'll just be pus.” The two little devils kowtow and go off with treasures to catch Monkey. Meanwhile the local Gods and mountain spirits free Monkey from under the mountains. Monkey changes himself into an old Taoist, meets the two devils and tricks them into giving him their treasures the gourd and the vase, into which they can catch people. He then follows them to the cave of Silver and Golden Horn.
© Copyright 2009 - 2016 Walther Sell