Images of the Journey to the West - by Chen Huiguan

Chapter 67
The Dhyana−Nature Is Stable, and Tuoluo Village Is Saved, The Mind of the Way Is Purified
As Corruption Is Removed


Sanzang and disciples stay overnight at a house. When the owner finds out who Monkey is, he asks him for help to catch a monster, which visits his village twice a year and swallows hens and geese whole. Any men or women he finds, he devours alive. As they are talking with the elders of the village about how to catch the monster, the howl of a great wind makes the elders start shaking with fear. “Monk, you've asked for trouble and you've got it,” they say. “You talked about the monster and here he is. Splendid Monkey springs up into mid-air with a whistle, brandishing his cudgel. The monster sees him coming and takes a firm stance and begins to wield a long spear furiously. When the fight has gone on for a long time the East grows light. The monster doesn't dare to fight any longer, so it turns and flees, with Monkey and Pig both after it. The two of them cross a ravine, where they see the monster coiled up, its head held high and its enormous mouth gaping wide. It is about to devour Pig, who flees in terror. Monkey, however, goes straight on towards it and is swallowed in a single gulp.


From inside the monster's belly, Monkey is poking around with his cudgel. He then jabs his cudgel out as hard as he can through the monster's spine from the inside and makes it stand some sixty or seventy feet high, just like a mast. Struggling for its life and in great pain the monster shoots forward faster than the wind, going down the mountain and back the way it has come for over seven miles until it collapses motionless in the dust. It is dead. All the people in the village, young and old, male and female, kneel down and bow to Sanzang and thank him. When they want to take their leave the old man tells them that they have to take Runny Persimmon Lane, a lane about a dozen miles West of the village. Every year over-ripe, rotten persimmons fall on the path, and they fill the rocky lane right up. The rain, dew, snow and frost attack them, and they rot all through the summer until the whole path is a mass of putrefaction. The people round here call it Runny Shit, or Runny Persimmon, Lane. When there's a West wind it smells even worse than a cesspit being emptied. “In that case, go and prepare two hundredweight of parched grain, as well as some steamed cakes and buns,” say Monkey. “When our long-snouted monk has eaten his fill he'll turn into a giant boar and clear the old lane with his snout. Then my master will be able to ride his horse over the mountain while we support him. He'll certainly get across.” The splendid idiot makes a spell with his hands, shakes himself, turns himself into a giant hog and goes forward to clear the way.

Chapter 68
In the Land of Purpuria, the Tang Priest Discusses History, Sun the Pilgrim in His Charity Offers to Be a Doctor


As they carry on their way a walled and moated city appears before them. Reining in his horse, Sanzang, says, “Disciples, can you see where this is?” “You can't read, Master,” Monkey exclaims. “How ever did you get the Tang Emperor to send you on this mission?” “I have been a monk since I was a boy and read classics and scriptures by the thousand,” Sanzang replies. “How could you say I can't read?” “Well,” Monkey replies, “if you can, why ask where we are instead of reading the big clear writing on the apricot-yellow flag over the city wall?” “Wretched ape,” Sanzang shouts, “you're talking nonsense. The flag is flapping much too hard in the wind for anyone to read what, if anything, is on it.” “Then how could I read it?” Monkey asks. “Don't rise to his bait, Master,” Pig and Friar Sand say. “From this distance we can't even see the walls and moat clearly, never mind words in a banner.” “But doesn't it say Purpuria?” Monkey asks. “Purpuria must be a Western kingdom,” Sanzang says. “We shall have to present our passport.”


Once in town, Monkey and Pig go to do some shopping but find that the crowds really are very dense. As Monkey squeezes his way through them he hears people saying that a royal proclamation has been posted at the tower. The proclamation says that the King has been confined to bed with a chronic illness. An invitation to all experts in medicine is issued to try to heal the sickness. Monkey volunteers to cure the King`s illness. The eunuchs and officers come up to him, bow low and say, “Lord Sun, His Majesty is very fortunate today as Heaven has sent you down to us. We are sure that you will display your great skill and give him the benefit of your outstanding medical knowledge. If you cure our king you will receive half the country and half the state.” Monkeys goes to the palace to see the King but he is too weak to see anybody. “If he won't see a stranger,” Monkey says, “I know the art of taking the pulses with hanging threads.” “That is something of which we have only heard,” exclaim all the officials, concealing their delight, “but that we have never seen with our own eyes. ” His Majesty consents to pulse-taking by the hanging threads so Monkey puts out his hand to pull three hairs from his tail, holds them in a bunch, calls, “Change!” and turns them into three golden threads each twenty-four feet long to match the twenty-four periods of the solar year. Then Monkey gives instructions to fasten three threads to His Majesty's left wrist at the inch, the bar and the cubit, and then to pass them out of the window to him, so he can make his diagnosis.”

Chapter 69
The Heart's Master Prepares Medicine in the Night, The Monarch Discusses a Demon
at the Banquet


My diagnosis of Your Majesty's ailment is that you are suffering from alarm and worry. The condition is the one known as the 'pair of birds parted.” When the king hears this inside his chamber he is so delighted that his spirits revive and he shouts in reply, “You have understood my illness through your fingers. That is indeed my trouble. Please go out and fetch some medicine.” All the officials then come forward to ask, “Holy monk, reverend sir, what is the 'pair of birds parted' condition of which you spoke just now?” “It's when a cock bird and a hen who were flying together are suddenly separated by a violent storm,” replies Monkey with a smile. “The hen misses the cock and the cock misses the hen. Isn't that 'a pair of birds parted?'“ At this the officials all cry out over and over again in admiration. “He really is a holy monk! He really is a divine doctor!”


Monkey makes three pills and after the King takes the medicine, he recovers from his illness. The King invites Sanzang and disciples to a banquet and tells Monkey that he has suffered from melancholia for years on end because the Golden Queen has been missing from the palace. An evil spirit took her during the Dragon-boat Festival three years ago. Monkey tells the King that he is willing to go after the evil spirit. The demon returned with different demands several times, so the King had ordered the building of a demon shelter to hide from the demon. While the King shows Monkey the demon shelter, the evil spirit turns up. Brother Monkey summons up his divine prestige and rises up into the air on his magic light, wielding his iron cudgel.

Chapter 70
The Evil Monster's Treasures Emit Smoke, Sand and Fire Wukong Steals the Golden Bells by Trickery


The demon, who turns out to be the vanguard warrior under the Great King Evil Star Matcher from Horndog Cave on Mount Unicorn, flees westwards in fear for his life, when his spear is quickly broken in two by Monkey's iron cudgel. The King tells Monkey where the cave of the demon is, and with a single leap Monkey is soon in sight of a tall mountain. After some time, he hears a banging and a clanging like a copper gong, sounding like an official messenger's gong. A young demon appears, holding a yellow flag and carrying a document on his back. Monkey shakes himself and turns himself into a Taoist boy and questions the demon. After finding out want he wants to know, Monkey brings out his cudgel, and hits the little devil on the back of his head, smashing it to a pulp.

 


Monkey shakes himself and turns into the likeness of the demon messenger, takes the yellow flag and the gong and starts hitting the gong as he strides straight towards Horndog Cave. Once inside the cave, Monkey finds out from the queen, that the demon has three golden bells. As soon as he shakes the first one three thousand feet of burning flames shoot out. When he shakes the second one a three-thousand-foot column of smoke gushes out to kipper people. And when he shakes it the third time a blinding three-thousand-foot sandstorm blows up. The fire and smoke are nothing much, but the sand is lethal. If it gets up your nostrils it can kill you. Monkey devises a plan for the queen to trick the demon into giving her the golden bells. When Monkey gets the bells, he shakes them by accident and smoke, fire and sand come gushing out. Monkey is discovered and panics, dropping the bells behind.

Chapter 71
Under a False Name Monkey Beats the Demon Hound, Guanyin Appears
to Subdue the Demon King


Sun Wukong turns himself into a fly and goes to the Queens living quarters, tells her who he is and that he will help her escape. He then turns himself into one of the Queen`s personal slave-girls and steals the three golden bells again, replacing them with fake ones. Then Monkey challenges the demon. When the two of them have fought fifty rounds without result the demon king realizes that Monkey is too strong a fighter for him to be able to beat. Blocking the iron cudgel with his axe the demon says,  “Stop, Sun the Novice. I haven't had my breakfast yet today. Let me eat, then I'll have it out with you.” Monkey is well aware that he wants to fetch the bells, so he puts his cudgel away and says,  “A hero doesn't chase an exhausted hare. Off you go. Have a good meal, and get ready to come back and die.”


The demon reclaims his bells, returns and shouts, “Stay where you are, Sun the Novice. Watch while I ring these bells.” You have your bells, but why shouldn't I have mine?” Monkey replies. “You can ring yours, so why shouldn't I ring mine?” “What bells have you got?” the demon king asks. “Show me.” Monkey pinches his iron cudgel to make it into an embroidery needle that he tucks into his ear then brings out the three real treasures from at his waist. “Here are my purple gold bells,” he says to the demon king. The sight of them comes as a shock to the demon. “That's funny,” he thinks, “very funny. Why are his bells exactly the same as mine? Even if they'd been cast from the same mould they'd not have been properly smoothed: you'd expect some extra marks or missing knobs. How can they be identical with this?” "Shake yours first,” says Monkey. The demon king then rings his first bell three times. No fire comes out. He rings his second three times. No smoke comes out. He rings his third three times, and no sand comes out either. “Very odd,” he says, making wild gestures, “very odd. The world's changed. These bells must be hen-pecked. “Stop, nephew,” says Monkey. “Now I'm going to shake mine to show you what happens.” The splendid ape then grasps all three bells in one hand and rings them together. Watch as clouds of red flames, black smoke and yellow sand all come gushing out, setting the trees and the mountain ablaze. Monkey then says the words of another spell and shouts “Wind!” towards the Southeast; and a wind did indeed spring up that fans the flames. With the power of the wind behind them the flames and smoke filled the heavens, blazing red and deepest black, and the earth is covered by the yellow sandstorm. The Evil Star Matcher's souls fled from his body in his terror, but he has nowhere to turn: amid that fire there was no way of escaping with his life. Then a penetrating shout was heard from mid-air: “Sun Wukong, I am here.” Monkey quickly looks up and sees that it is the Bodhisattva Guanyin holding her vase of pure water in her left hand and a sprig of willow in her right with which to sprinkle sweet dew and puts out the flames. The demon is in fact the golden-haired giant hound on which the Bodhisattva used to ride. She orders the monster to turn back into it`s own form and places the bells round the giant hound's neck, and flies up to her high throne. The Queen is freed and returned to the King.

Chapter 72
The Seven Emotions Confuse the Basic in Gossamer Cave, At Filth−Cleansing Spring,
Pig Forgets Himself


Along the way, Sanzang and disciples reach a house in the woods. Despite Monkey’s advice, Sanzang wants to go begging for food by himself. When he approaches the house he sees four beautiful girls all busily embroidering phoenix designs. As there are no males but only these four girls to be seen the reverend gentleman does not dare go inside, but slips back under the tall trees and stands stock still. He stands there for an hour. The silence is complete, unbroken by dog or cock. “If I'm not even capable of begging us a meal my disciples will laugh at me,” he thinks. “If the master can't beg a meal, what hope do his disciples have of ever getting to see the Buddha?” As he comes nearer, he sees three more girls inside the pavilion juggling a ball with their feet. After watching for a long time Sanzang can only go to the bridge and calls loudly, “Bodhisattvas, fate brings me here as a poor monk to beg for the gift of some food.” As soon as the women hear him they cheerfully put aside their needlework and balls to come out smiling and giggling through the gates to greet him. The girls offer Sanzang some dishes with food, but Sanzang politely refuses because it`s not vegetarian food. When the woman insists he eats the food Sanzang wishes to leave and as he struggles to get out the women blocked the gateway and refuse to let him go. They grab Sanzang and drag him like a sheep and throw him to the ground. Then they all hold him down, tie him up, and suspend him from the rafters.


When Sanzang doesn`t return, Monkey knows he`s in trouble, summons the local deity and ask him what place they have reached. “That is Gossamer Ridge,” the local deity replies. “Under the ridge there's a cave called Gossamer Cave where seven evil spirits live.” “Male or female ones?” Monkey asks. “She-devils,” the local deity replies. Monkey turns himself into a fly and spies on the She-devils, who are bathing in a pool. If I hit them I'd kill them, but it wouldn't do my reputation any good, he thinks. As they say, a real man doesn't fight women. The splendid Great Sage makes a spell with his hands, says the words of it, shakes himself and turns into a hungry eagle. With a whoosh of his wings he flies towards them, stretches his sharp talons to seize all seven sets of clothes that are hung on the stands and flies straight back to the ridge with them. Here he reverts to his own form to see Pig and Friar Sand and tells them what he saw. Pig then summons up his spirits and in high delight rushes straight to the pool, his rake held aloft. As he suddenly pushes the gates open and looks inside he sees the seven women squatting in the water and wildly cursing the eagle. As the woman see him, they use magic to make thick silken ropes come out of their navels, filling the sky with a huge silken canopy under which Pig is caught. When the idiot looks up he cannot see the sun in the heavens. He tries to run outside, but he cannot lift his feet, which are tangled in silken ropes that covered the ground. Goodness only knows how many times he stumbles and falls till his whole body is numb, his feet sore, his head aching and his eyes blurred. He can no longer even crawl, but lies groaning on the floor. Then the demons tie him up. They neither beat him up nor wounded him, but spring outside to rush back to their cave, leaving the silken canopy to blot out the daylight. When they reach the stone bridge they stop and say the words of a spell. In an instant the silk canopy is put away, and they all rush stark naked into the cave, covering their private parts with their hands as they ran giggling past the Tang Priest. Pig, meanwhile, whose head is spinning after falling over so often, looks up and suddenly sees that the silken canopy and ropes have all disappeared. Pig goes into the cave, where he finds the master hanging groaning and sobbing in mid-air and unties him.

Chapter 73
The Emotions Bear a Grudge and Inflict Disaster, The Heart's Master Smashes the Light
When He Meets the Demons


The story tells how the Great Sage Sun supports the Tang Priest as they hurry along the main road to the West together with Pig and Friar Sand. Within a few hours they are in sight of a compound with many tall towers and imposing buildings. The Taoist master of the Yellow Flower Temple invites them to some tea. This Taoist so happened to be the teacher of the seven she-devils, who had returned to the temple. When they see Sanzang and his disciples, they tell their master that the monks tried to kill them. The Taoist becomes furious and puts deadly poison in the monks tea. When Brother Monkey takes his cup he has already noticed that there are two black jujubes in the cup left on the tray and doesn`t drink it. However, after the others drink the tea, they all faint and fall to the floor. The splendid Great Sage feels in his ear for his gold-banded cudgel, waves it to make it as thick as a rice-bowl, and strikes at the Taoist master's face. The fighting disturbs the seven she-devils inside, who all rush out, undo their clothes, revealing their white stomachs, and from their navels they produce by magic thick silken ropes that come reeling out in such abundance that they form a canopy under which Brother Monkey is confined. Seeing that things are going badly Monkey gets up, says the words of a spell, does a somersault, smashes through the canopy and escapes. A local God informs Monkey that the she-devils are really seven spider spirits. The silken ropes that come out of them are spiders' webs. Monkey then goes to the outside of the Yellow Flower Temple, pulls seventy hairs out of his tail, blows on them with magic breath and shouts, “Change!” The hairs turn into seventy little Monkeys. He then blows a magic breath on his gold-banded cudgel, calls “Change!” and turns it into seventy two-pronged forks, one of which he gives to each of the little Monkeys. Monkey himself uses one of the forks to twist the silken ropes as he stands outside, then they all attack together to the rhythm of a tune, tearing the ropes to pieces, each of them tearing off over ten pounds of rope. They drag seven spiders out from inside. Each is about the size of a wicker basket. All of them hold their hands and feet together and have ropes round their necks. “Spare us, spare us,” they say. The seventy little Monkeys then press the seven spiders to the ground, refusing to let them go.” Don’t hit them,” says Monkey. “All we want is to make them give my master and my brothers back.” “Elder Brother,” shriek the demons at the tops of their voices, “give the Tang Priest back and save our lives.” The Taoist master rushes outside saying, “Sisters, I'm going to eat the Tang Priest. I can't save you.” This infuriates Brother Monkey. “If you won't give my master back just watch what happens to your sisters.” The splendid Great Sage waves his fork, turns it back into an iron cudgel that he lifts with both hands and smashes the seven spider spirits to pulp. Then he shakes his tail a couple of times, puts the hairs back on it and charges inside alone, swinging his cudgel to fight the Taoist master.


When the Taoist master fights fifty or sixty rounds with the Great Sage he feels his hand weakening and his sinews getting slack, so he undoes his belt and with a loud flapping noise takes off his black robe. “Well, my lad,” says the Great Sage with a laugh, “if you can't beat me you still won't be able to when you strip off.” Once the Taoist master strips off his clothes he raises both hands to reveal under his ribs a thousand eyes flashing golden light. The Great Sage Equaling Heaven is caught in the golden light and yellow smoke. Monkey starts lashing out desperately with his hands and feet, but can only spin around inside the golden light, unable to take a step either forwards or backwards. It is as if he is turning round and round in a bucket. It is hopeless. He is unbearably hot. In his anxiety he leaps into the air, smashing against the golden light, and crashing head first to the ground. His head aches where he hit it, and feels anxiously to find that the top of his scalp is tender. The splendid Great Sage says the words of a spell, shakes himself, and turns into one of those scaly diggers called pangolins.  Watch him as he burrows into the ground with his head, not coming out again till he covers over six miles. When he emerges and turns back into himself he is exhausted. His muscles ach, his whole body is in pain, and he cannot help weeping.  Just as the Handsome Monkey King is feeling miserable, a woman appears who tells him. “Go to Mount Purple Clouds, where there lives a sage called Vairambha who will be able to defeat that demon.” Monkey goes to Mount Purple clouds and the Bodhisattva Vairambha helps Monkey to catch the demon and gives him three pills to give to Sanzang Pig and Friar Sand, to recover from the poison.

Chapter 74
Li Changgeng Reports the Demons' Vicious Nature, The Novice Displays
His Powers of Transformation


Emotions and desires are in origin all the same;
Both emotions and desires are completely natural.
Many a gentleman refines himself in the Buddhist faith;
When desire and emotions are forgotten, dhyana comes.
Don't be impatient; be firm of heart;
Be free of dust like the moon in the sky.
Make no mistake in your labors and your progress;
When your efforts are completed you will be an enlightened immortal.

The story tells how Sanzang and his disciples, having broken through the net of desires and escape from the prison-house of the emotions, let the horse travel West. After a mile or two an old man appears. He stands far away at the top of the slope shouting, “Venerable gentleman travelling West, stop your worthy steed. Rein in. There is a band of demons on this mountain who have eaten all the people in the continent of Jambu. Go no further!” At this Sanzang turns pale with terror, and because the horse is not standing steadily and he himself is not well seated in the carved saddle he crashes to the ground and lay in the grass, moaning but unable to move. Monkey goes over to help him to his feet with the words, “Don't be afraid, don't be afraid. I'm here.” “Did you hear the old man up on the crag telling us that there's a band of demons on this mountain who have eaten everyone in the continent of Jambu?” says Sanzang. “Who'll dare go to ask him what this is really all about?” “Sit there while I go and ask him,” Monkey replies. “With your ugly face and coarse language I'm afraid you may shock him,” says Sanzang, “so you won't get the truth from him.” “I'll make myself a bit better looking before questioning him,” laughs Brother Monkey. “Do a change to show me,” says Sanzang, and the splendid Great Sage makes a spell with his fingers, shakes himself, and turns into a very neat little monk, clear-eyed, fine-browed, round-headed and regular of features. He moves in a most refined way and says nothing vulgar when he opens his mouth. Brushing his brocade tunic he steps forward and says to the Tang Priest, “Master, have I changed for the better?” “Yes,” says the delighted Sanzang. The splendid Great Sage leaves them behind as he goes straight up to the old man, bows to him and says, “Greetings, venerable sir.” The old man warns Monkey to go no further. They are close to Lion Ridge, which is 250 miles around. In it there is a Lion Cave where there are three demon chieftains. The three demon chiefs have the most tremendous magic powers. There must be 47,000 or 48,000 little demons altogether under their command.


The splendid Great Sage goes straight up to a peak by his somersault cloud and scouts around. After a while, he sees a little devil boy with a banner on which was written BY ORDER over his shoulder, a bell at his waist and clappers in his hands.  Monkey does a quick transformation into another junior devil, sounding clappers, ringing a bell and carrying a flag over his shoulder just like the real one, goes up to the devil boy and pretends to be a Senior Patroller in charge of the devil boys company. He shows him a pass that he made on the spot as proof. The devil boy takes Monkey to meet the rest of his company. After a mile or two a writing-brush peak is seen. Why is it called a writing-brush peak? Because on the top of the mountain there is a pinnacle about forty or fifty feet high that looks just like a writing brush standing upright on a brush stand. Going up to it Monkey lifts his tail, jumps to the top of the pinnacle and calls, “Come here, all of you.” The young Wind-piercers, the official name for the devil boys, all bow low beneath him and say, “We're at your service, sir.” Monkey questions them about the powers of the Senior Devils and learns that they have a treasure called the Male and Female Vital Principles Jar. Anyone who's put in that jar is turned liquid in a few moments. When he finds out all they know he kills the junior Wind-piercer, turns into the exact likeness of him and goes straight to the cave to find out about the demon chieftains.

.

Chapter 75
The Mind−Ape Bores a Hole in the Male and Female Jar, The Demon King Returns
and the Way Is Preserved


Brother Monkey strides inside, quite unafraid, puts down his clappers and bell, and calls, “Your Majesties.” The three old demons chuckle and reply, “So you're back, young Wind-piercer.” “Yes,” Monkey replies. “When you were patrolling what did you find out about where Sun the Novice is?” “Your Majesties,” Monkey replies, “I don't dare tell you.” Monkey then makes up a story about himself. He tells them that Sun the Novice may turn himself into a fly, get in through a crack between the gates and catch us all. Then they'll be done for.  “Be very careful, brothers,” says the senior demon.  “We haven't had a fly here for years, so any fly that gets in will be Sun the Novice.” “So I'll change into a fly and frighten them into opening the gates,” thinks Monkey, smiling to himself. The splendid Great Sage then slips aside, reaches up to pull a hair from the back of his head, blows on it with a magic breath, calls  “Change!” and turns it into a golden fly that flies straight into the old demon's face. “Brothers,” says the old demon in a panic,  “this is terrible! He's inside!” All the demons great and small are so alarmed that they rush forward to swat the fly with their rakes and brooms. The Great Sage can not help giggling aloud, which was just what he should not do as it reveals his true face. The third demon chief leaps forward, grabs him and says,  “Brothers, he almost had us fooled.”  “Who had who fooled?” the senior demon asks. “The young devil who reported just now was no junior Wind-piercer,” the third chief replies,  “but Sun the Novice himself. He must have run into a junior Wind-piercer and somehow or other murdered him and done this transformation to trick us.”


Monkey is found out and captured. "Now that we've captured Sun the Novice the Tang Priest is as good as a meal in our mouths.” says the third demon chief. “Sun the Novice is a slippery customer and is good at escaping by magic. I'm worried he might get away. Tell the juniors to bring the jar out and put him inside. Monkey is put inside the jar and soon his ankle began to hurt. Putting his hand down at once to feel it he finds that it has been burnt so badly it had gone soft.  “I don't know what to do,” he says with anxiety,  “My ankle's been cooked tender. I'm a cripple now.” Just when he is feeling thoroughly miserable he suddenly remembers,  “Years ago the Bodhisattva gave me three life-saving hairs on the Coiled Snake Mountain. I wonder if I've still got them. I'd better look for them.” He feels all over his body and finds three very rigid hairs on the back of his head. “All the other hair on my body is soft except for these three that are as hard as spears,” he says with delight.  “They must be my lifesavers.” Gritting his teeth against the pain, he pulls the three hairs out, blows on them with magic breath and calls,  “Change!” One of them turns into a steel drill, one into a strip of bamboo, and one into a silken cord. He makes the bamboo strip into a bow to which he fixes the drill. After a noisy spell of drilling at the bottom of the jar he makes a hole through which the light comes in.  “I'm in luck,” he says with glee,  “I'm in luck. Now I can get out.” No sooner has he transformed himself ready to escape than the jar becomes cool again. Why is that? It cooled because the hole he has bored in it let the male and female vital forces escape. The splendid Great Sage put his hairs back, makes himself small by turning into the tiniest of insects, a very delicate creature as thin as a whisker and as long as an eyebrow hair, and slips out through the hole.

Chapter 76
When the Heart Spirit Stays in the Home, the Demons Submit, The Mother of Wood Helps
Bring Monsters to the Truth


When Monkey shakes himself and turns back into himself, he is discovered and one of the senior demons charges at him. The monster opens his jaws to eat Monkey up. This is just what Monkey intends so he goes straight towards the demon, who swallows him in a single gulp. “Elder brother,” says the third demon chief with horror, “ Sun the Novice isn't worth eating.” “I'm delicious,” says the Great Sage from inside the demon's stomach, “and I'll stop you from ever feeling hungry again.” This causes the junior devils such a shock that they report, “This is terrible, Your Senior Majesty. Sun the Novice is talking inside your stomach.” “Sun the Novice,” the monster calls, “won't you come out?” “Not yet,” Monkey replies, and starts kicking about him, swinging on the demon's liver, doing headstands and somersaults, and dancing wildly. This causes the monster such unbearable pain that he collapses. Desperate to save his skin, the evil monster calls out, “I beg you, Great Sage, in your mercy and compassion take pity on my antlike greed for life and spare me. If you do I'll escort your master across the mountain.” “Evil monster,” Monkey shouts, “I'll spare your life, I`m coming out". He puts his hand behind him to pluck a tiny hair from his tail, blows on it with magic breath, calls “Change!” and makes it into a string as fine as a hair but some four hundred feet long. One end Monkey fastens round the evil monster's heart in a slip-knot that he doesn`t tighten—if he did it would cause great pain. The other end he holds in his hand as he says to himself, “If they agree to escort my master across the ridge when I come out I'll leave it at that. But if they refuse and go for me with their weapons so hard that I can't cope with them I'll just need to pull this rope. I'll get the same results as if I were still inside.” As he comes out, Monkey bows and grows over thirty feet long, keeping the string in one hand and holding the iron cudgel in the other. The wicked monster raises his steel sword as soon as he sees Monkey appear and hacks at his face. The Great Sage meets the blow one-handed with his cudgel. Then the second demon chief with his spear and the third chief with his halberd go for him furiously. The Great Sage relaxes his pull on the rope, puts his iron cudgel away and makes off at speed by cloud, afraid that he will be unable to fight properly when surrounded by so many devils. Once he leaps out of the demons' camp he brings his cloud down on a spacious and empty mountain top and pulls with both hands on the rope as hard as he can. This gives the senior demon a pain in the heart. The demon struggles upwards in agony, whereupon the Great Sage pulls him down again. The demon came whistling down out of the sky like a spinning-wheel to crash into the dust, making a crater some two feet deep in the hard earth at the foot of the mountain.


This gives the second and third demon chiefs such a fright that they kneel at the foot of the mountain and say, "If in your mercy and compassion you spare our lives, Great Sage,” kowtowing together, “we vow to escort your master across this mountain.” Monkey shakes himself and puts the hair back on his body, whereupon the monster's heart pains stop. The three demon chiefs then rise up into the air to thank him with the words, “Please go back now, Great Sage, and pack your luggage. We will carry your master.” The three demon chiefs go back to their cave to get a chair to carry the Tang Priest in, but decide to have it out with the Great Sage again. The second demon chief musters three thousand junior demons and goes out to challenge him. He sends a herald with a blue flag to carry a message. “Sun the Novice,” the herald says, “come out at once and fight His Second Majesty.” “I'm not scared of him,” Pig says. “I'll go and give him a fight.” “If you want to, go ahead,” Monkey replies. The idiot lifts his rake and rushes up the steep slope shouting. “Come out, evil spirit! Come and fight your ancestor Pig!” The two of them join battle in front of the mountainside, and before they have fought seven or eight rounds the idiot begins to weaken. He is no longer able to hold the evil spirit off. The evil spirit unwinds his trunk that is like a python, wraps it round Pig and carries him back in triumph to the cave. Monkey goes after them, frees Pig and captures the yellow-tusked elephant demon. I won`t kill you if are really willing to escort my master across the mountain.” As soon as he hears this, the demon falls to his knees and promises to do so. “Great Sage,” he says, “I'll carry him across by chair if you spare my life.” "If you break your word again we most certainly won't spare your life when we catch you next time,” Monkey says. The freed monster kowtows and leaves. A little while later, the demons come back with the carrying-chair, but they have devised another plan to catch the Tang Priest. When they have traveled about 150 miles West they find themselves near a walled city. Monkey sees a very evil atmosphere hanging over the town. Just as he is being overcome by terror the Great Sage hears a wind from behind him and turns quickly to see the third demon chief raising a heaven-square halberd. Monkey then sees the senior demon chief giving out orders as he lifts his steel saber to hack at Pig. Meanwhile the second demon chief is thrusting with his spear at Friar Sand, who parried with his demon-quelling staff. Sixteen junior devils obey their orders and carry Sanzang straight to the city.

Chapter 77
The Demon Host Mistreats the Fundamental Nature, The One Body Pays
His Respects to the Buddha


We will tell now not of the sufferings of the venerable Tang Elder but of the three demon chiefs in strenuous combat with the Great Sage and his two brother disciples in the low hills to the East outside the city. After the six of them have been fighting for a long time evening is drawing in. Pig is finding it harder and harder to hold off his opponent and is soon captured. Seeing that things are going badly Friar Sand feints with his staff and turns to flee only to be caught. Now Monkey has to fight off the three demons together. Monkey can not get out of the third demon chief talons no matter how hard he struggles. The demon takes him back inside the city to the palace, releases his talons, drops him into the dust, and tells the fiendish hordes to tie him up and put him with Pig and Friar Sand. “Third brother, you really are strong and wise”, says the senior demon. “Your plan to capture the Tang Priest was brilliant and it worked.”  “Little ones,” he called,  “Five of you carry water, seven scrub the pans, ten get the fire burning and twenty fetch the iron steamer. When we've steamed the four monks tender for my brothers and me to enjoy we'll give you juniors a piece so that you can all live for ever.”  “Brother,” says Pig, trembling, when he hears this, “listen. That evil spirit's planning to steam and eat us.” A little later a junior devil comes in to report that the water is boiling. The senior chief orders that the monks be carried in, and all the demons act together to carry Pig to the lowest shelf of the steamer and Friar Sand to the second shelf. Guessing that they would be coming for him next Brother Monkey frees himself and says,  “This lamplight is just right for some action.” He then pulls out a hair, blows on it with magic breath, calls,  “Change!” and turns it into another Monkey he ties up with the hempen rope while extracting his real self in spirit form to spring into mid-air, look down and watch. Not realizing his deception, the crowd of demons pick up the false Monkey they see and carry him to the third tray of the steamer, near the top. Only then do they drag the Tang Priest to the ground, tie him up, and put him into the fourth tray. In the meantime Monkey summons the Dragon King of the Northern Ocean to protect Sanzang for him and tells him to not let the steam harm him. The Dragon King at once turns himself into a cold wind that blows underneath the cooking pot and coils around to shield it from all the heat of the fire. Thus are the three of them saved from death.


That night Monkey hears a rumor in the city that the Tang Priest is eaten raw by the senior king during the night. This makes Brother Monkey really anxious. He returns to the palace, shakes himself, turns himself into a junior demon, and frees Friar Sand and Pig who confirm the story. Now that it seems true, the Great Sage is cut to the heart. Deep in misery, Monkey says to himself,  “It's all the fault of our Buddha, the Tathagata, who has nothing better to do in his paradise than make the three stores of scriptures. If he really wanted to convert people to be good he ought to have sent them to the East himself. Oh well! I'll ride my somersault cloud to see the Tathagata Buddha and tell him what's happened.” The splendid Great Sage jumps to his feet and goes straight to India on his somersault cloud. The Tathagata Buddha is sitting on his nine-level lotus throne expounding the sutras to his eighteen arhats when he sees Monkey he says,  “Wukong, what makes you so miserable?” Brother Monkey describes their difficulties along the way, and that the demons have eaten Sanzang. Before he has finished tears well up. There is no end to his howls of misery. “Don't upset yourself so, Wukong,” says the Tathagata with a smile.  “You can't beat those evil spirits. Their magical powers are more than you can handle. That is why you are so unhappy. I shall have to go and subdue the demons in person,” the Tathagata says. Monkey kowtows as he respectfully replies,  “I beg you to condescend to grant us your illustrious presence.” The Tathagata then comes down from his lotus throne and goes out through the monastery gates down to the city. Two of the monsters are quickly captured, but the third evil monster is more difficult to subdue. Spreading its wings it drops its heaven-square halberd and rises straight up to try to catch the Monkey King with a swing of its sharp talons, but as the Great Sage is biding in the golden aura of the Buddha, the demon dares get nowhere near him. When the Tathagata realizes what it is trying to do he makes his golden aura flash and shakes his head, the supreme meditator in the wind, to turn the creature into a bright red lump of bloody meat. The evil spirit seizes it with a flourish of its sharp talons, whereupon the Lord Buddha points upwards with his hand, destroying the muscles in the monster's wings. It cannot fly or get away from the top of the Buddha's head, and it reverts to its true appearance as a golden-winged vulture. “Lord Buddha, today you have captured the evil spirits and removed a great bane, but my master is dead.” At this the Great Roc says bitterly as it grounds its teeth,  “Damned ape! Why did you have to bring these ferocious men here to persecute me? I never ate that old monk of yours. He's in the Brocade Fragrance Pavilion now, isn't he?” When Monkey hears this he quickly kowtows to thank the Lord Buddha and goes to the Brocade Fragrance Pavilion. Opening the door and looking inside he sees an iron trunk from which can be heard the sound of Sanzang weeping. Friar Sand uses his demon-quelling staff to open the iron cage over the chest and raise its lid.  “Master,” he calls. At the sight of them Sanzang weeps aloud and says,  “Disciples, how were the demons beaten? How did you manage to find me here?” Monkey tells him all the details of what has happened from beginning to end and Sanzang expresses boundless gratitude.

Chapter 78
In Bhiksuland the Hidden Gods Are Sent on an Errand of Mercy, In the Palace the Monster
Is Revealed and the Way Discussed


A single thought at once disturbs a hundred monsters;
The hardest efforts are all to no avail.
One can only wash away each speck of dust,
Tidy everything and polish well.
Sweep all causation away and come to nirvana;
Waste no time and destroy the thousand demons.
You surely will be free from obstructions,
And rise to the Daluo Heaven when your deeds are done.

The master and disciples reach a city that has been called Bhiksuland, but is now called Boytown. Monkey discovers the entrance to every house has a basketwork coop of the sort geese are kept in. A little boy is seated inside each coop. They are informed that three years ago an old man dressed as a Taoist came to the town with a fifteen year old girl. She was a ravishing beauty, just like a Bodhisattva Guanyin. He presented her to the king, who was so smitten by her charms that she became the favorite of all his women. She was given the title Queen Beauty. The king had no eyes for any of his other queens or consorts. He was so insatiable that he was at it day and night. The result was nervous exhaustion and physical collapse. He was eating and drinking next to nothing. He may die at any moment. The Royal College of Physicians tried every possible medicine without any success. The Taoist who presented the girl to the king was rewarded with the title of Elder of the Nation. He has a secret foreign formula for making people live a great deal longer. He's been to ten continents and the three magic islands to collect the ingredients. Everything is ready. The only problem is that it needs a terrible adjuvant to help it—a potion made from the hearts of 1,111 little boys. After the King has taken the medicine, he'll have a thousand years of vigorous life ahead of him. All the little boys being kept in the coops are the ones that have been chosen. Their parents are so afraid of the king that none of them dare weep. That's why they've put out the story that this place is now called Boytown. Monkey asks the city god, the local deities, the officiating immortals, the Protectors of the Faith of the four quarters and the center, the Four Duty Gods, the Six Dings and the Six Jias and the Guardians of the Teaching to use all their powers to lift the little boys and their coops over the city wall into a mountain hollow or somewhere deep in a forest and keep them there for a day or two.


When the Elder of the nation discovers that the boys are gone, he isn`t upset. He has just seen Sanzang, when he went for an audience with the king to present his passport. The Elder tells the king, “The monk from the East who is being sent to fetch the scriptures has pure organs and regular features. His is the body of one who has cultivated his conduct for ten lifetimes. He has been a monk since childhood and has preserved his masculine purity, which all makes him ten thousand times better than those little boys. If you can make a decoction from his heart with which to take my elixir I can guarantee you an extremely long life.” Monkey, who was disguised as a fly, had heard this conversation when he secretly accompanied Sanzang’s audience and stayed in the palace to investigate. When Sanzang is later summoned to the palace, Monkey changes himself into Sanzang and goes instead.

Chapter 79
Searching the Cave to Capture the Fiend They Meet Longevity, The Reigning Monarch Saves the Little Boys


“King of Bhiksuland,” shouts imitation Tang Priest, “what have you summoned me here to say to me?” “We are sick with a chronic illness that has dragged on for many a day without any improvement,” the king replies. “Now the Elder of the Nation has to our good fortune presented us with a prescription that has been made up. All that is needed now is an adjuvant. The reason we have sent for you, reverend sir, is to ask you for the adjuvant. If we recover we will build a temple to you in which offerings will be made in all four seasons and incense will be burnt to you in perpetuity by our country.” “I am a man of religion,” the imitation Tang Priest replies, “and have brought nothing with me. I do not know what adjuvant the Elder of the Nation has told Your Majesty you need.” “Your heart, reverend sir,” the deluded monarch replies. “I will be frank with Your Majesty,” the imitation Tang Priest says. “I have a number of hearts. I don't know which you want.” “Monk,” pronounces the Elder of the Nation, who was standing beside the king. “I want your black heart.” “Very well then,” the imitation Tang Priest replies. “Produce your knife at once and open up my chest. If there is a black heart there I shall offer it to you obediently.” The deluded monarch thanks him delightedly and orders an official in attendance to bring a small knife with a blade shaped like a cow's ear that is handed to the imitation Tang Priest. Taking the knife, the imitation Tang Priest undoes his clothes, thrusts out his chest, presses his left hand against his abdomen and cuts the skin of his stomach open with the knife in his right hand. There is a whoosh, and out roll a whole pile of hearts. The civilian officials all turn pale with fright; the military officers are numbed. When the Elder of the Nation sees this from inside the throne hall he says, “This monk is a suspicious-minded character. He has too many hearts.” The imitation Tang Priest then holds up the hearts one by one, each dripping with blood, for all to see. They include a loyal red heart, a pure white heart, a yellow heart, an avaricious heart, a fame-hungry heart, a jealous heart, a calculating heart, an over-competitive heart, an ambitious heart, an overbearing heart, a murderous heart, a vicious heart, a frightened heart, a cautious heart, a heretical heart and a heart full of indefinable gloom. There was every kind of evil heart except a black one.


The deluded ruler is horror-struck, unable to speak until he says in tones, “Put them away! Put them away!” The imitation Tang Priest has taken as much as he could, so he puts his magic away and turns back into himself to say to the deluded monarch, “Your Majesty, you're not at all perceptive. We monks all have good hearts. It's only this Elder of the Nation of yours who has a black heart. His would make a good adjuvant for the medicine. If you don't believe me I'll take his out to show you.” When the Elder of the Nation hears this he opens his eyes wide to take a careful look. He sees that the monk's face has changed to something quite different. Heavens! Recognizing him as the Great Sage Monkey who had been so famous five hundred years ago he makes a getaway by cloud. Monkey does a somersault and springs up into mid-air to shout, “Where do you think you're going? Take this from me!” The Elder uses his stick with a dragon on its head to meet the blow from Monkey's cudgel. The two of them fight a fine battle up in the sky. When the evil spirit has fought over twenty hard rounds with Monkey his dragon staff is no longer a match for the gold-banded cudgel. Feinting with his staff, the spirit turns himself into a beam of cold light and drops into the inner quarters of the palace to take the demon queen he has presented to the king out through the palace gates with him. She too turns into cold light and disappears. Monkey asks the local God if he knows a demon cave in the neighborhood. The local God tells Monkey to look for the nine-forked willow on the Southern bank, walk round it three times to the left and three times to the right, hit the tree with both hands and shout 'Open up' three times. The Pure Splendor Cave Palace will then appear. The Great Sage follows the local god's advice and after he shouts 'Open up' three times, a pair of double doors open with a noisy whoosh and the tree is nowhere to be seen. Inside the doors is bright light of many colors but no sign of human life. Hurrying forward for a closer look Monkey sees that on the stone screen is carved IMMORTAL PALACE OF PURE SPLENDOR. Unable to restrain himself, he jumps over the stone screen to see the old monster embracing a beautiful woman and telling her breathlessly what has happened in Bhiksuland. “That was our chance,” they say together. “Three years' efforts should have paid off today, but that ape's ruined everything.” Monkey charges up to them, brandishing his cudgel and shouting, “I'll get you, you fools. What do you mean, that was your chance? Take that!” After fighting several rounds Monkey hears the calls of the phoenix and the crane and looks up to see that it is the Star of Longevity from the Southern pole of the heavens. Placing a cover over the cold light the old man calls out, “Don't be in such a hurry, Great Sage, he's a messenger of mine, I carelessly let him escape to become a monster here.” The Star of Longevity then lets the cold light out and shouts, “Evil beast! Turn back into yourself at once if you want to be spared the death penalty.” The demon turns himself round and reveals that he is really a white deer.

Chapter 80
The Young Girl Seeks a Mate to Build Up the Male, Protecting His Master the Mind−Ape Sees Through a Demon


When the four have been traveling for a long time another towering mountain appears in front of them. “Master,” Monkey calls “there's a path that goes round the mountain. The Tang Priest answers, “Let`s sit here for a moment to let the horse have a rest. I am, besides, famished. Go and beg me some meat-free food from somewhere.” Sanzang is sitting in the forest clarifying his mind and contemplating the Buddha-nature as he recites the Mahaprajnaparamita Heart Sutra when suddenly he hears a high-pitched cry of  “Help!” As he goes closer he sees a woman tied to a big tree. The top half of her body is bound to the trunk with creepers and her lower half buried in the ground. Sanzang stops to ask,  “Why are you tied up here, lady Bodhisattva?” It is quite obvious that the wretched creature is an evil monster, but with his mortal eyes in a worldling's body Sanzang is unable to perceive this.  The evil spirit makes up a story and as Sanzang really does have a merciful heart he can not help weeping and sobbing himself. The Tang Priest points at the tree and says ,  “Pig, untie this lady Bodhisattva and save her life.” Without caring whether this is the right or the wrong thing to do, the idiot sets to. Brother,” replies Monkey with a smile, “don't untie her. She's an evil spirit who's been putting on an act to fool us.” “Wretched ape,” shouts Sanzang, “talking nonsense again. How can you possibly take a girl like this for an evil spirit?” “There's something you don't know, Master.” Monkey replies. “In the old days I tried all these tricks myself when I wanted some human flesh. You couldn't possibly tell what she is.” “Master,” says Pig, pouting sulkily, “don't let that Protector of the Horses take you in. She's a local girl. We've never had dealings with her before on our long journey from the East and she's no relation or in-law of ours, so how can you say she's an evil spirit? He's trying to get rid of us by making us go ahead so he can turn a somersault and get back here by magic. Then he's going to have a bit of fun with her and ruin our reputation.” “You cretin,” shouts Brother Monkey, “stop talking such rubbish. I've never done any such outrageous thing on all our journey to the West. I reckon it must have been some reckless womanizer like yourself who forgot his principles when he saw a good chance. I expect you tricked some family into taking you as their son-in-law and tied her up here.” “That's enough of that,” said Sanzang, “that's enough. “Disciple,” the Tang Priest replies, “there's an old saying, 'Do not fail to do a good deed because it is small; do not commit a bad deed because it is small.' You're still to go and save her.”


After she is untied the demon stamps her feet, fastens her skirt and happily follows the Tang Priest out of the pine forest. Within seven to ten miles the evening is drawing in and a tall building comes into sight. “Disciples,” says Sanzang, “that must be a temple of some sort. We shall ask to spend the night here and be on our way first thing tomorrow.” They were soon at the gates, where Sanzang tells them, “Keep well out of the way while I go in first to ask if we can stay for the night. If it looks suitable I shall send someone to call to you.” As he walks further Sanzang sees written over the gate in large letters SEA-GUARDING MONASTERY OF MEDITATION. He strides in through the gates, where a monk appears coming towards him. After leading Sanzang into the abbot's lodgings and going through the rituals of greeting the lama asks him, “Where have you come from, venerable Father?” “I have been sent by His Majesty the Emperor of Great Tang in the East to worship the Buddha and fetch the scriptures from Thunder Monastery in India in the West,” Sanzang replies. I don't think that a lone traveler looking as delicate as you could possibly be a pilgrim going to fetch the scriptures,” says the lama. “You are quite right, abbot,” Sanzang replies. “I could never have got here alone. I have three disciples who clear my way across the mountains and build me bridges over rivers. It is only because they have protected me that I have been able to reach your monastery.” “Where are your three distinguished disciples?” the lama asks. “Waiting outside the gates of the monastery,” Sanzang replies. “Father,” says the lama with alarm, “you don't realize that there are dangerous tigers, wolves, evil bandits, ghosts and demons here. We don't dare roam far even by day and we shut the gates before nightfall. How can you leave people outside this late?” He then tells his disciples to ask them in at once.

Chapter 81
The Mind−Ape Recognizes a Monster in the Monastery, The Three Search for Their Master in Black Pine Forest


Sanzang and his disciples are given a vegetarian meal. When the four of them have eaten the girl is also fed. The next day Sanzang feels ill and they stay at the monastery for three days. On the third day they hear that in the three days they've been in the monastery, an evil spirit has eaten six of the monastery's young lamas. Monkey goes to the Buddha Hall. He breaths out some of his magic fire to light the glazed lamp then beats the drum that stands to the East and strikes the bell to the West. That done, he shakes himself and turns himself into a young lama of only eleven or twelve who is wearing a yellow silk shirt and a white cotton tunic, striking a wooden fish with his hand as he recites a sutra. He waits till the first watch without seeing anything happen. Then a roaring wind can be heard.  As soon as the wind has passed by there was a fragrance of musk and incense and the tinkling of pendants. When Monkey looks up he sees that a woman of great beauty is going towards the Buddha Hall. Monkey mumbles the words of a sutra for all he is worth. The woman goes up to him, puts her arms around him and asks,  “What's that sutra you're reciting?”  “One I vowed to,” says Monkey. “But why are you still reciting it when the others are all asleep?” she insists. “I vowed to, so why shouldn't I?” Monkey replies. Keeping a tight hold on him, the woman kisses his lips and says,   “ as the stars and moon are so bright tonight and we are fated to come hundreds of miles to meet each other, let's go round to the garden at the back to make love. ” When Brother Monkey hears this he nods to himself and thinks,  “So those stupid lamas all died because they were led astray by lust. Now she's trying to lure me. Lady,” he says in reply,  “I'm a monk and still very young. I don't know anything about love-making.”  “Come with me and I'll teach you,” the woman replies. “All right then,” Monkey thought with an inward smile,  “I'll go with her and see how she fixes things.” Shoulder nestling against shoulder and hand in hand the two of them leave the Buddha Hall and go straight to the garden at the back. Here the monster trips Monkey over and sends him to the ground. With wild calls of  “My darling!” she makes a grab for his crotch. “So you really want to eat me up, my girl,” he says, seizing her hand and throwing her off balance so that she somersaulted to the ground. “So you can throw your sweetie to the ground, can you, my darling?” she says. “If I don't take this chance to finish her off what am I waiting for?” he thinks.  “As they say, hit first and win, strike second and lose.” He leans forward with his hands on his hips, springs to his feet and reverts to his own form. With a swing of his gold-banded iron cudgel he strikes at the monster's head.


The Great Sage Monkey is in such high spirits that his cudgel never misses. Realizing that she is no match for him, the evil spirit takes the embroidered shoe off her left foot, blows on it with a magic breath, says the words of a spell, calls out, “Change!” and turns it into a likeness of herself that comes back at him waving a pair of swords. Meanwhile she turns her real body with a shake into a pure breeze and goes. This is Sanzang's star of disaster. She heads straight for the abbot's quarters, lifts Sanzang up into a cloud, and, on the instant, before anyone can see anything, she is back at Mount Pitfall and inside the Bottomless Cave, where she tells her underlings to prepare a vegetarian marriage feast. The story switches back to Brother Monkey, who fights with desperate anxiety until he is able to seize an opening and smash the evil spirit to the ground with a single blow, only to find that she is in fact an embroidered shoe. Realizing that he has fallen for a trick he goes straight back to see the master, but the master is gone. Monkey tells the lamas to go and see if the girl is still in the devarajas' hall.” “She's gone, my lord,” the lamas say, “she's gone. She has spent only one night there and was gone the next morning.” “That girl who was tied up in the Black Pine Forest the other day,”  Monkey says,  “I saw through her with my fiery eyes and golden pupils, but you all thought she was a good person. And now it's her who's eaten the monks and her who's carried the master off. You all did a fine thing rescuing that 'lady Bodhisattva'. As she's carried the master off we're going back the way we came to look for her.”  Monkey summons the mountain god and a local deity and discovers that the evil spirit has taken Sanzang to the Bottomless Cave at Mount Pitfal, three hundred miles due South. “The master's a long way from here,” says Monkey to Pig and Friar Sand. “If it's a long way let's go there by cloud,” Pig replies. The splendid idiot goes ahead on a wild wind followed by Friar Sand on a cloud. As the white horse has originally been a dragon's son he too comes by wind and mist as he carries the luggage on his back. The Great Sage sets off by somersault as he heads due South.

Chapter 82
The Girl Seeks the Male, The Primal Deity Guards the Way


Before long a high mountain comes into view that is blocking the way for the clouds.They leap down the mountainside and find a narrow path. After following it for nearly two miles they came across two she-monsters drawing water from a well. They followed the two monsters for five or six miles deep into the mountains before suddenly disappearing. Monkey spots a ceremonial archway on which four large words are written: PITFALL MOUNTAIN: BOTTOMLESS CAVE. “This must be where the evil spirit lives,” Monkey thinks. “I'll go in and find out what's up. No, wait. If I go in like this she'll recognize me. I'd better transform myself.” With a shake and a hand-spell he turns himself into a fly and flies lightly up to land on the gate-tower and listens in. When he spreads his wings and flies inside to look he sees the Tang Priest sitting in a corridor behind a trellis covered with opaque red paper below and left clear above. Butting a hole through the trellis paper Monkey lands on the Tang Priest's bald head and calls, “Master.” “Save me, disciple,” replies Sanzang, who recognizes Monkey's voice. Monkey tells Sanzang that the evil spirit is going to drink some wine with him. When Sanzang pours her wine, he should pour it out quickly and make a lot of froth. Monkey will turn him self into a tiny insect and fly under the bubbles.


Sanzag does as monkey told him. But when the spirit takes the goblet she puts it down instead of drinking from it, bows twice to the Tang Priest and speaks loving words to him with charming bashfulness. By the time she lifts the cup the bubbles have burst and the insect is revealed. Not realizing that it is Monkey transformed, the evil spirit takes it for a real insect, lifts it out with her little finger and flicks it away. Seeing that as things are not going as he intended he would be unable to get into her belly, Monkey turns himself into a hungry eagle. Monkey flies up, swings his jade claws, and noisily overturns the tables, smashing all the fruit, vegetables and crockery, and leaving the Tang Priest alone there as he flies off. This is so terrifying that the she-devil's heart and gall are split open, and the Tang Priest's flesh and bones are turned crisp. Shivering and shaking, the evil spirit throws her arms round the Tang Priest and says, “Dearest reverend gentleman, wherever did that come from?” “I don't know,” Sanzang replies. A little later monkey returns in the form of a fly again, and says, “Don't be angry with me, Master. I've got a way to save you.” “How will you save me?” the Tang Priest asks. “When I flew up just now,” says Monkey, “I saw that she has a garden behind here. You must lure her into the garden to fool around and I'll rescue you from there.” “How will you rescue me from the garden?” the Tang Priest asks. “Go to the peach trees in the garden with her and stay there. Wait till I've flown to a branch of the peach tree and turned into a red peach. When you want to eat a peach pick the red one first—that will be me. She'll be bound to pick one too. You must insist on giving her the red one. Once she's swallowed it I'll be in her stomach. When I tear her stomach to pieces and rip her guts to shreds she'll be dead and you'll be freed.” “With your powers you ought to fight her,” says Sanzang. “Why do you want to get into her stomach?” “You don't understand, Master,” Monkey replies. “If it were easy to get in and out of this cave of hers I would be able to fight her. But this place is very hard to get into or out of: the way out is complicated and difficult. If I started a fight with her all the fiends in her den, young and old, would overpower me. Then how would it end? We must act carefully if we're all to make a clean getaway.” This time the plan works and once inside the evil spirit Monkey shouts. “You must take my master out. I'll only spare your life when you've carried him outside.” This leaves the evil spirit with no choice as all she cares about is saving her skin. At once she struggles to her feet, lifts the Tang Priest on her back and heads straight to the mouth of the cave, where the clang of weapons and wild shouts can be heard.  “Disciple,” says Sanzang,   “why can I hear weapons outside?”  “It's Pig rubbing his rake,” replies Monkey.   “Give him a shout.”  “Bajie,” Sanzang shouts.  “Friar Sand,” says Pig when he hears this,   “the master's out.” The two of them draw back their rake and staff, letting the evil spirit carry the Tang Priest out.

Chapter 83
The Mind−Ape Recognizes the Refiner of Cinnabar, The Girl Reverts to Her True Nature


Monkey tells the monster to open her mouth, jumps out and raises his cudgel to strike her. At once she draws a pair of fine swords and they fight a splendid battle on the mountain top. After a while, Pig and Friar decide to join the fight. The evil spirit, who is already finding Brother Monkey too much to handle, realizes that she will be unable to hold out against two more of them. At once she turns and flees. “After her, brothers,” Monkey shouts. Seeing that they are so hot on her heels the evil spirit takes the embroidered shoe off her right foot, blows on it with a magic breath, says a spell, calls “Change!” and turns it into her own double swinging a pair of sword. Then she shakes herself, turns into a puff of wind and goes straight back. There she is, fleeing for her life because she is no match for them. What happens next is quite unexpected: Sanzang's evil star has still not gone away. As the evil spirit reaches the archway in front of the entrance to the cave she sees the Tang Priest sitting there by himself, so she goes up to him, throws her arm round him, grabs the luggage, bites through the bridle, and carries him back inside, horse and all. The story tells not of her but of Pig, who exploits an opening to fell the evil spirit with one blow of his rake, only to find that she is really an embroidered shoe. “You pair of idiots,” says Monkey when he sees it. “You should have been looking after the master. Nobody asked you to help.” The three of them hurry back to find that the master has disappeared: there is no sign at all of him, the luggage or the white horse. Monkey goes back to the evil spirit's residence, but it is completely deserted. Not knowing where they have gone, Monkey stamps his foot but just when he is howling with impatience and anxiety his nose is struck by a whiff of incense, which brings him back to himself. “This incense smoke is coming from the back,” he thinks, “so I suppose they must be there.” He strides in at the back, his cudgel in his hand, but still sees no sign of life. What he does see are three side rooms. Near the back wall is a lacquered offertory table carved with dragons on which stands a gilt incense-burner. From this comes heavily scented incense smoke. On the table is a tablet inscribed with letters of gold to which the offerings are being made. The letters read, “Honoured Father, Heavenly King Li.” In a slightly inferior position is written, “Honored Elder Brother, Third Prince Nezha.”


Monkey went up to heaven to Heavenly King Li and told him that his daughter had become an evil spirit on earth. The Heavenly King and the prince with their heavenly soldiers, went down to the evil spirit`s cave. Underneath a dark corner in the Southeast of the cave there was another, smaller cave, where behind a pair of tiny gates there was a tiny cottage with flowers growing in pots and a few canes of bamboo beside the eaves. The atmosphere was dark and heavy with fragrance. This was where the evil spirit had carried Sanzang and was going to force him to marry her. She was sure that Monkey would never find them; none of them realized that her union was fated to be thwarted.Monkey went up to heaven to Heavenly King Li and told him that his daughter had become an evil spirit on earth. The Heavenly King and the prince with their heavenly soldiers, went down to the evil spirit`s cave. Underneath a dark corner in the Southeast of the cave there was another, smaller cave, where behind a pair of tiny gates there was a tiny cottage with flowers growing in pots and a few canes of bamboo beside the eaves. The atmosphere was dark and heavy with fragrance. This was where the evil spirit had carried Sanzang and was going to force him to marry her. She was sure that Monkey would never find them; none of them realized that her union was fated to be thwarted. The junior devils were jabbering away in a great crush when a bolder one among them stretched outside the cave for a look around only for her head to butt into a heavenly soldier, who shouted, “They're here!” At this Monkey flew into a rage, grasped the gold-banded cudgel and charged straight down in. The cave was tiny and all the demons from the big cave were in there, so that when Prince Nezha sent his heavenly soldiers crowding into the attack, not a single one of the demons could hide. Monkey found the Tang Priest, the dragon horse and the baggage. The senior demon was at her wit's end. All she could do was to kowtow to Prince Nezha, begging him to spare her life.

Chapter 84
The Indestructible Proteges of the Buddha Complete Enlightenment, The Dharma King Comes to the Truth, Through His Own Nature


On their way the master and disciples meet an old woman who tells them that they will come to the capital of Dharmadestructia in a couple of miles and that the king there, has formed a hatred of Buddhism in an earlier existence, and in his present life he is punishing it without just cause. Two years ago he made a monstrous vow to kill ten thousand Buddhist monks. In that time he's killed 9,996 unknown monks in succession. He is just waiting for four famous monks to make up his ten thousand so that he will fulfill the vow. If they go into the city they will be throwing away their lives for nothing.” She adds though, that there is no way around. The only way they can get past it is if they can fly.” Monkey steals some clothes and says to Sanzang, “Master, you won't get through Dharmadestructia as a monk. I've just borrowed these hats and clothes from an inn for us to dress ourselves up as laymen.” The venerable elder to takes off his monastic tunic and hat and puts on a layman's clothing and headwear. They all go into the city disguised and pretend to be horse dealers.


They decide to stay at an inn called `Widow Zhao's Inn`, and sleep inside a big trunk, so that even if any of the inn people come in to tidy up, they won`t see their bald heads and realize that they are monks. At night the trunk is stolen by some bandits who think there are some treasures in the trunk. The bandits kill the soldiers at the city gate, open it and let themselves out. This causes a sensation in the streets and the markets, where the watchmen of all the shops report it to the commander-in-chief of the city garrison and the East city commissioner. The commander-in-chief and the East city commissioner muster a force of infantry, cavalry and bowmen that leaves the city in pursuit of the bandits. Seeing that resistance to so powerful a government force will be pointless, the bandits abandoned the trunk, scatter into the undergrowth and disappear. The trunk is carried to his headquarters, where the East city commissioner seals it with strips of paper on which they writes and sets a guard over it till morning, when they will submit a memorial to the king and request a decision on what to do with it. In the third watch Monkey uses one of his magic powers. Slipping his cudgel out he blows on it with a magic breath, calls   “Change!” and turns it into a triple auger with which he drills two or three holes near the bottom of the chest, forming a single larger hole. He puts the auger away, shakes himself, turns into an ant and crawls out. Then he turns back into himself and rides his cloud straight to the palace gates. The king is fast asleep, so Monkey uses his Great All powerful Body-dividing Magic. Plucking all the hairs out of his left arm he blows on them with a magic breath, calls   “Change!” and turns them into little Monkeys. Then he pulls all the hairs out from his right arm, blows on them with a magic breath, calls   “Change!” and turns them into sleep-insects. Next he recites the magic word Om and tells the local deity of the place to take the little Monkeys to distribute them throughout the palace to all the officials in every office and department of government. Each holder of official rank is given a sleep-insect to ensure that he or she will sleep soundly and not gets up. Monkey then takes his gold-banded cudgel in his hands, squeezes it, waves it, calls,   “Change, treasure!” and turns it into over a thousand razors of the sort used for shaving the head. Taking one himself, he tells all the little monkeys to take one each and shave the heads of everyone in the inner quarters of the palace and in all the government departments and offices. When the king opens his eyes in the morning and sees the queen's bald head he gets straight out of bed and says,   “Why are you like that, my queen?”  “You're the same, Your Majesty,” she replies. The king then rubs his head, which gives him such a fright that the three souls in his body groan, and his seven spirits fly off into the air.  “What has happened to me?” he exclaims. Just when he is in this panicky state the royal consorts, the palace ladies and the eunuchs young and old all fall to their knees, their heads shaved bald, and say,   “Lord, we have all been turned into monks.” At the sight of them the king weeps.   “We think this must be because of all the monks we have killed,” he says.

Chapter 85
The Mind−ape is jealous of the Mother of Wood, The Demon Chief Plots
to Devour the Master of Dhyana


The story tells how the king holds his dawn audience with the civil and military officials. The King says, “From now on we will not dare kill any more monks.” The king then returns to his throne and the officials take their places in their proper ranks. The king then says, “Let those with business here come forward from their ranks to report. If there is no other business the curtain may be rolled up and the audience ended.” The commander-in-chief of the capital's garrison then tells the King about the trunk and the trunk is brought out. No sooner is the lid lifted than Pig, who can restrain himself no longer, springs out, giving all the officials such a fright that they shiver, unable to speak. Next Brother Monkey can be seen helping the Tang Priest out, while Friar Sand lifts the luggage out. Sanzang tells the King that he has been sent by His Majesty the Great Tang Emperor to go to the Great Thunder Monastery in India in the West to worship the living Buddha and fetch the true scriptures. They slept in a trunk because they knew that His Majesty had sworn a vow to kill Buddhist monks. “Venerable Master,” the king replies,   “you are a distinguished monk from our suzerain heavenly dynasty. It was wrong of us not to go out to welcome you. For years we have been fulfilling a vow to kill monks because a monk once maligned us. The vow we made to heaven was to kill ten thousand monks to make up a round number. We never imagined that today we would return to the truth and that we would all be turned into monks. Now all of us, king, officials, queen and consorts, had our hair shaved off. I beg, Venerable Master, that you will not be grudging with your lofty virtue and will take us as your disciples.” “If you will accept us as your follower, Master, we will present you with all the wealth in our kingdom.” “Don't talk about wealth to us,” says Brother Monkey,   “as we're proper monks. As long as you inspect and return our passport and escort us out of the city I can guarantee that your monarchy will last for ever and that you will enjoy a long and happy life.” The passport is immediately inspected and returned, after which Sanzang is asked to change the name of the country.  “'Dharma' in the name of Your Majesty's country is excellent,” Monkey says, “but the 'destructia' part is nonsense. Now that we've come here you should change the name to 'Dharmarespectia'. We will say no more of how monarch and subjects now hold to the true faith, but tell how, as they are traveling along, a great mountain comes into view, blocking their way. Reining in the horse, the Tang Priest says,   “Disciples, see how high that mountain is. You must be very careful.”  “Don't worry,” says Monkey with a grin,   “don't worry. I promise you nothing will go wrong. You have already forgotten the Heart Sutra that the Rook's Nest Hermit taught you.”   “I can still remember it,” Sanzang says.  “Even if you can still remember that,” says Monkey,   “there is a quatrain that you've forgotten.”  “What quatrain?” Sanzang asks, to which Monkey replies,

Do not go far to seek the Buddha on Vulture Peak;
Vulture Peak is in your heart   
Everybody has a Vulture Peak stupa
Under which to cultivate conduct.


Now there actually is an evil spirit living on the mountain, who has a junior assistant who used to live in the Lion Cave of the demon king on Lion Ridge and knows the master and disciples because the demon king on Lion Ridge tried to eat the Sanzang. He has a plan to capture the Tang priest. “What plan?” the senior demon asks. “I have a plan to 'divide the petals of the plum blossom.'” “What do you mean by 'dividing the petals of the plum blossom?' “ the demon king asks. “Call the roll of all the devils in the cave,” the junior devil replies. “Choose the best hundred from all thousand of them, then the best ten out of that hundred, and finally the best three out of the ten. They must be capable and good at transformations. Have them all turn into Your Majesty's doubles, wear Your Majesty's helmet and armor, carry Your Majesty's mace, and lie in wait in three different places. First send one out to fight Zhu Bajie, then one to fight Sun the Novice and finally one to fight Friar Sand. This way you'll only have to spare three junior devils to draw the three disciples away. Then Your Majesty will be able to stretch down from mid-air with your cloud-grabbing hand to catch the Tang Priest. He'll be in the bag. It'll be as easy as catching flies in a dish of fish juice. Nothing to it.” The plan works and Sanzang is once again captured by a demon. The demon tells the commander of the vanguard, to bring the Tang Priest to him and tell the underlings to fetch water, scrub the cooking pot, fetch some firewood and light the fire. “When he's been steamed we will each have a piece of his flesh and live for ever.”

Chapter 86
The Mother of Wood Lends His Might in Defeating the Ogre, The Metal Lord Uses His Magic
to Wipe Out the Monster


Monkey and Pig go looking for the demon` s cave. “Strike, Pig,” says Monkey when they find it. “This is where the evil spirit lives. The master must be here.” At this the idiot turns vicious, raises his rake, and brings it down on the gates with all his strength, smashing a big hole in them and shouting, “Ogre, send my master out at once if you don't want me to smash your gates down and finish the lot of you off.” The junior devil throws out a human head and tells them they have already eaten the priest, hoping to take him them in, so that they will leave and they can enjoy eating the priest. 'This one's a fake,” Brother Monkey says. “How can you tell?” Pig ask. “When you throw a real human head it lands quietly,” Monkey explains, “but when you trow a fake it makes a loud noise like a pair of wooden clappers. If you don't believe me, I'll throw it for you. Listen!” He picks the head up and throws it against a rock, where it gives a hollow ring. “I'll get you, you hairy lot,” Pig says, “you may have hidden my master in your cave and fooled your ancestor Pig with a piece of willow root, but don't imagine that my master is just a willow-tree spirit in disguise.” The junior devil who is holding the tray is thrown into such a panic by this that he runs shaking with fear back to report, “It's terrible, terrible, terrible. What's so terribly terrible then?" the senior demon asks. “Zhu Bajie and Friar Sand are taken in, but Monkey's like an antique dealer—he really knows his stuff,” the junior demon replies. “He could tell it was an imitation head. Monkey and Pig rush straight for the stone gates, and with no more ado they smash them down and shout with a yell that made the heavens shake, “Give us our Tang Priest back alive!” After fighting for thirty rounds, Monkey realizes that the junior devils are fighting so hard that repeated attacks were failing to drive them back, so he uses body-dividing magic, plucks out a bunch of hairs, chews them up in his mouth, spats the pieces out, calls “Change!” and turns them all into his own doubles, each wielding a gold-banded cudgel and fighting his way into the cave from the outside. The one or two hundred junior devils, unable to cope with their attacks from all sides, all flee for their lives back into the cave.


The splendid Great Sage turns himself into a winged ant and flies into the main hall, where he sees the junior devils jostling and shouting. He pulls out a handful of hairs, chews them up into little pieces, blows them lightly out of his mouth and silently recites the words of the spell that turns all the pieces into sleep insects. These he throws into the faces of all the devils, and the insects crawl up their noses, gradually making the devils feel sleepy. He then looks all around until he sees a very tiny doorway on one side of it. It is very firmly shut, and when he squeezes through the narrow gap between the doors he finds himself in a big garden. Flying further inside he sees a clump of tall trees at the foot of which were tied two men. One of these is the Tang Priest. “Untie me quick, disciple,” the venerable elder says. “Being roped up like this has been agony. Untie him too, Wukong.” “Who's he?” Monkey asks. “He is captured and brought here a day before me,” Sanzang replies. “He's a woodcutter. He tells me his mother is very old and he is most worried about her. He is a very dutiful son. You must save him too.” Doing as he is bid, Monkey unties the other man and takes them both out through the back gate.

Chapter 87
When Heaven Is Offended in Fengxian, It Stops the Rain, The Great Sage Urges Goodness and Brings a Downpour


Deep and mysterious is the Great Way;
What news is there of it?
When revealed it will alarm ghosts and divine beings.
It controls the universe,
Divides darkness and light;
In the world of true happiness there is no competition.
Before the Vulture Peak
Pearls and jewels emerge,
Shining with every color.
It illuminates all beings that live between heaven and earth;
Those who understand it live as long as mountains and seas.

Sanzang and disciples reach the prefecture of Fengxian, one of the frontier prefectures of India. Because people have been suffering from drought for years on end, the marquis has put up a notice, calling for masters of the Dharma to pray for rain and save the people.  Monkey offers his skills to make rain. When the marquis hears about it, he goes out to meet the visitors. “I am Marquis Shangguan of Fengxian Prefecture, and I have bathed and perfumed myself in order to beg you teachers to pray for the rain that will save the people. I implore you in your great mercy to give play to your divine powers and bring us deliverance.” Returning his courtesies, Sanzang says,   “This is no place to talk. We will be able to act when we have gone to a monastery.” After the master and disciples are offered a meal, Monkey recites a spell and says the magic words. A dark cloud appears to the East and slowly moves till it is in front of the hall: it is Ao Guang, the ancient dragon of the Eastern Sea. Ao Guang then puts away his cloud feet and turns himself into human form to go up to Monkey, bow low to him with full courtesy and asks,   “What have you sent for this humble dragon to do, Great Sage?”  “Please rise,” Monkey replies. “The only reason why I have troubled you to make this long journey is because there has been a drought in this prefecture of Fengxian for years on end. I'd like to ask you if you couldn't send some rain.”  “I must inform you, Great Sage,” the dragon replies, “that although I can make rain I can only act on the orders of Heaven. I would never dare come here to make rain on my own authority without Heaven's instructions.” Monkey goes straight to the Western Gate of Heaven on his somersault cloud and asks permission to obtain rain. The Jade Emperor replies, that three years ago, when inspecting the myriad heavens and travelling through the three worlds, they saw that the marquis was most wicked; he knocked over the vegetarian offerings to heaven to feed to dogs, spoke foully, and was guilty of lese-majeste. "That is why we set up those three things in the Hall of Fragrance. Take Sun Wukong to see them. When those three things have been accomplished we will issue our edict; but if they are not, then do not meddle in what does not concern you.” When the four heavenly teachers lead Brother Monkey to the Hall of Fragrance he sees a mountain of rice about a hundred feet high and a mountain of flour about two hundred feet high. Beside the rice mountain is a chicken the size of a fist eating the rice, sometimes with quick pecks, sometimes with slow ones. Beside the flour mountain is a golden-haired Pekinese licking the flour, sometimes with long licks and sometimes with short ones. To the left of it a golden padlock about one foot three or four inches long hangs from an iron frame. The crossbar of the lock is about the thickness of a finger, and under it is a lamp, the flame of which is heating the bar. “That place will only be due for rain when the chicken has eaten all the rice, the dog has licked up all the flour, and the lamp has melted the bar of the lock,” the heavenly teachers say. When Monkey hears this he goes pale with shock, and he dares make no more memorials to the throne. He leaves the palace hall overcome with embarrassment.   “Don't take it so badly, Great Sage,” says the four heavenly teachers with smiles.   “This is something that can be resolved through  goodness. Once a single kind thought moves Heaven the rice and flour mountains will collapse and the bar of the padlock will be broken. If you can persuade the marquis to return to goodness then blessings will come of themselves.”


Monkey accepts their advice, and instead of going back to the Hall of Miraculous Mist to take his leave of the Jade Emperor he heads straight down to the lower world and its ordinary mortals. When the marquis, Sanzang, Pig, Friar Sand and the officials high and low all welcom him back they crowd round him asking questions and Monkey tells them what he had found out. “As I was leaving the four heavenly teachers said to me that this could only be solved through goodness”, monkey says. At this the marquis is so alarmed that he falls to his knees, prostrates himself on the ground and says imploringly, “I will do just as you tell me, teacher.” “If your heart can turn back to goodness,” Monkey replies, “I hope that you'll at once start invoking the Buddha and reciting scriptures. Then I'll be able to help you. If you persist in refusing to reform there'll be nothing I can do to get you off. It won't be long before Heaven executes you, and your life will be beyond saving.” The marquis kowtows in worship, swearing to return to the faith. At once he summons all the Buddhist and Taoist clergy in the city and orders that a site be prepared for religious ceremonies. They are all to write out documents and memorials for three days. The marquis leads his followers in burning incense and worshipping, thanking Heaven and Earth and repenting of his sins. The splendid Great Sage set his cloud off once more and goes straight to the gate of Heaven, where he meets Heavenly King Lokapala again.  “What have you come for now?” Lokapala asks.  “The marquis has mended his ways,” Monkey replies, which pleases the Heavenly King. As they are talking the Straight Spell Messenger arrives at the gate of Heaven to deliver letters and documents written by Taoist and Buddhist clergy. When the Jade Emperor sees them he says,   “As that wretch has had some virtuous thoughts, see what has happened to the three things.” Just as he is speaking the official in charge of the Hall of Fragrance comes in to report,   “The rice and flour mountains have collapsed: the rice and flour all disappeared in an instant. The bar of the lock has also been broken.” Before he can finish submitting this memorial the heavenly official in attendance leads in the local deity, the city god and the gods of the altars from Fengxian, who all bowed and report,   “The lord of our prefecture and every member of every household, high and low, of the people have been converted to the true achievement and are worshipping the Buddha and Heaven. We now beg you in your compassion to send a widespread fall of timely rain to deliver the common people.” When the Jade Emperor hears this he is very pleased, so he issues an edict:   “Let the departments of wind, cloud and rain go to the lower world in accordance with orders. At this hour on this day the clouds are to be spread, the thunder shall roar, and three feet and forty-two drops of rain shall fall.” That day three feet and forty-two drops of rain falls.  

After long drought the fields received sweet rain
Merchants were traveling along all watercourses.
They were deeply moved by the monks who had come to the city,
And by the Great Sage who had gone up to Heaven.
Evil was removed from the three things;
One thought had brought all back to the good.
From now on all longed for a new golden age
With ten thousand years of abundant harvests
Through the five winds and ten kinds of rain.

Chapter 88
When the Dhyana Reaches Yuhua, a Display of Magic Is Given, The Mind−Ape
and the Mother of Wood Take Their Own Disciples


When the four of them have been travelling for a long time they see the towering shape of a city wall in Yuhua County, one of the prefectures of India. The lord of the city is a member of the king of India's royal family who has been made prince of Yuhua. When they enter the city Sanzang goes to the palace so the prince can inspect their passport and they can continue their journey. The prince`s three sons, and when they hear about the visitors, they go up to meet them. Impressed by the weapons and skills of Monkey, Pig and Friar Sand they ask them to be their teachers and teach them their skills to protect the country with. “Teaching you would be easy enough,” says Monkey with a smile, “except that you're all too weak to be able to use our weapons, so you won't be able to master them. I'll give you some magic strength before teaching you how to fight.” He silently says the words of the spell, recites a mantra, and blows magic breath into the hearts of the three of them.


Even though they can now lift the weapons, when they try to spin the divine weapons around they can only move them with great difficulty. They ask permission to have lighter copies made of them. The princes then send for smiths who buy ten thousand pounds of iron and steel, set up a workshop with a furnace in the front courtyard of the prince's palace, and begin to cast the weapons. The work goes on by night and day without stopping. That night an evil spirit, who is sitting out on a night watch in a cave called Tigermouth Cave on a mountain called Mount Leopard Head that is only some twenty-five miles from the city, notices a glow and auspicious vapors. Going up on his cloud to investigate he sees that the light comes from the city, whereupon he brings his cloud down and goes closer for a better look. Discovering that the light is coming from the weapons, he thinks with delight and desire, “What wonderful weapons, what splendid treasures. I wonder whose they are and why they've been left here. This must be my lucky chance. I'll take them, I'll take them.” His covetousness now moves, he creates a mighty wind, scoops up all three weapons and takes them back to his cave.

Chapter 89
The Tawny Lion Spirit Arranges a Rake Feast in Vain, Metal, Wood and Earth Make
Havoc on Mount Leopard Head


Monkey goes looking around for the weapons on his cloud and he sees two wolf-headed ogres. He changes himself into a butterfly and flutters after them. He hears them say, that the demon is organizing a rake banquet, to celebrate the capture of the weapons and that they are going to buy pigs and sheep for the rake banquet. Monkey kills the ogres, Pig and Monkey change into their forms and go to the demons cave, together with pigs and sheep. The demon-king comes out with ten or more junior demons to ask, “Are you two back? How many animals did you buy?” “Eight pigs and seven sheep—fifteen altogether,” Monkey replies. A junior devil comes with five ounces of silver that he gives to Monkey, and says, "come round to the back for something to eat with us.” They enter the cave and when they reached the second hall inside they see on a table in the middle of it the nine-toothed iron rake set up in all its dazzling brightness to receive offerings. At the Eastern end of the table is leant the gold-banded cudgel, and at the Western end the demon-quelling staff. Oh dear! This was a case of “when the owner sees what's his he's bound to pick it up.” They all grab their weapons and turn back into themselves and start lashing out at the demon king. The evil spirit at once raises his halberd to fight back. After several rounds of fighting the demon weakens, can hold out no longer, escapes and goes to his grandfather, the Primal Sage of Ninefold Numinosity.


The story now tells of how the evil spirit heads Southeast to Bamboo Mountain, in which there is a cave called the Nine-bend Twisty Cave where the evil spirit's grandfather, the Primal Sage of Ninefold Numinosity, lives. When he knocks on the gates and goes in a junior devil greets him with the words, “Your Majesty, Greenface brought the invitation last night, and the old gentleman invited him to say till this morning to go to your Rake Banquet with him. Why have you come here so very early to invite him yourself?” “I hate to have to say it,” the evil spirit replies, “but the banquet is off. ”The old demon gets up and calls for the evil spirit, who drops his weapon and prostrates himself on the ground to kowtow, tears streaming down his cheeks. “Worthy grandson,” the old demon says, “you sent me an invitation yesterday. Why have you come yourself, looking so miserable and upset?” The evil spirit tells his grandfather what happened. After a moment's silent thought the old demon replies with a smile, “So it's them. Worthy grandson, you made a big mistake provoking him.” “Do you know who they are, grandfather?” the other asks. “The one with a long snout and big ears is Zhu Bajie,” the old demon says, “and the one with a horrible face is Friar Sand. They're not too bad. But the one with a hairy face and a mouth like a thunder god is called Sun the Novice. He's got really tremendous magical powers. Why did you have to provoke him? Never mind. I'll go with you and capture those so-and-sos and the prince of Yuhua to avenge you.”

Chapter 90
By Giving and Receiving, the Master and the Lion Turn into One, After Stealing the Way and Obstructing Dhyana, Ninefold Numinosity Is Pacified


With a roaring wind and in a thick fog they approach the city. The Tawny Lion Spirit is leading, with Leo and Elephant-fighter Lion on his left, Gryphon and Raccoon-dog Lion on his right and Monkey Lion with Snowy Lion behind him. In the middle of them all is a nine-headed lion. Monkey, Pig and Friar Sand leave the city amid wind and clouds to give battle. After the evil spirits have been fighting the Great Sage and the two others for half a day, night falls. Pig by now is dribbling and his legs are going weak, so he feints with his rake and flees in defeat, but is captured by two lion spirits. Friar Sand and Monkey also have to fall back, beaten. When the evil spirits all come after them Monkey pulls out a handful of hairs and turns them into more than one hundred little Monkeys who go round and round, surrounding Snowy, Leo, Elephant-fighter, Raccoon-dog and Tawny Lion. Friar Sand and Monkey then come forward to join in the fight again. Later that night they catch Leo and Gryphon and put Raccoon-dog and Elephant-fighter to flight. Night falls and the demons return to their cave. The next day, they resume the fight with five lion spirits attacking Monkey and Friar, while the senior demon charges into the tower, opens his mouths, takes Sanzang, the senior prince and his sons in them one by one, and goes back to the hollow ground, where he takes Pig in another mouth, one of the nine he had in his nine heads. One mouth holds the Tang Priest, one Pig, one the senior prince, one his eldest son, one the second son and one the third son. With six mouths full of six people he still has three mouths empty and wide open as he roars, “I'm going back ahead.”  The next morning the Great Sage takes Friar Sand up on an auspicious cloud. Before long they are at the top of Bamboo Mountain, and bring their cloud down to look. As the two of them are standing on the mountain admiring the view Greenface suddenly appears in a ravine between cliffs. They follow him to a cave and see a stone tablet on which is written in large block letters: NINE-BEND TWISTY CAVE, MIGHTY BAMBOO MOUNTAIN. The junior devil runs inside the cave and shuts the gates firmly behind him. Once inside he reports to the old demon, “My lord, those two monks are outside.” The old demon shouts, “Little ones, guard the place well while I go out to catch those other two monks. Then we can punish them all together.” Watch him as he strides off without armor or weapons. When he hears Monkey shouting he throws the gates of the cave wide open and goes straight for him, not deigning to answer. Monkey raises his iron cudgel to stop him with a blow to the head while Friar Sand swings his staff at him. As the demon shakes his principal head the eight other heads to left and right of it all open their mouths, with which they gently pick Monkey and Friar Sand up and carry them into the cave.


At night Monkey uses his magic to escape and rides by auspicious cloud straight back to the city of Yuhua, where all the local deities and spirits as well as the god of the city can be seen bowing in mid-air to greet him. “Why have you only come to see me today?” Monkey asks. “The old demon came down to Bamboo Mountain the year before last,” one of the local deity says, shivering and shaking as he kowtows. He is a nine-headed lion called the Primal Sage of Ninefold Numinosity. If you want to deal with him you must go to the Wonderful Crag Palace in the uttermost East and fetch his master here to subdue him. Nobody else can possibly do it.” The Great Sage sets off his somersault cloud and travels through the night till it is about the last watch, when he reaches the Eastern Gate of Heaven and goes to the Wonderful Crag Palace. As soon as the Heavenly Honoured One hears the story he sends his immortal officers to the lion house to call out his lionkeeper slave and question him. The lionkeeper slave is sleeping so deeply that the officers have to push and shake him before they can wake him up and drag him into the main hall. Here the Heavenly Honoured One asks him, “Where is the lion?” “My lord,” the lionkeeper replies, kowtowing with tears streaming down his face, “I stole and drank a jug of wine I saw in the Sweet Dew Palace of the Great Chiliocosm. Before I realized what had happened I was dead drunk. It must have slipped its chains and got away.” The Heavenly Honoured One, the lion-keeper slave and the Great Sage all go by cloud straight to Bamboo Mountain, where the Protectors of the Four Quarters and the Centre, the Six Dings, the Six Jias and the local deity of the mountain all kneel to greet them. Monkey challenges the demon to battle and draws him out. By the time the evil spirit reached the cliff in pursuit of Monkey, the Heavenly Honoured One has said a spell and shouts, “I'm here, my little Primal Sage.” Recognizing his master, the monster gives up the struggle and lays down with all four feet on the ground, kowtowing. The lionkeeper then runs over to him, takes hold of his mane, and punches him hundreds of times on the neck, saying abusively, “Why did you run away, animal? You got me into terrible trouble.” The lion keeps his mouths shut and says nothing, not daring to move, and the lionkeeper only stops hitting him when his fist is tired out. When a brocade saddlecloth has been put on the animal's back the Heavenly Honoured One mounts and shouts to it to go. They then rise up on coloured clouds and go straight back to the Wonderful Crag Palace. After addressing his thanks skywards the Great Sage goes into the cave and frees first the prince of Yuhua, then Sanzang, then Pig, Friar Sand and the three young princes. 

Chapter 91
Admiring the Moon Festival Lanterns in Jinping, The Tang Priest Confesses
in Dark Essence Cave


The Master and disciples reach a city and stay at `The clouds of compassion monastery`. They stay to enjoy the Full moon Festival. During the festival three golden lamps, each the size of a water vat and shaped like a two-storied pavilion with a light shining out through intricate gold and silver filigree openwork, are lit. Glazed ceramic tiles inside the lamps reflect their light. They are so bright they outshine the moon, and their oil is very fragrant. “What sort of oil do those lamps burn?” the Tang Priest asks the monks, “and why does it smell so remarkably good?" "The oil isn't ordinary oil but perfumed refined butter oil. When the lamps have burned for one night the Lord Buddhas appear, the oil all vanishes and the lamp goes out.” “I suppose the Lord Buddhas take all the oil,” says Pig with a grin as he stands at one side. “That's right,” the monks reply, “that's what everyone in the city has aways said ever since ancient times. If the oil runs dry they say that the Buddhas have taken the oil and the crops will certainly be bountiful; but if it doesn't dry up on one occasion there will be famine, drought and the wrong weather at the wrong time in that year. That's why everyone makes this offering.” Sanzang and disciples attend the festival and as they are talking, there is the howling of a wind up in the air, sending everyone who is admiring the lanterns fleeing in terror. The monks cannot hold their ground either. “Let's go back, venerable teacher,” they say, “the wind's here. It's the Lord Buddhas bringing blessings. They're here to see the lanterns.” “How can you tell that?” the Tang Priest asks. “It's the same every year,” the monks reply. “The wind blows up before the third watch. Everybody gets out of the way as they know that it is the Lord Buddhas bringing down blessings.” “I am one who thinks of, invokes and worships Buddhas,” the Tang Priest says. “If the Buddhas are honoring us with their presence on this festive occasion it would be wonderful to be able to worship them.” He rejects the monks' repeated urgings to go back, and a little later the forms of three Buddhas appear in the wind and approach the lamps. The Tang Priest is so excited that he runs to the top of the lamp bridge and throws himself down in worship. Brother Monkey rushes forward in alarm to drag him to his feet and says, “They're no good, Master. I'm sure they're evil.” Before the words are even out of his mouth the lamps all go out as with a great whoosh the Tang Priest is swept up by the wind. It is terrible! Who knows what evil monsters from what cave in what mountain have been posing as Buddhas to watch the golden lamps?


Monkey finds out from the duty Gods that there is mountain nearby called Green Dragon Mountain, and there is a cave in it called the Dark Essence Cave where three evil spirits live. The oldest is called King Cold-avoider, the second is called King Heat-avoider and the third is called King Dust-avoider. Monkey goes up to them with a shout of, “Can you recognize Monkey, thieving damned ogres?” “Are you the Sun Wukong who made havoc in Heaven?” the evil spirits shout back. All you are is a macaque.” “I'll get you, you lamp-oil thieves,” Monkey retorts in high dudgeon. “Don't talk such rubbish, you smooth-tongued monsters. Give my master back at once.” With that he advances and swings his iron cudgel, to be parried by the old demons who raise their weapons to meet the blow. By the time Monkey's cudgel has gone 150 rounds with the three demons it is nearly evening and the outcome is still in doubt. Then Dust-avoider springs forward from the ranks with a swing of his flail and waved a flag, whereupon the crowd of cattle-headed demons swarm round Monkey, encircling him and swinging wildly at him with their weapons. Seeing that things are going badly, Monkey sets off his somersault cloud, flees in a whoosh and rides his cloud back to the Clouds of Compassion Monastery. After having dinner Monkey wants to go to sleep and says, "We'll go and fight them again tomorrow and capture the demon kings so as to rescue the master.” “What nonsense, brother,” says Friar Sand, "it'll be terrible if that monster stays awake tonight and murders the master. We'd better go there right now and make such a row that he can't do anything. It may go badly wrong if we lose a single moment.” When Pig hears this he braces himself and says, “Friar Sand's right. Let's go and put down those demons. The moon's bright enough.” Accepting their advice, Monkey leaves his instructions with the monks of the monastery.

Chapter 92
Three Monks Wage a Great Fight on Green Dragon Mountain, Four Stars Seize the Rhinoceros Monsters


Monkey fights the demons again with Pig and Friar, but Pig and Friar are caught by the demons. The story tells how Brother Monkey rides his somersault cloud back to the Clouds of Compassion Monastery, where the monks meet him with the question, “Have you been able to rescue Lord Tang?” “It's difficult,” says Monkey, “very difficult. Those three evil spirits have tremendous magical powers, and when we three had fought them for a long time they called up their underlings to capture Pig and Friar Sand. I was lucky to get away. You people look after the horse and the luggage while I go up to Heaven to get some troops.” The splendid Great Sage is soon outside the Western Gate of Heaven, where the Metal Planet, Heavenly King Virudhaka and the four spirit officers Yin, Zhu, Tao and Xu are talking to each other. As soon as they see Monkey coming they hastily bow to him and say,   “Where are you going, Great Sage?” Monkey tells them about the difficulties on the way. “They are three rhinoceros spirits,” the Metal Planet explain. “Because their form is seen in heaven they cultivated their awareness for many years and became true spirits able to fly on clouds and walk in mists. Those monsters are fanatical about cleanliness and don't like the look of their own bodies, and are always going into the water to bathe. If you want to catch them, they will submit to the four beast stars belonging to the element wood.” “Which four wood stars?” Monkey asks.   “Could I trouble you, venerable sir, to spell it out for me?”   “Those stars are spread out in space outside the Dipper and Bull Palace,” the planet replies with a smile.  “If you submit a memorial to the Jade Emperor he will give you detailed instructions.”


With permission from the Jade Emperor, The Wooden Lesser Dragon of the Constellation Horn, the Wooden Unicorn of the Dipper, the Wooden Wolf of the Strider, and the Wooden Hyena of the Well come down to help the Great Sage. "Great Sage,” the four wooden ones say. “You challenge them to battle and lure them out so we can come from behind you and get them.” Monkey then goes up to the cave and shouts abusively, “Oil-thieving ogres! Give my master back!” When the junior devils, hear this, they rush inside to report, “Your Majesties, the monk Sun is outside insulting us again.” “We beat him and he ran away,” says Dust-avoider, “so why's he back again today? I think he must have got some reinforcements from somewhere.” The evil spirits come out of the cave holding spears and swords, with banners waving and drums beating. “Back again, are you, macaque?” they shout at Brother Monkey. “Not afraid of another beating?” Nothing infuriates Monkey so much as the word “macaque,” and he is grinding his teeth in rage as he lifts his cudgel to hit them. The three demon kings bring their junior devils up to surround him, at which the four wooden beasts who are waiting to one side swing their weapons with shouts of, “Don't move, animals!” The three demon kings are of course most alarmed at the sight of the four stars, and they all say, “This is terrible, terrible. He's found the people who can beat us. Run for your lives." The three demon kings turn back into their true selves, put their hands down to become four-hoofed creatures like iron cannons, and gallop off to the Northeast, to be followed hard by the Great Sage leading the Wooden Hyena of the Well and the Wooden Lesser Dragon of the Horn. The monsters flee for their lives into the middle of the sea. Their horns are very good at parting the waters, and they clear their way through the sea with a whooshing noise, the two star officers and the Great Sage Monkey chasing after them. A yaksha who is patrolling the Western Ocean with a shelled warrior sees from a distance the way the rhinoceroses are parting the waters, recognizes Monkey and the two stars, and rushes back to the crystal palace to report to the dragon king in alarm, “Your Majesty, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven and two stars from the sky are chasing three rhinoceroses this way.” When the old dragon king Ao Shun hears this he says to his heir, Prince Mo'ang, “Muster our water forces at once. I'm sure it must be the three rhinoceros spirits Cold-avoider, Heat-avoider and Dust-avoider who've provoked Sun the Novice. As they're in the sea now we'd better lend a hand.” Having been given his orders Ao Mo'ang hastens to muster his troops. A moment later a fully armed force of tortoises, soft-shelled turtles, alligators, bream, mackerel, mandarin fish, carp, and prawn and crab soldiers charged out of the crystal palace and surround the rhinoceros spirits and they are finally captured.

Chapter 93
In the Almsgiver's Garden, Antiquity and Causes Are Discussed, In the Court of India,
the King Meets the Monks


The story tells how the Tang Priest and his three disciples feed on the wind and sleep in the open, traveling uneventfully for the best part of a month. One day they suddenly see a high mountain. “Disciples,” says the Tang Priest in fear, “the ridge in front of us is very steep. You must be very careful.” “As our journey has brought us so close to the land of the Buddha there will definitely be nothing evil here,” says Monkey. “Don't worry, Master. Have you forgotten the Heart Sutra that the Rook's Nest Hermit taught you again, Master?” “The Prajna-paramita Heart Sutra is constantly with me, like my habit and begging bowl,” Sanzang replies. “You can only recite it, Master,” says Monkey. “You never asked the hermit to explain it.” “Ape!” retorts Sanzang. “How can you say I don't understand it? Do you understand it then?” “Yes,” Monkey replies, “I do.” After that neither Sanzang nor Monkey made another sound. This has Pig falling about with laughter, while Friar Sand is hurting himself, he is so amused. “Nonsense,” says Pig. “He's pretending, just putting on an act. How can you say you understand? Well then, why aren't you saying anything? We're listening. Please explain.” “Stop talking such nonsense, Wuneng,” says Sanzang. “Wukong understands the wordless language. That is true explanation.” As master and disciples talk they see a big monastery beside the road. Monkey sees that it is called the Spread Gold Dhyana Monastery. As they go round the Vajra Hall a Dhyana monk of most unworldly appearance comes out to meet them. After exchanging greetings the monk tells them they can stay at the monastery. A little later Sanzang and Monkey meet with the ancient master of the monastery. After a leisurely stroll enjoying the moonlight they sit down for a while on a terrace, where they hear the sound of sobbing. As Sanzang listens with a still heart he can hear that the weeper is grieving because her parents do not know of her suffering. . This moves him to sorrow, and he finds himself in tears as he turns to the monk and asks, “Who is it being so sad, and where?” “A year ago today,” the ancient monk replies, “I was concentrating my mind on the nature of the moon when I suddenly heard a gust of wind and the sound of someone grieving. I got out of bed, went into the Jetavana and saw a beautiful girl there. 'Whose daughter are you?' I asked her. 'Why are you here?' 'I am a princess, the daughter of the king of India,' the girl replied. 'The wind blew me here when I was looking at the flowers by moonlight.' I locked her up in an empty room that I bricked up like a prison cell, just leaving a gap in the door big enough to pass a bowl through. That day I told the other monks that she was an evil spirit I had captured. But as we monks are compassionate I couldn't kill her, and every day she is given two meals of simple food and drink to keep her alive. The girl is clever enough to understand what I mean, and to prevent herself from being sullied by the other monks she has pretended to be deranged and slept in her own piss and shit. During the day she talks nonsense or just sits there in silence, but in the still of the night she cries because she misses her parents. I've been into the city several times to make enquiries about the princesses, but not a single one is missing. So I have put her under stronger locks, and I am even more determined not to let her go. Now that you have come here, teacher, I beg you to go to the capital and use your dharma powers to find out the truth. You will thus be able both to rescue the good and display your magical powers.”


The next morning Sanzang and disciples leave the monastery and arrived at the city the same day. It so happened that day it is the twentieth birthday of Her Royal Highness, the king's daughter. A decorated tower has been built at the crossroads, where the princess is going to throw down an embroidered ball to let heaven decide who her husband it to be. Sanzanag and Monkey decide to go and watch embroidered ball being thrown. Oh dear! Little do they know that by going they are like a fisherman casting his hook and line and catching himself trouble. The story now explains that two years earlier the king of India had taken his queen, consorts and daughter into the royal garden to enjoy a moonlit night because he so loved landscapes and flowers. This had provoked an evil spirit, who had carried the princess off  and turned herself into the girl's double. When she learned that the Tang Priest was coming at this time, day, month and year the evil spirit had used the wealth of the kingdom to build the decorated tower in the hope of winning him as her mate and absorbing his true masculine primal essence to make herself a superior immortal of the Great Monad. As the princess looks around she sees the Tang Priest approaching, so she takes the embroidered ball and throws it with her own hands at the Tang Priest's head. It knocks his Vairocana mitre askew, giving him such a start that he immediately reaches with both hands to steady the ball, which rolled down his sleeve. At once there are great shouts from everyone on the tower of,   “She's hit a monk! She's hit a monk!” Oh dear! “What are we going to do?” Sanzang asks.  “Stop worrying, Master,” Monkey says.   “While you go to the palace to see the king I'll go back to the hostel to tell Pig and Friar Sand to wait. If the princess doesn't want you, that'll be that. You submit the passport and we can be on our way. If the princess insists on marriage you must say to the king, 'Please send for my disciples so that I can take my leave of them.' When we three are summoned to court, I'll be able to tell whether the princess is real or an impostor. This is the trick called 'subduing a demon through marriage.'  “

Chapter 94
The Four Monks Dine to Music in the Palace Gardens, One Demon Loves in Vain
and Longs for Bliss


At the Palace, the King agrees to the Princess` request to take Sanzang as his son-in-law. When the King hears about Sanzang`s disciples, they receive an invitation to meet the King. After meeting the King a vegetarian meal is laid on. “We really deserve a meal today,” says Pig with delight. The people in charge bring in plain rice and pasta by the carrying-pole load. Pig keeps eating a bowlful then taking a refill over and over again. He only stops eating when his stomach is completely full. As soon as the venerable elder sees that there is nobody around he starts to shout angrily at Monkey, berating him. “You macaque, Wukong! You keep ruining me. I said we were just going to present the passport and told you not to go near the decorated tower. Why did you keep demanding to take me there to have a look? Well, did you have a good enough look? Whatever are we to do about this trouble you have got us into?” “Master,” replies Monkey, putting on a smile, “it was you who said, 'My late mother married after throwing an embroidered ball to make the match she was destined for.' I only took you there because you seemed to want to enjoy something of the past. Besides, because I remembered what the ancient monk in the Almsgiver's Spread Gold Monastery said I came here to find out whether she's an impostor or not. When I saw the king just now there was something a bit sinister about the way he looked, but I haven't yet seen what the princess is like.” “What will happen when you see the princess?” the venerable elder asks. “My fiery eyes with their golden pupils can tell whether someone's true or false, good or evil, rich or poor,” Monkey replies. “I'll know what to do and be able to sort out right and wrong.”


The next day the princess asks to see the King. She goes down in a kowtow, and submits this petition: “Your Majesty my father, I beg you to forgive your daughter for her effrontery, but I have a request to make. In the last few days it has been reported in the inner quarters of the palace that the Tang Priest has three extremely hideous disciples. I couldn't bring myself to see them: I'm afraid the sight would terrify me. So I beg you, Father, to send them out of the city. Otherwise the shock might be too much for my trail health and lead to disaster.” “If you had not mentioned them, child,” the king replies, “we would have very nearly forgotten about them. They are indeed rather ugly, and for the last few days we have had them entertained in the Lingering Spring Pavilion. When we go into the throne hall this morning we will return their passport and tell them to leave the city so that we can hold our banquet.” Officials from the protocol office to bring an invitation to the master and disciples. When the kings greets them he commands Monkey and the other two to come forward. “Hand your passport up,” he says, “and we shall seal it, sign it and return it to you. You three gentlemen will be generously provided with funds for your journey and escorted on your way to see the Buddha on Vulture Peak. If you come back with the scriptures you will also receive generous rewards. We shall keep our son-in-law here: there will be no need for you to worry about him.” As Brother Monkey and the other two go out through the palace gates they each take their leave. “Are we really going?” asks Pig. Monkey says nothing, and just walks back to the hostel, where the superintendent receives them and provides tea and a meal. “You two stay here,” Monkey says to Pig and Friar Sand, “and whatever you do, don't show your faces. If the hostel superintendent asks what's happening, give him vague answers. Don't say anything. I'm going off to look after the master.” Watch him as he flies lightly into the palace, where he sees the Tang Priest sitting on an embroidered stool at the king's left, frowning and worried at heart. Flying up to his master's Vairocana mitre, Monkey creeps stealthily to his ear and says, “I'm here, Master, so don't fret.” These words are heard by the Tang Priest alone,—none of the ordinary mortals had any hope of hearing them—so he feels relief at last.

Chapter 95
False and True Form Combine, When the Jade Hare is Captured, The True Female Is
Converted and Meets With Spiritual Origin


The story tells how the Tang Priest is feeling thoroughly miserable as he accompanies the king into the inner quarters, from where a great sound of drums and music arises and fine perfumes can be smelt. He keeps his head bowed, not daring to look up. Monkey, secretly very pleased, has fixed himself to the Vairocana mitre, from where he uses his magic light to look around with his fiery eyes and golden pupils. A little later the princess comes out of the Jay Palace surrounded by the queens and consorts to greet the king with cheers of “Long live the king! Long live the king!” This so alarms the venerable elder that he trembles, not knowing what to do. By now Monkey has already noticed a touch of the demonic—though nothing very vicious—that can just be made out in the aura above the princess's head. Monkey crawls quickly to Sanzang's ear and says, “The princess is a fake, Master.” “If she is a fake,” the venerable elder replies, “then how are we to make her turn back into her real form?” “I'll give myself a magic body and catch her right here,” says Monkey. “That would terrify His Majesty,” says Sanzang. “Wait till he and his queens have withdrawn before using your magic.” Now Monkey has been impatient by nature all his life, so he cannot restrain himself. With a great and angry roar he resumes his true form, rushes up and grabs the princess. “You're a fine, evil beast,” he says abusively. “You've had no end of luxury here, you impostor, but it wasn't enough for you. You're so sex-crazed you had to try to trick my master and destroy his primal masculinity.” This strikes the king speechless with fright, and makes the queens and consorts fall about. The palace beauties all run off to hide, fleeing for their lives. Seeing that things are going badly for her, the evil spirit brakes free, tears off her clothes, flings down her jewelry and hair ornaments and runs to the shrine of the local deity in the palace garden. From here she brings out a short club shaped like the head of a trip-hammer, with which she starts hitting wildly at Monkey as she turns quickly towards him. Monkey, who has caught up with her at once, strikes back at her face with his iron cudgel, Shouting and roaring at each other, the two of them start fighting in the palace gardens. Then each begin a great display of magic powers, riding clouds as they battled in mid air.


Just at the moment of crisis, when it is getting late in the day, Monkey becomes more vicious than ever and his blows are even harder. He wishes he could finish her off with a single stroke. Just then a call comes from the ninefold azure sky of, “Don't strike, Great Sage! Don't strike! Be kind with your cudgel.” When Monkey turns round he sees that it is the Star Lord of the Moon leading his beauties and immortals down on multicolored clouds to stand in front of him. A flustered Monkey at once puts his iron cudgel away, bows and says, “Where are you going, Old Man? I'm sorry I didn't keep out of your way.” “The evil spirit fighting you is the Jade Hare who pounds the immortal elixir of mysterious dew in my palace,” the Moon replies. “A year ago she secretly opened the golden locks on the jade gates and absconded from the palace. As I reckoned that she would be in mortal peril I have come here to save her life. I do beg you, Great Sage, to spare her life out of consideration for me.” Monkey assents, saying only, “I wouldn't dare harm her, I wouldn't dare. No wonder she's so good with a medicine-pounding pestle. She's the Jade Hare. What you don't know, Old Moon, is that she has kidnapped the king of India's daughter, made herself into the princess's double, and wants to ruin my master's primal masculinity although he's a holy monk. This is the truth. We can't stand for crimes like that. How can you possibly let her off so lightly?” “There are things you don't know,” the Moon replies. “That king's daughter is no ordinary mortal. She was the White Beauty from the Moon Palace. Eighteen years ago she slapped the Jade Hare, after which she longed for the human world and came down to it in a beam of magic light into the womb of the king's senior queen. She was born then. The Jade Hare was getting her own back for that slap when she ran away from the palace last year and threw White Beauty into the wilds. But she was wrong to want to marry the Tang Priest. That's an offence she mustn't get away with. It was a good thing you were careful enough to see through her before she ruined your master. But I plead with you to forgive her for my sake and let me take her back.”  “If that's why it happened,” Brother Monkey replies with a smile,   “I wouldn't dare to make any objections. The King is told what happened and he goes to the Spread Gold monastery with the Queen, the master and disciples, and they are reunited with the princess.  A banquet is then laid on to cheer the princess up and congratulate her on her deliverance.

Chapter 96
Squire Kou Entertains the Lofty Monk, The Tang Priest Does Not Covet Wealth and Honour


After a fortnight they arrived at another city. “Disciples,” says Sanzang, “stand here in the middle of the road, keep your heads bowed and don't run wild. I am going under that portico to ask where we are.” Monkey and the others stood still as they had been told while the venerable elder went up to the two men, put his hands together and called out, “Greetings, benefactors.” “I am a monk who has come from far away to worship the Lord Buddha,” Sanzang replied, “and I have just arrived here. I wonder what this place is called, and where there are any pious folk from whom I might beg a meal.” “This is the prefecture of Brazentower,” one of the old men said, “and this is the county of Diling near Brazentower city. If you want vegetarian food, reverend sir, you won't need to beg. Go past this archway to the street running North-south. There's a gate-tower shaped like a sitting tiger facing the East, and that's Squire Kou's house. They soon find the house and are invited in. Squire Kou introduces himself. “My name is Kou Hong, my other name is Kou Dakuan, and I have lived for sixty-four wasted years. When I was forty I made a vow to feed ten thousand monks, and you will complete the number. In the twenty-four years during which I have been feeding monks I have kept a record of their names. Having nothing else to do in recent days I have counted the names of all the monks I've fed, and the score is now 9,996. I was only short of four to make up the full number. Then today heaven has sent you four teachers down to me to complete the ten thousand. Will you be so good as to tell me your names? I hope that you will stay for a month or more until I have celebrated the completion, after which I will send you teachers up the mountain in carrying-chairs or on horses. Vulture Peak is only some 800 miles from here, not at all far away.” Sanzang is thoroughly delighted to hear this, and he agrees to it all at once.


Several young and old servants fetch firewood, drew water, and bring rice, flour and vegetables into the house with which to prepare them a meal. A servant invites them to eat: “The vegetarian banquet has been set out, so will you eat, my lords?” Master and disciples eat their fill. Sanzang then rises to thank Mr. Kou for the meal before setting out again. The gentleman blocks his way saying, “Teacher, won't you take things easy and spend a few days here? As the saying goes, it's nothing to start a journey but it's hard to end one. I will send you on your way when we have celebrated the completion of my vow.” Seeing how sincere and determined he is, Sanzang has no option but to stay. Five to seven days quickly pas before Mr. Kou engaged twenty-four local Buddhist monks to perform a mass to celebrate the fulfillment of the vow. The mass lasts for three days and nights before it ends. In his longing to go to the Thunder Monastery the Tang Priest is determined to be on his way, so he takes his leave of them and thanks them. “Teacher, you are very eager to say good-bye,” Mr. Kou says.  “I suppose you must have taken offence because for days on end we have been so busy with our service that we have treated you very offhandedly.”  “We have put your noble house to a great deal of trouble,” Sanzang replies,  “and I do not know how we will ever repay you. How could we possibly have taken offence? The story tells how the Tang Priest and his disciples get up early to set out. Mr. Kou then invites them into the large hall at the back, where a feast is set out that excels even the one they had eaten in the refectory. Pig grabs a bowl, fills it with desperate speed, and eats five or six bowlfuls in succession, gulping down a whole bowlful at a time. Without any qualms at all he fills both his sleeves with steamed bread, twists, pancakes and cooked dishes before rising with his master. Sanzang thanks the gentleman and everyone else, and they all go outside together. Just look at the coloured banners, splendid canopies, drummers and instrumentalists outside. Everyone then opens a way to let them through, the carriers carrying their chairs, the riders on their horses and the walkers on foot all let Sanzang and his three disciples go first. The heavens rang with drumming and music, the flags and banner blotted out the sun, crowds pressed around, and carriages and horses were all packed close together as everyone came to watch Mr. Kou seeing the Tang Priest off.

Chapter 97
The Monks and Their Supporters Meet With Demonic Attack, The Sage Makes
the Spirit Reappear to Save the Primal One


We will tell not of how the Tang Priest and the others endure a hard night in the cloister, but of a group of evil villains in Diling county in the prefecture of Brazentower who have squandered all their families' fortunes in whoring, drinking and gambling. Thinking that Mr. Kou is a rich man, they go to his house, rob him and kill him. When Mrs. Kou discovers her husband is murdered, she is angry with the Tang Priest and his followers for rejecting their hospitality, and also because the extravagance of their send-off has provoked this disaster, decides to ruin the four of them. Helping Kou Liang to his feet, she said,  “Don't cry, my son. Your father fed monks day in and day out. Who ever would have thought that he would complete the number by feeding a gang of monks who'd murder him?” “Mother,” the brothers asks,  “how did those monks murder him?” “Those bandits were so bold and vicious that when they charged in I hid under the bed,” she replied.  “Although I was trembling I made sure to take a very good look at them by the light of the torches. Do you know who they were? The Tang Priest was lighting torches, Pig was holding a knife, Friar Sand was taking the gold and silver, and Monkey killed your father.” The two sons believe all this. They go to the local government offices to deposit their complaint.  After the prefect of Brazentower hears their complaint, he musters infantry, cavalry and able-bodied civilian conscripts, 150 men in all, who rush straight out of the Western gate carrying sharp weapons in pursuit of the Tang Priest and his three disciples. The story now tells how the bandits meet the Tang Priest on the road and also want to rob them. Monkey goes to talk with them, uses his magic and ties them all up. He finds out that they`ve robbed and killed Mr. Kou. Because he was so kind to him, Sanzang wants to bring the stolen goods back to Mr.Kou`s house. On the way back they meet the soldiers and are arrested. Because they have the stolen goods with them, Sanzang cannot talk his way out of it and it looks like they are guilty. During the fourth watch Monkey uses his powers to make himself smaller, gets off the rack, shakes himself and turns into a midge who flies out of the prison through a gap between the tiles over the eaves. He then flies into the Kou house, where a coffin is placed in the main room. A lamp is burning at the head, and around the coffin is incense, candles and fruit. His wife is weeping beside him, and the two sons also come to kowtow and weep, while their wives bring two bowls of rice as an offering. Monkey lands at the head of the coffin and coughs.


This gives the two daughters-in-law such a fright that they run outside waving their arms about. Kou Liang and his brother lay on the floor, too terrified to move, and cry out, “Oh, father, oh!” Their mother, being bolder, hits the head of the coffin and says, “Have you come back to life, old man?” “No,” replies Monkey, imitating Mr. Kou's voice, to the great alarm of the two sons, who keep kowtowing, weeping, and repeating, “Oh, Father, oh!” Their mother summons up even more courage to ask, “Husband, if you haven't come back to life why are you talking?” “King Yama has sent demons to bring me here to talk to you,” Monkey replies. “He told me that Threadneedle Zhang had been lying and trying to frame the innocent.” In her surprise at hearing him call her by the name she had been known as a child, the old woman falls at once to her knees, kowtows and says,  “You're a fine old man! Fancy calling me by my childhood name at this age! What lies have I been telling? Which innocent people have I framed?” “Wasn't there something about 'The Tang Priest lit the torches, Pig incited to murder, Friar Sand stole the gold and silver, and Sun the Novice murdered our father?' “ Monkey replies.  “Your lies have landed those good men in terrible trouble. What really happened was that the Tang Priest and the other three teachers met some bandits and got our property back for us to show their thanks. How good of them! But you had to concoct a wanted notice and send our sons to denounce them to the authorities. The court threw them in gaol without making a careful investigation. The gaol god, the local deity and the city god were all so alarmed and uneasy that they reported it to King Yama, and he ordered demons to escort me back home. I'm to tell you to have them released as soon as possible. If you don't, I will have to make havoc here for a month. Nobody in the household, young or old—not even the dogs and the chickens—will be spared.” Kou Liang and his brother kowtow again and beg,  “Please go back, Father, and don't harm us all. At dawn we'll submit a petition to the court for their release and withdraw our charge against them. Monkey then rises up on his wings and flies straight to the Diling county office, where all the county officials could be seen in the courtroom. “If I talk when I'm a midge,” he thinks “and someone spots me it'll give the game away. That won't do.” So he gives himself a giant magical body where he is in mid air, and stretches down one foot that fills the whole courtroom. “Listen to me, you officials,” he shouts. “I am the Roving God Rambler, sent here by the Jade Emperor. He says that sons of the Buddha on their way to fetch the scriptures have been beaten up in the prefectural gaol here, which has disturbed the gods of the three worlds. He has asked me to tell you to release them at once. If anything goes wrong I'm to use my other foot to kick all you county and prefecture officials to death, then crush all the people around here and trample the whole city to dust and ashes.” At this the county magistrate and the other officials all fell to their knees and kowtowed in worship. “Please go back now, superior sage,” they pleaded. “We are now going to the prefectural offices to request His Honour to release them immediately. We implore you not to move your feet and terrify us to death.” Only then does Monkey put away his magical body, turns into a midge again and flies back into the gaol through a gap between the tiles at the eaves, climbs into his rack and goes to sleep. The next day they are all released. The Great Sage goes straight to the Underworld and finds out that Mr.Kou, since he is such a good man who had fed monks, is made chief recorder in charge of the register of good deeds in attendance with the Bodhisattva King Ksitigarbha. The Bodhisattva grants him a twelve-year extension of his life on earth and he leaves with the Great Sage to the world of the living.

Chapter 98
When the Ape and the Horse Are Tamed, They Cast Off Their Husks, When All the Deeds Have Been Done, Reality Is Seen


After traveling six or seven days a mass of high buildings and splendid halls suddenly come into view. Sanzang raises his whip and points with it as he says, “What a fine place, Wukong.” A young lay brother who is standing to one side of the monastery gateway calls out, “You must be the people from the East who have come to fetch the scriptures.” They have arrived at the Jade Truth temple and are greeted by the Gold-crested Immortal. Pointing towards Vulture Peak,  the Great Immortal says,  “Holy monk, do you see the auspicious light of many colors and the richly textured aura in the sky? That is the summit of Vulture Peak, the holy territory of the Lord Buddha.” The Great Sage leads the Tang Priest and the others slowly up Vulture Peak. Within a couple of miles they reach a river of mighty rolling waves some three miles wide. There was no sign of anyone anywhere around. “Wukong,” says Sanzang with alarm,  “we have come the wrong way. I wonder if the Great Immortal misdirected us. This river is so wide and the waves so big, and there are no boats to be seen. How are we to cross it?” “He didn't send us the wrong way,” replies Monkey with a smile.  “Look over there. That's a bridge, isn't it? Once we're over that we'll have completed the true achievement.” When the venerable elder and the others go closer to look they see a tablet beside it on which are written the words CLOUDTOUCHING CROSSING. Now this bridge is only a single log. “Wukong,” says Sanzang in fear and trembling,  “no mortal man could cross that bridge. Let us look elsewhere to find the way.” “But this is the way,” replies Monkey with a smile,  “this is the way.” Sanzang then looks round to see a man poling a boat towards them from downriver and shouting, “Ferry! Come aboard.” “Stop fooling around, disciples,” says a delighted venerable elder. “There is a ferry-boat coming.” The other three spring to their feet and all watch together as the boat draws closer. It is a bottomless craft. Monkey has already spotted with the golden pupils in his fiery eyes that this is the Welcoming Lord Buddha, who is also known as Ratnadhvaja, the Royal Buddha of Brightness, but instead of giving this away he just keeps calling, “Over here, punt, over here.” A moment later the ferryman has punted his boat up to the bank and is again shouting, “Ferry! Come aboard!” Sanzang is once more alarmed at the sight. “Your boat has no bottom,” he says, “so however could you ferry anyone across?.” The venerable elder is very doubtful, but Monkey seizes him by the arms and pushs him forward. Unable to keep on his feet, the master tumbles into the water, where the ferryman grabs hold of him at once and stands him on the boat. The master shakes his clothes and stamps his feet, complaining about Monkey, who leads Friar Sand and Pig to stand on board bringing the luggage and the horse with them. Gently and strongly the Buddha pushes off, at which a corpse comes floating downstream, to the horror of the venerable elder.  “Don't be frightened, Master,” says Monkey.  “That's you.” “It's you, it's you,” says Pig. Friar Sand claps his hands as he says,  “It's you, it's you!” The boatman gives a call, and then also puts in, too,  “It's you! Congratulations! Congratulations!” The three of them all join in these congratulations as the ferryman punts the boat quickly and steadily over the immortal Cloud-touching Crossing. Sanzang turns around and springs lightly ashore on the opposite bank. There is a poem about this that goes:

When the womb-born flesh and body of blood is cast aside,
The primal spirit finds kinship and love.
On this morning of actions completed and Buddhahood attained
The thirty-six kinds of dust from the past are washed away.

This is indeed what is meant by great wisdom, the boundless dharma of crossing to the other bank. The venerable elder waves his arms and performs a ritual dance as he follows Monkey straight to the gates of the Thunder Monastery, where four great vajrapanis greet them with the words,  “Have you arrived now, holy monk?” “Yes,” Sanzang replies with a bow,  “Your disciple Xuanzang has arrived.”


The vajrapanis hurry to the Mahavira Hall, where they announce to the Tathagata Sakyamuni Buddha, “The holy monk from the Tang Court has arrived at your noble monastery to fetch the scriptures.” The Lord Buddha is very pleased. He calls together his Eight Bodhisattvas, Four Vajrapanis, Five Hundred Arhats, Three Thousand Protectors, Eleven Heavenly Shiners and Eighteen Guardians, who draw themselves up in two lines and pass on the Buddha's command summoning the Tang Priest to enter. Thus it is that the invitation is sent down from one level to the next: “Let the holy monk come in.” Observing the requirements of ritual, the Tang Priest goes in through the gate with Wukong and Wujing, who were leading the horse and carrying the luggage. After giving a speech, The Tathagata calls, "Ananda, Kasyapa, take the four of them to the foot of the jewel tower and give them a vegetarian meal. After the meal open up the pavilion, select a few rolls from each of the thirty-five scriptures in my Three Stores, and tell them to propagate these scriptures in the East, where they may eternally grant their great goodness.” After Sanzang recieves the scriptures, they thank the Buddha and take their leave. The Ancient Buddha Dipamkara, who had been quietly listening in the library when the scriptures were handed over, understands perfectly well that Ananda and Kasyapa have handed over wordless scriptures.  “Those stupid monks from the East didn't realize that those are wordless scriptures,” he thinks with a smile to himself.  “The holy monks journey across all those mountains and rivers will be a complete waste. Who is in attendance here?” he calls, and the arhat Suklavira steps forward.  “Use your divine might,” Dipamkara instructs him,  “and go after the Tang Priest like a shooting star. Take the wordless scriptures from him and tell him to come back to fetch the true scriptures.” The arhat Suklavira then flies off on a storm wind that roars away from the Thunder Monastery as he gives a great display of his divine might. The Tang Priest is walking along when he smells the fragrant wind, but he pays no attention to it, taking it for an auspicious sign of the Lord Buddha. Then a noise can be heard as a hand reaches down from midair to lift the scriptures lightly off the horse's back, which gives Sanzang such a shock that he beats his chest and howls aloud. Pig scrambles along in pursuit, Friar Sand guards the carrying-poles loaded with scriptures, and Brother Monkey flies after the arhat. Seeing that Monkey has almost caught up with him, and frightened that the merciless cudgel will make no bones about wounding him badly, the arhat tears the bundle of scriptures to shreds and flings it into the dust. When Monkey sees the bundle falling in pieces that are being scattered by the fragrant wind he stops chasing the arhat and brings his cloud down to look after the scriptures. The arhat Suklavira puts the wind and the clouds away, then goes back to report to Dipamkara. “Disciples,” the Tang Priest exclaims, tears pouring from his eyes,  “even in this world of bliss evil demons cheat people.” After gathering up the scattered scriptures in his arms Friar Sand opens one of them up and sees that it is as white as snow: not a word is written on it. Quickly he hands it to Sanzang with the remark,  “There's nothing in this scroll, Master.” Monkey opens out another scroll to find that it has nothing written in it either. Pig opens another and it too has nothing in it. “Open them all for us to examine,” says Sanzang. Every single scroll is blank paper. “We Easterners really do have no luck,” he says, sighing and groaning.  “What point is there in fetching wordless scriptures like these? Monkey, who already understands what has happened, then says to the Tang Priest,  “Say no more, Master. Let's go back to the Tathagata.

The Buddha says, "The blank texts are true, wordless scriptures, and they really are good. But as you living beings in the East are so deluded and have not achieved enlightenment we'll have to give you these ones instead. Ananda, Kasyapa,” he calls,  “fetch the true scriptures with words at once. From the thirty-five scriptures in all of the stores 5,048 rolls are selected to give to the holy monk. “The achievement of these scriptures is immeasurable,” the Tathagata says to the Tang Priest,  “Although they are the source of foreknowledge and reflection for my school they are truly the origin of all Three Schools. After sending the Tang Priest on his way the Tathagata dissolves the assembly that has been called to pass on the scriptures. The Bodhisattva Guanyin then steps forward from the side, puts her hands together and submits to the lord Buddha,  “It has been fourteen years from the time when your disciple went to the East that year to find the man who would fetch the scriptures to his success today. That makes 5,040 days. May the World-honored One allow the holy monks to go back East from the West within eight days, so as to complete the number of rolls in one store, and then your disciple may report his mission as completed.” “What you say is quite right,” replies the Tathagata with delight.  “You are permitted to report the completion of your mission.” With that he instructs the Eight Vajrapanis. “You are to use your divine might to escort the holy monks back to the East, where they will hand the true scriptures over to be kept there. After escorting the holy monks back, you may return to the West. This must be done within eight days in order to match the number of rolls in one store. There must be no disobedience or delay.” The vajrapanis catch up with the Tang Priest.  “Come with us, scripture-fetchers,” they call; and the Tang Priest and the others became light and strong as they floated up on clouds after the vajrapanis.

Chapter 99
When the Nine Nines Are Complete the Demons Are All Destroyed,After the Triple Threes Are Fulfilled the Way Returns to Its Roots


Outside the gates the Protectors of the Four Quarters and the Centre, the Four Duty Gods, the Six Dings, the Six Jias and the Guardians of the Faith go up to the Bodhisattva Guanyin and say, “We, your disciples, have given secret help to the holy monk in obedience to your dharma command, Bodhisattva. Now that they have fulfilled their deeds and you have reported your mission accomplished to the Lord Buddha, we would like to report the completion of our mission.” “Permission granted.” The Bodhisattva replies with delight, “permission granted.” The Bodhisattva then goes on to ask, “What were the thoughts and actions of the Tang Priest and his three disciples on their journey?” “They really were pious and determined,” the deities all reply, “as we are sure will not have escaped your profound perception. But the Tang Priest's sufferings truly beggar description. Your disciples have made a careful record of the disasters and hardships that he has endured on his journey. This is the account of his ordeals¸” The Bodhisattva reads it through from the beginning. Casting her eyes over the record, the Bodhisattva quickly says,  “In the Buddha's school 'nine nines' are needed before one can come to the truth. The eighty ordeals that the holy monk has endured are one short of the full number.  “Go after the vajrapanis,” she orders a protector,  “and tell them to create another ordeal.” The protector heads East by cloud as soon as he was given this order, and after a day and a night he catches up with the Eight Vajrapanis.  “It's like this, you see,” he says, whispering in their ears in explanation, adding,  “so you must do as the Bodhisattva commands and not disobey.” When the Eight Vajrapanis hear this they stop the wind with a swishing sound and drop the four of them to the ground, horse, scriptures and all. As his feet touch common ground Sanzang feels alarmed.  “Marvelous,” says Pig, roaring with laughter,  “just marvelous! It's a case of more haste less speed.” “It really is marvelous,” says Friar Sand.  “They're giving us a rest here after going so fast.”  “Find out which way we have come and where we are.” says Sanzang.   “It's the River of Heaven,” replies Friar Sand.   “I remember now,” says Sanzang.  “On the East bank there is Chen Family Village. When we came here the other year they were so grateful to us for rescuing their son and daughter that they wanted to build a boat to take us across, but the White Soft-shelled Turtle carried us over. As I recall, there was no sign of human life anywhere on the West bank. Whatever are we to do now?”


Talking as they walked slowly along, master and disciples headed straight to the river-bank, where all of a sudden they heard someone calling,  “This way, Tang Priest, this way!” They were all surprised, and when they looked up there was no sign of anyone around, and no boat either. There was only a big, white, scabby-headed soft-shelled turtle raising its head by the bank and calling,  “Master, I have been waiting for you all these years. Why have you only just come back?” Carrying them on his back, the Ancient Soft-shelled Turtle walked across the waves for the best part of a day. It was nearly evening when, as they approached the East bank, he suddenly asked,  “Venerable master, some years ago I begged you when you reached the West and saw our Tathagata Buddha to ask him when I would be converted and how long I would live.” The venerable elder's heart had been set only on worshipping the Buddha; and when he met all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, holy monks and others his whole mind had been devoted to fetching the scriptures. He had given no attention to anything else, and so had not asked about how long the Ancient Turtle would live. Having nothing he could say, and not daring to lie to or deceive the turtle, Sanzang was quiet for a long time and gave no reply. When the turtle realized that Sanzang had not asked the questions on his behalf he gave a shake of his head and submerged with a loud splash, dropping the four of them, horse, scriptures and all, into the water. Master and disciples climb up the bank to get themselves sorted out when a sudden fierce wind blows up, the sky turns dark, and amid thunder and lightning stones and sand fly all around.  This alarms Sanzang, who presses down on the bundles of scriptures, while Friar Sand holds down their carrying-pole and Pig clings to the white horse. Monkey, however, swings his iron cudgel around with both hands as he keeps guard to both right and left. Now the wind, mist, thunder and lightning are all signals made by evil demons who want to steal the scriptures that have been fetched. They try all night to grab them until the dawn; only then do they stop.

A little later, when the sun is shining from high in the sky, they take the scriptures to the top of a high cliff, open the bundles and put them out to dry. Then they spread their clothes and shoes out to dry beside the cliff while they stand there, sit down, or leap around. As the four of them are checking through the scriptures and drying them in the sun one by one, some fishermen from Chen Village, who are passing the river bank recognize them, from when they passed by their village on the way to India, and invite them to stay with them. It is now late at night. Sanzang, who is guarding the true scriptures and will not leave them for a moment, sits in meditation at the foot of the tower to keep a vigil. As the third watch of the night approaches he says quietly,  “Wukong, the people here know that we have found the Way and completed our undertaking. As the old saying goes, 'The true adept does not show his face; who shows his face is no true adept.' I am afraid that if we tarry too long here that we may fail in our main enterprise.” “What you say is right, Master,” Monkey replies. “Let's slip quietly away in the middle of the night while they're all sound asleep.” Pig too understands, Friar Sand comprehends very clearly, and the white horse also knows what he meant. So they get up, quietly load the packs, shoulder the poles, and carry the things out along the cloister. When they reach the main gates and find them locked Monkey uses unlocking magic to open the inner gates and the main gates. They follow the path East, only to hear the Eight Vajrapanis calling from mid-air. “Come with us, escapers.”

Chapter 100
The Journey Back to the East Is Made, The Five Immortals Achieve Nirvana


The Eight Vajrapanis use a second fragrant wind to carry the four pilgrims off again. Some days later they reach the East, and Chang'an comes gradually into view. Now after seeing the Tang Priest off from the city on the twelfth day of the ninth month in the thirteenth year of Then Guan the Emperor Taizong has in the sixteenth year sent officials of his Department of Works to build a Watching For the Scriptures Tower outside the city of Chang'an to receive the scriptures. Here Taizong goes in person every year. It so happens that on the very day the emperor goes to the tower the Western sky is filled with auspicious light and gusts of scented wind. “Holy monk,” the vajrapanis says, stopping in mid air, “this is the city of Chang'an. We cannot come down, as the people here are too clever: we are afraid that they might give away what we look like. We will be waiting for you up in the clouds ready to go to report back on your mission.” Pig shoulders a pole while Friar Sand holds the horse and Brother Monkey leads the holy monk as they bring their cloud down to land beside the Watching For the Scriptures Tower. When Taizong and his officials all see this they come down to greet the travelers with the words, “You are back, Imperial Younger Brother.” The Tang Priest falls to the ground in a kowtow, only to be helped back to his feet by Taizong, who asks, “Who are these three?” “They are disciples I took on along the way,” Sanzang replies. Taizong is delighted and invites them all to return to the palace with him.  “Let the Protocol Office arrange a thanksgiving banquet in the Eastern hall,” he orders. There is singing, dancing and instrumental music, and all is ordered and solemn as the celebration lasts for the rest of the day. Early the next morning Taizong has a dawn audience and invites Sanzang into the throne room and hands him a document, describing Sanzang`s achievements. Sanzang reads it through and prostrates himself in thanks. “Would you be willing to recite some of the true scriptures for us, Younger Brother?” Taizong asks. “Your Majesty,” Sanzang replies,  “if true scriptures are to be recited it must be done in the Buddha's ground. A throne hall is no place for the recital of scriptures.”Taizong is most pleased to accept this.  In the Monastery of the Wild Goose Stupa Sanzang is just about to begin reciting them when scented breezes begin to waft around and the Eight Great Vajrapanis appear in mid-air to shout aloud,  “Scripture-reciter, put those scriptures down and come back to the West with us.” Monkey and the other two, who are standing below Sanzang, all rise up above the ground together with the white horse. Sanzang puts the scriptures down and also rises up to the ninth level of clouds, and then goes away with them through the air. Taizong and his officials are all so alarmed that they kowtow to the sky. This is indeed a case of

The holy monk long strove to fetch the scriptures;
For fourteen years across the West he strayed.
He journeyed hard and met with much disaster;
By mountains and by rivers long delayed.
Completing eight times nine and one nine more,
His deeds filled worlds in numbers beyond measure. 
He went back to his country taking sutras, 
That people in the East will always treasure.

 The story tells how the Eight Vajrapanis lead the venerable elder, his three disciples and the horse, all five of them back to Vulture Peak. The journey to Chang'an and back has taken eight days. Just when all the deities of Vulture Peak are listening to the Buddha preaching, the Eight Vajrapanis lead master and disciples in.


“In obedience to the golden command,” they report to the Tathagata, “your disciples have carried the holy monks back to the land of Tang, where they handed the scriptures over. We have now come to report our mission completed.” The Tang Priest and his disciples are then told to step forward and be given their jobs. “Holy Monk,” the Tathagata says, “in an earlier life you were my second disciple, and called Master Golden Cicada. But because you would not listen to my sermon on the Dharma and had no respect for my great teaching I demoted your soul to be reborn in the East. Now, happily, you have come over to the faith and rely on our support; and in following our teaching your achievement in fetching the true scriptures has been very great. Your reward will be to be promoted to high office as the Candana-punya Buddha. Sun Wukong, when you made great havoc in the palaces of heaven I had to use powerful magic to crush you under the Five Elements Mountain until, happily, your heaven-sent punishment was completed and you were converted to the Sakyamuni's faith. It was also fortunate that you suppressed your evil side and gave play to your good side as you won glory by defeating monsters and demons along the journey. All that was begun has now been completed and you too will be rewarded with high office as the Victorious Fighting Buddha. Zhu Wuneng; you used to be a water god in the River of Heaven as Marshal Tian Peng. Because of your drunken flirtation with an immortal maiden at the Peach Banquet you were sent down to be born in the lower world as a beast. From your love of the human body you sinned in the Cloud Pathway Cave on the Mount of Blessing before your conversion to the great faith and entry into our Buddhist sect. You guarded the holy monk on his journey, but your heart is still unregenerate, and you are not yet purged of your lust. But as you won merit by carrying the luggage you will be rewarded with promotion as the Altar Cleanser.” “They've both been made Buddhas,” Pig shouts, “so why am I only the Altar Cleanser?” “Because you have a voracious appetite, a lazy body and a huge belly,” the Tathagata replies. “Now very many people in the world's four continents believe in our teachings. I will ask you to clean up the altars after all Buddhist services: your post is of a rank that provides plenty to eat. What is wrong with that?” “Sha Wujing, you used to be the Curtain-lifting General until you were banished to the lower world for smashing a crystal bowl at a Peach Banquet. You fell into the River of Flowing Sands where you sinned by killing and eating people, until, thank goodness, you were converted to our teaching, sincerely relied on our support, and won merit by protecting the holy monk and leading the horse up the mountain. Your reward will be elevation to high office as the Golden Arhat.” Then he says to the white horse. “You were originally the son of Guangjin, the Dragon King of the Western Ocean. Because you disobeyed your father you were punished for being unfilial until you too were converted to the Dharma and to our faith. Every day you carried the holy monk to the West, and after that you carried the holy scriptures back to the East. For these achievements you will be rewarded by being made a Heavenly Dragon of the Eight Classes of Being.”

All of reality turns to dust;
When the four appearances combine the body is renewed.
The substance of the Five Elements is all void;
Forget about the passing fame of fiends.
With Candana-punya comes the great awakening;
When duties are completed they escape from suffering.
Great is the blessing of scriptures spread abroad;
Within the only gate five sages dwell on high.

Thus it is that all the Buddhas of every world

Are willing with this achievement
To adorn the Pure Land of the Buddha.
Above we can repay the fourfold kindness,
Below we save those suffering in the three paths of life.
Let anyone who sees or hears
Cherish the enlightened mind.
May all be reborn in the Land of Bliss,
To end this present life of retribution.

All the Buddhas of Past, Present and Future in the Ten Regions, all the Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas, Maha-prajnaparamita. Here ends the Journey to the West.


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Japanese symbols of Presence⎟ The taoist I Ching ⎟ Being Presence First