View Full Version : Journey to the west(Complete series!)
12-28-2008, 05:52 AM
Well I intended this on the spam thread but since Drz didnt like it and asked me to start a new topic so I guess I'd start now(plz dont flame me:sweatdrop):
JOURNEY TO THE WEST PART 1 OF 100
The Divine Root Conceives and the Spring Breaks Forth
As the Heart's Nature Is Cultivated, the Great Way Arises
Before Chaos was divided, Heaven and Earth were one;
All was a shapeless blur, and no men had appeared.
Once Pan Gu destroyed the Enormous Vagueness
The separation of clear and impure began.
Living things have always tended towards humanity;
From their creation all beings improve.
If you want to know about Creation and Time,
Read Difficulties Resolved on the Journey to the West.
In the arithmetic of the universe, 129,600 years make one cycle. Each cycle can be divided into twelve phases:
I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI and XII, the twelve branches. Each phase lasts 10,800 years.
Now within a single day, the positive begins at the time I; at II the cock crows; at III it is not quite light; at IV
the sun rises; V is after breakfast; and at VI one does business. VII is when the sun reaches noon; at VIII it is
slipping towards the West; IX is late afternoon; the sun sets at X; XI is dusk; and at XII people settle down for
If you compare this with the big numbers, then at the end of Phase XI Heaven and Earth were still one, and no
beings had appeared. 5,400 years later came the beginning of Phase XII, when all was darkness 5,400 years later came the beginning of Phase XII, when all was darkness and there
were still no people or other creatures; for this reason it was called Chaos. Another 5,400 years later Phase XII
was drawing to a close and a new cycle was about to begin. As Phase I of the new era approached, gradually there was light. As Shao Yong said,
"When winter reaches the mid−point of Phase I
The heart of Heaven does not move.
Where the Positive first appears
Nothing has yet come to life."
At this time, Heaven first had a foundation. 5,400 years later, in the middle of Phase I, the light and pure rose
upwards, and sun, moon, stars, and constellations were created. These were called the Four Images. Hence the
saying that heaven began in I.
Another 5,400 years later, when Phase I was nearing its end and Phase II was imminent, things gradually
solidified. As the Book of Changes says, "Great is the Positive; far−reaching is the Negative! All things are
endowed and born in accordance with Heaven." This was when the earth began to congeal. After 5,400 more
years came the height of Phase II, when the heavy and impure solidified, and water, fire, mountains, stone,
and Earth came into being. These five were called the Five Movers. Therefore it is said that the Earth was
created in Phase II.
After a further 5,400 years, at the end of Phase II and the beginning of the Phase III, living beings were
created. In the words of the Book of the Calendar, "The essence of the sky came down and the essence of
earth went up. Heaven and Earth intermingled, and all creatures were born." Then Heaven was bright and
Earth was fresh, and the Positive intermingled with the Negative. 5,400 years later, when Phase III was at its
height, men, birds and beasts were created. Thus the Three Powers−−Heaven, Earth and Man−−now had their
set places. Therefore it is said that man was created in Phase III.
Moved by Pan Gu's creation, the Three Emperors put the world in order and the Five Rulers laid down the
moral code. The world was then divided into four great continents: The Eastern Continent of Superior Body,
the Western Continent of Cattle−gift, the Southern Continent of Jambu and the Northern Continent of Kuru.
This book deals only with the Eastern Continent of Superior Body. Beyond the seas there is a country called Aolai. This country is next to an ocean, and in the middle of the ocean is a famous island called the Mountain
of Flowers and Fruit. This mountain is the ancestral artery of the Ten Continents, the origin of the Three
Islands; it was formed when the clear and impure were separated and the Enormous Vagueness was divided. It
is a really splendid mountain and there are some verses to prove it:
It stills the ocean with its might,
It awes the jade sea into calm.
It stills the ocean with its might:
Tides wash its silver slopes and fish swim into its caves. It awes the jade sea into calm:
Amid the snowy breakers the sea−serpent rises from the deep.
It rises high in the corner of the world where Fire and Wood meet;
Its summit towers above the Eastern Sea.
Red cliffs and strange rocks;
Beetling crags and jagged peaks.
On the red cliffs phoenixes sing in pairs;
Lone unicorns lie before the beetling crags.
The cry of pheasants is heard upon the peaks;
In caves the dragons come and go.
There are deer of long life and magic foxes in the woods;
Miraculous birds and black cranes in the trees.
There are flowers of jade and strange plants that wither not;
Green pine and bluish cypress ever in leaf,
Magic peaches always in fruit.
Clouds gather round the tall bamboo.
The wisteria grows thick around the mountain brook
And the banks around are newly−coloured with flowers.
It is the Heaven−supporting pillar where all the rivers meet,
The Earth's root, unchanged through a myriad aeons.
There was once a magic stone on the top of this mountain which was thirty−six feet five inches high and
twenty−four feet round. It was thirty−six feet five inches high to correspond with the 365 degrees of the
heavens, and twenty−four feet round to match the twenty−four divisions of the solar calendar. On top of it
were nine apertures and eight holes, for the Nine Palaces and the Eight Trigrams. There were no trees around
it to give shade, but magic fungus and orchids clung to its sides. Ever since Creation began it had been receiving the truth of Heaven, the beauty of Earth, the essence of the Sun and the splendour of the Moon; and
as it had been influenced by them for so long it had miraculous powers. It developed a magic womb, which
burst open one day to produce a stone egg about the size of a ball.
When the wind blew on this egg it turned into a stone monkey, complete with the five senses and four limbs.
When the stone monkey had learned to crawl and walk, he bowed to each of the four quarters. As his eyes
moved, two beams of golden light shot towards the Pole Star palace and startled the Supreme Heavenly Sage,
the Greatly Compassionate Jade Emperor of the Azure Vault of Heaven, who was sitting surrounded by his
immortal ministers on his throne in the Hall of Miraculous Mist in the Golden−gated Cloud Palace. When he
saw the dazzling golden light he ordered Thousand−mile Eye and Wind−accompanying Ear to open the
Southern Gate of Heaven and take a look. The two officers went out through the gate in obedience to the
imperial command, and while one observed what was going on the other listened carefully. Soon afterwards
they reported back:
"In obedience to the Imperial Mandate your subjects observed and listened to the source of the golden light.
We found that at the edge of the country of Aolai, which is East of the ocean belonging to the Eastern
Continent of Superior Body, there is an island called the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. A magic stone on the
top of this mountain produced a magic egg, and when the wind blew on this egg it turned into a stone monkey
which bowed to each of the four quarters. When he moved his eyes, golden light shot towards the Pole Star
Palace; but now that he is eating and drinking, the golden light is gradually dying."
In his benevolence and mercy the Jade Emperor said, "Creatures down below are born of the essence of
heaven and earth: there is nothing remarkable about him."
On his mountain the monkey was soon able to run and jump, feed from plants and trees, drink from brooks
and springs, pick mountain flowers and look for fruit. He made friends with the wolves, went around with the
tigers and leopards, was on good terms with the deer, and had the other monkeys and apes for relations. At
night he slept under the rockfaces, and he roamed around the peaks and caves by day. As the saying so rightly
goes, "There is no calendar in the mountains, and when winter's over you don't know the time of year." On hot
mornings he and all the other monkeys would play under the shade of some pines to avoid the heat. Just look
at them all:
Climbing trees, picking flowers, looking for fruit;
Throwing pellets, playing knucklebones;
Running round sandy hollows, building stone pagodas;
Chasing dragonflies and catching locusts;
Worshipping the sky and visiting Bodhisattvas;
Tearing off creepers and weaving straw hats;
Catching fleas then popping them with their teeth and fingers;
Grooming their coats and sharpening their nails;
Beating, scratching, pushing, squashing, tearing and tugging;Playing all over the place under the pine trees;
Washing themselves beside the green stream.
After playing, the monkeys would go and bathe in the stream, a mountain torrent that tumbled along like
rolling melons. There is an old saying, "Birds have bird language and, animals have animal talk."
All the monkeys said to each other, "I wonder where that water comes from. We've got nothing else to do
today, so wouldn't it be fun to go upstream and find its source?" With a shout they all ran off, leading their
children and calling to their brothers. They climbed up the mountain beside the stream until they reached its
source, where a waterfall cascaded from a spring. They saw
One white rainbow arching,
A thousand strands of flying snow,
Unbroken by the sea winds,
Still there under the moon.
Cold air divides the greeny crags,
Splashes moisten the mountainside;
A noble waterfall cascades,
Hanging suspended like a curtain.
The monkeys clapped their hands and explained with delight, "What lovely water. It must go all the way to
the bottom of the mountain and join the waves of the sea."
Then one monkey made a suggestion: "If anyone is clever enough to go through the fall, find the source, and
come out in one piece, let's make him our king." When this challenge had been shouted three times, the stone
monkey leapt out from the crowd and answered at the top of his voice, "I'll go, I'll go." Splendid monkey!
Today he will make his name;
Tomorrow his destiny shall triumph.
He is fated to live here;
As a King he will enter the Immortals' palace.
Watch him as he shuts his eyes, crouches, and springs, leaping straight into the waterfall. When he opened his
eyes and raised his head to look round, he saw neither water nor waves. A bridge stood in front of him, as
large as life. He stopped, calmed himself, took a closer look, and saw that the bridge was made of iron. The
water that rushed under it poured out through a fissure in the rocks, screening the gateway to the bridge. He
started walking towards the bridge, and as he looked he made out what seemed to be a house. It was a really
good place. He saw:
Emerald moss piled up in heaps of blue,
White clouds like drifting jade,
While the light flickered among wisps of coloured mist.
A quiet house with peaceful windows,
Flowers growing on the smooth bench;
Dragon pearls hanging in niches,
Exotic blooms all around.
Traces of fire beside the stove,
Scraps of food in the vessels by the table.
Adorable stone chairs and beds,
Even better stone plates and bowls.
One or two tall bamboos,
Three or four sprigs of plum blossom,
A few pines that always attract rain,
All just like a real home.
He took a good, long look and then scampered to the middle of the bridge, from where he noticed a stone
tablet. On the tablet had been carved in big square letters: HAPPY LAND OF THE MOUNTAIN OF
FLOWERS AND FRUIT, CAVE HEAVEN OF THE WATER CURTAIN. The stone monkey was beside
himself with glee. He rushed away, shut his eyes, crouched, and leapt back through the waterfall."We're in luck, we're in luck," he said with a chuckle. All the other monkeys crowded round him asking,
"What's it like in there? How deep is the water?"
"There's no water, none at all," replied the stone monkey. "There's an iron bridge, and on the other side of the
bridge there's a house that must have been made by Heaven and Earth."
"How ever could you see a house there?" the other monkeys asked. The stone monkey chuckled again.
"The water here comes under the bridge and through the rocks, and it hides the gateway to the bridge from
view. There are flowers and trees by the bridge, and a stone house too. Inside the house are stone rooms, a
stone stove, stone bowls, stone plates, stone beds, and even stone benches. In the middle of it all is a tablet
which says 'Happy Land of the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, Cave Heaven of the Water Curtain'. It's just
the place for us to settle down in−−there's room there for thousands. Let's all move in, then we won't have to
put up with any more nonsense from heaven. In there
We can hide there from the wind,
And shelter from the rain,
With nothing to fear from frost and snow,
And never a rumble of thunder.
The coloured mists glow bright
And the place smells lucky.
The pine and bamboo will always be beautiful,
And rare flowers blossom every day."
The other monkeys were all so delighted to hear this that they said, "You go first and take us with you."
The stone monkey shut his eyes, crouched, and leapt in again, shouting, "Follow me in, follow me in." The
braver monkeys all jumped through. The more timid ones peered forward, shrank back, rubbed their ears,
scratched their cheeks, shouted, and yelled at the top of their voices, before going in, all clinging to each
other. After rushing across the bridge they all grabbed plates and snatched bowls, bagged stoves and fought
over beds, and moved everything around. Monkeys are born naughty and they could not keep quiet for a
single moment until they had worn themselves out moving things around.
The stone monkey sat himself in the main seat and said, "Gentlemen, A man who breaks his word is
worthless. Just now you said that if anyone was clever enough to come in here and get out again in one piece,
you'd make him king. Well, then. I've come in and gone out, and gone out and come in. I've found you
gentlemen a cave heaven where you can sleep in peace and all settle down to live in bliss. Why haven't you
made me king?" On hearing this all the monkeys bowed and prostrated themselves, not daring to disobey. They lined up in groups in order of age and paid their homage as at court, all acclaiming him as the "Great
King of a Thousand Years." The stone monkey then took the throne, made the word "stone" taboo, and called
himself Handsome Monkey King. There is a poem to prove it that goes:
All things are born from the Three positives;
The magic stone was quick with the essence of sun and moon.
An egg was turned into a monkey to complete the Great Way;
He was lent a name so that the elixir would be complete.
Looking inside he perceives nothing because it has no form,
Outside he uses his intelligence to create visible things.
Men have always been like this:
Those who are called kings and sages do just as they wish.
Taking control of his host of monkeys, apes, gibbons and others, the Handsome Monkey King divided them
into rulers and subjects, assistants and officers. In the morning they roamed the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit
and in the evening they settled down for the night in the Water Curtain Cave. They made a compact that they
would not join the ranks of the birds or go with the running beasts. They had their own king, and they
thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
In spring they picked flowers for food and drink,
In summer they lived off fruit.
In autumn they gathered tares and chestnuts,
They got through the winter on Solomon's−seal.
The Handsome Monkey King's innocent high spirits could not, of course, last three or four hundred years.
One day he suddenly felt depressed during a banquet with his monkey host, and he started to weep. The
startled monkeys crowded round, bowed to him and asked, "What's the matter, Your Majesty?"
"Although I'm happy now," the Monkey King replied, "I'm worried about the future. That's what's getting me
The other monkeys laughed and said, "Your Majesty is being greedy. We have parties every day; we live in a
mountain paradise, in an ancient cave in a divine continent. We are spared the rule of unicorns, the domination of phoenixes, and the restraints of human kings. We are free to do just as we like−−we are
infinitely lucky. Why make yourself miserable worrying about the future?"
To this the Monkey King replied, "Yes, we don't have to submit to the laws and regulations of human kings,
and we don't live in terror of the power of birds and beasts. But the time will come when we are old and weak,
and the underworld is controlled by the King of Hell. When the time comes for us to die, we won't be able to
go on living among the Blessed, and our lives will have been in vain." All the monkeys covered their faces
and wept as everyone of them thought about death.
Suddenly a gibbon jumped out from their ranks and shrieked in a piercing voice, "If Your Majesty is thinking
so far ahead, this is the beginning of enlightenment. Now of the Five Creatures, there are only three that do
not come under the jurisdiction of the King of Hell."
"Do you know which they are?" asked the Monkey King.
"Yes," the ape replied. "They are the Buddhas, the Immortals and the Sages. They are free from the Wheel of
Reincarnation. They are not born and they do not die. They are as eternal as Heaven and Earth, as the
mountains and the rivers."
"Where do they live?" the Monkey King asked.
"Only in the human world," the ape replied, "in ancient caves on magic mountains." The Monkey King was
delighted to hear this.
"I shall leave you all tomorrow," he said, "and go down the mountain. If I have to, I'll roam the corners of the
oceans and go to the edge of the sky to find these three kinds of beings and discover the secret of eternal youth
that will keep us out of the clutches of the King of Hell for ever." Goodness! Because of these words he was
to learn how to be free from the Wheel of Reincarnation and become the Great Sage Equaling Heaven.
All the monkeys clapped with approval and said, "Great! Great! Tomorrow we'll climb all over the mountain
and get lots of fruit to give Your Majesty a really big banquet to send you off."
The next day the monkeys set out to pick magic peaches, gather rare fruits, dig out yams, and cut
Solomon's−seal. Magic fungus and fragrant orchid were collected, and everything was set on the stone
benches and the stone tables, with fairy wine and dishes. You could see
Golden pills and pearl pellets,
Bursting red and plump yellow.
The golden pills and pearl pellets were winter cherries, beautiful and sweet;
The bursting red and plump yellow were ripe plums, tasty and sharp.
Fresh, sweet−fleshed longans with thin skins.
Fiery lichees with tiny stones in a red sack.
Branch after branch of crab−apples,
Yellow−skinned loquats with their leaves on.
Rabbit−head pears and chicken−heart jujubes
To quench your thirst, remove your cares, and sober you up.
Fragrant peaches and tender apricots,
As sweet and luscious as jade wine.
Crisp plums and arbutus,
As sharp as glistening yogurt.
Ripe melons with red coats and black seeds,
Big, four−sectioned persimmons with yellow skins.
Cinnabar pips shining like fire−crystal pearls.
With firm round flesh like golden agate.
Walnuts and gingko fruits to eat with tea;
Coconuts and grapes to make into wine.
Dishes loaded with pine cones, yew−nuts, filberts, and crab−apples;
Tangerines, sugar−cane and oranges covering the table.
Hot roast yams,
Tender boiled Solomon's−seal.
Pounded china−root and Job's tears.
Simmered in soup in a stone−pot.
Although we humans have rare delicacies to eat,
We are no happier than those monkeys in the mountains.
The host of monkeys ushered the Handsome Monkey King to the seat of honour and sat down below him
according to age. Each of them took it in turns to bring him wine, flowers, and fruit, and they drank hard for a
whole day. The next morning the Handsome Monkey King got up early and ordered, "Children, tear down
some old pines and make me a raft. Find a bamboo pole to punt with and load it up with fruit. I'm going." He
went aboard the raft all by himself, pushed off with all his might, and floated off towards the waves of the
ocean. He intended to sail with the wind and cross over to the Southern Jambu Continent.
The heaven−born monkey, whose conduct was so noble,
Left his island to drift with heaven's winds.
He sailed oceans and seas to find the Way of Immortality,
Deeply determined to do a great deed.
The predestined one should not have vulgar longings;
He can attain the primal truth without care or worry.
He is bound to find a kindred spirit,
To explain the origins and the laws of nature.
He had chosen just the right time for his journey. After he boarded his raft the Southeasterly wind blew hard
for days on end and bore him to the Northwestern shore of the Southern Continent. Testing the depth of the
water with his pole he found that it was shallow, so he abandoned the raft and jumped ashore. He saw humans
by the coast, fishing, hunting geese, gathering clams, and extracting salt. He went up to them, leaping around
and making faces, which so scared them that they dropped their baskets and nets and fled in all directions as
fast as they could. The Monkey King grabbed one of them who was a poor runner, stripped him of his clothes,
and dressed himself in them like a human. He swaggered through the provinces and prefectures, learning
human behavior and human speech in the market places. Whether he was eating his breakfast or going to bed
at nigh he was always asking about Buddhas, Immortals and Sages, and seeking the secret of eternal youth.
He observed that the people of the world were too concerned with fame and fortune to be interested in their
When will the struggle for fame and fortune end?
Toiling from morning till night, never pleasing yourself.
Those who ride donkeys long for stallions,
The Prime Minister always wants to be a prince.
They only worry about having to stop work to eat or dress;
They never fear that the King of Hell will come to get them.
When trying to ensure their sons and grandsons inherit their wealth and power,
They have no time to stop and think.
Although he asked about the way of the Immortals, the Monkey King was unable to meet one. He spent eight
or nine years in the Southern Jambu Continent, going through its great walls and visiting its little counties.
When he found that he had reached the Great Western Ocean he thought that there must be Sages and
Immortals on the other side of it, so he made himself another raft like the last one, and floated across the
Western Ocean until he came to the Western Continent of Cattle−gift. He went ashore and made extensive
and lengthy enquiries until one day he came upon a high and beautiful mountain, thickly forested on its lower
slopes. Not fearing wolves, and undaunted by tigers or leopards, he climbed to the summit to see the view. It
was indeed a fine mountain:
A thousand peaks brandishing halberds,
Screens ten thousand measures tall.
In the sunlight the mountain haze is lightly touched with blue;
After the rain the black rocks look coldly green.
Withered creepers coil round ancient trees,
And the old ford marks the bounds of the mysterious.
Strange flowers and precious plants,
Flourishing in all four seasons, rivaling fairyland.
The nearby cry of a hidden bird,
The clear running of a spring.
Valley upon valley of mushroom and orchid,
Lichen grows all over the cliffs.
The range rises and dips in dragon−like majesty.
Surely there mush be lofty hermits here.
As he was looking at the view the Monkey King heard a human voice coming from the depths of the forest.
He rushed into the trees, and when he cocked his ear to listen he heard a song:
"Watching the chess game I cut through the rotten,
Felling trees, ding, ding,
Strolling at the edge of the cloud and the mouth of the valley,
I sell firewood to buy wine,
Cackling with laughter and perfectly happy.
I pillow myself on a pine root, looking up at the moon.
When I wake up it is light.
Recognizing the old forest
I scale cliffs and cross ridges,
Cutting down withered creepers with my axe.
When I've gathered a basketful
I walk down to the market with a song,
And trade it for three pints of rice.
Nobody else competes with me,
So prices are stable.
I don't speculate or try sharp practice,
Couldn't care less what people think of me,
Calmly lengthening my days.
The people I meet
Are Taoists and Immortals,
Sitting quietly and expounding the Yellow Court."
The Monkey King was overjoyed to hear this, and he said with glee, "So this is where the Immortals have
been hiding." He bounded deeper into the woods for a closer look and saw that the singer was a woodcutter
cutting firewood. He was wearing the most unusual clothes:
On his head he wore a hat
Woven from the first skin shed by new bamboo shoots.
The clothes on his body
Were made of yam from the wild cotton−tree.
The belt round his waist
Was of silk from an old silkworm.
The straw sandals under his feet
Had straps torn from rotten sago trees.
In his hand he held a steel axe
On his back he carried a hempen rope
At climbing pines and felling dead trees,
Who was a match for this woodcutter?
The Monkey King went closer and called to him. "Old Immortal, your disciple greets you."
The woodcutter dropped his axe in astonishment and turned round to say, "No, no. I don't even have enough
to eat or drink, so how can I possibly let you call me an Immortal?"
"If you're not an Immortal," the Monkey King said, "why do you talk like one?"
"I don't talk like an Immortal," the woodcutter said.
"At the edge of the wood just now," the Monkey King replied, "I heard you say, 'The people I meet are
Taoists and Immortals, sitting quietly and expounding the Mantingfang.' The Mantingfang contains the truth
about the Way, so if you're not an Immortal, what are you?" The woodcutter laughed.
"It's quite true that the song is called 'The Fragrance of the Mantingfang,' and an Immortal who lives near my
hut taught me it. He said he saw how hard I had to work and how I was always worried, so he made me sing
this song when things were getting me down. It lightens my cares and makes me forget my weariness. I was
singing it just now because I had some problems on my mind, and I never imagined that you would be
"If you've got an Immortal for a neighbour, you ought to learn from him how to cultivate your conduct and get
him to teach you a recipe for eternal youth."
"I've had a hard life," the woodcutter replied. "My mother and father brought me up till I was about eight, and
just when I was beginning to know about life my father died. My mother remained a widow, and I had no
brothers or sisters. As I was the only child I had to look after my mother morning and night. Now she is old
that I can't possibly leave her. Our land is so overgrown that I can't grow enough to feed and clothe both of us,
so I have to cut a couple of bundles of firewood to sell in the market for a handful of coppers to buy the few
pints of rice that I cook for myself and for my mother. That's why I can't cultivate my conduct."
"From what you say," the Monkey King replied, "you're a filial son and a gentleman−−you're bound to be
rewarded for it one day. But I'd be grateful if you could show me where that Immortal lives, so that I can go
and pay him my respects."
The woodcutter said, "It's not far from here. This mountain is the Spirit Tower Heart Mountain, and in it there
is the Cave of the Setting Moon and the Three Stars. In that cave lives an Immortal called the Patriarch
Subhuti. I don't know how many disciples he has trained−−there are thirty or forty of them cultivating their
conduct with him at the moment. If you take that path South for two or three miles you'll reach his home."
The Monkey King tugged at the woodcutter and said, "Take me there, Elder Brother. If I get anything out of
this, I won't forget your kindness."
"You idiot," the woodcutter replied, "didn't you understand what I told you just now? If I went with you I
wouldn't be able to earn my living, and who would look after my poor old mother then? I've got to get on with
my woodcutting. Go by yourself."
After hearing this the Monkey King had to take his leave. He came out of the forest and found the path, which
led up a mountain slope for two or three miles, when he saw the cave. He pulled himself up to his full height to take a look, and it was a really magnificent place:
Misty clouds scattered colours,
Sun and moon shimmered bright.
A thousand ancient cypresses,
Ten thousand lofty bamboos.
A thousand ancient cypresses,
A soft green drawing the rain from the sky.
Ten thousand lofty bamboos,
And a misty valley is azure blue.
Outside the gate rare flowers spread brocade;
Beside the bridge wafts the scent of jade flowers.
Rocky crags jut, glossy with green moss;
On overhanging cliffs blue lichen grows.
Sometimes the call of the crane is heard
And often you see the phoenix soar.
The call of the crane
Echoes beyond the Ninth Heaven and the Milky Way.
When the phoenix soars,
The brilliance of its wings colours the clouds.
Black apes and white deer can be just made out;
Golden lions and jade elephants prefer to keep hidden.
If you look closely at this happy land,
You will see that it rivals paradise.
He saw that the doors of the cave were shut fast, and that everything was still, with no signs of any people. He
turned round and noticed that there was a stone tablet about thirty feet high and eight feet wide at the top of
the cliff. On it was carved in enormous letters: SPIRIT−TOWER HEART MOUNTAIN, CAVE OF THE
SETTING MOON AND THE THREE STARS. The Monkey King exclaimed with delight, "The people here
really are honest. The mountain and the cave do exist." He took a good long look, but did not dare to knock on
the door. He climbed to the and of a pine branch and ate some pine seeds to amuse himself.
Before long the doors of the cave opened with a creak, and an immortal boy came out. In the nobility of his
bearing and the exceptional purity of his features he was completely different from an ordinary boy.
His hair was bound with a pair of silken bands,
His flowing gown had two capacious sleeves.
His face and body were naturally distinguished;
His mind and appearance were both empty.
For many years a guest beyond the world of things,
An eternal child amid the mountains,
Untouched by any speck of dust,
He let the years go tumbling by.
When this boy had come out he shouted, "Who's making that row out here?"
The Monkey King scampered down the tree, went up to him, and said with a bow, "Immortal child, I am a
disciple who has come to ask about the Way and study under the Immortal. The last thing I'd do would be to
make a row here?" The boy laughed.
"So you've come to ask about the Way, have you?"
"Yes," the Monkey King replied.
"Our master has just got up," the boy said, "and has now mounted the dais to expound the Way. Before he had
started to explain about origins he told me to open the door. He said, 'There is someone outside who wants to
cultivate his conduct. Go and welcome him.' I suppose he must have meant you."
"Yes, he meant me," the Monkey King said with a smile.
"Come with me," the boy said.
The Monkey King straightened his clothes and followed the boy deep into the depths of the cave. He saw
majestic pavilions and towers of red jade, pearl palaces and gateways of cowry, and countless rooms of
silence and secluded cells leading all the way to a jasper dais. He saw the Patriarch Subhuti sitting on the dais
and thirty−six minor Immortals standing below it.
A golden Immortal of great enlightenment, free from filth,
Subhuti, the marvel of the Western World.
Neither dying nor born, he practices the triple meditation,
His spirit and soul entirely benevolent.
In empty detachment he follows the changes;
Having found his true nature he lets it run free.
As eternal as Heaven, and majestic in body,
The great teacher of the Law is enlightened through aeons.
As soon as the Handsome Monkey King saw him he bowed low and knocked his head on the ground before
him many times, saying, "Master, master, your disciple pays his deepest respects."
"Where are you from?" the Patriarch asked. "You must tell me your name and address before you can become
"I come from the Water Curtain Cave in the Flowers and Fruit Mountain in the land of Aolai in the Eastern
Continent of Superior Body," replied the Monkey King.
"Throw him out," the Patriarch roared. "He's a liar and a cheat, and even if he tried cultivating his conduct he
would get nowhere."
The Monkey King desperately kept hitting his head on the ground and said, "Your disciple spoke the truth. I
promise I wasn't lying."
The Patriarch asked, "If you were speaking the truth, why did you say that you came from the Eastern
Continent of Superior Body? Between here and the Eastern Continent there are two seas and the Southern
Jambu Continent, so how could you possibly have come here from there?"
The Monkey King, still kowtowing, replied, "I sailed across seas and oceans, crossed frontiers and wandered
through many countries for over ten years before I arrived here."
"So you came here by stages," the Patriarch remarked. "What is your surname?"
"I'm not surly," the Monkey King replied. "If people call me names it doesn't bother me, and if they hit me I
don't get angry. I'm just polite to them and that's that. I've never been surly."
"I didn't ask if you were surly. I wanted to know the surname you inherited from your parents."
"I didn't have any parents," the Monkey King replied.
"If you had no parents, did you grow on a tree?"
"I grew not on a tree but in a stone," the Monkey King replied. "All I remember is that there was a magic
stone on the top of the Flower and Fruit Mountain, and that one year the stone split open and I was born."
Concealing his delight at searing this, the Patriarch remarked, "In other words, you were born of Heaven and
Earth. Walk around for a moment and let me have a look at you." The Monkey King leapt to his feet and
shambled round a couple of times.
The Patriarch smiled and said, "Though you have rather a base sort of body, you look like one of the rhesus
monkeys that eat pine seeds, and I ought to give you a surname that fits your appearance and call you Hu
('Macaque'). The elements that make up the character Hu are 'animal,' 'old' and 'moon'. What is old is ancient,
and the moon embodies the Negative principle, and what is ancient and Negative cannot be transformed. But I
think I would do much better to call you Sun ('Monkey'). Apart from the 'animal' element, the character Sun
has one part implying male and one part suggesting a baby, which fits in with my basic theories about
children. Your surname will be Sun."
When the Monkey King heard this he kowtowed with delight and said, "Great! Great! Now I have a surname.
I am eternally grateful to you for your mercy and compassion, master. I beg you to give me a personal name
to go with my new surname, then it will be much easier to address me."
"There are twelve words within my sect," said the Patriarch, "which I give as names. You belong to the tenth
generation of my disciples."
"What are these twelve words?" asked the Monkey King.
"Broad, great, wisdom, intelligence, true, likeness, nature, sea, bright, awakened, complete and enlightenment.
If we work out the generations of disciples, then you should have a name with Wu ('Awakened') in it. So we
can give you the Dharma−name Sun Wukong, which means 'Monkey Awakened to Emptiness'. Will that do?"
"Marvellous, marvellous," said the smiling Monkey King. "From now on my name will be Sun Wukong."
When the Great Vagueness was separated there were no surnames;
To smash foolish emptiness he had to be awakened to emptiness.
If you want to know what success he had in cultivating his conduct, you must listen to the explanation in the
TO BE CONTINUED!!!
Disclaimer: I do not own nor wrote this story it was written by a guy that died during the Ming Dynasty. This story is one of the best Chinese books ever. I didnt translate this story either. I got this from a PDF file somewhere. However I feel that I want to allow people to enjoy something that most people haven't read if they didnt go to China or something once in their life. Plus I'm Chinesse and I enjoy this novel a lot!:)
Interesting I always wanted to read this.
12-28-2008, 05:05 PM
JOURNEY TO THE WEST PART 2 OF 100
He Becomes Aware of the Wonderful Truth of Enlightenment
By Killing the Demon He Realizes His Spirit−Nature
The story goes on to tell how after being given a name the Handsome Monkey King jumped for joy and
bowed to Subhuti to express his thanks. The Patriarch then ordered the others to take Sun Wukong out
through the double doors and teach him how to sprinkle and sweep the floor, answer orders, and deport
himself properly. All the Immortals went out in obedience to this command. When Sun Wukong was outside
the doors he bowed to all his spiritual elder brothers and laid out his bed on the verandah. The next morning
and every following day he studied language and deportment under his spiritual elder brothers, expounded the
scriptures, discussed the Way, practiced calligraphy, and burnt incense. When he had any spare time he would
sweep the grounds, dig the vegetable patch, grow flowers, tend trees, look for kindling, light the fire, carry
water, and fetch soy. Everything he needed was provided. Thus six or seven years slipped by in the cave
without his noticing them. One day the Patriarch took his seat on the dais, called all the Immortals together,
and began to explain the Great Way.
Heavenly flowers fell in profusion,
While golden lotuses burst forth from the earth.
Brilliantly he expounded the doctrine of the Three Vehicles,
Setting forth ten thousand Dharmas in all their details.
As he slowly waved his whisk, jewels fell from his mouth,
Echoing like thunder and shaking the Nine Heavens.
Now preaching the Way,
Now teaching meditation,
He showed that the Three Beliefs are basically the same.
In explaining a single word he brought one back to the truth,
And taught the secrets of avoiding birth and understanding one's nature.
As Monkey sat at the side listening to the exposition he was so delighted that he tugged at his ear, scratched
his cheek and smiled. He could not help waving his hands and stamping. When the Patriarch noticed this he
said to Monkey, "Why are you leaping around like a madman in class instead of listening to the lesson?"
"Your disciple is listening to the exposition with all his attention," Monkey replied, "but your marvellous
words made me so happy that I started jumping around without realizing what I was doing. Please forgive
To this the Patriarch replied, "If you really understand my marvellous words, then answer this question. How
long have you been in my cave?"
"You disciple was born stupid," Monkey replied, "so I've no idea how long I've been here. All I know is that
whenever the fire in the stove goes out I go to the other side of the mountain to collect firewood and there I
see a hill covered with fine peach trees. I've had seven good feeds of peaches there."
"That hill is called Tender Peach Hill. If you have eaten there seven times you must have been here seven
years. What sort of Way do you want to learn from me?"
"That depends what you teach me, master. As long as there's a whiff of Way to it, your disciple will learn it."
"There are three hundred and sixty side−entrances to the Way, and they all lead to a True Result," the
Patriarch said. "Which branch would you like to study?"
"I will do whatever you think best, master," replied Monkey.
"What about teaching you the Way of Magic Arts?"
"What does 'the Way of Magic Arts' mean?"
"Magic arts," the Patriarch replied, "include summoning Immortals, using the magic sandboard, and divining
by milfoil. With them one can learn how to bring on good fortune and avert disaster."
"Can you become immortal this way?" asked Monkey.
"No, certainly not," replied the Patriarch.
"No. Shan't learn it."
"Shall I teach you the Way of Sects?" the Patriarch asked.
"What are the principles of the Sects?" said Monkey.
"Within the branch of Sects, there is Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, the study of the Negative and
Positive, Mohism, medicine, reading scriptures and chanting the name of a Buddha. You can also summon
Immortals and Sages with this branch."
"Can you attain immortality that way?" asked Monkey.
"To try and attain immortality that way," the Patriarch replied, "is like 'putting a pillar in the wall.'"
"Master," Monkey said, "I'm a simple chap and I can't understand your technical jargon. What do you mean
by 'putting a pillar in the wall?'"
"When a man builds a house and wants to make it strong he puts a pillar in the wall. But when the day comes
for his mansion to collapse the pillar is bound to rot."
"From what you say," Monkey observed, "it's not eternal. No. Shan't learn it."
"Shall I teach you the Way of Silence?" the Patriarch then asked.
"What True Result can be got from Silence?" said Monkey.
"It involves abstaining from grain, preserving one's essence, silence, inaction, meditation, abstaining from
speech, eating vegetarian food, performing certain exercises when asleep or standing up, going into trances,
and being walled up in total isolation."
"Is this a way of becoming immortal?" Monkey asked.
"It's like building the top of a kiln with sun−dried bricks," the patriarch replied.
"You do go on, master," said Sun Wukong. "I've already told you that I can't understand your technical jargon.
What does 'building the top of a kiln with sun−dried bricks' mean?"
"If you build the top of a kiln with sun−dried bricks they may make it look all right, but if they have not been
hardened with fire and water, then they will crumble away in the first heavy rainstorm."
"There's nothing eternal about that either, then," replied Monkey. "No. Shan't learn that."
"Shall I teach you the Way of Action then?" the Patriarch asked.
"What's that like?" Monkey asked.
"It involves acting and doing, extracting the Negative and building up the Positive, drawing the bow and
loading the crossbow, rubbing the navel to make the subtle humors flow, refining elixirs according to
formulae, lighting fires under cauldrons, consuming 'Red lead,' purifying 'Autumn Stone,' and drinking
"Can doing things like that make me live for ever?" Monkey asked.
"To try and attain immortality that way is like 'lifting the moon out of water.'"
"What does 'lifting the moon out of water' mean?"
"The moon is in the sky," the Patriarch replied, "and only its reflection is in the water. Although you can see it
there, you will try in vain to lift it out."
"No. Shan't learn that," Monkey exclaimed.
When the Patriarch heard this he gasped and climbed down from his dais. Pointing at Sun Wukong with his
cane he said, "You won't study this and you won't study that, so what do you want, you monkey?" He went up
to Monkey and hit him three times on the head, then went inside with his hands behind his back and shut the
main door, abandoning them all. The class was shocked, and they all blamed Sun Wukong.
"You cheeky ape, you've no idea how to behave. The master was teaching you the Way, so why did you have
to argue with him instead of learning from him? Now you've offended him we don't know when he'll come
out again." They were all very angry with him and regarded him with loathing and contempt. But Sun
Wukong was not bothered in the least, and his face was covered with smiles.
The Monkey King had understood the riddle, and had the answer hidden away in his mind. So he did not
argue with the others but bore it all without a word. When the Patriarch hit him three times he had been telling
him to pay attention at the third watch; and when he went inside with his hands behind his back and shut the
main door he had told the Monkey King to go in through the back door and be taught the Way in secret.
The delighted Sun Wukong spent the rest of that day with the others in front of the Three Stars Cave, looking
at the sky and impatient for night to come. At dusk he went to bed like all the others, pretended to close his
eyes, controlled his breathing, and calmed himself down. Nobody beats the watches or calls out the hour in
the mountains, so he had no way of knowing the time except by regulating the breath going in and out of his
nose. When he reckoned that it was about the third watch he got up very quietly, dressed, and slipped out
through the front door away from the others. When he was outside he looked up and saw
The moon was bright and clear and cold,
The vast space of the eight points was free from dust.
Deep in the trees a bird slept hidden,
While the water flowed from the spring.
Fireflies scattered their lights
And a line of geese was stretched across the clouds.
It was exactly the third watch,
The right time to ask about the Way.
Watch the Monkey King as he follows the old path to the back door, which he found to be ajar. "The Patriarch
has left the door open, so he really intends to teach me the Way," he exclaimed in delight. He tiptoed toward,
went in sideways through the door, and walked over to the Patriarch's bed, where he saw the Patriarch
sleeping curled up, facing the inside of the room. Not daring to disturb him, Sun Wukong knelt in front of the
bed. Before long the Patriarch woke up, stretched out both his legs, and mumbled to himself:
"It's hard, hard, hard. The Way is very obscure,
Don't make light of the Gold and the Cinnabar.
To teach miraculous spells to any but the Perfect Man,
Is to tire the voice and dry the tongue in vain."
Sun Wukong said in reply, "Master, your disciple has been kneeling here for a long time."
When the Patriarch heard that it was Sun Wukong who was speaking he pulled some clothes on, sat up
cross−legged, and shouted, "It's that monkey. Why have you come into my room instead of sleeping out in
"Master, you told me publicly in front of the altar yesterday that your disciple was to come in here through the
back gate at the third watch as you were going to teach me the Way. That is why I made so bold as to come to
pay my respects beside my master's bed."
The Patriarch was very pleased to hear this and said to himself, "This wretch was indeed born of Heaven and
Earth. Otherwise he wouldn't have been able to understand my cryptic message."
Sun Wukong said, "There is no third pair of ears in this room; your disciple is the only other person here. I
hope, master, that in your great mercy you will teach me the Way of Immortality. If you do, I'll always be
grateful to you."
"You are predestined," the Patriarch said, "so I shall be happy to tell you. Since you understood my cryptic
message, come over here and listen carefully while I teach you the miraculous Way of Immortality." Sun
Wukong kowtowed with gratitude and knelt before the bed, listening with all his attention. The Patriarch said:
"True spells, revealing secrets and all powerful,
Are the only sure way of protecting one's life.
They all come from essence, vapour, and spirit,
Must be stored away securely, and never be divulged.
Must never be divulged, and be stored in the body,
Then the Way I teach you will flourish of itself.
Many are the benefits of learning spells:
They give protection from evil desires and make one pure.
Make one pure with a dazzling radiance
Like a bright moon shining on a cinnabar tower.
The moon contains a Jade Rabbit, the sun a Golden Crow,
The Tortoise and the Snake are always intertwined.
Always intertwined, then life is firm,
And one can plant golden lotuses in fire.
Grasp all the Five Elements and turn them upside down,
And when you are successful you can become a Buddha, or an Immortal."
The Patriarch's explanation went to the root of things, and Sun Wukong's heart was filled with bliss as he
committed the spells to memory. He bowed to the Patriarch to express his deep gratitude and went out of the
back door to look. He saw that there was a trace of white in the East, while the golden light of the moon was
shining in the West. He went to the front door by the old path, pushed it open gently, and went in.
He sat down where he had been sleeping earlier, shook his bedding and said loudly, "It's dawn, it's dawn. Get
up." The others were all asleep, unaware of Sun Wukong's good fortune. At daybreak he got up and muddled
through the day, while secretly keeping to what he had been told. In the afternoon and evening he regulated
After three years had passed in this way the Patriarch once more sat on his lecturing throne and expounded the
Dharma to the students. He recounted famous sayings and parables, and discussed external phenomena and
Without warning he asked, "Where is Sun Wukong?" Sun Wukong went forward, knelt down and replied,
"Your disciple is present."
"What Way have you cultivated since coming here?"
"Your disciple is now fairly well conversant with the Dharma," Sun Wukong replied, "and my Source is
getting gradually stronger."
"If you are conversant with the Dharma and you know about the Source," the Patriarch replied, "and if the
spirit has already flowed into you, then you must beware of the 'Three Disasters.'"
Sun Wukong thought for a long time, then he said, "Patriarch, you're talking rubbish. I have often heard that
the Way is lofty and its power mighty, that it is as eternal as Heaven, that it can overcome fire and water, and
prevent all illnesses from arising, so how could there be "Three Disasters?'"
To this the Patriarch replied, "This is not the ordinary Way: it involves seizing the very creation of Heaven
and Earth, and encroaching on the hidden workings of the sun and moon. Once the elixir is made, devils and
spirits cannot tolerate it. Although it will preserve the youthfulness of your face and prolong your life, in five
hundred years' time Heaven will strike you with a thunderbolt. You must be clear−sighted in nature and mind,
so that you can hide from it before it comes. If you succeed in avoiding it you will live as long as Heaven; and
if you don't, it will kill you. Another five hundred years later Heaven will burn you with fire. This fire will be
not heavenly fire or ordinary fire but 'hidden fire'. It will burn you from the soles of your feet to the crown of
your head; your five viscera will be reduced to ashes, your four limbs will be destroyed, and a thousand years
of asceticism will have been so much wasted time. Yet another five hundred years later a wind will blow at
you. It will not be the North, South, East, or West wind, nor will it be a warm, fragrant wind from the
Northwest; nor will it be the kind of wind that blows among flowers, willows, pine, and bamboo. It will be
what is called a 'monster wind'. It will blow through the crown of your head down into your six entrails. It will
go through the Cinnabar Field below your navel and penetrate your nine orifices. Your flesh and your bones
will be destroyed and your body will disintegrate. So you must avoid all three of these disasters."
When he heard this Sun Wukong's hair stood on end, and he kowtowed with the words, "I implore you, my
lord, to show pity and teach me how to avoid these three disasters. If you do I will be grateful to you for ever."
"That would be easy," the Patriarch replied, "but for the fact that you are different from other people−−which
means that I can't."
"I have a head that faces the sky and feet standing on earth," said Sun Wukong. "I have nine orifices and four
limbs, five viscera and six entrails. How am I different from anyone else?"
"Although you are quite like other people, your cheeks are too small." Now the Monkey had a funny face,
with cheeks that caved inwards and a sharp chin.
Sun Wukong felt it with his hand and replied with a laugh, "Master, you didn't take everything into account.
Although I'm a bit short of jaw, I've got more dewlap than other people to make up for it."
"Very well then," the Patriarch said, "which would you prefer to learn: the thirty−six heavenly transformations
or the seventy−two earthly ones?"
"Your disciple wants to get as much out of it as he can, so I would like to learn the seventy−two earthly ones."
"If that's what you want," the Patriarch replied, "come here and I'll teach you the spells." Thereupon he
whispered into Sun Wukong's ear, and who knows what miraculous spells he taught him? The Monkey King
was the sort of person who understands everything once he is told a tiny part, and he learned the spells on the
spot. He practiced and trained until he had mastered all seventy−two transformations. One day the Patriarch
and all his disciples were enjoying the sunset outside the Three Stars Cave.
The Patriarch asked Sun Wukong, "Have you succeeded yet?"
Sun Wukong replied, "Thanks to your infinite mercy, master, your disciple's results have been perfect, and I
can now rise on the clouds and fly."
"Let me see you try a flight," the Patriarch said. Sun Wukong used his skill to perform a series of somersaults
that carried him fifty or sixty feet into the air, then walked around on the clouds for about as long as it takes to
eat a meal.
He covered about a mile altogether before landing in front of the Patriarch, folding his arms across his chest,
and saying, "Master, that's flying and soaring in the clouds." The Patriarch laughed.
"That's not soaring on the clouds−−it's just climbing up them. There is an old saying that 'an Immortal visits
the Northern Sea in the morning and Cangwu in the evening'. But to take as long as you did just to go a mile
doesn't count as climbing on the clouds."
"How can it be possible to visit the Northern Sea in the morning and Cangwu in the evening?" Sun Wukong
"All cloud−soarers start off from the Northern Sea early in the morning, visit the Eastern, Western and
Southern Seas, and then come back to Cangwu; Cangwu is what the Northern Sea is called in the Lingling
language. When you can go beyond all four seas in a single day you can regard yourself as a cloud−soarer."
"But that must be very difficult," Sun Wukong observed.
"Where there's a will there's a way," the Patriarch replied.
"Nothing by halves, master," replied Sun Wukong with bows and kowtows, "I beg of you in your great mercy
to teach me the art of cloud−soaring. I promise that I will always be grateful."
"Immortals take off with a stamp of their feet," said the Patriarch, "but you do it differently−−just now I saw
you pull yourself up. As that is the way you do it, I'll show you how to do it your own way and teach you the
'somersault cloud.'" Sun Wukong bowed again, imploring him to do so, and the Patriarch taught him the spell.
"For this kind of cloud," the Patriarch said, "you make the magic by clasping your hands in the special way,
recite the words of the spell, clench your fist, shake yourself, and jump. With one somersault you can go sixty
thousand miles." When the others heard this they all exclaimed with a laugh.
"Lucky old Sun Wukong. With magic like this he could be−a messenger delivering official letters and reports,
and he'd never go short of a meal." When it was dark the Patriarch and his pupils returned to the cave. That
night Sun Wukong moved his spirit, practiced the technique, and mastered the cloud somersault. From then on
he was free from all restraint and he enjoyed the delights of immortality, drifting around as he pleased.
On a day when spring was giving way to summer, and all the students had been sitting under some pine trees
listening to lectures for a long time, they said, "Sun Wukong, in what life did you earn your present destiny?
The other day our teacher whispered to you how to do the transformations to avoid the Three Disasters. Can
you do them all yet?"
"It's true, brothers," said Sun Wukong with a grin, "I can do them all. In the first place, it's because our master
taught me; and in the second place, it's because I practiced them hard day and night."
"This would be a good time for you to give us a demonstration." At this suggestion Sun Wukong braced his
spirit to show off his skill.
"What's it to be, brothers? Tell me what you'd like me to turn myself into."
"Turn into a pine tree," they all said. Sun Wukong clenched his fist, said the magic words, shook himself, and
changed into a pine tree. It was truly
Green and misty throughout the four seasons,
Raising its upright beauty to the clouds.
Not in the least like a demon monkey,
Every inch a tree that withstands frost and snow.
When the students saw it they clapped their hands and chuckled aloud, saying, "Good old monkey, good old
monkey." They did not realize that the row they were making had disturbed the Patriarch, who rushed out
through the door, dragging his stick behind him.
"Who's making a row out here?" he asked. The students hurriedly pulled themselves together, straightened
their clothes and went over to him.
Sun Wukong, who had now resumed his real appearance, said from the forest, "Master, we were holding a
discussion here, and there were no outsiders making a din."
"Yelling and shouting like that," the Patriarch angrily roared, "is no way for those cultivating their conduct to
behave. If you are cultivating your conduct, the subtle vapours escape when you open your mouth, and when
you wag your tongue, trouble starts. What was all the laughing and shouting about"
"Just now Sun Wukong did a transformation for fun. We told him to turn himself into a pine tree, and he did.
We all praised and applauded him, which was why we disturbed you with the noise, master. We beg you to
The Patriarch sent them all away except for Sun Wukong, to whom he said, "Come here. Is that a way to use
your spirit? To change into a pine tree? Is this a skill you should be showing off in front of people? If you saw
somebody else doing that, wouldn't you ask him to teach you? If other people see you doing it, they're bound
to ask you to teach them, and if you want to keep out of trouble you'll have to do so; otherwise they may do
you harm, and then your life will be in danger."
Sun Wukong kowtowed and said, "Please forgive me, master."
"I shan't punish you," the Patriarch replied, "but you'll have to go." Sun Wukong's eyes filled with tears.
"Master, where am I to go?"
"Go back to where you came from." Sun Wukong had a sudden awakening, and he said, "I came from the
Water Curtain Cave on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit in the country of Aolai in the Eastern Continent of
"If you hurry back there," the Patriarch replied, "you will be able to preserve your life. If you stay here it will
be absolutely impossible to do so." Sun Wukong accepted his punishment.
"Yes, master," he said. "I've been away from home for twenty years and I do miss the old days and my
children and grandchildren. But when I remember that I have not yet repaid your enormous generosity to me, I
can't bring myself to go."
"What sort of kindness would you be doing me if you stayed? I'll be happy enough if you keep me out of any
disasters you cause."
Seeing that there was nothing else for it, Sun Wukong bowed and took leave of him, saying good−bye to all
the other students.
"Now that you're going," the Patriarch said, "I'm sure that your life will not be a good one. Whatever disasters
you cause and crimes you commit, I forbid you under any circumstances to call yourself my disciple. If you so
much as hint at it I'll know at once, and I'll tear off your monkey skin, chop up your bones, and banish your
soul to the Ninth Darkness. I won't let you out for ten thousand aeons."
"I promise never to give away a single letter of your name," said Sun Wukong. "I'll just say that I taught
Sun Wukong took his leave and went away. Making the spell by clasping his fist he jumped head over heels,
summoned a somersault cloud, and went back to the Eastern Continent. Within two hours he saw the Water
Curtain Cave on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. The Handsome Monkey King was so pleased that he said
"When I left here my mortal flesh and bones were heavy,
But now I have the Way my body's light.
No one in the world has real determination,
To the firm will, the hidden becomes clear.
When I last crossed the seas the waves got in my way,
But now on my return the journey's easy.
The parting words still echo in my ears;
When will I see The Eastern Ocean again?"
Sun Wukong put away his cloud and headed straight to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. As he followed the
path there he heard the call of the cranes and the cries of the apes. The crane calls echoed beyond the Milky
Way, and the ape cries were pathetically sad.
Sun Wukong shouted, "Children, I'm back."
Big monkeys and little monkeys came bounding in their thousands and tens of thousands from caves in the
cliffs, from the grass and flowers, and down from the trees. They all crowded round the Handsome Monkey
King, kowtowed and said, "Your Majesty, you're a cool one. How could you stay away for so long,
abandoning us all here? We've been desperate for you to come back. A demon has been mistreating us
terribly. He's occupied our Water Curtain Cave, and we've been fighting for our lives with him. Recently he's
been stealing our things and carrying off many of our youngsters. We've had to stay awake all night to guard
our families. Thank goodness you've come back! Another year without you, Your Majesty, and every one of
us would be under his control, cave and all."
Sun Wukong was furious, "Who is this demon? What an outrage! Tell me everything about him, and then I'll
go and give him what's coming to him."
The monkey host kowtowed again and said, "Your Majesty, the wretch calls himself the Demon King of
Confusion. He lives North of here."
"How far away is his lair?" Sun Wukong asked.
"He comes and goes in cloud and mist with wind and rain, or thunder and lightning, so we don't know how far
"If that's how it is," Sun Wukong replied, "then don't worry. Just keep yourselves amused while I go and find
The splendid Monkey King jumped up into the air, and as he somersaulted towards the North he saw a high
and precipitous mountain. It was a fine sight:
Perpendicular peaks jutting straight up,
Deep−sunk winding streams.
The perpendicular peaks jutting straight up pierced the sky;
The deep−sunk winding streams led to the underworld.
On pairs of cliffs the plants compete in strangeness;
Elsewhere pine vies in greenness with bamboo.
To the left are docile dragons,
To the right are tame tigers.
Iron oxen ploughing are a common sight,
Golden coins are always sown as seeds.
Hidden birds sing beautifully,
Red phoenixes stand in the sun.
Racing over stones, the clear waves
Twist and bend in a vicious torrent.
Many are the famous mountains in the world,
And many the flowers that bloom and wither on them.
But this scenery is eternal,
Unchanging through the four seasons.
It is truly the mountain from which the Three Worlds spring,
The Cave in the Belly of the Water that nourishes the Five Elements.
As the Handsome Monkey King stood gazing in silence at this view, he heard voices. When he went down the
mountainside to look he found the Cave in the Belly of the Water facing the cliff. Several minor demons were
dancing around in front of the cave doors, and they ran away as soon as they saw Sun Wukong.
"Wait a moment," Sun Wukong said. "I want you to take a message for me. I am the King of the Water
Curtain Cave in the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit that lies due South of here. I've come to find that Demon
of Confusion of yours, or whatever he's called, the one who's been mistreating my children and grandchildren,
and have it out with him."
The minor demons scuttled into the cave and reported, "A disaster, Your Majesty."
"What do you mean, disaster?" the demon king asked.
"There's a monkey outside the cave," the minor demons reported, "who says that he's the King of the Water
Curtain Cave on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. He says that you have been bullying his children and
grandchildren, and that he's come specially to find you to have it out with you." The demon king laughed.
"Those monkey devils are always going on about a king of theirs who renounced the world to cultivate his
conduct; I suppose it must be him who's here now. Did you see how he was dressed or what weapons he was
"He hasn't got any weapons. He's bareheaded, and he's wearing a red gown belted with a yellow silk sash, and
a pair of black boots. He isn't dressed like a monk, or a layman, or an Immortal. He's bare−handed and
empty−fisted, and he's standing outside the doors yelling."
"Bring me my armour and weapons," said the demon king when he heard this. The minor demons produced
them at once, and when he had donned his armour he went out of the door with all the demons, his sword in his hand.
"Who is the King of the Water Curtain Cave?" he roared. Sun Wukong took a quick look at him and saw that
On his head he wore a dark golden helmet,
Glistening in the sun.
On his body he wore a black silk gown,
Flapping in the breeze.
Below that he wore black metal armour,
Girt with a leather belt.
On his feet he wore patterned boots,
As splendid as a field−marshal's.
His waist was ten feet round,
And his height was thirty cubits.
In his hand he held a sword,
With gleaming point and edge.
He called himself the Demon King of Confusion
And his appearance was truly dazzling.
"You insolent demon," shouted the Monkey King. "Your eyes may be big but you can't see who I am."
The demon king laughed at him. "You don't even stand four feet from the ground, you're still in your twenties,
and you've got no weapon in your hand. What sort of mad courage makes you challenge me to a fight?"
"You insolent demon," retorted Sun Wukong, "how blind you are. You may think I'm small, but I can grow
easily enough. You may think I'm unarmed, but I could pull the moon down from the sky with my two hands.
Don't worry, old Sun Wukong will sock you one." Sun Wukong gave a jump and leapt into the air, taking a
swing at his face.
The demon king put out his hand to stop him and said, "Look how big I am, you dwarf. If you use your fists,
I'll use my sword. But I'd only make myself look ridiculous if I killed you with a sword. Wait till I've put my
sword down and then I'll give you a display of boxing."
"Well said," exclaimed Sun Wukong, "spoken like a man. Come on then." The demon king dropped his guard
to throw a punch, and Sun Wukong rushed in towards him, punching and kicking. When he spread out his
hand it was enormous, and when he clenched his fist it was very hard. Sun Wukong hit the demon king in the
ribs, kicked his backside, and smashed several of his joints. The demon king seized his steel sword that was as
big as a plank, and swung it at Sun Wukong's skull. Sun Wukong dodged the blow, and the sword only split
air. Seeing how ugly the demon king had turned, Sun Wukong used his magic art of getting extra bodies. He
pulled out one of his hairs, popped it in his mouth, chewed it up, and blew it out into the air, shouting,
"Change!" It turned into two or three hundred little monkeys, who all crowded round him.
Sun Wukong now had an immortal body, and there was no magic transformation of which he was not capable.
Since he had followed the Way he could change each of the eighty−four thousand hairs on his body into
anything he wanted. The little monkeys were too quick and nimble for sword or spear.
Look at them, leaping forwards and jumping backwards, rushing up and surrounding the demon king,
grabbing him, seizing him, poking him in the backside, pulling at his feet, punching him, kicking him, tearing
his hair out, scratching at his eyes, twisting his nose, all picking him up together and throwing him to the
ground. They went on until they had beaten him to a pulp. Sun Wukong snatched his sword from him, told the
little monkeys to get out of the way, and brought it down on the crown of his head, splitting it into two.
Then he led his forces charging into the cave, where they exterminated all the demons, big and small. He
shook his hair and put it back on his body. The monkeys who did not go back on his body were the little
monkeys the demon king had carried off from the Water Curtain Cave. Sun Wukong asked them how they
had got there.
There were thirty of forty of them, and they replied with tears in their eyes, "It was after Your Majesty went
off to become an Immortal. He has been fighting with us for the last two years. He brought us all here by
force. All the things here−−the stone bowls and plates−−were stolen from our cave by that beast."
"If it's our stuff, take it all out," said Sun Wukong. He then set fire to the Cave in the Belly of the Water and
burnt it to a cinder.
"Come back with me," he ordered the monkeys.
"Your Majesty," they replied, "when we came here all we could hear was the wind howling in our ears as it
blew us here, so we don't know the way. How are we ever going to get back?"
"There's nothing at all to that spell he used," said Sun Wukong. "I can do it too, as now I only have to know
the smallest bit about something to understand it completely. Shut your eyes and don't worry."
Splendid Monkey King. He recited a spell, took them riding on a hurricane, then brought the cloud down to
"Open your eyes and look, children," he shouted. As soon as the monkeys' feet touched the ground they
recognized their home. In their delight they all ran along the familiar path to the cave, and the monkeys who
had stayed in the cave all crowded in as well. They divided themselves into age−groups and bowed in homage
to the Monkey King. Wine and food was laid out to celebrate, and they asked him how he had defeated the
demon king and saved their children. When Sun Wukong had told them the whole story the monkeys were
full of admiration.
"Where did you learn such arts, Your Majesty?" they asked insistently.
"When I left you," Sun Wukong replied, "I followed the waves and the currents, and drifted across the Eastern
Ocean to the Southern Jambu Continent. Here I taught myself to take human form and to wear these clothes
and boots. I swaggered around for eight or nine years, but I never found the Way, so I sailed across the
Western Ocean to the Western Continent of Cattle−gift. After long enquiries I was lucky enough to meet a
venerable Immortal, who taught me the True Result, which makes me as immortal as heaven, and the great
Dharma Gate to eternal youth." The monkeys all congratulated him and exclaimed that his like could not be
found in a billion years.
Sun Wukong laughed and said, "Children, we should congratulate ourselves on having a surname."
"What is Your Majesty's surname?" the monkey masses asked.
"My surname is now Sun, and my Buddhist name is Wukong."
The monkeys all clapped their hands with joy and said, "Your Majesty is Old Sun, and we are Second Sun,
Third Sun, Thin Sun, Little Sun−−a family of Suns, a nation of Suns, a den of Suns." They all offered Old Sun
their respects, with big plates and small bowls of coconut toddy, grape wine, magic flowers, and magic fruit.
The whole household was happy. My word!
By uniting themselves with a single surname
They are waiting to be transferred to the Register of Immortals.
If you don't know how this ended and want to know about the rest of their lives there, then listen to the
explanation in the next installment.
Well this has nothing to do with Warcraft but If you want to move this into the FF section fine.:raisedbro
12-29-2008, 05:26 AM
Note: Unlike most books you've read this book does not have just one villain it has serveal major ones. Its just like the James Bond movies.
Now for chapter 3!
JOURNEY TO THE WEST PART 3 OF 100
The Four Seas and Thousand Mountains All Submit
In the Ninth Hell the Tenth Category Is Struck Off the Register
We have related how the Handsome Monkey King returned home in glory, bringing a large sword he had
captured when he killed the Demon King of Confusion. From then on they practiced the military arts every
day. He asked the little monkeys to cut down bamboo to make spears, carve swords out of wood, and learn to
use banners and whistles. They learned to advance and retreat, and build a camp with a stockade round it.
They spent a lot of time playing at this.
Once Sun Wukong was sitting in his seat of meditation when he wondered: "What would happen to us if our
games were taken for the real thing? What if it alarmed some human monarch or gave offence to some king of
birds or beasts? They might say that we were having military training for a rebellion, and attack us with their
armies. You would be no match for them with your bamboo spears and wooden swords. We must have really
sharp swords and halberds. What are we to do about it?"
When the monkeys heard this they all said with alarm, "Your Majesty has great foresight, but there's nowhere
we can get them." When it was the turn of four older monkeys to speak−−two bare−bottomed apes and two gibbons−−they came forward and said, "Your Majesty, if you want sharp weapons they can be very easily
"How could it be easy?" asked Sun Wukong.
"To the East of our mountain," they replied, "there is a lake some seventy miles wide that is the boundary of
the country of Aolai. That country has a princely capital, and huge numbers of soldiers and civilians live in
the city. It must have workshops for gold, silver, bronze and iron. If you went there, Your Majesty, you could
either buy arms or get them made; then you could train us to use them in the defense of our mountain. This
would give us long−term security." Sun Wukong was delighted with the suggestion.
"Wait here while I go there," he said.
Splendid Monkey King! He leapt on to his somersault cloud, crossed the seventy miles of lake, and saw that
on the other side there was indeed a city wall, a moat, streets, markets, ten thousand houses, a thousand gates,
and people coming and going in the sunlight.
"There must be ready−made weapons here," Sun Wukong thought, "and getting a few by magic would be
much better than buying them." So he made a magic with his fist and said the words of the spell, sucked in
some air from the Southeast, and blew it hard out again. It turned into a terrifying gale carrying sand and
stones with it.
Where the thunderclouds rise the elements are in chaos;
Black fogs thick with dust cloak the earth in darkness.
Boiling rivers and seas terrify the crabs and fish;
As trees are snapped off in mountain forests tigers and wolves flee.
No business is done in any branch of commerce;
And no one is working at any kind of trade.
In the palace the king has gone to his inner quarters;
And the officials in front of the steps have returned to their offices.
The thrones of princes are all blown over;
Towers of five phoenixes are shaken to their foundations.
Where the storm blew, the prince of Aolai fled in terror, and gates and doors were shut in the streets and
markets. Nobody dared to move outside. Sun Wukong landed his cloud and rushed straight through the gates
of the palace to the arsenal and the military stores, opened the doors, and saw countless weapons: swords,
pikes, sabres, halberds, battleaxes, bills, scimitars, maces, tridents, clubs, bows, crossbows, forks, and spears
were all there.
At the sight of them he said happily, "How many of these could I carry by myself? I'd better use the magic for
dividing up my body."
Splendid Monkey King. He plucked a hair from his body, chewed it up, spat it out, made the magic with his
fist, said the words of the spell, and shouted "Change!" It turned into hundreds and thousands of little
monkeys, who rushed wildly about grabbing weapons. The strong ones took six or seven each and the weaker
ones two or three, and between them they removed the lot. He climbed back up on the clouds, called up a gale
by magic, and took all the little monkeys home with him.
The monkeys big and small of the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit were playing outside the gates of the cave
when they heard the wind. At the sight of countless monkey spirits flying through the air they fled and hid. A
moment later the Handsome Monkey King landed his cloud, put away his mists, shook himself, replaced his
hair, and threw all the weapons into a pile beside the mountain.
"Children," he shouted, "come and get your weapons." When the monkey masses looked they saw Sun
Wukong standing by himself on some level ground, and they all rushed over to him to kowtow and asked
what had happened. Sun Wukong told them the whole story of how he had raised the gale and taken the
weapons. After all the monkeys had thanked him they snatched sabres, grabbed swords, seized battleaxes,
fought for pikes, drew bows, stretched crossbows, shouted, yelled, and so amused themselves for the rest of
The next day they paraded as usual. Sun Wukong assembled all the monkey host, and they numbered over
forty−seven thousand. This had alarmed all the strange beasts of the mountain−−wolves, monsters, tigers,
leopards, deer, muntjacs, river−deer, foxes, wild cats, badgers, raccoons, lions, elephants, horses, orangutans,
bears, stags, wild boar, mountain cattle, antelopes, rhinoceroses, little dogs, huge dogs. The kings of various
kinds of monsters, seventy−two in all, all came to pay homage to the Monkey King. They offered tribute
every year and attended court in each of the four seasons. They also took part in drill and paid their seasonal
grain levies. Everything was so orderly that the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit was as secure as an iron bucket
or a wall of bronze. The kings of the monsters sent gongs, drums, coloured flags, helmets, and armour in great
abundance, and every day there were military exercises.
One day, amid all this success, the Handsome Monkey King suddenly said to the other monkeys, "You are
now expert in the bow and crossbow, and highly skilled in other weapons; but this sword of mine is too
clumsy for my liking. What shall I do about it?"
The four veteran monkeys came forward and submitted a suggestion: "Your Majesty is an Immortal, so
mortals' weapons are not good enough for you. We wonder if Your Majesty is able to travel underwater."
"Since hearing the Way," Sun Wukong replied, "I have mastered the seventy−two earthly transformations. My
somersault cloud has outstanding magical powers. I know how to conceal myself and vanish. I can make
spells and end them. I can reach the sky and find my way into the earth. I can travel under the sun or moon
without leaving a shadow or go through metal or stone freely. I can't be drowned by water or burned by fire.
There's nowhere I cannot go."
"If Your Majesty has these magical powers, the stream under our iron bridge leads to the Dragon palace of the
Eastern Sea. If you are willing to go down there, go and find the Dragon King and ask him for whatever
weapon it is you want. Wouldn't that suit you?"
"Wait till I get back," was Sun Wukong's delighted reply.
Splendid Monkey King. He leapt to the end of the bridge and made a spell with his fist to ward off the water.
Then he dived into the waves and split the waters to make way for himself till he reached the bed of the
Eastern Sea. On his journey he saw a yaksha demon who was patrolling the sea.
The yaksha barred his way and asked, "What sage or divinity are you, pushing the waters aside like that?
Please tell me so that I can make a report and have you properly received."
"I am the Heaven−born Sage Sun Wukong from the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, and your old Dragon
King's close neighbour. How is it you don't know me?"
When the yaksha heard this he hurried back to the crystal palace and reported, "Your Majesty, Sun Wukong,
the Heaven−born Sage from the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit who says he is your neighbour, is coming to
your palace." Ao Guang, the Old Dragon King of the Eastern Sea, leapt to his feet and went out to meet Sun
Wukong with his dragon sons and grandsons, his prawn soldiers, and his crab generals.
"Come in, exalted Immortal," he said, taking Sun Wukong into the palace where they introduced themselves,
seated him in the place of honour, and offered him tea. Then the Dragon King asked him, "Exalted Immortal,
when did you find the Way, and what magic arts did you acquire?"
"After my birth," said Sun Wukong, "I renounced the world and cultivated my conduct, and thus obtained an
immortal and indestructible body. Recently I have trained my sons and grandsons to guard our cave, but
unfortunately I have not yet found my self a weapon. I have long heard that my illustrious neighbour enjoys
the delights of a jade palace with gate−towers of cowry, and I was sure that you must have some magic
weapons to spare, so I have come especially to beg one of you."
Not wishing to refuse this request, the Dragon King sent Commander Perch to fetch a large sword and offer it
to Sun Wukong.
"I don't know how to use a sword," said Sun Wukong, "so could I ask you to give me something else?" The
Old Dragon King then sent Colonel Mackerel and Guard Commander Eel to fetch a nine−pronged spear.
Sun Wukong leapt down from his seat, took it, tried it out, then flung it down, saying, "It's too light, far too
light; and it doesn't suit me. I beg you to give me another."
The Dragon King smiled as he said, "Exalted Immortal, don't you see that this weighs three thousand six
"It doesn't suit me, it doesn't suit me at all," protested Sun Wukong.
The Dragon King, feeling frightened now, ordered Provincial Commander Bream and Garrison Commander
Carp to bring out a patterned heavenly halberd for warding off spells that weighed seven thousand two
As soon as he saw it Sun Wukong bounded forward to take it. He tried a few postures and thrusts with it then
stuck it in the ground between them. "Still too light, far too light."
The Dragon King, now really terrified, said, "Exalted Immortal, that halberd is the heaviest weapon in my
"As the old saying goes," said Sun Wukong with a grin, "'Never think the dragon king has no treasures.' Have
another look, and if you find anything satisfying I'll give you a good price for it."
"I really have nothing else," the Dragon King replied.
As he was speaking, his dragon wife and dragon daughters came in from the back of the palace and said,
"Your Majesty, by the look of him this sage must be really somebody. The piece of miraculous iron that
anchors the Milkey Way in place has been shining with a lovely rosy glow for the last few days, and creating
a most auspicious atmosphere. Perhaps it has started to shine to greet this sage."
"That piece of miraculous iron is one of the nails that Yu the Great used to fix the depths of rivers and seas
when he brought the waters under control," said the Dragon King. "What use could it be?"
"Never mind whether it's useful or not," his wife replied. "Just give it to him and let him do with it as he
pleases. At least you'll get him out of the palace."
The Dragon King did as she suggested and described the piece of iron to Sun Wukong, who said, "Bring it out
and let me see."
"It can't be moved. You will have to go and look at it yourself, exalted Immortal."
"Where is it? Take me there," said Sun Wukong.
The Dragon King took him into the middle of the sea treasury, where all of a sudden they could see ten
thousand rays of golden light. Pointing at it, the Dragon King said, "That's it, where all the light is coming
Sun Wukong hitched up his clothes and went to give it a feel. He found that it was an iron pillar about as thick
as a measure for a peck of grain and some twenty feet long. Seizing it with both hands he said, "It's too thick
and too long. If it were a bit shorter and thinner it would do." As soon as these words were out of his mouth
this precious piece of iron became several feet shorter and a few inches thinner.
Sun Wukong tossed it in his hands, remarking that it would be even better if it were thinner still. The precious
iron thereupon became even thinner. Sun Wukong was taking it out of the sea treasury to have a look at it
when he saw that it had two gold bands round it, while the middle part was made of black iron. There was a
line of inlaid writing near the bands which said that it was the AS−YOU−WILL COLD−BANDED CUDGEL:
WEIGHT 13,500 POUNDS.
Sun Wukong was delighted, though he did not show it. "I think that this little darling will do whatever I
want." As he walked along he weighed it in his hand and said reflectively, "If it were even smaller still it
would be perfect." By the time he had taken it outside it was twenty feet long and as thick as a rice bowl.
Watch him as he uses his magical powers to try a few routines with it, whirling all round the crystal palace.
The Old Dragon King was trembling with fright, and the little dragons were scared out of their wits.
Terrapins, freshwater turtles, seawater turtles and alligators drew in their heads, while fish, shrimps, lobsters
and giant turtles hid their faces.
Holding his treasure in his hands, Sun Wukong sat down in the main hall of the palace of crystal and said with
a smile to the Dragon King, "Many thanks, worthy neighbour, for your great generosity."
The Old Dragon King humbly acknowledged his thanks, and Sun Wukong went on, "This piece of iron will
be very useful, but there is one more thing I want to ask."
"What might that be, exalted Immortal?" asked the Dragon King.
"If I hadn't got this cudgel, that would be the end of the matter, but as I have got it the problem is that I don't
have−the clothes to go with it. What are we to do about it? If you have any armour here, I'd be most obliged if
you gave me a suit." The Dragon King said he had not any.
"'A guest should not have to trouble two hosts,'" said Sun Wukong. "I won't leave without one."
"Please try some other sea, exalted Immortal−−you may find one there."
"'It's better to stay in one house than to visit three.' I beg and implore you to give me a suit."
"I really don't have one," replied the Dragon King. "If I had I would present it to you."
"If you really haven't, then I'll try this cudgel out on you."
"Don't hit me, exalted Immortal, don't hit me," pleaded the Dragon King in terror. "Let me see whether my
brothers have one that they could give you."
"Where do your brothers live?"
"They are Ao Qin, the Dragon King of the Southern Sea, Ao Shun, the Dragon King of the Northern Sea, and
Ao Run, the Dragon King of the Southern Sea."
"I'm damned if I'm going there: as the saying goes, 'Two in the pocket is better than three owing.' So be a
good chap and give me one."
"There is no need for you to go, lofty Immortal," the Dragon King replied, "I have an iron drum and a bronze
bell. In an emergency we strike them to bring my brothers here in an instant."
"In that case," said Sun Wukong, "hurry up and sound them." And indeed an alligator general struck the bell
while a terrapin marshal beat the drum. The sound of the bell and the drum startled the other three dragon
kings, who had arrived and were waiting together outside within the instant.
One of them, Ao Qin, said, "Elder Brother, what's up? Why the drum and the bell?"
"It hurts me to tell you, brother," the Old Dragon King replied. "There's this so−called heaven−born sage from
the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit who came here this morning saying that I was his neighbour, then
demanded a weapon. I offered him a steel−pronged spear but he said it was too small, and a patterned halberd
that he said was too light. Then he picked up the miraculous iron that fastens the Milky Way and tried a few
movements with it. Now he's sitting in the palace and demanding a suit of armour, but we haven't got one.
That's why I used the bell and the drum to call you here. You three must have some armour. Please give him a
suit, then we can get rid of him."
When Ao Qin heard this he said in a fury, "To arms, brothers. Arrest the criminal."
"No! No! It's out of the question," said the Old Dragon King. "If that iron cudgel of his gets you you're done
for, if it hits you die, if it comes close your skin is broken, and if it so much as brushes against you your
sinews are smashed."
Ao Run, the Dragon King of the Western Sea, said, "Second brother, you must not attack him. Instead we
should put a suit of armour together for him, then send him away. We can send a memorial about it to Heaven,
then Heaven will of course punish him."
"You're right," said Ao Shun, the Dragon King of the Northern Sea. "I have a pair of lotus−root
"I've brought a suit of golden chain mail," said Ao Run, the Dragon King of the Western Sea.
"And I have a phoenix−winged purple gold helmet," added Ao Qin, the Dragon King of the Southern Sea. The
Old Dragon King was very pleased, and he brought them into the palace to meet Sun Wukong and present the
equipment to him.
Sun Wukong put on the golden helmet and the armour and the cloud−walking shoes, then charged out, waving
his cudgel and saying to the dragons, "My apologies for disturbing you." The four Dragon Kings were most
indignant, but we will not go into their discussions on the protest they sent to Heaven.
Watch the Monkey King as he parts the waters and goes straight back to the iron bridge, where the four senior
apes can be seen waiting for him at the head of the monkey host. Sun Wukong suddenly leapt out of the waves
without a drop of water on him and gleaming with gold.
As he came across the bridge the monkeys were so astonished that they fell to their knees and said, "How
splendid you look, Your Majesty, how splendid." Sun Wukong, his face lit up with youthful vigor, climbed up
to his throne, thrust his cudgel into the ground in their midst. The foolish monkeys all tried to grab this
treasure, but it was as futile as a dragonfly trying to shake an iron tree: they were unable to move it in the
Biting their fingers and sticking out their tongues they said, "Grandpa, it's so heavy, how can you possibly lift
Sun Wukong went over, lifted it with one hand, and laughed as he said to them, "Everything has its rightful
owner. This little treasure has been lying in the sea treasury for goodness knows how many thousands of
years, but it just happened to start shining this year. The Dragon King thought it was just a piece of ordinary
iron, and said it was the miraculous treasure that holds the bed of the Milky Way in place. None of his men
could move it, so he had to ask me to go and fetch it myself. It was more than twenty feet long then, and as
thick as a peck−measure. When I picked it up I felt that it was too big, and it shrank till it was several times as
small. I told it to get even smaller, and it did that too; then I told it to get smaller still, and it got many times
smaller again. I hurried out into the light of day to look at it, and I saw that there was an inscription on it that
read 'AS−YOU−WILL GOLD−BANDED CUDGEL: WEIGHT 13,500 POUNDS'. Stand aside, and I'll make
it change again."
Holding his treasure in his hand he said, "Shrink, shrink, shrink," and it became as small as an embroidery
needle, tiny enough to be hidden in his ear.
"Your Majesty," the monkeys cried out in astonishment, "bring it out and play with it again."
So the Monkey King brought it out of his ear again, laid it on the palm of his hand, and said, "Grow, grow,
grow." It became as thick as a peck again and twenty feet long. Now that he was really enjoying himself he
bounded over the bridge and went out of the cave. Clasping his treasure he used some of his heaven and earth
magic, bowed, and shouted, "Grow."
He became a hundred thousand feet tall; his head was as big as a mountain, his waist like a range of hills, his
eyes flashed like lightning, his mouth seemed to be a bowl of blood, and his teeth were as swords and
halberds; the cudgel in his hands reached up to the Thirty−third Heaven and down to the Eighteenth Hell. The
tigers, leopards and wolves, the beasts of the mountain, and the seventy−two monster kings all kowtowed and bowed in terror, trembling so much that they went out of their minds. A moment later he reverted to his proper
size, turned his treasure into an embroidery needle, hid it in his ear, and went back to the cave. The
panic−stricken kings of the monsters all came to offer their congratulations.
There was a great display of banners and drums, and the air resounded to the sound of gongs and bells. Rare
delicacies were set out in great quantities, cups brimmed with coconut toddy and the wine of the grape, and
the Monkey King feasted and drank with his people for a long time. Then training went on as before.
The Monkey King named the four senior apes as his four Stalwart Generals: he named the two bare−bottomed
apes Marshal Ma and Marshal Liu, and called the two gibbons General Beng and General Ba. He entrusted the
stockade, questions of discipline and rewards to these four. Thus freed from cares, he mounted the clouds and
rode the mists, wandering round the four seas and enjoying the thousand mountains. He practiced his martial
arts, visited many a hero, used his magical powers, and made a wide and distinguished circle of friends. He
met with six sworn brothers of his: the Bull Demon King, the Salamander Demon King, the Roc Demon King,
the Camel King, the Macaque King, and the Lion King. With him included they made seven. For days on end
they talked about politics and war, passed round the goblet, strummed, sang, piped, danced, went off on days
out together, and enjoyed themselves in every possible way. A journey of thousands of miles seemed to them
to be no more than a walk in the courtyard. It could be said that they traveled a thousand miles in the time it
takes to nod one's head, and covered three hundred with a twist of the waist.
One day he instructed his four Stalwart Generals to arrange a feast for the six other kings. Oxen and horses
were slaughtered, sacrifices were made to Heaven and Earth, and the assembled monsters danced, sang, and
drank themselves blotto. When he had seen the six kings out and tipped his senior and junior officials Sun
Wukong lay himself down under the shade of the pines beside the bridge and was asleep in an instant. The
four Stalwart Generals made the others stand round and guard him, and they all kept their voices down.
In his sleep the Handsome Monkey King saw two men approach him with a piece of paper in their hands on
which was written "Sun Wukong." Without allowing any explanations they tied up his soul and dragged it
staggering along till they reached a city wall. The Monkey King, who was gradually recovering from his
drunken stupor, looked up and saw an iron plate on the wall on which was inscribed WORLD OF
DARKNESS in large letters.
In a flash of realization he said, "The World of Darkness is where King Yama lives. Why have I come here?"
"Your life in the world above is due to end now," his escorts said, "and we were ordered to fetch you."
To this the Monkey King replied, "I have gone beyond the Three Worlds, and I am no longer subject to the
Five Elements. I don't come under King Yama's jurisdiction. How dare you grab me, you idiots?" But the
fetchers of the dead just went on tugging at him, determined to drag him inside.
The Monkey King lost his temper, pulled his treasure out of his ear, and gave it a shake. It became as thick as
a rice bowl. It only took a slight movement of his arm to smash the two fetchers of the dead to pulp. He untied
his bonds, loosed his hands, and charged into the city whirling his cudgel, so terrifying the ox−headed and
horse−faced devils that they fled in all directions for cover.
All the devil soldiers rushed to the Senluo Palace and reported, "Your Majesty, disaster, disaster! A
hairy−faced thunder−god is attacking us out there."
Stricken by panic, the Ten Kings who sit in the ten palaces, judging the criminal cases of the dead, hurriedly
straightened their clothing and went out to look. When they saw his ferocious expression they lined up in
order and shouted at the tops of their voices, "Please tell us your name, exalted Immortal."
"If you don't know who I am," replied the Monkey King, "then why did you send men to bring me here?"
"We wouldn't dare do such a thing. The messengers must have made a mistake."
"I am Sun Wukong, the Heaven−born sage of the Water Curtain Cave on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit.
What are your posts?"
"We are the ten kings."
"Tell me your names at once if you don't want a bashing."
To this the ten kings replied, "We are the King of Qinguang, the King of Chujiang, King Songdi, King
Wuguan, King Yama, King Impartial, the King of Mount Tai, the Metropolitan King, the King of Biancheng,
and the King of the Ever−turning Wheel."
To this Sun Wukong replied, "You are all kings, and have esoteric understanding, so why don't you know any
better? I, Sun Wukong, have cultivated the Way of Immortality and will live as long as Heaven. I've soared
beyond the Three Worlds and leapt outside the Five Elements, so why did you send your men to get me?"
"Please don't be angry, lofty Immortal," the ten kings said. "Many people in the world share the same name,
so perhaps the fetchers of the dead went to the wrong place."
"Nonsense, nonsense. As the saying goes, 'The magistrate may be wrong and the sergeant may be wrong, but
the man who comes to get you is never wrong.' Go and get the Register of Life and Death for me to see." The
Ten Kings invited him to come into the palace and look through it.
Sun Wukong went into the Senluo Palace with his club in his hand, and sat down in the middle of the hall
facing South. The Ten Kings then ordered the presiding judge to fetch the register, and the judge hastened to
his office and brought out five or six documents and ten registers. He looked through them all one by one, but
could not find Sun Wukong's name in the sections devoted to hairless creatures, hairy creatures, feathered
creatures, insects, or scaly creatures. Then he looked through the monkey section. Now although monkeys
looked like men, they were not entered under the humans; although they were like the hairless creatures, they
did not live within their boundaries; although they were like running animals, they were not under the
jurisdiction of the unicorn; and although they were like birds, they were not ruled by the phoenix. There was
another register, and Sun Wukong looked through this one himself. Under "Soul No. 1350" was the name of
Sun Wukong, the Heaven−born stone monkey, who was destined to live to the age of 342 and die a good
"I won't write down any number of years," said Sun Wukong. "I'll just erase my name and be done with it.
Bring me a brush." The judge hastily handed him a brush and thick, black ink.
Sun Wukong took the register, crossed out all the names in the monkey section, and threw it on the floor with
the words, "The account's closed. That's an end of it. We won't come under your control any longer." Then he
cudgeled his way out of the World of Darkness. The Ten Kings dared not go near him, and they all went to the
Azure Cloud Palace to bow in homage to the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha and discuss the report they would send
up to Heaven. But we will not go into this.
After charging out through the city wall the Monkey King tripped over a clump of grass, tried to regain his
balance, and woke up with a start. It had all been a dream. As he stretched himself he heard his four Stalwart
Generals and the other monkeys saying, "Your Majesty, time to wake up. You drank too much and slept all
"Never mind about my sleeping. I dreamt that two men came for me. They dragged me to the city−wall of the
World of Darkness, where I came round. I showed them my magic powers and went yelling all the way to the
Senluo Palace, where I had an argument with those Ten Kings and looked through the Register of Life and
Death of us. Wherever there was mention of your names in the register, I crossed them out. We won't come
under the jurisdiction of those idiots any more."
All the monkeys kowtowed to him in gratitude. The reason why from that time on so many mountain
monkeys have never grown old is that their names are not on the books of the officials of the Underworld.
When the Handsome Monkey King had finished telling his story, the four Stalwart Generals informed the
other monster kings, who all came to offer their felicitations. A few days later his six sworn brothers also
came to congratulate him, and all were delighted to hear how he had struck the names off the books. We will
not describe the daily feasts that followed.
Instead we will describe how one day the Supreme Heavenly Sage, the Greatly Compassionate Jade Emperor
of the Azure Vault of Heaven, was sitting on his throne in the Hall of Miraculous Mist in the Golden−gated
Cloud Palace, surrounded by his immortal civil and military officials at morning court, when the Immortal
Qiu Hongji reported, "Your Majesty, Ao Guang, the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea, has presented a
memorial outside the Hall of Universal Brightness, and is awaiting a summons from your Imperial Majesty."
The Jade Emperor ordered that he be called in, and the Dragon King came to the Hall of Miraculous Mist.
When he had done obeisance an immortal page came from the side to take his memorial. The Jade Emperor
read it through. It ran:
Your Subject Ao Guang,
the Humble Dragon of the Eastern Sea of the Eastern Continent of Superior Body in the Nether Watery
Reports to the Jade Emperor of the Azure Vault of Heaven
Recently one Sun Wukong, an immortal fiend born on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit now living in the
Water Curtain Cave, bullied this humble dragon and occupied my watery house by force. He demanded a
weapon by displaying magical prowess; he insisted on having armour by showing off his evil powers. He
terrified the watery tribe and made the tortoises and alligators flee in terror. The dragon of the Southern Sea
trembled, the dragon of the Western Sea was made miserable, the dragon of the Northern Sea had to hang his
head and come in submission, and I, your subject Ao Guang, humbled myself before him. We had to present
him with a miraculous iron cudgel, a golden phoenix−winged helmet, a suit of chain mail, and a pair of
cloud−walking shoes; and we escorted him out politely.
He continued to show off his martial arts and magic powers, and all he had to say for himself was, "My
apologies for disturbing you." There is truly no match for him, and he is uncontrollable. Your subject now
presents this memorial, and respectfully awaits your sage decision. I humbly beg that heavenly soldiers be
sent to arrest this evil demon, so that the sea and the mountains may be at peace, and the ocean may enjoy
When the Jade Emperor had read this through he ordered, "Let the Dragon God return to the Sea; we shall
send generals to arrest the demon." The Old Dragon King bowed till his head touched the floor and took his
Then the Venerable Immortal Ge, a heavenly teacher, reported, "Your Majesty, the King of Qinguang, one of
the ministers of the Underworld, has come with a memorial from the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha." A jade girl
messenger took the memorial, which the Jade Emperor read through. It ran:
The regions of darkness are the negative part of the Earth. Heaven contains gods while the Earth has devils;
Positive and Negative are in a constant cycle. Birds and beasts are born and die; male and female alternate.
Life is created and change takes place; male and female are conceived and born; this is the order of nature,
and it cannot be changed. Now the evil spirit, the Heaven−born monkey of the Water Curtain Cave on the
Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, is presently giving full rein to his wicked nature, committing murders, and
refusing to submit to discipline. He killed the devil messengers of the Ninth Hell with his magic, and he
terrified the Ten Benevolent Kings of the Underworld with his power. He made an uproar in the Senluo
Palace and crossed some names out by force. He has made the race of monkeys completely uncontrollable,
and given eternal life to the macaques. He has annulled the law of transmigration and brought them beyond
birth and death. I, impoverished monk that I am, importune the might of Heaven by presenting this memorial.
I prostrate myself to beg that Heavenly soldiers be despatched to subdue this fiend, bring the positive and
Negative back into order, and give lasting security to the Underworld.
When the Jade Emperor had read this through he ordered, "Let the Lord of Darkness return to the
Underworld. We shall send generals to arrest the demon." The King of Qinguang then bowed till his head
touched the floor and took his leave.
His Celestial Majesty then asked all his civil and military officials, "When was this monkey demon born?
What is his origin, that he should have such powers?"
Before he had finished speaking, Thousand−mile Eye and Wind−accompanying Ear came forward from the
ranks of officials and said, "This demon monkey is the stone monkey who was born of heaven three hundred
years ago. At the time nobody paid any attention to him, and we do not know where he refined himself and
became an Immortal in recent years, so that he has been able to make the tigers and dragons submit to him and
to strike his name off the register of the dead."
"Which divine general shall be sent down to capture him?" asked the Jade Emperor, and before he had
finished speaking the Great White Planet stepped forward, bowed down, and submitted, "All beings in the
upper worlds that have nine apertures can become Immortals. This monkey has a body that was created by
Heaven and Earth and conceived by the sun and moon. His head touches they sky and his feet stand on the
earth; he drinks the dew and eats the mist. How does he differ from humans, if he has succeeded in cultivating
the way of immortality and can subdue dragons and tigers? I beg Your Majesty to remember your life−giving
mercy and hand down a sage edict of amnesty and enlistment, summoning him to this upper world and
inscribing his name on the list of officeholders, thus keeping him here under control. If he obeys Your
Majesty's heavenly commands, he can later be promoted; and if he disobeys, he can be arrested. This will both
avoid military operations and be a way of winning over an Immortal."
The Jade Emperor, delighted with the suggestion, ordered that it should be put into effect. He told the Wenqu
Star Officer to compose the edict, and commanded the Great White planet to persuade the monkey to accept the amnesty.
The Great White Planet left Heaven by the Southern Gate, and brought his propitious cloud down by the
Water Curtain Cave, where he said to the little monkeys, "I am an envoy from Heaven, and I am carrying a
divine edict inviting your great king to the upper world. Go and tell him at once."
The little monkeys outside conveyed the message by relays into the depths of the cave: "Your Majesty, there's
an old man outside carrying a document on his back. He says he's an envoy from Heaven with an invitation
for you." The Handsome Monkey King was delighted.
He said, "I'd been thinking of going up to Heaven to have a look round for the past couple of days, and now a
heavenly envoy has come to invite me."
"Ask him in at once," he shouted, hastily straightening his clothes and going out to meet the envoy.
The Planet came straight in, stood facing the South, and said, "I am the Great White Planet of the West, and I
have come down to earth with an Edict of Amnesty and enlistment from the Jade Emperor to invite you to
Heaven to be given office as an Immortal."
"I am very grateful to you, venerable Planet, for condescending to come here," replied Sun Wukong with a
smile; then he told his subjects to prepare a feast to entertain the visitor.
"I'm afraid I can't delay," replied the Planet, "as I am carrying a divine edict, so may I ask Your Majesty to
come back with me now? We can talk at leisure after your glorious elevation."
"Thank you for coming," said Sun Wukong. "I'm sorry you couldn't take some refreshments before leaving."
Then he called for his four Stalwart Generals and ordered them, "Give my sons and grandsons a thorough
training. When I've had a look round in Heaven, I'll take you all to live with me up there." The four Stalwart
Generals accepted their orders, and the Monkey King made his cloud carry him up above the clouds. He was
Raised to a high−ranking heavenly office,
Listed among the courtiers in the clouds.
If you don't know what office he was given, listen to the explanation in the next installment.
12-29-2008, 07:07 AM
Honestly never heard of it, but judging by name, is it about Admiral Zheng He's journey?
12-29-2008, 07:21 AM
12-29-2008, 01:31 PM
Honestly never heard of it, but judging by name, is it about Admiral Zheng He's journey?
Have you ever heard of Dragon Ball? It was lightly based on Journey to the West.
12-29-2008, 02:53 PM
JOURNEY TO THE WEST PART 4 OF 100
Dissatisfied at Being Appointed Protector of the Horses
Not Content with the Title of Equal of Heaven
The Great White Planet left the depths of the cave with the Handsome Monkey King, and they ascended
together on their clouds. As Sun Wukong's somersault cloud was exceptionally fast he reached the Southern
Gate of Heaven first, leaving the Great White planet far behind. Just as he was putting away his cloud to go in,
his way was barred by the Heavenly Guardian Virudhaka and his powerful heavenly soldiers Liu, Gou, Bi,Deng, Xin, Zhang, and Tao, who blocked the gate of Heaven with their spears and swords and refused to let
"This old Great White planet is a trickster," said Sun Wukong. "He invited me here, so he has no business to
have me kept out with spears and swords." Just as he was kicking up a row the Planet suddenly arrived.
Sun Wukong flung his accusation at him: "Why did you play this trick on me, you old fogy? You told me you
came with an Edict of Amnesty from the Jade Emperor to invite me here, so why did you arrange for these
people not to let me in through the gate of Heaven?" The Great White Planet laughed.
"Don't be angry, Your Majesty. You've never been here before, your name is not on the books here, and the
heavenly soldiers have never met you. Of course they could not let you in just for the asking. But when you've
seen His Celestial Majesty and been given office among the Immortals, you will be able to come and go as
you wish, and nobody will try to stop you."
"Be that as it may," said Sun Wukong, "I'm not going in." The Great White Planet would not let him go and
asked him to go in with him in spite of it all.
As they approached the gate, the Planet shouted, "Heavenly officers of the gates of Heaven, sergeants and
soldiers, let us in. This is an Immortal from the lower world, and I am carrying an edict from the Jade
Emperor summoning him here." Only then did the Heavenly King Zengzhang and his soldiers withdraw their
arms and stand back. Now the Monkey King began to trust the Great White Planet. He walked slowly in with
him and looked at the view. Truly it was his
First ascent to the upper world,
Sudden entry into paradise.
Ten thousand beams of golden light shone with a reddish glow;
A thousand strands of propitious vapour puffed out purple mist.
See the Southern Gate of Heaven,
Studded with jewels.
On either side stood scores of heavenly marshals,
Tall as the roofbeams, next to the pillars,
Holding metal−tipped bows and banners.
All around stood gods in golden armour,
Brandishing their clubs and halberds,
Wielding their cutlasses and swords.
The outside was remarkable enough,
But the inside astonished him.
Here were several mighty pillars,
Round which coiled tawny−bearded dragons, their gold scales gleaming in the sun.
There were long bridges,
Where strutted phoenixes, brilliant of plumage and with bright red crests.
A rosy glow shone with heavenly light;
Thick green mists obscured the Pole Star.
In this heaven there are thirty−three heavenly palaces:
The Palace of Clouds Dispersed, the Vaisravana Palace, the palace of
Five Lores, the Sun Palace, the Palace of Flowery Bliss,
Every palace had golden animals on its roof.
Then there were seventy−two precious halls:
The Hall of Morning Audience, the Hall of Rising into Space, the Precious Light Hall, the Hall of the
Heavenly Kings, the Hall of the Master of Miracles,
Jade unicorns on every column.
On the Terrace of the Star of Longevity
Grew flowers that never wither.
Beside the Stove for Decocting Elixir,
Were herbs that stay green for ever.
In front of the Facing the Sage pavilion
Crimson gauze clothes Glittered like stars;
Shone with gold and jade.
Jade hairpins and pearl−sewn shoes,
Golden seals on purple cords.
As the golden bell tolled,
The three classes of divinities approached the steps and submitted memorials.
As the heavenly drum was beaten,
Ten thousand sage kings attended the Jade Emperor.
Then they entered the Hall of Miraculous Mist,
Where jade doors were studded with gold,
And phoenixes danced before the crimson gates.
Everywhere carved in openwork;
Layer on Layer of eaves,
With dragons and phoenixes soaring.
On top was a majestically purple,
Golden gourd−shaped finial;
Below, fans hung from the hands of heavenly consorts,
While jade maidens proffered magic clothes.
The heavenly generals guarding the court;
The immortal officials protecting the throne.
In the middle were set Crystal dishes
Filled to overflowing with Great Monad Pills;
In which stood twisted coral trees.
All the wonderful things in Heaven were there,
None of which are seen on Earth:
Golden gates, silver chariots, and a purple palace;
Precious plants, jade flowers, and jasper petals.
The jade hares of the princes at court ran past the alter;
The golden rooks of the sages present flew down low.
The Monkey King was fated to come to Heaven,
Rather than be sullied by the mortal world.
The Great White Planet led the Handsome Monkey King to the outside of the Hall of Miraculous Mist. He
went straight in to the imperial presence without waiting to be summoned, and did obeisance to the throne.
Sun Wukong stood bolt upright beside him, not bothering with any court etiquette, but just concentrating on
listening to the Great White Planet make his report to the Jade Emperor: "In obedience to the Divine Edict,
your subject has brought the demon Immortal here."
The Jade Emperor lowered his curtain and asked, "And which of you is the demon Immortal?"
"Me," replied Sun Wukong, only now making a slight bow.
The faces of the officials went white with horror as they exclaimed, "What a savage monkey! He has the
impudence to answer 'Me,' and without even prostrating himself first! He must die!"
In reply to this the Jade Emperor announced, "Sun Wukong is a demon Immortal of the lower world who has
only just obtained human form, so he is not acquainted with court procedure. We shall forgive him this time."
"We thank you for your mercy," said the immortal ministers. Only then did Sun Wukong express his respect
by bowing low and chanting "na−a−aw" at the top of his voice. The Jade Emperor ordered his immortal civil
and military officials to find a vacancy in some department for Sun Wukong.
The Star Lord Wuqu stepped forward form the side and reported, "There are no vacancies in any of the
palaces, halls, and departments of Heaven except for a superintendent in the Imperial Stables."
"Then make him Protector of the Horses," ordered the Jade Emperor. All the ministers thanked him for his
mercy, apart from Sun Wukong, who just expressed his respect with a loud "na−a−aw." The Jade Emperor
then told the Wood Planet to take him to the Imperial Stables.
The Wood Planet accompanied the delighted Monkey King to his post and then went back to the palace. The
Monkey King then called together the deputy and the assistant superintendent, the book−keeper, the grooms,
and all the other officials, high and low, to find out about the duties of his department. He found that he had to
look after a thousand heavenly horses:
Chestnuts and stallions,
Courser and chargers:
Dragon and Purple Swallow,
Pegasus and Sushun,
Jueti and Silver,
Yaoniao and Flying Yellow,
Taotu and Feathers,
Red Hare and Faster Than Light,
Dazzler and Horizon,
Mist−soarer and Victory;
Wind−chaser and Matchless,
Flying Wing and Galloping Mist,
Lazy Whirlwind and Red Lightning,
Bronze Cup and Drifting Cloud,
Skewbald and Tiger−Stripe,
Dustfree and Purple Scales,
The Four Ferghana Steeds,
The Eight Chargers and Nine Gallopers,
Coursers that can cover three hundred miles−−
All these fine horses were
Neighing in the wind, chasing the lightning, mighty in spirit;
Pawing the mist, climbing the clouds, great in their strength.
The Monkey King looked through the register and counted the horses. In the stables the book−keeper was
responsible for ordering the fodder, the head groom was in charge of currying the horses, chopping up and
cooking the fodder, and giving them water; the deputy superintendent and his assistant helped to oversee the
work. The Protector of the Horses looked after his charges, sleeping neither by day nor by night. It is true that
he fooled around by day, but at night he looked after the animals with great diligence, waking them up and
making them eat whenever they fell asleep, and leading those still on their feet to the trough. At the sight of
him the heavenly horses would prick up their ears and paw the ground, and they became fat and plump. Thus
more than half a month slipped by.
On one morning that was a holiday all the officials of the stables held a feast both to welcome and
congratulate the Protector of the Horses.
In the middle of the party the Monkey King suddenly put down his cup and asked, "What sort of office is this
'Protector of the Horses?'"
"What the name suggests, that's all."
"Which official grading does it carry?"
"What does 'unclassified' mean?"
"Bottom grade," the others replied, going on to explain, "It is a very low and unimportant office, and all you
can do in it is look after the horses. Even someone who works as conscientiously as Your Honour and gets the
horses so fat will get no more reward than someone saying 'good'; and if anything goes at all wrong you will
be held responsible, and if the losses are serious you will be fined and punished."
The Monkey King flared up on hearing this, gnashed his teeth, and said in a great rage, "How dare they treat
me with such contempt? On the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit I am a king and a patriarch. How dare he trick
me into coming here to feed his horses for him? It's a low job for youngsters, not for me. I won't do it, I won't.
I'm going back." He pushed the table over with a crash, took his treasure out of his ear, and shook it. It
became as thick as a rice bowl, and he brandished it as he charged out of the Imperial Stables to the Southern
Gate of Heaven. As the celestial guards knew that his name was on the register of immortal officials they did
not dare to block his path, but let him out through the gate.
He descended by cloud and was back on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit in an instant. Seeing the four
Stalwart Generals and all the kings of the monsters drilling their troops there he shouted in a shrill voice,
"Children, I'm back." The monkeys all bowed to him, took him into the heart of the cave, and asked him to sit
on his throne, while they prepared a banquet to welcome him back.
"Congratulations, Your Majesty," they all said. "After over a dozen years up there you must be coming back
in glory and triumph."
"What do you mean, over a dozen years?" asked the Monkey King. "I've only been away for a fortnight or
"Your Majesty can't have noticed the time passing in heaven. A day in heaven lasts as long as a year on earth.
May we ask what office you held?"
"It hurts me to tell you," replied the Monkey King with a wave of his hand. "I feel thoroughly humiliated.
That Jade Emperor doesn't know how to use a good man. A man like me−−'Protector of the Horses'. That
meant I had to feed his animals for him and wasn't even given an official grading. I didn't know this at first, so
I fooled around in the Imperial Stables until today, when I found out from my colleagues how low the job
was. I was so angry that I pushed the table over and quit the job. That's why I've come back."
"Quite right too," the other monkeys said. "Your Majesty can be king in our cave paradise and enjoy as much
honour and pleasure as you like, so why go and be his groom?" Then they gave orders for wine to be brought
at once to cheer their king up.
As they were drinking someone came in to report, "Your Majesty, there are two Single−horned Devil Kings
outside who want to see you."
"Ask them in," said the Monkey King, and the two formally−dressed devil kings hurried into the cave and
"Why have you come to see me?" asked the Handsome Monkey King; and they replied, "We have long heard
that Your Majesty is looking for men of talent, but we were unable to see you before. Now that Your Majesty
has been given heavenly office and come back in triumph, we would like to offer you this yellow robe as a
token of our congratulations. We also hope that you will not reject us although we are low and worthless, but
will accept our humble services." An exultant Monkey King put on the yellow robe and his happy subjects
bowed to him in order of precedence. The two devil kings were appointed Commanders of the Van, and when
they had thanked the Monkey King for this they asked, "What office did Your Majesty hold while you were
all that time in Heaven?"
"The Jade Emperor has no respect for talent," replied the Monkey King. "He made me something called
'Protector of the Horses.'"
"Your Majesty has such miraculous powers: you should never have been feeding his horses for him. You
should have been made a 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven,' shouldn't you?" The Monkey King was beside
himself with delight at this suggestion, and he kept saying how splendid it was.
"Get me a banner made at once with the words 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven' in big letters on it, and put up a
pole to hang it from," he ordered his four Stalwart Generals. "From now on I am to be called 'Great Sage
Equaling Heaven,' not 'Your Majesty' or 'King'. Pass this order on to all the other kings of the monsters." We
will leave him at this point.
When the Jade Emperor held his morning court the next day the Heavenly Teacher Zhang led the deputy and
assistant superintendents of the Imperial Stables to the vermilion steps, bowed low, and reported, "Your
Majesty, Sun Wukong, the new Protector of the Horses, left Heaven yesterday because he thought his office
was too humble."
Just as he was speaking the Heavenly Guardian Virudhaka came from the Southern Gate of Heaven with his
heavenly soldiers and reported, "The Protector of the Horses has gone out through the gate. We do not know
On hearing this the Jade Emperor commanded, "Let the two divine officials return to their posts; we shall send
heavenly soldiers to capture this devil."
The pagoda−bearing Heavenly King Li Jing and Prince Nezha stepped forward from the ranks of those
attending the audience, and they memorialized, "Your Imperial Majesty, we beg you to command us, your
incompetent servants, to subdue this fiend." The Emperor was delighted with this suggestion, and he
appointed the Pagoda−bearing Heavenly King as Demon quelling High Marshal, and Prince Nezha as Great
God of the Seas. He told them to take their forces down to the lower world at once.
Heavenly King Li and Nezha kowtowed, took their leave, went straight back to their own palace, and
assembled their troops, commanders and officers. They put the Mighty Miracle God in charge of the
vanguard, and General Fishbelly in command of the rear, while General Yaksa was made adjutant. Within an
instant they were outside the Southern Gate of Heaven, and they went straight to the Mountain of Flowers and
Fruit. They chose a piece of level and open ground on which to construct a fortified camp, and ordered the
Mighty Miracle God to issue the challenge to battle. On receiving this order the Mighty Miracle God tied on
his armour firmly and went to the Water Curtain Cave, holding his flower−spreading battle−axe. When he got
there he saw huge numbers of devils−−wolves, tigers and leopards−−wielding spears, brandishing swords,
leaping around, fighting each other, and making a great noise outside the little entrance to the cave.
"Accursed beasts," shouted the Mighty Miracle God, "tell the Protector of the Horses at once that I am a
heavenly general come on the orders of the Jade Emperor to subdue him. If you make him come out and
surrender immediately it will save the lot of you from being wiped out."
The devils went rushing into the cave and reported, "Disaster, disaster."
"What disaster?" the Monkey King asked.
"There's a heavenly general outside who says he's come on the orders of the Jade Emperor to subdue you. If
you go out and surrender immediately, he says he'll spare our lives."
"Fetch me my armour," said the Monkey King. He then donned his golden helmet, tied on his golden armour,
put on his cloud−walking shoes, and took his As−You−Will gold−banded cudgel in his hand. He led his
troops out of the cave and drew them up in battle array. The Mighty Miracle God gazed wide−eyed at the
excellent Monkey King:
On his body was gleaming golden armour,
On his head a dazzling golden helmet,
In his hand a gold−banded club,
On his feet a pair of cloud−walking shoes to match.
His devil eyes shone like stars,
His ears were long and hard.
His sturdy frame could be transformed at will,
His voice rang clearly as a bell.
The sharp−mouthed Horse Protector with protruding teeth
Wanted to become a Sage Equaling Heaven.
The Mighty Miracle God shouted in a harsh voice, "Insolent ape! Don't you recognize me?"
The Great Sage Sun Wukong replied at once, "I've never met you before. How should I know which wretched
little deity you are? Tell me your name at once."
"I'll get you, you conceited baboon. So you don't know who I am? I am the Heavenly General Mighty Miracle,
the commander of the vanguard for Heavenly King Li, the Pagoda−bearer. I have come here on the orders of
the Jade Emperor to accept your surrender. Take off your armour at once and submit to the mercy of Heaven,
or I'll wipe out every animal on the mountain. And if you so much as hint at a refusal, I'll smash you to
"Stop talking so big, you lousy god," retorted the furious Monkey King, "and give that long tongue of yours a
rest. I'd just love to kill you with this cudgel of mine, but if I did there'd be no one to deliver my message for
me, so I'll spare your life. Hurry back to Heaven and tell that Jade Emperor that he doesn't know how to use a
good man. Why did he make me waste my infinite powers on feeding his horses for him? Take a look at
what's written on my standard. If he's willing to give me this title officially, I'll call off my troops and let
Heaven and Earth continue in peace; but if he refuses I'm coming up to the Hall of Miraculous Mist to knock
him off his dragon throne." When the Mighty Miracle God heard this he looked hard and saw that a tall pole
had been planted outside the entrance to the cave, on which hung a banner reading GREAT SAGE
"Heh, heh, heh," he mocked, "you ignorant ape. What shameless effrontery, to want to be a 'Great Sage
Equaling Heaven!' Take that!" He swung with his battle−axe at the Monkey King who, quite unflustered,
parried with his gold banded cudgel. It was a fine battle (NOTE:all of the fight scenes are described in poetry):
The cudgel was called As−You−Will,
The axe was named Flower Spreader.
As soon as the two met,
You could not tell which was better:
Axe and club
One was concealing his magic powers,
One was a big−mouthed boaster.
They used their magic
To breathe out cloud and mist;
When they opened their hands
They scattered sand and dust.
The heavenly general was a master of magic;
Endless were the changes the Monkey King could make.
When the cudgel was raised it was like a dragon playing in the water;
As the axe came down it was a phoenix among the flowers.
Although the fame of Miracle was known throughout the world,
His skill was no match for his enemy.
If the Great Sage lightly twirled his club,
A mere touch would paralyze.
The Mighty Miracle God was no match for his opponent. He hastened to block the Monkey King's first blow
with his axe, which broke in two with a crunch. He fled for his life as fast as he could, and the Monkey King
said mockingly, "You bag of pus, I'll spare you this time. Hurry back with my message, and look sharp about
The Mighty Miracle God returned to his camp, went straight to the Pagoda−bearing Heavenly King Li Jing,
knelt before him, and said with an awkward laugh, "The Protector of the Horses has really tremendous magic
powers. I was no match for him. He beat me, and now I have come to take my punishment."
"This fool has ruined our morale," exploded the Heavenly King Li in a fury. "Take him away, and off with his
Prince Nezha, who was standing to one side, stepped forward, bowed, and said, "Do not be angry, Your
Majesty. Forgive the Mighty Miracle God, and let me go and do battle; then we'll see who's boss." The
heavenly king accepted his advice, and told Mighty Miracle God to go back and look after the camp while he
awaited his punishment.
When he had put on his armour and helmet, Prince Nezha charged straight out of the camp to the Water
Curtain Cave. Sun Wukong, who was just going to pull back his troops, saw the ferocity of his onslaught.
What a fine prince he was:
His hair in tufts barely covers his scalp,
His cloak not over his shoulders.
How striking his intelligence,
How elegant his air.
Indeed he is the scion of a unicorn in Heaven;
In truth he is a phoenix Immortal from the clouds.
The seed of dragons is different from the common herd;
This fine youth is not at all like mortals.
With him he carries six divine weapons;
Endless his transformations as he soars through the air.
Now he has received an edict from the Jade Emperor's mouth,
Making him Commander of the Three Temples of the Masses.
Sun Wukong went up to him and asked, "Whose little boy are you then? What do you mean, charging up to
"Stinking monkey fiend," shouted Prince Nezha, "don't you know who I am? I am Nezha, the third son of the
pagoda−bearing Heavenly King, and I have been commanded by the Jade Emperor to come here and arrest
"You do talk big, don't you, little prince," said Sun Wukong, laughing at him. "But as you've still got all your
milk teeth and are still wet behind the ears I'll spare your life and I won't hit you. Do you see what it says on
my standard? Go and tell the Jade Emperor that if he gives me that title I'll call off my armies and submit to
him once more. But if he doesn't do what I want him to, I'll surely attack the Hall of Miraculous Mist." Nezha
looked up and saw the words "Great Sage Equaling Heaven."
"You wicked monkey! How dare you give yourself a title like that, whatever your magic powers may be!
Don't worry, all you're getting is my sword."
"Give me a few swipes, then," replied Sun Wukong, "I won't move."
"Change," yelled Nezha in a passion, and at once he had three heads and six arms, which made him look most
ferocious. In his hands he held six weapons, a demon−beheading sword, a demon−hacking cutlass, a
demon−binding rope, a demon−quelling pestle, an embroidered ball, and a fire−wheel−−and wielding all
these he rushed straight at Sun Wukong.
At the sight of him Sun Wukong exclaimed with astonishment, "Well, my boy, you certainly know a trick or
two. But just behave yourself and watch what I can do." Our dear Great Sage shouted "Change," and he too
had three heads and six arms. He shook his gold−banded cudgel, and it turned into three cudgels, which he
gripped with his six hands to ward off Nezha's blows. It was a great fight, and it made the earth shake and the
Six−armed Prince Nezha
Heaven−born Monkey King:
Both in the same class.
One sent down to the lower world on a mission,
The other priding himself as a fighting bull.
Fast moves the point of the demon−beheading sword,
And evil spirits fear the demon−hacking cutlass,
The demon−binding rope flies like a dragon,
While the demon−quelling pestle has the head of a wolf,
The fire−wheel flashes with lightning,
And the embroidered ball shoots everywhere.
The Great Sage's three As−You−Will cudgels
Block and parry with consummate skill.
Though many hard−fought rounds prove inconclusive,
The prince refuses to call the battle off;
Making his six weapons multiply in number,
He throws them in their millions at the Monkey King's head,
But the Monkey King, fearless, roars with laughter
As his iron clubs whirl and think for themselves.
One becomes a thousand; one thousand, ten;
Their wild dance fills the sky as if with dragons.
All the demon kings shut their gates in terror;
Every goblin on the mountain finds some place to hide.
Cloud−black, the anger of the heavenly troops;
Whistling like the wind, the gold−banded cudgels.
On the one side,
The blood−curdling war−cries of the heavenly host.
On the other,
The spine−chilling banners of the monkey fiends.
Both parties are equal in fighting courage;
Neither could be said to be the winner.
Prince Nezha and Sun Wukong both used their divine powers to the full as they fought thirty rounds. When
the six weapons of the prince turned into thousands and tens of thousands, so did Sun Wukong's gold−banded
cudgel. The air was filled as if with drops of rain or shooting stars, and there was no way of telling who was
winning. As Sun Wukong was deft of hand and quick of eye, he plucked one of the hairs from his body in the
midst of the fray and shouted "Change!" It changed into his own double to mislead Nezha while his real self
leapt round till he was behind Nezha and struck at his left shoulder. Nezha was in the middle of performing a
spell when he heard the whistle of the cudgel through the air and twisted away as fast as he could. But he was
unable to avoid the blow and had to flee wounded. He brought his magic to an end, put his six weapons away,
reverted to his true appearance, and abandoned the field of battle in defeat.
This had all been observed by Heavenly King Li, who was on the point of sending reinforcements when his
son appeared before him and reported in fear and trembling, "Father, the Protector of the Horses is very
powerful. My magic was outclassed and he has wounded me in the shoulder."
The color drained from the face of the horror−struck Heavenly King as he said, "If the creature has magic
powers like that, how are we going to defeat him?"
"Outside the gates of the cave," the prince went on to report, "there is a banner on a pole that reads 'Great
Sage Equaling Heaven'. He bragged that if the Jade Emperor gave him this title he would call everything off;
otherwise he said he would attack the Hall of Miraculous Mist."
"In that case," said the Heavenly King, "we'll disengage now, go back to Heaven, and request that more
heavenly troops be sent to capture this wretch. There is plenty of time." The prince, in pain and unable to go
on fighting, went back to Heaven with the Heavenly King and put in this request, but of that no more for the
Watch as the Monkey King returns to the mountain in triumph to receive the congratulations of the
seventy−two kings of the monsters and his six sworn brothers. There was great drinking and singing in the
cave paradise. Sun Wukong said to his six sworn brothers, "As I've called myself Great Sage Equaling
Heaven, you can all call yourselves great sages too."
"Honorable brother, you're right," roared the Bull Demon King. "I shall call myself the Great Sage Matching
"I'll be the Great Sage Overturning the Sea," said the Salamander Demon King.
"I'll be the Great Sage Throwing Heaven into Confusion," said the Roc Demon King.
"I'll be the Great Sage Who Moves Mountains," said the Camel Demon King.
"I'll be the Great Sage Who Travels with the Wind," said the Macaque King.
"And I'll be the Great Sage Who Drives Away Gods," said the Lion King. The seven great sages then did just
as they pleased and gave themselves the titles they chose, and after enjoying themselves all day they went
Heavenly King Li and Prince Nezha led their forces straight to the Palace of Miraculous Mist and made this
request: "We, your subjects, took our forces down to the lower world, under your Divine Edict, to subdue the
immortal fiend Sun Wukong. But to our surprise we found that his magical powers were too far−reaching for
us to be able to defeat him. We therefore hope that Your Imperial Majesty will send more troops to
"How could a mere monkey goblin have such great powers that you actually need more troops?" asked the
Prince Nezha then came forward and memorialized, "We beg Your Majesty to spare us the deaths we deserve.
That monkey fiend has an iron cudgel that he used to defeat the Mighty Miracle God and wounded me on the
shoulder. He has set a banner up outside the entrance to his cave that reads 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven,' and
he says that if you give him this office he will stop fighting and submit; otherwise he will attack the Hall of
When the Jade Emperor heard this he asked in horror, "How dare that monkey fiend talk so wildly? Send all
the generals to execute him at once."
As he spoke the Great White Planet stepped forward from the ranks of officials. "That monkey fiend knows
how to talk," he suggested, "but he has no idea about real power. If more soldiers were sent to fight him, they
might not be able to overcome him at once and their energies would be wasted. But if Your Imperial Majesty
were to show your great mercy, you could send down a pacificatory amnesty and let him be a Great Sage
Equaling Heaven. It would only be an empty title that he was given, just an honorary appointment."
"What do you mean by an honorary appointment?" asked the Jade Emperor.
"He would be called a Great Sage Equaling Heaven, but he would not be given any responsibility or paid any
salary. He would be kept between Heaven and Earth, where his evil nature would be under control and he
would be kept from wickedness. Thus Heaven and Earth can be at peace, while sea and sky enjoy
tranquillity." The Jade Emperor approved this suggestion and ordered that a new edict should be issued for the
Great White Planet to deliver.
The Great White Planet left once more through the Southern Gate of Heaven and went straight to have a look
at the Water Curtain Cave on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. It was quite different from before. There was
an awe−inspiring and spine−chilling atmosphere, and every kind of fiend was present. They were roaring and
leaping around with their swords, spears, cutlasses and staves. As soon as they saw the Great White Planet
they all went for him.
"Will your commander please come forward," said the Planet. "I would trouble you to inform your Great Sage
that I am a heavenly envoy sent by the Jade Emperor, and I am carrying a divine edict with an invitation for
The fiends rushed in to report, "There's an old man outside who says he's come from Heaven with an edict of
invitation for you."
When Sun Wukong heard this he said, "I'm glad he's come. I expect he's that Great White Planet who came
before. Although I wasn't given a decent job last time I went to Heaven, I did get up there and learn my way
around. If it's him again, his intentions must be good." He told his commanders to put on a big display of
banners and drums and to turn out a guard of honour to welcome him.
Then the Great Sage, wearing his helmet, his yellow robe over his armour, and his cloud−walking shoes,
hurried out of the cave at the head of his monkey host, bowed in greeting, and shouted in a loud voice, "Please
come in, venerable Planet. Forgive me for not being here to welcome you."
The Planet walked straight into the cave, stood facing the South and said, "Great Sage, when you left the
Imperial Stables because you found the post too humble, the officials of that department naturally reported the
matter to the Jade Emperor. The Jade Emperor decreed that all officials have to work their way up from the
bottom, and asked why you objected to its being humble. After this Heavenly King Li took Nezha down to the
lower world to do battle with you. Your divine powers, Great Sage, were more than they expected, and they
suffered defeat. On their return to Heaven they reported that you had set up a banner and wanted to be a 'Great
Sage Equaling Heaven'. All the generals wanted to punish you; but I, Great Sage, ran the risk of punishment
by suggesting that the armies should not be called out, and that Your Majesty should be given a post instead.
The Jade Emperor approved my memorial, and that is why I have come here to invite you."
"I am most grateful for this honour after the trouble I caused you earlier," replied Sun Wukong, "but I am not
sure whether there is such a title as 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven' in the upper world."
"After obtaining imperial approval for this title," said the Planet, "I came down bearing a decree. If anything
goes wrong, I'll bear the responsibility."
A highly delighted Sun Wukong tried his hardest to persuade the Planet to stay to a banquet, but without
success, so he went with him by propitious cloud to the Southern Gate of Heaven. The heavenly generals and
soldiers all greeted them with respectfully folded arms, and they went straight to the Hall of Miraculous Mist.
The Great White Planet did obeisance and said, "In obedience to the imperial edict your subject has
summoned Sun Wukong, the Protector of the Horses, and he is present."
"Let Sun Wukong come forward," said the Jade Emperor. "We do now proclaim you Great Sage Equaling
Heaven. Your rank is now very high. Let there be no more mischief from you." The monkey simply chanted
"na−a−aw" to express his thanks to the Emperor. The Jade Emperor then ordered the two officials in charge of
public works, Zhang and Lu, to build a residence for the Great Sage Equaling Heaven to the left of the Peach
Orchard. In the residence there were to be two offices: a Tranquillity Office and a Calm Divinity Office. Both
these offices were to have immortal clerks and senior and junior assistants. He then told the Star Lords of the
Constellation Five to escort Sun Wukong to his post, and in addition gave him two bottles of imperial wine
and ten golden flowers, and admonished him to settle down and keep out of mischief. The Monkey King
accepted the order and went that same day with the Star Lords of the Constellation Five to his residence,
where he opened the bottles of wine and drained them dry with the help of all present. He then saw the star
officials off and returned to his own palace. From then on he lived in happiness and content, and enjoyed
untrammelled pleasure in the Palace. Truly,
His immortal name was for ever inscribed in the register of eternal life,
To be transmitted for ten thousand ages, free of the wheel of rebirth.
If you don't know what happened next, listen to the explanation in the next installment.
To breathe out cloud and mist;
12-30-2008, 02:22 PM
JOURNEY TO THE WEST PART 5 OF 100
After Chaos Among the Peaches the Great Sage Steals the Pills
In the Revolt Against Heaven the Gods Capture the Demons
The story goes on to relate that the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, a mere monkey devil after all, was quite
satisfied that his name was on the register of office without caring about the grading of his job and his own
rank, or the size of his salary. The immortal clerks in the two offices in his residence were in constant
attendance on him, he had three meals a day and a bed to sleep on at night, and he lived a free and easy life
without worries. In his spare time he would visit the other palaces, get together with his old friends, and make
new ones. When he saw the Three Pure Ones, he would address them as "venerable," and when he met the
Four Emperors he called them "Your Majesty." He was on fraternal terms with the Nine Bright Shiners, the
Generals of the Five Regions, the Twenty−Eight Constellations, the Four Great Heavenly Kings, the Gods of
the Twelve Branches, the Five Ancients of the Five Regions, the star ministers of the whole sky, and the
countless gods of the Milky Way. Today he would wander East, and tomorrow he would go West, coming and
going by cloud, and never staying anywhere for long.
When the Jade Emperor was holding his morning court one day the Immortal Xu of Jingyang came forward
from the body of officials, kowtowed, and suggested, "The Great Sage Equaling Heaven is spending his time
in idle travel, and is making the acquaintance of all the stars in the sky, calling them all his friends irrespective
of their rank. It would be as well to give him some responsibility, and prevent his idleness leading to trouble
The Jade Emperor's response to this suggestion was to send for the Monkey King at once. He came in a
cheerful mood and asked, "What promotion and reward have you summoned me here to receive, Your
"Seeing that you are idle and have nothing to do," replied the Jade Emperor, "we are giving you a job. You are
to administer the Peach Orchard, and you will give it your attention day and night." The Great Sage was
overjoyed, and after expressing his thanks and chanting "na−a−aw" he withdrew.
In his eagerness to be at work he went straight to the Peach Orchard to have a look round. When he got there
he was stopped by a local tutelary god who asked him, "Where are you going, Great Sage?"
"I've been put in charge of the Peach Orchard by the Jade Emperor, and I've come to inspect it." The local god
hastened to greet him formally, and he called the men who weeded, brought water, looked after the trees, and
swept the grounds to come and kowtow to the Great Sage. When Sun Wukong was taken inside this is what
Charming and luxuriant the full blossom;
Every tree weighed down with fruit.
The fruit−laden branches bend like carding−bows;
The blossoming trees are covered with powder and rouge.
Always blossoming, always in fruit, they are ripe for a thousand years;
They know no summer or winter, but linger for ever.
The early ripeners
Look red−faced and tipsy;
The ones still growing
Are green in stalk and skin.
When the dew forms, their flesh has a touch of blue,
While the sun picks out their vermilion beauty.
Below the trees exotic flowers grow,
Bright and unfading throughout the year.
On either side stand towers and pavilions,
And a rainbow always arches the sky.
These are not the common breeds of the Dark Earth Capital,
But are tended by the Queen Mother of the Jade Pool.
After taking a good look at this the Great Sage asked the local god, "How many of these trees are there?"
"Three thousand six hundred all together," the local god replied. "The ones growing at the front have tiny
blossoms and small fruits, and they ripen every three thousand years. Anyone who eats them becomes an
Immortal and understands the Way, and his body becomes both light and strong. The twelve hundred in the
middle have multiple blossoms and sweet fruits, and ripen every six thousand years; whoever eats them can
fly and enjoy eternal youth. The back twelve hundred are streaked with purple and have pale yellow stones.
They ripen once every nine thousand years, and anyone who eats them becomes as eternal as Heaven and
Earth, as long−lived as the Sun and Moon." The Great Sage was beside himself with joy on learning this, and
that day he checked the number of the trees and looked over the buildings in the orchard before going back to
his residence. From then on he went to admire them every three or four days. He dropped his friends, and made no more pleasure jaunts.
One day he noticed that the peaches near the end of the branches of one old tree were all but ripe, and he felt
like trying one; but as the local god, the workmen, and the immortal clerks from his residence were close on
his heels it was impossible. Suddenly he had an idea, and he said, "Go and wait for me outside the gates while
I take a nap in this summer−house."
All the Immortals thereupon withdrew, and the Monkey King took off his official hat and clothes, climbed
one of the bigger trees, and chose some large, ripe peaches. When he had picked a good number he sat at his
ease in the branches and ate his fill of them, then jumped down from the tree, pinned on his hat, put on his
clothes, and shouted for all his attendants to go back to his residence with him. Two or three days later he
thought of another trick to steal some more peaches, and he ate his fill of them.
One day the Queen Mother arranged a banquet, opening many precious pavilions for a feast of peaches by the
Jade Pool. She sent the Red Fairy, the Blue Fairy, the White Fairy, the Black Fairy, the Purple Fairy, the
Yellow Fairy, and the Green Fairy to the Peach Orchard with their baskets to pick peaches for the feast. The
seven fairies went straight to the orchard gates, the workmen of the orchard and the immortal superintendents
of the two offices of the Equaling Heaven Residence were guarding the gate.
The fairies went up to them and said, "We have come on the orders of the Queen Mother to pick peaches for a
"Wait a moment please, Immortal Beauties," said the local god. "Things are different this year. The Jade
Emperor has appointed the Great Sage Equaling Heaven to be the guardian of this orchard, and we must ask
him before we can open the orchard to you."
"Where is the Great Sage?" the fairies asked, and the local god replied, "Inside the orchard. As he was feeling
tired he is having a nap by himself in a summerhouse."
"In that case, please find him without delay," requested the fairies, and the local god took them into the
orchard. But all they could find of him in the summerhouse were his hat and clothes. They had no idea where
he could have gone, and looked everywhere without success. The Great Sage had in fact made himself only
two inches long after eating some of the peaches for fun, and he was sleeping under a large leaf at the top of
one of the big trees.
"We have come by decree, and we can't go back empty−handed, although the Great Sage is nowhere to be
found," said the fairies.
One of the immortal superintendents who was standing nearby replied, "As you Immortal Beauties have come
by order of the Queen Mother, we must not delay you. Our Great Sage is always wandering off, so I expect
that he has gone away to visit some of his friends. You had better pick the peaches; it will be all right if we
The fairies did as he suggested and went into the orchard to pick peaches. First they filled two baskets from
the trees in front, and then they picked three basketfuls from the trees in the middle; but when they came to
the trees at the back, they saw that peaches and blossoms were few and far between. Only a few unripe fruits
with furry stalks and green skins were left. All the ripe ones had been eaten up by the Monkey King. The
seven fairies looked everywhere, but all they could see was a single red and white peach on a Southern
branch. The Blue Fairy pulled the branch down, the Red Fairy picked the peach, and then they let the branch
go again. This woke up the Great Sage, who had changed himself into this peach to take a nap on this branch.
He resumed his own form, took his gold−banded cudgel from his ear, shook it till it was as thick as a
ricebowl, and shouted at them, "Where are you from, you thieving fiends?" The seven fairies fell on their
knees in confusion.
"Please don't be angry with us, Great Sage. We're not fiends but seven fairies sent by Her Majesty the Queen
Mother of the West to pick peaches of immortality and open the precious halls here for a Feast of Peaches.
When we arrived here we saw the local god and other deities of the place, but we could not find you, Great
Sage. We could not delay carrying out the Queen Mother's orders, so we went ahead and picked the peaches
without waiting for you, Great Sage. We very much hope that you will forgive us."
These words turned the Great Sage's bad mood into a good one, and he said, "Please rise, Fairy Beauties. Who
is the Queen Mother inviting to this feast?"
"There are old rules about who attends: The Buddha of the Western Heaven, Bodhisattvas, holy monks,
Arhats, the Guanyin of the South Pole, the Merciful and Sage Emperor of the East, the Venerable Immortals
of the Ten Continents and the Three Islands, the Mystic Divinity of the North Pole, and the Great
Yellow−horned Immortal of the Yellow Pole at the Centre. These make up the Five Venerable Ones of the
Five Regions. There will also be the Star Lords of the Five Constellation; the Three Pure Ones, the Four
Emperors and the Heavenly Immortal of the Great Monad from the Eight High Caves; the Jade Emperor, the
immortals of the Nine Mounds, and the gods of the Seas and Mountains and the Ruler of the Nether World
from the Eight Lower Caves; and the terrestrial deities. All the major and minor gods of all the halls and
palaces will come to the Feast of Peaches."
"Will I be invited?" asked the Great Sage with an ingratiating smile.
"Not as far as we've heard," the fairies replied.
"I'm the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, so why shouldn't I be asked?" said the Great Sage.
"That was what happened before: we don't know about this time," the fairies replied.
"You're right," he said. "Just wait here while I go and find out whether I'm invited."
Splendid Great Sage. Making a magic with his hands as he spoke the words of the spell, he said to the fairies,
"Stay where you are! Stay where you are!" As this was an immobilizing spell, the seven fairies were left
standing in a daze under the peach tree with their eyes wide open as the Great Sage leapt out of the orchard on
a somersault cloud and headed for the Jade Pool. As he traveled he saw that
The sky shimmered with auspicious light
As clouds of many colours streamed across it.
The white stork's cry made the heavens shake;
A thousand leaves grew on the purple asphodel.
Amid it all an Immortal appeared,
Carrying himself with heaven−sent elegance,
As he danced on the rainbow, cloaked by the Milky Way,
With a talisman at his waist to ward off birth and death.
His name was Bare−Foot Immortal,
And he was going to the feast of longevity−giving peaches.
As the Bare−foot Immortal saw him, the Great Sage lowered his head and thought of a plan by which to trick
the Immortal and get to the banquet himself.
"Where are you going, reverend sir?" he asked; and the Immortal replied, "I'm going to the Peach Banquet by
the invitation of the Queen Mother."
"There is something you do not know, venerable sir," said the Great Sage. "As my somersault cloud is so fast,
the Jade Emperor has sent me everywhere to tell all you gentlemen to go to the Hall of Universal Brightness
for a ceremony before going on to the banquet."
As the Immortal was an open and upright man, he took this lie for the truth, but wondered, "The thanksgiving
ceremony is usually held by the Jade Pool, so why are we having the ceremony in the Hall of Universal
Brightness before going to the Jade Pool for the banquet?" Nevertheless, he turned his propitious cloud around
and went to the Hall of Universal Brightness.
As the Great Sage rode his cloud he said a spell, shook himself, took the form of the Bare−foot Immortal, and
hurried to the Jade Pool. He reached the pavilion there a moment later, stopped his cloud, and went quietly
inside. He saw
Fabulous perfumes coiling,
A confusion of auspicious clouds;
The jade tower set with color,
The precious pavilions scattering mists;
The phoenix soars till almost lost to view,
And jeweled flowers seem to rise and fall.
Above a nine−phoenix screen
A rainbow stool of the eight precious things,
A coloured golden table,
Green jade bowls with a thousand flowers.
On the table were dragon livers and marrow of phoenix bone,
Bears' paws and apes' lips−−
A hundred different dishes, and all of them good;
Rare fruits and fine delicacies, every one unique.
Everything was neatly set out, but no Immortals had yet arrived. The Great Sage had not finished looking
when he smelt wine; and as he whirled round he saw under a portico to the right several immortal officials in
charge of brewing liquor with some workmen who stirred the lees, a number of novices who carried water and
some boys who looked after the fires. They were washing the vats and scrubbing the pots, having made jade
liquor and a fragrant fermentation of the lees. The Great Sage could not stop himself from drooling, and he
longed to drink some, but unfortunately all those people were there. So he performed a spell by pulling several
hairs from his body, chewing them up, spitting them up, saying the magic words, and shouting "Change";
whereupon the hairs turned into sleep insects, which flew into the faces of all the liquor−makers. Watch them
as their hands go limp, their heads droop, their eyes close, and they drop their symbols of office and all fall
asleep. Whereupon the Great Sage grabbed the rare delicacies and exotic foods, then went under the portico
and drank from the vats and pots until he was completely drunk.
Only then did he think, "This won't do at all. When the guests come for the banquet they'll be furious with me,
and I'll be for it if I'm caught. I'd better get back to the Residence as soon as I can and sleep it off."
Our dear Great Sage staggered and swayed, charging about all over the place under the influence of the liquor,
and going the wrong way. He arrived not at the Equaling Heaven Residence but at the Tushita Heavenly
Palace. As soon as he saw this he sobered up and said to himself, "The Tushita Palace is the highest of the
thirty−three heavens, where Lord Lao Zi of the Great Monad reigns. However did I get here? Never mind, I've
always wanted to see that old chap, and I've never managed to come here before. I might as well go and have
a look at him now that I'm passing this way."
He straightened his clothes and rushed in, but did not see Lord Lao Zi. There was no sign of anyone. This was
because Lao Zi and the Ancient Buddha Dipamkara were expounding the Way from a red dais in a
triple−storied pavilion, and all the immortal boys, generals, officials and petty functionaries were standing to
right and left listening to the lecture. The Great Sage went straight to the room in which the elixir was kept,
and although he could not find Lao Zi there he saw that there was a small fire in the stove beside the range
over which pills were made. On either side of the stove were five gourds, full of golden pills of refined elixir.
"This is the Immortals' greatest treasure," he exclaimed in delight. "I've wanted to refine some of these golden
pills to save people with ever since I understood the Way and mastered the principle of the correspondence of
the Esoteric and Exoteric, but I've never had time to come here. Today I'm in luck−−I've found them. As Lao
Zi isn't here I'll try a few." He emptied the gourds of their contents and ate up all the pills as if he were eating
Before long he was full of pills and quite sober. "This is terrible," he thought, "this is a colossal disaster. If the
Jade Emperor is shocked by this, I'm done for. I must get out of here. I'd be much better off as a king in the
He rushed out of the Tushita Palace, avoiding his usual route. Using a spell to make himself invisible, he left
by the West Gate of Heaven, and went straight down to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit by cloud. When he got there he saw flags, banners, spears and halberds gleaming in the sun: the four Stalwart Generals and the
seventy−two kings of the monsters were holding military exercises.
"Children, I'm back," shouted the Great Sage in a loud voice, and all the fiends dropped their weapons and fell
to their knees.
"You don't care, do you, Great Sage?" they said. "It's been so long since you left us, and you never came back
to see us."
"I haven't been long, I haven't been long," protested the Great Sage, and as they talked they walked into the
innermost part of the cave. When the four Stalwart General's had tidied the place up and made him sit down,
they kowtowed to him and asked, "What office did you hold, Great Sage, during your century and more in
The Great Sage laughed and said, "As far as I can remember it was only six months, so why do you say it was
over a century?"
"A day in Heaven is the same as a year on earth," the Stalwart Generals replied.
"I was lucky this time," said the Great Sage. "The Jade Emperor took a liking to me and ennobled me as the
Great Sage Equaling Heaven. He had an Equaling Heaven Residence built for me, complete with a
Tranquillity Office and a Calm Divinity Office with Immortal functionaries, attendants and guards. Later on,
when he saw that I had nothing to do, he put me in charge of the Peach Orchard. Recently the Queen Mother
Goddess gave a Peach Banquet, but she didn't invite me. Instead of waiting for an invitation, I went to the
Jade Pool and stole all the immortal food and drink. I staggered away from the Jade Pool and blundered into
Lord Lao Zi's palace, and there I ate up his five gourds of pills of immortality. Then I got out through the
heavenly gates and came here because I was scared that the Jade Emperor was going to punish me."
All the fiends were delighted with what they heard, and they laid on liquor and fruit with which to welcome
They filled a stone bowl with coconut toddy and handed it to him, but when he tasted it the Great Sage
grimaced and said, "It's awful, it's awful."
Two of his Stalwart Generals, Beng and Ba, explained, "You don't find coconut toddy very tasty because you
have drunk immortal liquor and eaten immortal food in the heavenly palace, Great Sage. But as the saying
goes, 'Sweet or not, it's water from home.'"
To this the Great Sage replied, "And all of you, whether related to me or not, are from my home. When I was
enjoying myself beside the Jade Pool today I saw jars and jars of jade liquor under a portico there. As none of
you have ever tasted it I'll go and pinch you a few jars; then you can each have a little drink, and live for
ever." All the monkeys were beside themselves with glee. The Great Sage then went out of the cave, turned a
somersault, made himself invisible, and went straight to the Peach Banquet. As he went through the gates of
the Jade Pool he saw that the men who made the wine, stirred the lees, carried the water, and looked after the
fire were still snoring away. He tucked two big jars of wine under his arms, took two more in his hands, then
turned his cloud round and went back to have a feast of immortal wine with the monkey masses in the cave.
They all drank several cups and were very happy, but we will not go into this.
The story returns to the seven fairies, who were only able to free themselves a whole day after Sun Wukong
had immobilized them with his magic. They picked up their baskets and went back to report to the Queen
Mother that they were late because the Great Sage Equaling Heaven had held them there by magic.
"How many peaches did you pick?" the Queen Mother asked.
"Two baskets of little ones and three baskets of medium ones. But when we got to the back we could not find
a single big one; we think that they were all eaten by the Great Sage. While we were looking for some the
Great Sage suddenly appeared, and he beat and tortured us to make us tell him who had been invited to the
banquet. After we had told him he immobilized us there, and we don't know where he went. We only came
round and freed ourselves a moment ago."
On hearing this the Queen Mother went to see the Jade Emperor and gave him a full account of what had
happened. Before she had finished, the liquor−makers arrived with their immortal officials to report that an
unknown person had thrown the Grand Peach Banquet into confusion and stolen the jade liquor as well as the
precious delicacies of a hundred flavors. Then came Four Heavenly Teachers to announce that the Supreme
Patriarch of the Way, Lao Zi, had arrived.
The Jade Emperor went out with the Queen Mother to meet him, and after doing obeisance Lao Zi said, "I had
refined some Golden Pills of the Nine Transformations in my palace for a Feast of Elixir Pills with Your
Majesty, but a thief has stolen them. This is what I have come to report to Your Majesty." This news made the
Jade Emperor tremble with fear.
Not long afterwards the immortal administrators from the Equaling Heaven Residence came to kowtow and
report: "The Great Sage Sun Wukong abandoned his post and went wandering off yesterday. He has not come
back yet and we do not know where he has gone." The Jade Emperor, now more suspicious than ever, then
saw the Bare−Foot Immortal bow his head to the ground.
"Your subject was going to the banquet on a summons from the Queen Mother," he reported, "when I
happened to meet the Great Sage Equaling Heaven. He told me, O Lord of Ten Thousand Years, that you had
issued a decree ordering him to tell all the rest of us to go to the Hall of Universal Brightness for a ceremony
before going to the banquet. Your subject went back to the Hall of Universal Brightness as he had told me to,
but as I did not see the Imperial Dragon and Phoenix Chariot outside I hurried here to await orders."
"This wretch has the impudence to invent fraudulent decrees and deceive eminent ministers," exclaimed the
Jade Emperor with anger and astonishment. "The Miraculous Investigator is to find out at once what he has
been up to."
The Miraculous Investigator left the palace in obedience to the edict, and by making thorough enquiries he
found out all the details of what had happened.
"The wrecker of the Heavenly Palace was Sun Wukong," he reported, and he went on to give a full account.
The Jade Emperor was furiously angry, and he ordered the Four Great Heavenly Kings along with Heavenly
King Li and Prince Nezha to mobilize the Twenty−eight Constellations, the Nine Bright Shiners, the Twelve
Gods of the Twelve Branches, the Revealers of the Truth of the Five Regions, the Four Duty Gods, the
Constellations of the East and West, the Gods of the North and South, the Deities of the Five Mountains and
the Four Rivers, the star ministers of all Heaven, and a total of a hundred thousand heavenly soldiers. They
were to descend to the lower world with eighteen heaven−and−earth nets, surround the Mountain of Flowers
and Fruit, and capture that wretch for punishment. The gods called out their troops at once, and left the
A gusty sandstorm blotted out the heavens,
Purple fog threw the earth into darkness.
Just because the monkey fiend offended the Supreme Emperor
Heavenly hosts were sent down to the mortal dust.
The Four Great Heavenly Kings,
The Revealers of the Truth of the Five Regions.
The Four Great Heavenly Kings held the supreme command,
And the Revealers controlled the soldiers' movements.
Li the Pagoda Carrier commanded the central corps,
Nezha the deadly led the van.
The star Rahu ordered the leading rands,
And the star Ketu towered behind.
The Sun revealed his divinity,
And radiance shone from the Moon.
The stars of the Five Elements were mighty in valour,
And the Nine Bright Shiners were fond of battle.
The stars of the Branches Zi, Wu, Mao and You,
Were all great heavenly warriors.
The Five Plagues and the Five Mountains were drawn up on the East and West,
While the Six Ding and Six Jia marched to right and left.
The Dragon Gods of the Four Rivers stood above and below,
And the Twenty−eight Constellations were drawn up in serried ranks:
Horn, Gullet, Base, and Chamber were the officers commanding,
Strider, Harvester, Stomach, and Mane wheeled and soared;
Dipper, Ox, Woman, Barrens, Roof, House, and Wall, Heart, Tail, and
Winnower−−all able stars−−
Well, Ghost, Willow, Spread, Whig and Axletree
Wielded their swords and spears, showed forth their power,
Halted their clouds and descended in mists to the mortal world,
Pitching camp before the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit.
There is a poem that runs:
Many the transformations of the heaven−born Monkey King
Happy in his lair after stealing the pills and wine.
Just because he wrecked the banquet of peaches,
A hundred thousand heavenly troops now spread their nets.
Heavenly King Li gave the order for the heavenly soldiers to pitch camp and throw a watertight cordon round
the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. Above and below they spread eighteen heaven−and−earth nets, and the
Nine Bright Shiners were sent out to start the battle. They took their soldiers to the outside of the cave, where
they saw the monkeys, big and small, leaping and fooling around.
The star officers shouted in harsh voices, "Little goblins, where's that Great Sage of yours? We are gods, sent
from the upper world to subdue your mutinous Great Sage. Tell him to surrender at once−−−and if there's so
much as a hint of a 'no' from him, we will exterminate every last one of you."
The little monkeys went rushing in to report, "Great Sage, a disaster, a disaster. There are nine evil gods
outside who say they've been sent from the upper world to subdue you."
The Great Sage, who was just then sharing the immortal liquor with the seventy−two kings of the monsters
and his four Stalwart Generals, paid no attention to the report, saying:
"Today we have wine so today we celebrate:
To hell with what's happening outside the gate."
But before the words were out of his mouth another group of little devils came in. "Those nine evil gods are
using foul and provocative language to challenge us to fight," they announced.
"Never mind them," said the Great Sage with a laugh.
"With verse and wine we're happy today;
Who cares when fame will come our way?"
But before these words were out of his mouth yet another group of devils came rushing in. "Sir, those nine
evil gods have smashed the gates and are charging in."
"The stinking gods!" exploded the Great Sage, "What nerve! I never wanted a fight with them, so why should
they come here to push us around?" He thereupon ordered the One−horned Monster King to lead the
seventy−two monster kings into battle while he followed them with the four Stalwart Generals. The monster
king hastily assembled the devil soldiers and sallied forth to meet the enemy. They were all stopped by a
charge by the Nine Bright Shiners, who held the head of the iron bridge so that no one could enter or leave.
During the tumult the Great Sage came on the scene, and shouting "Make way!" he raised his iron cudgel,
shook it till it was as thick as a bowl and twelve feet long, and struck and parried as he came charging out.
The Nine Bright Shiners, who were no match for him, fell back.
"You reckless Protector of the Horses," they shouted when they were back in the safety of their own position.
"You have committed the most terrible crimes. You stole the peaches and the wine, wrecked the Peach
Banquet, and pilfered the immortality pills of Lord Lao Zi. On top of all this you brought some of the
immortal liquor you stole back here. Don't you realize that you have piled crime upon crime?" The Great Sage
"It's true, it's true," he said, "but what are you going to do about it?"
"In obedience to a golden edict of the Jade Emperor," the Nine Bright Shiners replied, "we have led out troops
here to subdue you. Submit at once, or else all these creatures of yours will have to pay with their lives. If you
refuse, we shall trample this mountain flat and turn your cave upside−down."
"You hairy gods," roared the Great Sage in a fury, "what magic powers have you got to let you talk so big?
Clear off, or I'll give you a taste of my cudgel." The Nine Bright Shiners did a war−dance together, which did
not frighten the Handsome Monkey King in the least. He whirled his gold−banded cudgel, parrying to right
and left, and fought the Nine Bright Shiners till their muscles were weak and their strength was gone; then
each of them broke ranks and fled, dragging their weapons behind them. They rushed to the command post of
the central corps and reported to the Pagoda−Bearing Heavenly King Li that the Monkey King was so
ferocious that they had fled from the battlefield, unable to defeat him. Heavenly King Li then sent the Four
Heavenly Kings and the Twenty−eight Constellations into battle. The Great Sage, not at all frightened at this,
ordered the One−horned Demon King, the seventy−two kings of the monsters, and the four Stalwart Generals
to draw up their line of battle outside the gates of the cave. The ensuing melee was really terrifying.
Dark, sinister clouds.
On one side flags and standards colorfully flying,
On the other side the gleam of spears and halberds.
Round helmets shine,
Layered armour gleams.
The shining round helmets reflect the sun,
Like silver boulders reaching to the sky;
Gleaming layers of armour are built into a wall
Like a mountain of ice weighing down the earth.
Flash through the clouds like lightning;
Pierce mists and fogs;
Bristling like a field of hemp;
And four−brightness spears
Drawn up like a dense forest.
Bows and crossbows, eagle−feathered arrows,
Short clubs and snaky spears to terrify the soul.
Wielding his single As−You−Will cudgel,
The Great Sage fights against the heavenly gods.
Such is the slaughter that no bird flies over it;
And tigers and wolves flee in terror.
The swirling stones and clouds of sand make everything dark,
The dirt and the dust blot out the heavens.
The clash of arms startles the universe
As the battle strikes awe into gods and demons.
The battle started in the morning and went on till the sun set behind the mountains in the West. By then the
One−horned Demon King and the seventy−two kings of the monsters had all been captured by the heavenly
hosts. Only the four Stalwart Generals and the monkeys had got away, and they were now hiding in the
innermost recesses of the Water Curtain Cave. The Great Sage's solitary cudgel had fought off the Four
Heavenly Kings, Li the Pagoda−bearer and Prince Nezha, who were all in the sky. After the battle had gone
on for a long time the Great Sage saw that night was drawing on, so he plucked out one of his hairs, munched
it up, spat out the pieces and shouted, "Change!" They changed into thousands of Great Sages, all with
gold−banded cudgels, who forced Prince Nezha and the five Heavenly Kings to withdraw.
After winning this victory the Great Sage put back his hair and hurried back to the cave, where the four
Stalwart Generals at once led the monkeys out to kowtow at the head of the iron bridge to welcome him back.
They sobbed three times and then laughed three times.
"Why are you laughing and crying at the sight of me?" the Great Sage asked.
"When we led all the commanders into battle against the heavenly kings this morning," replied the Stalwart
Generals, "the seventy−two kings of the monsters and the One−horned Demon King were all captured by the
gods, and we had to flee for our lives. That is why we cried. We laughed because you, Great Sage, have come
back victorious and unharmed."
To this the Great Sage replied, "Victory and defeat are all the soldier's lot. As the ancients said, 'To kill ten
thousand of the enemy you must lose three thousand of your own.' Anyhow, the officers of ours who were
captured were all tigers, leopards, wolves, badgers, river−deer, foxes, and raccoon−dogs. Not one of our own
kind was even wounded, so there's no need for us to be bothered about it. But although I forced the enemy to
withdraw by dividing up my body through magic, they're still encamped at the foot of our mountain, so we'll
have to remain on our guard. Meanwhile we must eat a good meal and get a good night's sleep to build up our
energy. Tomorrow morning I'll use powerful magic to capture those heavenly generals and avenge our
people." After the four Stalwart Generals and the other monkey commanders had drunk several cups of
coconut toddy, they went to bed with their worries calmed.
When the four Heavenly Kings had withdrawn their troops and ended the battle, those who had distinguished
themselves reported what they had done. Some had captured tigers and leopards, some lions and elephants,
and others wolves and raccoon−dogs, but not one single monkey goblin had been taken. Then they built a
mighty stockade around their camp. Commanders who had distinguished themselves wee rewarded, and the
soldiers who made up the heaven−and−earth nets were ordered to surround the Mountain of Flowers and
Fruit, holding bells and shouting, ready for a great battle the next day. Every man heard the orders, and they
were strictly obeyed. Indeed:
A wicked monkey made chaos, shocking heaven and earth,
So they spread their nets and watched by night and day.
Listen to the next installment to hear how he was dealt with the following morning.
12-30-2008, 02:27 PM
I haven't read any of it yet, but one thing I would advise would be to put spaces in between sentences. Just from scrolling down I think my eyes have started to bleed.
I haven't read any of it yet, but one thing I would advise would be to put spaces in between sentences. Just from scrolling down I think my eyes have started to bleed.
You actually check this topic? I wanted to see your response lol!
12-31-2008, 07:42 PM
JOURNEY TO THE WEST PART 6 OF 100
Guanyin Comes to the Feast and Asks the Reason Why
The Little Sage Uses His Might to Subdue the Great Sage
We shall leave for the moment the Heavenly Generals making their encirclement and the soundly sleeping
Great Sage. The story goes on to tell how the Compassionate and Merciful Miraculous Savior from Suffering,
the Bodhisattva Guanyin of Mount Potaraka in the Southern Sea, having been invited by the Queen Mother to
the Peach Banquet, went to the precious pavilions at the Jade Pool with her great disciple Huian the Novice.
She found the place deserted and the banquet ruined. The few Immortals present were not sitting at their
places but holding confused discussions. When greetings were over the Immortals gave the Bodhisattva an
account of what had happened.
"If there is to be no banquet and no drinking," said the Bodhisattva, "you had better all come with me to the
Jade Emperor." The Immortals were delighted to follow her, and when they arrived before the Hall of
Universal Brightness the Four Heavenly Teachers, the Bare−Foot Immortal and many others were all there to
greet the Bodhisattva. They told her that the Jade Emperor had sent heavenly armies to capture the demon, but
they had not yet returned.
"I wish to see the Jade Emperor," said the Bodhisattva, "so may I trouble you to inform him on my behalf?"
The heavenly teacher Qui Hongji then went to the Hall of Miraculous Mist, and the Bodhisattva was invited
in. She found that Lord Lao Zi was there in the place of honour, and that the Queen Mother was behind him.
The Bodhisattva went in at the head of the others, and when she had done obeisance to the Jade Emperor she
greeted Lao Zi and the Queen Mother. After they had all sat down she asked what had happened at the Peach
"The banquet is held every year, and it is normally a very happy occasion," the Jade Emperor replied, "but this
year that monkey fiend wrecked it, so that your invitation was worth nothing."
"Where does this monkey fiend come from?" asked the Bodhisattva.
"He was born from a stone egg on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit in the land of Aolai in the Eastern
Continent of Superior Body," the Jade Emperor answered. "When he was born golden beams flashed from his
eyes that reached to the star palace. At first we paid no attention to him, but later on he became a spirit,
subduing dragons and tigers, and erasing his own name from the registers of death. The Dragon Kings and
King Yama of the underworld informed us of this in memorials, and we wanted to capture him, but the Star of
Longevity memorialized that in the Three Worlds all beings with nine orifices can become Immortals. We
therefore extended education to the worthy by summoning him to the upper world and appointing him
Protector of the Horses in the Imperial Stable. But this was not good enough for the scoundrel, who rebelled
against Heaven. We sent Heavenly King Li and Prince Nezha to accept his surrender, extended him an
amnesty, and summoned him back to the upper world. We made him a 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven,' though
this carried no salary. As he had nothing to do he would go wandering all over the place, and for fear that this
might lead to trouble we had him look after the Peach Orchard. Once again he flouted the law by stealing and
eating every single one of the big peaches from the old trees. When the banquet was to be held he was not
invited as his position was purely an honorary one; so he played a trick on the Bare−foot Immortal, went to
the banquet looking like him, ate all the immortal delicacies, and drank all the immortal liquor. On top of this
he stole Lord Lao Zi's pills of immortality and some imperial liquor, which he took to his mountain for the
monkeys to enjoy. This made us very angry so we sent a hundred thousand heavenly troops to spread heaven−and−earth nets and subdue him. But we have received no reports today, so we do not know whether
we have been victorious."
When the Bodhisattva heard this she said to Huian the Novice, "Hurry down from Heaven to the Mountain of
Flowers and Fruit and find out about the military situation. If you meet with any opposition you may do your
bit to help, but the important thing is to bring an accurate report back." Huian the Novice straightened his
robes, took his iron staff, left the palace by cloud, and went straight to the mountain. He saw that with the
layer upon layer of heaven−and−earth nets, and the men holding bells and shouting passwords at the gates of
the camp, the cordon round the mountain was watertight.
Huian stopped and called, "Heavenly soldiers at the gates of the camp, I would trouble you to report that I,
Moksa, the second son of Heavenly King Li, also known as Huian, the senior disciple of Guanyin of the
Southern Sea, have come to ask about the military situation." Then the divine soldiers of the Five Mountains
inside the camp went in through the gates of the headquarters, where the Rat, the Cock, the Horse and the
Hare stars reported the news to the commander of the central corps. Heavenly King Li sent a flag of command
with the order that the heaven−and−earth nets were to be opened to let Huian in. The East was just beginning
to grow light as Huian followed the flag in and bowed to Heavenly King Li and the four other heavenly kings.
"Where have you come from, my son?" asked Heavenly King Li.
"Your stupid son accompanied the Bodhisattva to the Peach Banquet, and when she found the banquet
deserted and nobody at the Jade Pool, she took me and the other Immortals to see the Jade Emperor. The Jade
Emperor told her that you, father, and the other kings had gone down to the lower world to capture this
monkey fiend. As the Jade Emperor has received no news all day on the outcome of the battle, the
Bodhisattva sent me here to find out what has happened."
"We arrived here and encamped yesterday," Heavenly King Li replied, "then sent the Nine Bright Shiners to
challenge the enemy to battle, but that wretch used such tremendous magic powers that the Nine Bright
Shiners all came back defeated. Then we led out own soldiers into action, and the wretch also drew up his line
of battle. Our hundred thousand heavenly soldiers fought an indecisive engagements with him till dusk when
he used a spell to divide up his body and force us back. When we withdrew our forces and held an
investigation, we found that we had only captured wolves, tigers, leopards, and so on, and had not even taken
half a monkey fiend. We have not yet given battle today."
Before he had finished speaking someone appeared outside the gates of the headquarters to report that the
Great Sage was outside at the head of a crowd of monkey spirits, clamoring for battle. The four other
Heavenly Kings, Heavenly King Li, and Prince Nezha were all for committing their forces, but Moksa said,
"Father, when your stupid son was instructed by the Bodhisattva to come here and find out the news, I was
also told that if there was a battle I could do my bit to help. May I please go and see what sort of a 'Great Sage'
he is, untalented though I am?"
"My boy," said Heavenly King Li, "you have been cultivating your conduct with the Bodhisattva for some
years now so I suppose that you must have acquired some magic powers, but do be very careful."
The splendid Prince Moksa hitched up his embroidered robes and charged out through the gates of the
headquarters waving his iron staff with both hands. "Which of you is the Great Sage Equaling Heaven?" he
"I am," answered the Great Sage, brandishing his As−You−Will cudgel. "But who do you think you are,
asking a question like that?"
"I am Prince Moksa, the second son of Heavenly King Li, and I am now a disciple and a guard before the
throne of the Bodhisattva Guanyin. My Buddhist name is Huian."
"Why have you come here to see me instead of staying in the Southern Sea and cultivating your conduct?"
asked the Great Sage, and Moksa replied, "My teacher sent me here to find out about the military situation,
but now that I've seen your savagery I've come to capture you."
"You talk big, don't you," said the Great Sage.
"Well then, don't go away, try a taste of my cudgel." Moksa, not in the least frightened, struck at him with his
iron staff. It was a fine fight they fought, half−way up the mountainside outside the gates of the headquarters.
The staves were matched, but made of different iron;
The weapons clashed, but their masters were not the same.
One was a wayward Immortal known as the Great Sage,
The other a true dragon disciple of Guanyin.
The cast−iron staff, beaten with a thousand hammers,
Had been forged by the art of the Ding and the Jia.
The As−You−Will cudgel once anchored the Milky Way:
As the Treasure Stilling the Sea its magic power was great.
When the two met they were well matched indeed.
And they parried and lunged at each other without end.
The sinister cudgel, Infinitely murderous,
Could whirl round your waist as quick as the wind,
The spear−catching staff,
Never yielding an opening,
Was irresistible, parrying to right and left.
On the one side the flags and banners fly,
On the other the camel drums roll.
Ten thousand heavenly generals in multiple encirclement;
A cave of monkey devils densely packed together.
Monstrous fogs and evil clouds cover the earth,
While the smoke of deadly battle rises to the sky.
Yesterday's fighting was bad enough;
Today's struggle is even worse.
The admirable skills of the Monkey King
Put Moksa to flight, utterly defeated.
After they had fought some fifty or sixty rounds, Huian's arm and shoulders were numbed and aching, and he
could resist the Great Sage no longer. Waving his staff in a feint, he turned away and ran. The Great Sage then
withdrew his monkey soldiers and encamped outside the gates of the cave.
The big and little heavenly soldiers at the gates of the other camp received Huian and let him go straight to the
headquarters, where he gasped and panted for breath as he said to the Four Heavenly Kings, Li the
Pagoda−bearer, and his brother Prince Nezha, "What a Great Sage! What a Great Sage! His magic powers are
too much for me. He beat me." Startled by this news, Heavenly King Li had a request for reinforcements
written and sent the Strong−arm Devil King and Prince Moksa up to Heaven to submit.
Not daring to waste a moment, the two messengers rushed out through the heaven−and−earth nets and
mounted their propitious clouds. A moment later they arrived outside the Hall of Universal Brightness, where
they greeted the Four Heavenly Teachers, who led them to the Hall of Miraculous Mist and handed up their
memorial. Prince Moksa, or Huian, did homage to the Bodhisattva, who asked him what he had found out.
"As you instructed me, I went to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit," reported Huian, "asked them to open the
gates of the heaven−and−earth net, saw my father, and told him of the orders you had given me. His Majesty
my father said that they fought against the Monkey King yesterday but did not capture a single monkey
spirit−−only tigers, leopards, lions, elephants and so on. While he was telling me this the Monkey King
demanded battle again, so your disciple fought some fifty or sixty rounds against him with my iron staff, but I
was no match for him. He beat me, and drove me back to the camp. This is why my father has sent me and the
Strong−arm Devil King up to Heaven to ask for reinforcements." The Bodhisattva lowered her head in deep
The Jade Emperor opened the memorial and saw that it contained a request for help. "This intolerable monkey
spirit has enough tricks to fight off a hundred thousand heavenly soldiers," he observed with a smile.
"Heavenly King Li has asked for reinforcements. Which heavenly soldiers should I send him?"
Before the words were out of his mouth, Guanyin put her hands together and said, "Do not worry, You
Majesty. I can recommend a god to capture this monkey."
"Which god?" the Jade Emperor asked, and the Bodhisattva replied, "Your Majesty's nephew, the Illustrious
Sage and True Lord Erlang, who is now living at Guanjiangkou in Guanzhou, enjoying the incense that the
lower beings burn to him. In the past he exterminated the Six Bogies. He has the Brothers of Plum Hill and
the twelve hundred straw−headed gods, and his magical powers are enormous. He will agree to be sent though
he would not obey a summons to come here, so Your Majesty might like to issue a decree ordering him to
take his troops to the rescue." The Jade Emperor then issued such a decree and sent the Strong−arm Devil King to deliver it.
The devil king took the decree, mounted his cloud, and went straight to Guanjiangkou. He reached the temple
of the True Lord within an hour. When the demon judges guarding the gates went in to report that there was
an envoy from heaven standing outside with an imperial decree, Erlang went with the brothers to receive the
decree outside the gates, and incense was burned as he read.
The Great Sage Equaling Heaven, the monkey fiend of the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, has rebelled.
Because he stole peaches, wine and pills while in Heaven and wrecked the Peach Banquet, we have
despatched a hundred thousand heavenly soldiers and eighteen heaven−and−earth nets to surround the
mountain and force him to submit, but we have not yet succeeded. We do now therefore especially appoint
our worthy nephew and his sworn brothers to go to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit and give their help in
eliminating him. When you succeed, large rewards and high office shall be yours.
Erlang was delighted. He told the envoy from Heaven to go back and report that the would be putting his
sword to the Emperor's service. We need not describe how the devil king reported back to Heaven.
The True Lord Erlang called the six sworn brothers of Plum Hill−−Marshals Kang, Zhang, Yao, and Li, and
Generals Quo Shen and Zhi Jian−−together before the hall. "The Jade Emperor has just ordered us to the
Mountain of Flowers and Fruit to subdue a monkey fiend," he said. "You are all coming with me."
The brothers were all eager to go, and mustering their divine troops they unleashed a gale wind. In an instant
they had crossed the Eastern Ocean, riding eagles and leading dogs, pulling their bows and drawing their
crossbows, and had reached the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit.
Finding that the many layers of heaven−earth nets were impenetrable, Erlang shouted, "Listen, all you
generals in charge of the heaven−and−earth nets. I am the True Lord and the Illustrious Sage Erlang, and I
have been sent here by the Jade Emperor to capture the monkey fiend. Open the gates of the camp and let me
in at once." Each line of gods forming the nets let them through, and the four other Heavenly Kings and
Heavenly King Li all came to welcome him outside the headquarters. When the introductions were over he
asked how the fighting had gone, and the Heavenly Kings gave him a full account of what had happened.
"Now that I, the Little Sage, have come here I shall have to match a few transformations with him," said
Erlang with a smile. "I hope that all you gentlemen will maintain a close cordon with your heaven−and−earth
nets, but don't screen off the top of the mountain; then I'll be able to fight him. If he beats me I shan't need the
help of you gentlemen, as I have my brothers to support me; and if I beat him I won't have to trouble you to tie
him up as my brothers can do it. I would just like to ask Heavenly King Li to stand in the sky and operate this
fiend−detecting mirror. I'm worried that if he's beaten he may go and hide somewhere, so you will have to
give me a clear view of him and not let him get away." The Heavenly Kings stayed in the four quarters, and
all the heavenly soldiers were drawn up in their battle positions.
The True Lord Erlang went out at the head of the four marshals and the two generals−−making seven sworn
brothers with himself included−−to challenge the enemy to battle; and he ordered his other officers to defend
the camp firmly and keep the eagles and dogs under control. All the straw−headed gods acknowledged the
order. Erlang then went to the outside of the Water Curtain Cave, where he saw the monkey hordes neatly
drawn up in a coiled−dragon battle line; in the middle of the central corps stood a pole with a banner on it
reading "Great Sage Equaling Heaven."
"What business has that loathsome fiend to call himself the equal of Heaven?" Erlang asked; and the six
sworn brothers of Plum Hill replied, "Stop admiring him and challenge him to battle." When the junior
monkeys at the gate of their camp saw the True Lord Erlang they rushed back to report, whereupon the
Monkey King took his gold−banded cudgel, adjusted his golden armour, put on his cloud−walking shoes, felt
his golden helmet, and leapt out through the gates of the camp. He saw at first sight how cool and remarkable
Erlang looked, and how elegantly he was dressed. Indeed:
His bearing was refined, his visage noble,
His ears hung down to his shoulders, and his eyes shone.
The hat on his head had three peaks and phoenixes flying,
And his robe was of a pale goose−yellow.
His boots were lined with cloth of gold; dragons coiled round his socks;
His jade belt was decorated with the eight jewels,
At his waist was a bow, curved like the moon,
In his hand a double−edged trident.
His axe had split open Peach Mountain when he rescued his mother,
His bow had killed the twin phoenixes of Zongluo.
Widespread was his fame for killing the Eight Bogies,
And he had become one of Plum Hill's seven sages.
His heart was too lofty to acknowledge his relatives in Heaven;
In his pride he went back to be a god at Guanjiang.
He was the Merciful and Miraculous Sage of the red city,
Erlang, whose transformations were numberless.
When the Great Sage saw him he laughed with delight, raised his gold−banded cudgel, and shouted, "Where
are you from, little general, that you have the audacity to challenge me?"
"You must be blind, you wretch, if you can't recognize me. I am the nephew of the Jade Emperor, and my title
is Merciful and Miraculous King Erlang. I am here on imperial orders to arrest you, Protector of the Horses,
you rebel against Heaven, you reckless baboon."
"Now I remember who you are," replied the Great Sage. "Some years ago the Jade Emperor's younger sister
wanted to be mortal and came down to the lower world, where she married a Mr. Yang and gave birth to a
son, who split the Peach Mountain open with his axe. Is that who you are? I should really fling you a few
curses, but I've got no quarrel with you; and it would be a pity to kill you by hitting you with my cudgel. So
why don't you hurry back, young sir, and tell those four Heavenly Kings of yours to come out?"
When the True Lord Erlang heard this he burst out angrily, "Damned monkey! Where are your manners? Try
this blade of mine!" The Great Sage dodged the blow and instantly raised his gold−banded club to hit back.
There was a fine battle between the two of them:
The Merciful God Erlang,
The Great Sage Equaling Heaven:
One is the Handsome Monkey King, the proud deceiver of his enemies;
The other a true pillar, the unknown subduer.
When the two met
They were both in a fighting mood.
He who had no respect before
Today learned a sense of proportion.
The iron staff raced with the flying dragons,
The divine cudgel seemed like a dancing phoenix.
Parrying to the left, thrusting to the right,
Advancing to meet a blow, flashing behind.
The brothers of Plum Hill add to one side's might,
While the other has the four Stalwart Generals to transmit orders.
As the flags wave and the drums roll each side is as one;
Battle−cries and gongs raise everyone's morale.
The two steel blades each watch for their chance,
But neither leaves an opening as they come and go.
The gold−banded cudgel, the treasure from the sea,
Can fly and transform itself to win the victory.
A moment's delay and life is lost;
A single mistake will be the last.
After Erlang and the Great Sage had fought over three hundred rounds the outcome of the fight was still
undecided. Erlang braced, himself, and with a shake became ten thousand fathoms tall; in his hands his
two−bladed trident looked like the peaks of Mount Hua. His face was black, his fangs were long, and his hair
was bright red: he looked ferociously evil. He hacked at the Great Sage's head. The Great Sage, also resorting
to magic, gave himself a body as big as Erlang's and a face as frightening; and he raised his As−You−Will
gold−banded cudgel, which was now like the pillar of Heaven on the summit of the Kunlun Mountain, to
ward off Erlang's blow. This reduced the two ape field marshals Ma and Liu to such trembling terror that they
could no longer wave their banners, while the gibbon generals Seng and Ba were too scared to use their
swords. On the other side Kang, Zhang, Yao, Li, Guo Shen and Zhi Jian threw the straw−headed gods into an
assault on the Water Curtain Cave, with the dogs and eagles unleashed and their bows and crossbows drawn.
This attack put the four monkey generals to flight, and two or three thousand devils were captured. The
monkeys threw away their spears, tore off their armour, abandoned their swords and halberds, and fled
screaming. Some went up the mountain and some returned to the cave, like roosting birds frightened by an
owl, or stars scattered across the sky. That is all we have to say about the sworn brothers' victory.
The story goes on to tell how the True Lord Erlang and the Great Sage, having turned themselves into figures
on the scale of Heaven and Earth, were locked in battle when the Great Sage was suddenly appalled to notice
that the monkey fiends in his camp had scattered in terror. Putting off his magic appearance he broke away
and fled, his cudgel in his hand. Seeing him go, the True Lord Erlang hurried after him with long strides.
"Where are you going?" he asked. "If you surrender at once, your life will be spared." The Great Sage, who
had no heart left for the fight, was running as fast as he could. As he approached the mouth of the cave he
came up against Marshals Kang, Zhang, Yao and Li, as well as Generals Guo Shen and Zhi Jian, blocking his
way at the head of their armies.
"Where are you going, damned monkey?" they asked, and the Great Sage hastily squeezed his gold−banded
cudgel till it was the size of an embroidery needle and hid it in his ear. Then he shook himself, turned into a
sparrow, flew up into a tree, and perched on one of its branches.
The six sworn brothers looked for him very hard but could find him nowhere, so they all shouted in unison,
"The monkey fiend has escaped, the monkey fiend has escaped."
As they were shouting the True Lord Erlang arrived and asked them, "Brothers, where had you chased him to
when he disappeared?"
"We had him surrounded here just now, but he vanished." Erlang opened his phoenix eyes till they were quite
round and looked about him. He saw that the Great Sage had changed himself into a sparrow and was
perching on a branch; so he put off his magical appearance, threw down his divine trident, and took the pellet
bow from his waist. Then he shook himself, changed into a kite, spread his wings, and swooped in to attack.
As soon as the Great Sage saw this he took off and turned himself into a big cormorant, soaring up into the
sky. Erlang saw him, and with a quick shake of his feathers and a twist of his body he transformed himself
into a crane and pierced the clouds as he tried to catch him. The Great Sage landed on a mountain stream and,
changing into a fish, plunged into the water. Erlang, who had pursued him to the bank of the stream, could see
no trace of him.
"That macaque must have gone into the water and changed himself into some kind of fish or shrimp," he
thought. "I'll transform myself again, then I'll get him." He turned into a fish−hawk and soared above the
lower reaches of the stream and the first waves of the sea. He waited there for a time. Meanwhile the Great
Sage, who was in the form of a fish, swam with the stream until he noticed a bird flying above him. It was
quite like a blue kite, except that its feathers were not blue; it was quite like an egret, but it had no crest on its
head; and it was quite like a stork, but its legs were not red.
"That must be what Erlang turned himself into while waiting for me," he thought, turned round quickly, and
"The fish who turned round," thought Erlang when he saw this, "is like a carp but its tail isn't red; it's like a
mandarin fish, but I can't see the pattern on its scales; it's like a snakehead, but without a star on its head; and
like a bream, but it has no needles on its gills. Why did it turn round the moment it saw me? It must be that
monkey transformed." He swooped down and snapped at the Great Sage with his beak. The Great Sage leapt
out of the water, turned into a water−snake, swam to the bank, and slid into the grass. Failing to catch the fish
in his beak, Erlang saw a snake jump out of the water and realized it was the Great Sage. He changed himself
at once into a red−crested grey crane, and stretched out his long beak that was like a pair of pointed pincers to
eat up the water−snake. The snake gave a jump and became a bustard standing stiffly on a
smartweed−covered bank. When Erlang saw that he had turned himself into so low a creature−−for the
bustard is the lowest and lewdest of birds, not caring whether it mates with phoenix, eagle or crow−−he kept
his distance, reverted to his own body, went away to fetch and load his pellet bow, and knocked him flying
with a single shot.
The Great Sage seized the chance as he rolled down the precipice to crouch there and turn himself into a
temple to a local god. He opened his mouth wide to look like the entrance to the temple and turned his teeth
into the doors; he made his tongue into a statue of a god and his eyes into windows and lattice. He could not
tuck his tail away, so he stuck it up behind him as a flagpole. When Erlang came to the foot of the precipice
he could not see the bustard he had shot over, and anxiously opening his phoenix eyes he looked carefully
around and saw a temple with its flagpole at the back.
"It must be that monkey over there," he observed with a smile. "He's trying to fool me again. I've seen temples
before, but never one with the flagpole at the back. I'm sure it is that beast up to his tricks again. If he'd
managed to lure me in, he'd have been able to get me with a single bite. Of course I won't go in. I'll smash his
windows in with my fist, then I'll kick his door down."
"Vicious, really vicious," thought the Great Sage with horror when he heard him say this. "Those doors are
my teeth, and the windows are my eyes; and if he smashes my teeth and bashes in my eyes, what sort of a
state will that leave me in?" With a tiger leap he disappeared into the sky.
The True Lord Erlang rushed around wildly, but he could only see his six sworn brothers, who crowded round
him and asked, "Elder brother, did you catch the Great Sage?"
"That monkey turned himself into a temple to fool me," he replied with a laugh. "Just when I was going to
smash his windows and kick in his door he gave a jump and vanished without a trace. Strange, very strange."
They were all astonished, and though they looked all around they could see no sign of him.
"Brothers, you patrol this area while I go to look for him above," said Erlang, and with a quick jump he was
riding a cloud in mid−air.
When he saw Heavenly King Li holding high the fiend−detecting mirror and standing with Nezha at the edge
of a cloud, the True Lord asked, "Your Heavenly Majesty, have you seen that Monkey King?"
"He hasn't come up here−−I've been keeping a lookout for him with this mirror," the Heavenly King replied.
The True Lord Erlang then told him how he had used transformations and magic to capture the monkey
"He changed into a temple," Erlang went on, "but got away just when I was going to hit him." On hearing this,
Heavenly King Li turned the fiend−detecting mirror in all four directions, then said with a laugh, "Hurry
away, True Lord, hurry away. The monkey made himself invisible to get through the encirclement, and he's
gone to your place, Guanjiangkou." Erlang took his divine trident and returned to Guanjiangkou in pursuit.
The Great Sage had already arrived there, changed himself into the likeness of the god Erlang with a shake of
his body, put away his cloud, and gone into the temple. The demon judges did not realize who he really was,
so they all kowtowed to welcome him. He took his seat in the middle of the temple, and inspected the
offerings: the beef, mutton and pork presented by one Li Hu, the ex−voto promised by a Zhang Long, the
letter from a Zhao Jia asking for a son, and one Qian Bing's prayer for recovery from illness. As he was
looking round it was announced that another Lord Erlang had arrived. All the demon judges hurried to look,
and they were all astonished.
The True Lord Erlang asked, "Has a so−called Great Sage Equaling Heaven been here?"
"We haven't seen any Great Sages," they replied, "only another god who's looking around inside."
The True Lord rushed in through the gates, and as soon as the Great Sage saw him he reverted to his own
appearance and said, "There's no point in shouting, sir. This temple's mine now."
The True Lord raised his double−bladed trident and swung at the Monkey King's head, but the Monkey King
dodged the blow by magic, took his embroidery needle, shook it till it was as thick as a bowl, and rushed
forward to meet the attack. Shouting and yelling, they fought their way out through the gates, and went on
fighting through the mists and clouds all the way back to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. The Four
Heavenly Kings and all their soldiers were so alarmed that they kept an even tighter guard. Marshals Kang
and Zhang and the others came to meet the True Lord, and combined their efforts to surround the Handsome
Monkey King. But of this no more for now.
After the Strong−arm Demon King had sent the True Lord Erlang and his six sworn brothers with their troops
to capture the fiend, he had gone back to Heaven to report. He found the Jade Emperor, the Bodhisattva
Guanyin, the Queen Mother and all his immortal ministers in conference.
"Although Erlang has joined the fight, we have had no reports on it all day," the Jade Emperor said.
Guanyin put her hands together and replied, "May I suggest that Your Majesty go out through the Southern
Gate of Heaven with Lord Lao Zi to see for yourself what is happening."
"A good idea," said the Emperor, and he went by chariot with Lao Zi, the Queen Mother, and all the immortal
ministers to the Southern Gate of Heaven. Here they were met by a number of heavenly soldiers and
strongmen. When the gates were opened and they looked into the distance they saw that the heavenly hosts
were spread all around in a net; Heavenly King Li and Nezha were standing in mid−air with the
fiend−detecting mirror, and Erlang was struggling with the Great Sage within the encircling ring.
The Bodhisattva addressed Lao Zi and asked, "What do you think of the god Erlang I recommended? He
really does have divine powers. He's just got that Great Sage cornered, and all he has to do now is to catch
him. If I give him a little help now he will certainly be able to do it."
"What weapon would you use, Bodhisattva? How could you help him?" Lao Zi asked.
"I'll drop that pure vase of willow twigs on the monkey's head. Even if it doesn't kill him it will knock him off
balance and enable the Little Sage to catch him."
"That vase of yours is made of porcelain," Lao Zi replied, "and if you hit the target that will be fine. But if it
were to miss his head and smash into his iron club, it would be shattered. Just hold your hand while I give him
a little help."
"What sort of weapon do you have?" the Bodhisattva asked, and Lord Lao Zi replied, "I've got one all right."
He pulled up his sleeve and took a bracelet off his right arm.
"This weapon," he said, "is made of tempered steel to which I have added the magic elixir. It preserves my
miraculous essence, can transform itself, is proof against fire and water, and can snare anything. One of its
names is Diamond Jade and the other is Diamond Noose. When I went out through the Han Pass some years
ago to turn into a foreigner and become a Buddha, I have a great deal to thank it for. It's the best protection at
any time. Just watch while I throw it down and hit him."
As soon as he had finished speaking he threw it down from outside the heavenly gate, and it fell into the camp
on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, hitting the Monkey King neatly on the head. The Monkey King was too
preoccupied with fighting the seven sages to notice this weapon falling on him from heaven, and when it
struck him on the forehead he lost his balance and stumbled, then picked himself up and started to run. The
slim dog of the god Erlang caught him up and bit him in the calf, bringing him down again. As he lay on the
ground he cursed at the dog.
"You don't bother your own master, damn you; why pick on me to bite?" He rolled over and tried
unsuccessfully to get up, but the seven sages all held him down, roped him up, and put a sickle−shaped blade
round his collar−bone to prevent him from making any more transformations.
Lord Lao Zi then recovered his Diamond Jade and invited the Jade Emperor, Guanyin, the Queen Mother, and
all the immortal ministers to return to the Hall of Miraculous Mist. Down below, Heavenly King Li and the
four other Heavenly Kings assembled their troops and pulled up the stockade. They went over to congratulate
the Little Sage and said, "It was all thanks to you, Little Sage."
"No, it was thanks to the great blessings of His Celestial Majesty and the might of all the gods−−it was
nothing I did," replied the Little Sage.
"No time to talk now, elder brother," said the four marshals Kang, Zhang, Yao, and Li. "Let's take this wretch
up to Heaven to see the Jade Emperor and ask what is to be done with him."
"Worthy brothers," Erlang replied, "you never received any heavenly commission, so it would not be right for
you to see the Jade Emperor. The heavenly soldiers can escort him while I go up there with the Heavenly
Kings to report back. You should comb this mountain with your troops, and when you've finished go back to
Guanjiangkou. When I've asked for our rewards, I'll come back and we can celebrate together." The four
marshals and the two generals accepted their orders, and the rest mounted their clouds and went to Heaven
triumphantly singing victory songs. Before long they were outside the Hall of Universal Brightness. The
heavenly teachers reported to the throne that the Four Great Heavenly Kings and the rest of them had captured
the monkey devil, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, and were now waiting to be summoned. The Jade
Emperor then issued an edict ordering the Strong−arm Demon King and the heavenly soldiers to march him to
the Demon−beheading Tower, where the wretch was to have his body chopped to mincemeat. Goodness!
The bully and cheat now meets with a bitter punishment,
The heroic spirit must now come to an end.
If you don't know what happened to the Monkey King's life, then listen to the explanation in the next
01-01-2009, 03:03 PM
JOURNEY TO THE WEST PART 7 OF 100
The Great Sage Escapes from the Eight Trigrams Furnace
The Mind−Ape Is Fixed Beneath Five Elements Mountain
Wealth and honour, glory and fame,
Are predetermined by fate:
No one should act against conscience to covet any of them.
Far−going and deep
Are the good results of true enlightenment and loyalty.
Heaven punishes all wild and wicked deeds
If not at once then later on.
Ask the Lord of the East the reason why
Disasters now strike him.
It is because his ambition was high, his plans far−reaching,
He did not respect authority, and he smashed convention.
The story goes on to tell how the Great Sage Equaling Heaven was escorted by the hosts of heavenly soldiers
to the Demon−beheading Tower and tied to the Demon−subduing Pillar. They hacked at him with sabres,
sliced at him with axes, lunged at him with spears and cut at him with swords, but they were unable to inflict a
single wound on him. The Southern Dipper angrily ordered all the gods of the Department of Fire to set him
alight and burn him up, but he would not ignite. He told the gods of the Department of Thunder to nail
splinters of thunder into him, but however hard they tried they could not harm a hair of his body. The
Strong−arm Demon King and the rest of them then reported this to the throne.
"Your Majesty," they said, "this Great Sage has learned somewhere or other how to protect himself by magic.
Although your subjects have hacked at him with sabres, sliced at him with axes, struck at him with thunder
and tried to burn him with fire, we have not been able to harm a hair of his body. What are we to do?"
"How can we deal with a wretch like this?" the Jade Emperor asked, and the Lord Lao Zi replied to this in a
memorial: "That monkey has eaten the peaches of immortality, drunk the imperial liquor, and stolen the pills
of elixir. He swallowed those five gourds of pills of mine, fresh ones and mature ones alike. Now we have
used the fire of samadhi on him, which has tempered his body and made it a diamond one that cannot be
harmed. The best course would be to let me take him and put him in my Eight Trigrams Furnace, where I can
refine out my elixir with the civil and martial fire and reduce him to ashes at the same time. The Jade Emperor
then ordered the Six Dings and the Six Jias to untie him and hand him over to the Lord Lao Zi, who took him
away in obedience to the imperial decree. At the same time the Jade Emperor summoned the Illustrious Sage
Erlang to his presence and rewarded him with a hundred golden flowers, a hundred jars of imperial liquor, a
hundred pills of elixir, rare jewels, lustrous pearls, brocade, embroidery, and other gifts to share with his
sworn brothers. The True Lord Erlang thanked him for his bounty and returned to Guanjiangkou.
When he reached the Tushita Palace, Lord Lao Zi had the Great Sage untied, took the hook from his
collar−bone, pushed him into the Eight Trigrams Furnace, and ordered the priests in charge of it and the
fire−boys to fan the fire up to refine him. Now this furnace was made up of the Eight Trigrams−−Qian, Kan,
Gen, Zhen, Sun, Li, Kun, and Dui−−so he squeezed himself into the "Palace of Sun," as Sun was the wind,
and where there was wind there could be no fire. All that happened was that the wind stirred up the smoke,
which made both his eyes red and left him somewhat blind with the illness called "fire eyes with golden
Time soon passed, and without him realizing it the seven times seven, or forty−nine, days had passed, and
Lord Lao Zi's fire had reached the required temperature and burned for long enough. One day the furnace was
opened for the elixir to be taken out. The Great Sage, who was shielding his eyes with both hands and wiping
away his tears, heard a noise at the top of the furnace. He looked hard and saw daylight; and, unable to stand
being in there a moment longer, leapt out of the furnace, kicked it over with a crash, and was off. In the
ensuing chaos the fire−boys, the keepers of the furnace, the Dings and the Jias all tried to grab him, but he
knocked them all down. He was like a white−browed tiger gone berserk, a single−horned dragon raving mad.
Lord Lao Zi rushed up to seize him, but was thrown head over heels as the Great Sage freed himself. He took
the As−You−Will cudgel from his ear, and shook it in the wind till it was thick as a bowl, and once more
created total chaos in the Palace of Heaven, not caring in the least what he did. He laid about him to such
effect that the Nine Bright Shiners shut their windows and doors, and not a sign was to be seen of the Four
Marvellous monkey spirit! As the poem has it,
His primordial body matches an earlier heaven,
Completely natural throughout ten thousand ages;
Vast and passive, blended with the Great Monad;
Always immobile, known as the Prime Mystery.
After so much refining in the furnace he is not lead or mercury;
Having lived long outside the ordinary he is a natural Immortal.
His changes are inexhaustible, and still he has more,
So say nothing about the Three Refuges or Five Abstentions.
Another poem says:
A single point of magic light can fill the whole of space;
Likewise that staff of his:
Longer or shorter, depending on his needs,
Upright or horizontal, it can shrink or grow.
Yet another poem runs:
To the ape's immortal body is matched a human mind:
That the mind is an ape is deeply meaningful.
It was quite true that the Great Sage equaled Heaven:
The appointment as Protector of the Horse showed no discernment.
Horse and ape together make mind and thought;
Bind them tightly together, and do not seek elsewhere.
When all phenomena are reduced to truth they follow a single pattern;
Like the Tathagatha reaching nirvana under the two trees.
This time the Monkey King made no distinctions between high and humble as he laid about him to East and
West with his iron club. Not a single god opposed him. He fought his way into the Hall of Universal
Brightness outside the Hall of Miraculous Mist, where the Kingly Spirit Officer, the lieutenant of the Helpful
Sage and True Lord, fortunately was on duty. When he saw the Great Sage charging around he took up his
golden mace and went forward to resist him.
"Where are you going, damned monkey?" he asked. "If you go wild you'll have me to deal with." The Great
Sage was not in a position to argue with him, so he raised his cudgel to strike him. The Spirit Officer lifted his
mace and advanced to meet him. It was a fine fight:
Great was the fame of the brave and loyal officer,
Evil the name of the rebel who bullied Heaven.
The low one and the good one were well matched;
Valiant heroes fighting each other.
Vicious the iron cudgel,
Quick the golden mace.
Both were straight, merciless, and terrible.
One of them is a deity formed from the Great Monad's thunder;
The other is the monkey spirit, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven.
With golden mace or iron cudgel each is a master;
Both are weapons from the palaces of the gods.
Today they show their might in the Hall of Miraculous Mist,
A wonderful display of courage and skill.
One in his folly wanting to capture the Palace of the Dipper and the Bull,
The other exerting all his strength to support the world of the gods.
The fight is too hard to allow the use of magic,
As mace and cudgel struggle without result.
As they fought together without either of them emerging as victor, the True Lord sent an officer with a
message to the Thunder Palace ordering the thirty−six thunder generals to surround the Great Sage. Although
they all fought with the utmost ferocity, the Great Sage was not in the least frightened, and parried and
blocked to left and right with his As−You−Will cudgel, resisting his opponents in front and behind. Before
long he found that the pressure was too great from the sabres, spears, swords, halberds, clubs, maces,
claws−and−ropes, hammer, pole−axes, battle−axes, grabs, pennoned hooks, and moon−shaped bills of the
thunder generals; so he shook himself and grew three heads and six arms. Then he shook his As−You−Will
cudgel and changed it into three cudgels, and wielding the three cudgels in his six hands he flew round and
round inside the encirclement like a spinning wheel. None of the thunder generals could get anywhere near him. Indeed,
How can men learn to live for ever?
He can enter fire without being burned,
And go in the water but not be drowned.
He is as bright as a Mani pearl,
Swords and spears cannot harm him.
He is capable of good,
And capable of evil:
When faced with the choice between good and evil he might do either.
If he is good he becomes a Buddha or an Immortal,
If bad, he grows fur and horns.
With his boundless transformations he wrecked the Heavenly palace,
Nor can thunder generals and divine troops take him.
Although the gods had the Great Sage cornered, they were unable to get near him. The noise of the shouting
and the fighting had already alarmed the Jade Emperor, who ordered the Miracle Official Youyi to go to the
West with the Helpful Sage and True Lord and ask the Buddha to subdue him.
When these two sages received the order they went to the wonderful land of the Miraculous Mountain, where
they offered their greetings to the Four Vajrapanis and Eight Bodhisattvas before the Thunder Monastery and
asked them to pass on their massage. The gods went to the foot of the lotus seat to inform the Tathagata, who
invited the two sages to his presence. When the sages had performed the threefold obeisance to the Buddha
they stood in attendance below the throne.
"Why has the Jade Emperor troubled you two sages to come here?" asked the Buddha.
"A monkey," they reported, "who was born on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, has used his magic powers
to unite all the monkeys and throw the world into confusion. The Jade Emperor sent down an edict of amnesty
and appointed him Protector of the Horses, but this was not good enough for him, so he left Heaven again.
When heavenly King Li and Prince Nezha were unsuccessful in their attempt to capture him the Jade Emperor
sent down another amnesty with his appointment as a 'Great Sage Equaling Heaven'. At first this appointment was purely nominal, but later he was told to look after the Peach Orchard. But he stole the peaches and then
went to the Jade Pool where he stole the delicacies and the liquor and wrecked the banquet. In his drunkenness
he staggered into the Tushita Palace, stole Lord Lao Zi's pills of immortality, and left Heaven again. The Jade
Emperor sent a hundred thousand heavenly troops, but they were still unable to subdue him. Then Guanyin
recommended the True Lord Erlang and his sworn brothers to go after the monkey, and he used many a
transformation until he was finally able to capture the monkey after the Lord Lao Zi hit him with his Diamond
Jade. The monkey was then taken to the imperial presence, and the order for his execution was given. But
although he was hacked at with sabres, chopped at with axes, burned with fire, and struck with thunder, none
of this did him any damage; so Lord Lao Zi requested permission to take him away and refine him with fire.
But when the cauldron was opened after forty−nine days he jumped out of the Eight Trigrams Furnace, routed
the heavenly troops, and went straight to the Hall of Universal Brightness in front of the Hall of Miraculous
Mist. Here he has been stopped and engaged in fierce combat by the Kingly Spirit Officer, the lieutenant of
the Helpful Sage and True Lord Erlang, thunder generals have been sent there to encircle him; but no one has
been able to get close to him. In this crisis the Jade Emperor makes a special appeal to you, the Tathagata, to
save his throne."
On hearing this the Tathagata said to the assembled Bodhisattvas, "You stay here quietly in this dharma hall
and behave yourselves in your seats of meditation while I go to deal with the demon and save the throne."
Telling the Venerable Ananda and the Venerable Kasyapa to accompany him, the Tathagata left the Thunder
Monastery and went straight to the gate of the Hall of Miraculous Mist, where his ears were shaken by the
sound of shouting as the thirty−six thunder generals surrounded the Great Sage. The Buddha issued a decree
that ran: "Tell the thunder generals to stop fighting, open up their camp, and call on that Great Sage to come
out, so that I may ask him what divine powers he has."
The generals then withdrew, whereupon the Great Sage put away his magic appearance and came forward in
his own body. He was in a raging temper as he asked, "Where are you from? You are a good man. You've got
nerve, stopping the fighting and questioning me!"
"I am the Venerable Sakyamuni from the Western Land of Perfect Bliss," replied the Buddha with a smile. "I
have heard of your wild and boorish behavior, and of your repeated rebellions against Heaven, and I would
like to know where you were born, when you found the Way, and why you have been so ferocious."
"I am," the Great Sage said,
"A miracle−working Immortal born of Heaven and Earth,
An old ape from the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit.
My home is in the Water Curtain Cave,
I sought friends and teachers, and became aware of the Great Mystery.
"I have practiced many a method for obtaining eternal life,
Infinite are the transformations I have learned.
That is why I found the mortal world too cramped,
And decided to live in the Jade Heaven.
"None can reign forever in the Hall of Miraculous Mist;
Kings throughout history have had to pass on their power.
The strong should be honoured−−he should give way to me:
This is the only reason I wage my heroic fight."
The Buddha laughed mockingly.
"You wretch! You are only a monkey spirit and you have the effrontery to want to grab the throne of the Jade
Emperor. He has trained himself since childhood, and suffered hardship for one thousand, seven hundred and
fifty kalpas. Each kalpa is 129,600 years, so you can work out for yourself how long it has taken him to be
able to enjoy this great and infinite Way. But you are a beast who has only just become a man for the first
time. How dare you talk so big? You're not human, not even human! I'll shorten your life−span. Accept my
teaching at once and stop talking such nonsense! Otherwise you'll be in for trouble and your life will very
shortly be over; and that will be so much the worse for your original form too."
"Although he has trained himself for a long time, ever since he was a child, he still has no right to occupy this
place for ever," the Great Sage said. "As the saying goes, 'Emperors are made by turn; next year it may be me.'
If he can be persuaded to move out and make Heaven over to me, that'll be fine. But if he doesn't abdicate in
my favour I'll most certainly make things hot for him, and he'll never know peace and quiet again."
"What have you got, besides immortality and the ability to transform yourself, that gives you the nerve to try
to seize the Heavenly Palace?" the Buddha asked.
"I can do many tricks indeed," the Great Sage replied. "I can perform seventy−two transformations, and I can
preserve my youth for ten thousand kalpas. I can ride a somersault cloud that takes me thirty−six thousand
miles at a single jump. So why shouldn't I sit on the throne of Heaven?"
"I'll have a wager with you then," said the Buddha. "If you're clever enough to get out of my right hand with a
single somersault, you will be the winner, and there will be no more need for weapons or fighting: I shall
invite the Jade Emperor to come and live in the West and abdicate the Heavenly Palace to you. But if you
can't get out of the palm of my hand you will have to go down to the world below as a devil and train yourself
for several more kalpas before coming to argue about it again."
When he heard this offer the Great Sage smiled to himself and thought, "This Buddha is a complete idiot. I
can cover thirty−six thousand miles with a somersault, so how could I fail to jump out of the palm of his hand,
which is less than a foot across?"
With this in his mind he asked eagerly, "Do you guarantee that yourself?"
"Yes, yes," the Buddha replied, and he stretched out his right hand, which seemed to be about the size of a
lotus leaf. Putting away his As−You−Will cudgel, the Great Sage summoned up all his divine powers, jumped
into the palm of the Buddha's hand, and said, "I'm off." Watch him as he goes like a streak of light and
disappears completely. The Buddha, who was watching him with his wise eyes, saw the Monkey King
whirling forward like a windmill and not stopping until he saw five flesh−pink pillars topped by dark vapours.
"This is the end of the road," he said, "so now I'll go back. The Buddha will be witness, and the Hall of
Miraculous Mist will be mine." Then he thought again, "Wait a moment. I'll leave my mark here to prove my
case when I talk to the Buddha." He pulled out a hair, breathed on it with his magic breath, and shouted
"Change." It turned into a writing brush dipped in ink, and with it he wrote THE GREAT SAGE EQUALING
HEAVEN WAS HERE in big letters on the middle pillar. When that was done he put the hair back on, and,
not standing on his dignity, made a pool of monkey piss at the foot of the pillar. Then he turned his somersault
round and went back to where he had started from.
"I went, and now I'm back. Tell the Jade Emperor to hand the Heavenly Palace over to me," he said, standing
in the Buddha's palm.
"I've got you, you piss−spirit of a monkey," roared the Buddha at him. "You never left the palm of my hand."
"You're wrong there," the Great Sage replied. "I went to the farthest point of Heaven, where I saw five
flesh−pink pillars topped by dark vapours. I left my mark there: do you dare come and see it with me?"
"There's no need to go. Just look down." The Great Sage looked down with his fire eyes with golden pupils to
see the words "The Great Sage Equaling Heaven Was Here" written on the middle finger of the Buddha's right
hand. The stink of monkey−piss rose from the fold at the bottom of the finger.
"What a thing to happen," exclaimed the Great Sage in astonishment. "I wrote this on one of the pillars
supporting the sky, so how can it be on his finger now? He must have used divination to know what I was
going to do. I don't believe it. I refuse to believe it! I'll go there and come back again."
The dear Great Sage hurriedly braced himself to jump, but the Buddha turned his hand over and pushed the
Monkey King out through the Western Gate of Heaven. He turned his five fingers into a mountain chain
belonging to the elements Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth, renamed them the Five Elements Mountain,
and gently held him down.
All the thunder gods and the disciples Ananda and Kasyapa put their hands together to praise the Buddha:
An egg learned to be a man,
Cultivated his conduct, and achieved the Way.
Heaven had been undisturbed for the thousand kalpas,
Until one day the spirits and gods were scattered.
"The rebel against Heaven, wanting high position,
Insulted Immortals, stole the pills, and destroyed morality.
Today his terrible sins are being punished,
Who knows when he will be able to rise again?"
When he had eliminated the monkey fiend the Buddha told Ananda and Kasyapa to return with him to the
Western paradise. At that moment Tian Peng and Tian You hurried out of the Hall of Miraculous Mist to say,
"We beg the Tathagata to wait a moment as the Jade Emperor's chariot is coming."
The Buddha turned round and looked up, and an instant later he saw an eight−splendour imperial chariot and a
nine−shining jeweled canopy appear to the sound of strange and exquisite music, and the chanting of
countless sacred verses. Precious flowers were scattered and incense was burned.
The Jade Emperor went straight up to the Buddha and said, "We are deeply indebted to the great Buddha's
powers for wiping out the demon, and we hope that the Tathagata will spend a day here so that we may invite
all the Immortals to a feast of thanksgiving."
The Buddha did not dare refuse, so putting his hands together he replied, "This old monk only came here in
obedience to Your Celestial Majesty's command. What magic powers can I pretend to? This was all due to the
wonderful good fortune of Your Celestial Majesty and the other gods. How could I possibly allow you to
The Jade Emperor then ordered all the gods of the Department of Thunder to split up and invite the Three
Pure Ones, the Four Emperors, the Five Ancients, the Six Superintendents, the Seven Main Stars, the Eight
Points of the Compass, the Nine Bright Shiners, the Ten Chiefs, the Thousand Immortals, and the Ten
Thousand Sages to a banquet to thank the Buddha for his mercy. Then he ordered the Four Great Heavenly
Teachers and the Nine Heavenly Maidens to open the golden gates of the jade capital, and Palace of the Great
Mystery, and the Tong Yang Jade Palace, invite the Tathagata to take his seat on the Throne of the Seven
Precious Things, arrange the places for all the different groups of guests, and set out the dragon liver, phoenix
bone−marrow, jade liquor, and magic peaches.
Before long the Original Celestial Jade Pure One, the High Celestial Precious Pure One, the Heavenly
Celestial Pure One of the Way, the True Lords of the Five Humors, the Star Lords of the Five Constellations,
the Three Officers, the Four Sages, the Left Assistant, the Right Support, the Heavenly Kings, Nezha, and the
whole of space responded to the invitations that had been sent out magically. Their standards and canopies
came two by two as they brought shining pearls, rare jewels, fruit of longevity, and exotic flowers, and
presented them to the Buddha with bows.
"We thank the Tathagata for subduing the monkey fiend with his infinite powers. His Celestial Majesty has
asked us all to come to his banquet to express our thanks. We beg the Tathagata to give this banquet a title."
The Buddha accepted this commission and said, "Since you want a name for it, we could call it the 'Banquet
to Celebrate Peace in Heaven.'"
"Splendid, 'Banquet to Celebrate Peace in Heaven,' splendid," exclaimed all the Immortals with one voice, and
then they all sat down in their places, put flowers in their hair, and played the lyre. It was indeed a splendid
banquet, and here are some verses to prove it:
The Banquet to Celebrate Peace in Heaven far surpasses
The Banquet of Peaches that the monkey wrecked.
Radiance shines from dragon flags and imperial chariots;
Auspicious vapours float above streamers and symbols of office.
Melodious the fairy music and mysterious songs;
Loud sound the tones of phoenix flute and pipe of jade
The rarest of perfumes waft around the Immortals, assembled calm in the sky.
To congratulate the court on Pacifying the Universe.
When the Immortals were all enjoying the feast the Queen Mother and a group of fairies, immortal beauties,
and houris, floated through the air as they danced towards the Buddha, and after paying her respects the
Queen Mother said, "My Peach Banquet was ruined by that monkey fiend, and this Banquet to Celebrate
Peace in Heaven is being given because the Tathagata has used his great powers to chain down the evil
monkey. Having nothing else with which to express my gratitude, I have picked a number of peaches of
immortality with my own pure hands as an offering." They were
Half red, half green, sweet−smelling beauties
Growing every ten thousand years from immortal roots.
The peaches of Wulingyuan seem laughable:
How can they compare with those of Heaven?
Purple−veined and tender, rare even in the sky,
Yellow−stoned, and matchless on earth for their sweetness.
They are able to adapt the body and make it live for ever;
Those lucky enough to eat them are no ordinary beings.
The Buddha put his hands together to thank the Queen Mother, who instructed the fairies and houris to sing
and dance again, and their performance met with the praises of the whole assembly. Indeed:
Misty heavenly incense filled the room;
A chaos of heavenly petals and flowers.
Great is the splendour of the jade city and golden gates,
Priceless the strange treasures and rare jewels.
Two by two, coeval with Heaven,
Pair by pair, outliving ten thousand kalpas:
Even if land and sea changed places
They would not be astonished or alarmed.
Soon after the Queen Mother had ordered the fairies and houris to sing and dance, and when wine cups and
chopsticks were weaving to and fro, suddenly
A strange scent reached their noses,
Startling the stars and constellations in the hall.
Immortals and the Buddha put down their cups,
Each of them raising their heads to look.
An old man appeared in the middle of the Milky Way
Holding a sacred mushroom.
His gourd contains ten−thousand−year elixir.
On the sacred rolls his name is written Eternal Life.
In his cave Heaven and Earth are free.
In his bottle Sun and Moon were created.
As he wanders around the Four Seas in pure idleness
Taking his ease in the Ten Continents, enjoying the bustle.
When he went to Peach Banquets he often got drunk
But when he came round, the moon was as bright as ever.
A long head, big ears and a short body,
Known as Longevity from the Southern Pole.
The Star of Longevity had arrived. When he had made his greetings to the Jade Emperor and the Buddha he
made a speech of thanks.
"When I heard that the monkey fiend had been taken by the Lord Lao Zi to his Tushita palace to be refined I
thought that this was bound to restore peace," he said, "and I never expected he would rebel again. Happily
the demon was quelled by the Tathagata, and so when I heard that this feast was being given to thank him I
came at once. As I have nothing else to offer I have brought with me purple magic mushrooms, jasper herbs,
greenish jade lotus−root, and golden pills of immortality: these I humbly present." The poem says
Offering the jade louts−root and golden pills to Sakyamuni,
To give him as many years as the grains of sand of the Ganges.
Peace and eternal joy decorate the Three Vehicles;
Prosperity and eternal life make the nine grades of immortals glorious.
Within the gate of No−Phenomena the true Law rules;
Above the Heaven of Nothingness is his immortal home.
Heaven and Earth both call him their ancestor,
His golden body provides blessings and long life.
The Buddha happily accepted his thanks, and after the Star of Longevity had taken his place the wine−cups
started to circulate once more. Then the Bare−foot Immortal appeared, kowtowed to the Jade Emperor, and thanked the Buddha.
"I am deeply grateful to you for subduing the monkey fiend with your divine powers. As I have nothing else
with which to express my respect, I offer you two magic pears and a number of fire−dates."
Sweet are the Bare−foot Immortal's pears and dates,
And long will be the life of the Buddha to whom they are offered.
The lotus seat of the seven treasures is as firm as a mountain,
His thousand−golden−flower throne is as gorgeous as brocade.
Coeval with Heaven and Earth−−this is no lie;
It is true that his blessings are greater than a flood.
His Western Paradise of leisure and bliss
Truly provides all the long life and blessings one could hope.
The Buddha thanked him too, and telling Ananda and Kasyapa to collect together all the offerings he went
over to the Jade Emperor to thank him for the banquet. When all the guests were thoroughly drunk the
Miraculous Patrolling Officer reported that the Great Sage had poked his head out.
"It doesn't matter," the Buddha said, producing from his sleeve a strip of paper on which were written the
golden words Om mani padme hum. He gave this piece of paper to Ananda and told him to stick it on the
summit of the mountains. The Venerable Ananda took it through the gates of Heaven and pasted it firmly to a
square boulder on the top of the Five Elements Mountain. When this was done the mountain sank roots and
joined up all its seams. The Monkey King was still able to breathe and he could still stick his hands out and
move them. Ananda went back to Heaven and reported that he had pasted the paper in place.
The Buddha then took his leave of the Jade Emperor and all the other deities. When he and his two disciples
had gone out through the gates of Heaven his merciful heart moved him to chant a spell ordering a local
tutelary god and the Revealers of the Truth of the Five Regions to live on the mountain and keep guard over
him. When he was hungry they were to feed him iron pellets, and when he was thirsty they were to give him
molten copper to drink. When the time of his punishment was over, someone would come and rescue him.
The monkey fiend was bold enough to rebel against Heaven,
But was subdued by the Tathagata's hand.
He endures the months and years, drinking molten copper for his thirst,
And blunts his hunger on iron pellets, serving his time.
Suffering the blows of Heaven, he undergoes torment,
Yet even in the bleakest time a happy fate awaits.
If some hero is ready to struggle for him,
One year he will go to the West in the service of the Buddha.
Another poem goes:
His great power grew as he humbled the mighty,
He used his wicked talents to subdue tigers and dragons.
He stole the peaches and wine as he wandered round Heaven,
Was graciously given office in the Jade Capital.
When his wickedness went too far his body suffered,
But his roots of goodness were not severed, and his breath still rose.
He will escape from the hand of the Buddha,
And wait till the Tang produces a saintly monk.
It you don't know in what month of what year his sufferings ended, listen to the explanation in the next
So it was that the Monkey King Wukong was trapped in the 5-finger mountain but still all is not lost for him and one day a Tang monk will come and free him.
And oh its not over yet! Theres still 97 chapters left!
01-03-2009, 05:34 AM
JOURNEY TO THE WEST PART 8 OF 100
Our Buddha Creates the Scriptures and Passes on Perfect Bliss
Guanyin Obeys a Decree and Goes to Chang'an
If you try to ask about the dhyana
Or investigate the innumerable
You will waste your life and achieve nothing.
Polishing bricks to make mirrors,
Or piling up snow to turn it into grain−−
However many years have you wasted like that?
A hair can contain an ocean,
A mustard−seed can hold a mountain,
And the golden Kasyapa only smiles.
When you are awakened you will surpass the Ten Stages and the Three Vehicles,
And stop the four kinds of birth and the six types of reincarnation.
Who has ever heard, before the cliff of thoughts extinguished,
Under the tree that has no shadow,
The sound of the cuckoo in a spring dawn?
The path by the Cao Stream is dangerous,
The Vulture Peak is high in the clouds:
Here the voice of the ancients was a mystery.
On a cliff ten thousand feet high
Five−leaved lotuses bloom
As scent coils round the shutters of the old palace.
At that time
Your knowledge smashes all the currents of thought;
The Dragon King and the Three Treasures can be seen.
This lyric poem is set to the tune Su Wu Man. Our story goes on to how our Buddha, the Tathagata, left the
Jade Emperor and went back to the Thunder Monastery, where he saw the three thousand Buddhas, five
hundred Arhats, eight great Vajrapanis and countless Bodhisattvas standing under the pairs of sala trees at the
foot of the Vulture Peak, all holding banners, canopies, jewels and magical flowers. The Tathagata brought his
propitious cloud to a halt and addressed them thus:
"With my deep insight
I surveyed the Three Worlds.
The origin of nature
Is ultimately emptiness,
Like the great void,
Containing nothing at all.
The subjection of this evil monkey
Was a mystery beyond understanding.
It is called the beginning of life and death:
Such is the appearance of things.
When he had spoken a sacred light filled the sky with forty−two rainbows that linked North and South
together. All who saw them bowed, and a moment later the Buddha gathered together some felicitous cloud
and climbed to the supreme Lotus Throne, where he seated himself in majesty.
Then the three thousand Buddhas, the five hundred Arhats, the eight Vajrapanis and the four Bodhisattvas
came forward to bow to him with their hands together and ask, "Who was it who wrecked the Heavenly
Palace and ruined the Peach Banquet?"
"The wretch was a monkey fiend born on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit," the Buddha replied, "whose
towering crimes would beggar description. None of the heavenly generals were able to subdue him, and when
Lord Lao Zi refined him with fire after Erlang had captured him, he was unharmed. When I went there he was
in the middle of the thunder generals, giving a great display of his martial prowess and his spirit. I stopped the
fighting and asked him what it was all about. He said that he had divine powers, was able to do
transformations, and could ride a somersault cloud for thirty−six thousand miles at a single jump. I made a
wager with him that he could not jump out of my hand, then grabbed him, turned my fingers into the Five
Elements Mountain, and sealed him under it. The Jade Emperor opened wide the golden gates of the Jade
Palace, and invited me to be the guest of honour at a Banquet to Celebrate Peace in Heaven he gave to thank
me. After that I took my leave of him and came back here." They were all delighted by the news and they
congratulated him effusively, after which they withdrew group by group, each to go about his duties as all
rejoiced in the divine truth. Indeed:
Propitious vapours filled Paradise,
Rainbows surround the Venerable One.
The Western Paradise, known as the best,
Is ruled by the dharma King of non−phenomenon.
Black apes are always offering fruit,
Deer hold flowers in their mouths;
Blue phoenixes dance,
Coloured birds call;
Sacred turtles offer long life,
Immortal cranes present magic mushrooms.
Here they peacefully enjoy the Pure Land of the Jetavana Park,
The infinite realms of the Dragon Palace.
Every day flowers bloom,
Fruit is always ripe.
Through practicing silence they return to the truth,
Achieving reality by contemplation.
There is no birth nor death;
They neither wax nor wane.
Mists follow them as they come and go;
Untouched by heat or cold, they do not notice the years.
One day, as the Buddha dwelt in the Thunder Monastery on the Vulture Peak, he called together all the other
Buddhas, Arhats, guardian deities, Bodhisattvas, Vajrapanis, monks and nuns and said, "As we are beyond
time, I don't know how long it has been since the crafty ape was subdued and Heaven pacified, but by earthly
reckoning it must be about five hundred years. As today is a fine early autumn day and I have a precious bowl
filled with a hundred kinds of rare flowers and a thousand varieties of exotic fruit, what would you say to our
having an Ullambana Feast?" They all put their hands together and performed the reverence of going round
him three times in acceptance. The Buddha then ordered Ananda to hold the bowl of flowers and fruit while
Kasyapa laid them out. The hosts were moved to gratitude, which they expressed in verse.
The poem on happiness went:
The Star of Happiness shines bright before the Venerable One;
Gifts of happiness spread wide and deep, ever richer.
Fortune is boundless and lasts as long as the Earth;
A happy fate has the luck to be linked with Heaven.
Fields of happiness are widely sown and flourish every year;
The sea of happiness is mighty and deep, never changing.
Happiness fills Heaven and Earth, leaving legacies of happiness
Happiness grows beyond measure, eternally complete.
The poem on official rank went:
With rank as high as a mountain, coloured phoenixes call;
With rank ever increasing, we praise the evening star.
Salary raised to ten thousand bushels, and a healthy body;
Salary raised to a thousand tons, and the world at peace.
Rank and salary equaling Heaven, and eternal too;
Rank and fame as great as the sea, and even clearer.
Rank and favour continuing for ever, greatly to be admired;
Rank and nobility without bounds, like ten thousand kingdoms.
The poem on longevity went:
The Star of Longevity shines towards the Buddha;
The glories of the land of longevity start from here.
Fruits of longevity fill the bowls, glowing with good omen;
Longevity's flowers are newly plucked and placed on the lotus throne.
Poems of longevity, pure and elegant, full of rare conceits,
Songs of longevity sung with exquisite talent.
Life as long as sun and moon,
Life that will outlast both mountains and seas.
When the Bodhisattvas had presented all the poems they asked the Buddha to expound the fundamentals to
them. Then the Tathagata opened his excellent mouth and expounded the great Law and retribution. He spoke
about the wonderful scriptures of the Three Vehicles and the theory of the Five Aggregates as contained in the
Surangama−sutra; the deities and nagas gathered round, and flowers came raining down in profusion. Indeed:
The meditating heart shines like the moon in a thousand rivers;
The true nature embraces ten thousand miles of sky.
When the Buddha had finished his sermon he said to the host, "I have observed that the morality of the living
creatures of the four continents varies. In the Eastern Continent of Superior Body they worship Heaven and
Earth, their minds are livery and they are even−tempered. In the Northern Kuru Continent they are given to
killing living things, but they only do it to feed themselves; they are stupid and lazy by nature, but they do not
trample much on others. Our Western Continent of Cattle−gift has people who neither covet nor kill. They
nourish the vital essence and submerge the spirit; and although they produce no saints of the highest order,
they all live to a ripe old age. But in the Southern Jambu Continent they are greedy and lecherous and delight
in the sufferings of others; they go in for a great deal of killing and quarrelling. That continent can with truth
be called a vicious field of tongues and mouths, an evil sea of disputation. I now have Three Stores of True
Scriptures with which they can be persuaded to be good."
On hearing this, all the Bodhisattvas put their hands together in submission, then went forward to ask, "What
Three Stores of True Scriptures does the Tathagata have?"
"I have one store of the Vinaya, the law, which is about Heaven; one of Sastras, expositions which are
concerned with Earth; and one of Sutras, or scriptures, which save ghosts. The Three Stores consist of fifteen
thousand one hundred and forty−four scrolls in thirty−five classes. They are the scriptures for cultivating the
truth, and the gate to real goodness. I want to send them to the Eastern lands because it is intolerable that the
beings of that quarter should all be such stupid wretches who slander and defame the true word, do not
understand the gist of my Law, and have lapsed from the orthodox Yogacara Sect. How am I to find one with
the magic powers to go to the East, choose a worthy believer and bid him make the arduous crossing of a
thousand mountain and ten thousand rivers in search of the scriptures until he finally comes to this abode of
mine to receive them? When he does come they will be sent to the East for ever to convert all living beings,
which will be a blessing as big as a mountain, a cause for congratulation as deep as the sea. Is anyone willing
to go and find him?"
The Bodhisattva Guanyin went up to the lotus throne, and after going round the Buddha three times by way of
salutation she said, "Your untalented disciple wishes to go to the East to find a man to come and fetch the
scriptures." All present raised their heads to look at the Bodhisattva:
Her understanding filling out the four virtues,
Wisdom filling her golden body.
From her necklace hang pearls and jade,
Her bracelet is made of jewels.
Her hair is black clouds skillfully piled like coiling dragons;
Her embroidered girdle lightly sways, a phoenix wing.
Seagreen jade buttons,
A gown of white silk gauze,
Bathed with sacred light;
A girdle of gold,
Shielded by propitious vapours.
Eyebrows like crescent moons,
Eyes like a pair of stars.
A jade face full of heavenly happiness,
Scarlet lips making a touch of red.
Her pure bottle of sweet dew is ever full,
The willow twigs in it are always green.
She delivers from the eight disasters,
Saves all living beings,
Great is her compassion.
She stays on Mount Tai,
Lives in the Southern Sea,
Rescues the suffering when she bears their cries,
Never failing to answer every call,
Infinitely divine and miraculous.
Her orchid heart admires the purple bamboo;
Her orchid nature loves the fragrant creeper.
She is the merciful ruler of Potaraka Island,
The living Guanyin of the Tide Cave.
The Buddha was very pleased to see her.
"No one but the venerable Guanyin, whose divine powers are so great, will do for this mission," he said.
"What instructions have you for your disciple as she goes to the East?" Guanyin asked.
"You must watch the route all the way," said the Buddha. "You may not go via the Milky Way, but if
necessary you may have a little cloud or mist. As you cross mountains and rivers you must note the distances
carefully to enable you to give full instructions to the man who will come to fetch the scriptures. But that true
believer will, I'm afraid, have a difficult journey, so I shall give you five treasures for him." The Buddha
ordered Ananda and Kasyapa to bring out a brocade cassock and a nine−ringed monk's staff.
"Give this cassock and staff to him who will come to fetch the scriptures: they are for him to use. If he is
determined to come here, he can avoid the Wheel of Reincarnation by wearing this cassock, and he will be
free from evil if he carries this staff." The Bodhisattva bowed and took them. The Buddha then produced three
"These precious things are called 'tight bands,'" he told the Bodhisattva as he handed them to her. "Although
all three of them look the same, they have different uses. I also have three Band−Tightening Spells. If you
meet any devils with great magic powers on your journey you should persuade them to reform and become the
disciples of the pilgrim who will come to fetch the scriptures. If they do not do is they are told these bands
should be put on their heads, where they will of themselves take root in the flesh. If the appropriate spell for
each one is recited the victim's eyes will bulge, his head will ache, and his forehead will split open. He will
thus be certainly induced to adopt our religion."
When he finished speaking the Bodhisattva bowed eagerly and withdrew. She told Huian the Novice to
accompany her, and he took his iron staff weighing a thousand pounds with him so that he could as a
demon−quelling strongman for the Bodhisattva. The Bodhisattva wrapped the cassock up in a bundle and
gave it to him to carry. She then put the golden bands away safely and went down the Vulture Peak with the
staff in her hand. This journey was to have consequences:
The Buddha's disciple comes back to his original vow;
The Venerable Golden Cicada is dressed in sandalwood.
When the Bodhisattva reached the foot of the mountain the Gold−headed Immortal of the Jade Truth Temple
stopped her at the temple gate and invited her to take some tea. But she dared not stop for long, and so she
said, "I have been given a sacred command by the Tathagata to go to the East and find a man who will come
to fetch the scriptures."
"When will he arrive?" the Immortal asked.
"It is not definite," the Bodhisattva replied, "but he will probably reach here in two or three years' time." She
took her leave of the Immortal and as she traveled amid cloud and mist she estimated the distances. There are
some verses to prove it:
She cared nothing of the journey of ten thousand miles to find him,
But worried about finding the right man.
Looking for the man seemed to be very chancy,
But how can it be a mere coincidence?
One who teaches the Way for the wrong motives will distort it;
He who explains it without faith will preach in vain.
Whoever will try and know it with his whole being,
Is bound to have a future ahead of him.
As the teacher and her disciple were on their journey they suddenly noticed a thousand miles of weak water,
which was the River of Flowing Sands.
"Disciple," said the Bodhisattva, "this will be hard to cross for the man who will come to fetch the scriptures,
as he will be of impure bone and mortal flesh. How will he do it?"
"Teacher, how wide does the river look to you?" asked Huian. The Bodhisattva stopped her cloud to
investigate. She saw:
Joining up with the deserts to the East,
Reaching the foreign kingdoms in the West,
Wuge in the South
The Tatars in the North.
It was about three hundred miles across,
And three million miles long.
As the waters flowed it was like the earth turning over,
The waves were like rearing mountains.
Broad and boundless,
Vast and mighty:
From three miles' distance the mighty flood is heard.
Immortals' rafts do not reach here,
Lotus leaves cannot float on it.
The sun slants through withered plants and bathes the crooked shore;
Brown clouds block its light and darken the long bank.
How could merchants pass this way?
Has a fisherman ever moored here?
No geese alight on the sandbanks,
But apes cry on the distant shore.
Its color comes from bountiful red smartweed,
While delicate white duckweed drifts together.
As the Bodhisattva was surveying the scene she heard a splash and saw a hideous ogre leap out of the waves.
Not really blue,
Not really black,
With an evil face;
Bare legs and a muscular body.
His eyes flashed
Like a pair of tortoise−shell lanterns;
The comers of his mouth were as sinister
As a butcher's cauldron.
Protruding fangs like swords,
Red hair, matted and unkempt.
He roared like a clap of thunder,
And ran across the waves with the speed of wind.
This ogre climbed up the bank with a pole in his hands to catch the Bodhisattva, but was stopped by Huian's
"Don't run away," Huian shouted as the ogre advanced towards him. The battle that ensued between them was
Moksa with his iron club,
Using his divine powers to protect the Bodhisattva;
The ogre with his demon−quelling pole
Displaying his valour for all be was worth.
A pair of silver dragons dancing by the river;
Two holy monks in battle on the bank.
The one used his skill to control the River of Flowing Sands
The other had distinguished himself in protecting Guanyin.
The one could make the waves leap and roll,
The other could breathe out fogs and gales.
When the waves leapt and rolled, Heaven and Earth were darkened;
In the fogs and gales, sun and moon were dimmed.
The demon−quelling pole
Was like a white tiger coming down from the mountain;
The iron club
Was like a crouching yellow dragon.
When one goes into action
It beats the undergrowth to start the snakes;
When the other lashes out,
It parts the pines to flush the sparrowhawks.
They fight till the sky goes dark
And the stars twinkle.
Then the mist rises,
And earth and sky are dim.
The one has long been unrivalled in the Weak Waters;
The other has always been the hero of Vulture Peak.
When the pair of them had fought several dozen rounds inconclusively the ogre blocked his opponent's iron
staff and asked, "Where are you from, monk, that you dare to take me on?"
"I am Prince Moksa, the second son of the Pagoda−bearing Heavenly King Li," the other replied. "I am also
Huian the Novice. I am now protecting my teacher on her journey to the East to find the man who will fetch
the scriptures. Which monster are you? How dare you stand in our way?" The ogre then realized who he was.
"I remember," he said, "you used to cultivate your conduct with Guanyin of the Southern Sea in the Purple
Bamboo Grove. Why have you come here?"
"Can't you see my teacher standing there on the bank?"
When the ogre heard this he chanted "na−a−aw" several times to show his respect, withdrew his pole and let
Moksa seize it. Then he bowed to Guanyin and said, "Forgive me, Bodhisattva, and listen to what I have to
tell you. I am not a demon, but the Curtain Raising General who used to stand in attendance by the imperial
chariot in the Hall of Miraculous Mist. Just because I accidentally smashed a crystal dish at a Peach Banquet
the Jade Emperor had me given eight hundred strokes of the rod, exiled me to the lower world, and made me look like this. And on top of it all every seven days he sends a flying sword here to stab my chest over a
hundred times before it goes back again. It's agony. I get so unbearably cold and hungry that I have to emerge
from the waves every two or three days to devour a traveler. I never thought that in my ignorance I would
insult the merciful Bodhisattva today."
"You were exiled here for a crime against Heaven, but now you are deepening your guilt by harming living
beings. I am now going to the East on the Buddha's orders to find the man who will fetch the scriptures. Why
don't you become one of us and ensure yourself good retribution in future by accompanying the pilgrim as a
disciple and ascending to the Western Heaven to pay homage to the Buddha and seek the scriptures? I will see
to it that the flying sword stops coming to pierce you, and when you are successful you will be forgiven your
crimes and your old job will be given back to you. What do you think of that?"
"I am willing to return to the truth," the ogre replied, then went closer as he continued, "Bodhisattva, I have
lost count of the number of people I have eaten here, and I have even devoured some pilgrims who were
trying to fetch scriptures. I throw the heads of all my victims into the river, and they all sink to the bottom as
not even goose−down will float on this water. But the skeletons of those nine pilgrims floated and would not
sink. I was so impressed by this that I threaded them together with rope and play with them in my spare time.
But I am afraid that the man who is to fetch the scriptures may not get this far, which would wreck my
"Of course he'll get here," the Bodhisattva replied. "You should hang those skeletons from your head and wait
for him. They will come in useful."
"In that case," the ogre said, "I shall await your instructions." The Bodhisattva then laid her hands on his head
and administered the monastic rules to him, chose for him the surname Sha ("Sand") and gave him the
Buddhist name of Wujing ("Awakened to Purity"). Then he entered monkish life and took the Bodhisattva
across the river. He washed his heart, cleansed his thoughts, and stopped killing living creatures. All he did
now was to wait for the pilgrim who would come to fetch the scriptures.
After leaving him the Bodhisattva and Huian hurried on towards the East. When they had been travelling for a
long time they saw a high mountain veiled with an evil mist, and they were unable to climb it on foot. Just
when they were intending to cross the mountain by cloud, a gale wind blew up and a monster suddenly
appeared. He too was very menacing to behold:
His entrails hung from his mouth, rolled up and knotted;
His ears were like rush fans, his eyes shone gold.
His teeth were sharp as steel files,
And when he opened his mouth it was like a brazier.
His golden helmet was tied firmly round his cheeks;
His armour, bound with a silken sash, was a python's sloughed−off skin.
In his hands he held a nailed rake like a dragon's claw,
At his waist hung a curved bow the shape of a half−moon.
His martial might overawed the Year Planet;
His overweening spirit threatened the heavenly gods.
He rushed upon them, and without a second thought smote at the Bodhisattva with his rake. Moksa the Novice
parried his blow, and shouted at the top of his voice, "Remember your manners, damned monster, and watch
out for my staff."
"Monk," the other replied, "you don't know how to keep yourself in one piece. Mind my rake!" At the foot of
the mountain the pair of them rushed upon each other as they struggled for supremacy. It was a fine battle:
The fierce and murderous ogre;
Huian, imposing and able.
The iron staff could pulverize the heart;
The rake struck at the face.
The dust thrown up darkened Heaven and Earth;
The flying sand and stones startled gods and ghouls.
The nine−toothed rake
Gleamed and flashed
As its pair of rings resounded;
The lone staff
Was ominously black
As it whirled in its owner's hands.
One was the heir of a Heavenly King,
One defended the Law on Potaraka Island.
The other was an evil fiend in a mountain cave.
In their battle for mastery,
None knew who the winner would be.
Just when the fight was getting really good, Guanyin threw down a lotus flower from mid−air to separate the
two weapons. The monster, shocked at the sight of it, asked, "Where are you from, monk? How dare you try
to fool me with a 'flower in front of the eyes?'"
"I'll get you, you stinking, flesh−eyed mortal," replied Moksa. "I am a disciple of the Bodhisattva of the
Southern Sea, and this lotus was thrown down by her. Don't you know that?"
"By the Bodhisattva of the Southern Sea do you mean Guanyin Who Eliminates the Three Calamities and
Saves from the Eight Disasters?" the monster asked.
"Who else could I mean?" retorted Moksa. The monster threw down his rake, bowed to him, and asked,
"Where is the Bodhisattva, elder brother? May I trouble you to introduce me?" Moksa looked up and pointed.
"There she is," he said. The monster kowtowed to her and shouted in a shrill voice, "Forgive me, Bodhisattva,
forgive me." Guanyin brought her cloud down to earth, went over to him and asked, "Are you a wild boar
become a devil or a pig turned monster? How dare you block my way?"
"I'm neither a wild boar nor a pig," the monster replied. "I used to be Marshal Tian Peng in the Milky Way.
Because I took some wine to seduce the moon maiden, the Jade Emperor sentenced me to two thousand
hammer blows and exile in the mortal world. My spirit had to find a womb to occupy, but I lost my way and
entered the womb of a sow. That's why I look like this. I ate up my sow mother, drove all the other pigs away,
and seized this mountain, where I keep myself by eating people. I never meant to offend you, Bodhisattva.
Save me, save me, I beg you."
"What is this mountain called?" the Bodhisattva asked.
"It's called the Mount of Blessing, and the cave in it is called the Cloud Pathway Cave. Second Sister Luan,
who used to live there, saw that I knew how to fight and asked me to be the head of her household as her
husband, but she died within a year and all her property became mine. As the days lengthened into years I
found that I had no way of supporting myself, so I had to eat people to keep myself going as I had done
before. Forgive me my sins, I beg of you, Bodhisattva."
"There is an old saying," the Bodhisattva replied, "that goes, 'If you want to have a future, don't do anything
with no future in it?' You broke the law in the upper world, and since then your vicious nature has not been
reformed. You have further sinned by taking life, so this surely means that you will be doubly punished."
"Future!" said the monster angrily. "According to you I should have lived on air! As the saying goes, 'By the
government's law you're beaten to death, and by the Buddha's law you starve to death.' Clear off! Clear off! If
you don't I'll capture this pilgrim and eat this plump and tender old woman. I don't give a hoot if it's double
sinning, triple sinning, or sinning a thousand or ten thousand times over."
"'If a man wishes to be good, Heaven will certainly allow him to be,'" said the Bodhisattva. "If you are
prepared to submit to the truth, there are of course, ways to feed yourself. There are the five kinds of
food−grains, and they are sufficient to assuage hunger, so why eat people to keep alive?"
When the monster heard these words it was as if he awoke from a dream, and he said to the Bodhisattva, "I
would love to reform, but isn't it true that 'a sinner against Heaven has nowhere to pray to?'"
"I'm going to the East on the orders of the Buddha to find the man who will fetch the scriptures," she replied.
"You can be a disciple of his and make this journey to the Western Heaven; thus you will gain merit and atone
for your crimes, and I will see to it that you are freed from disaster."
"I'll go with him, I'll go with him," the monster said over and over again. The Bodhisattva then laid her hands
on his head and he accepted the monastic rules. She gave him the surname Zhu ("Pig") because of his
appearance, and gave him the Buddhist name Zhu Wuneng ("Pig Awakened to Power"). She ordered him to
adhere to the truth and eat only vegetarian food, cutting out the five pungent vegetables as well as the three
forbidden things; wild goose, dog and fish. He was now to wait single−mindedly for the pilgrim who would
come to fetch the scriptures.
The Bodhisattva and Moksa then took their leave of the Pig Awakened to Power and continued on their way
by low−altitude cloud. As they were travelling along they heard a jade dragon call to them in mid−air.
"Which dragon are you?" the Bodhisattva asked as she went up to him. "And why are you undergoing
"I am the son of Ao Run, the Dragon King of the Western Sea. Because I burnt up the bright pearls in the
palace, my father reported me to the court of Heaven as a rebel. The Jade Emperor had me hung up in mid−air
and given three hundred strokes, and I am to be executed any day now. I beg you to save me, Bodhisattva."
When she heard his plea the Bodhisattva went in through the Southern Gates of Heaven with Moksa. Here
they were met by the Heavenly Teachers Qiu and Zhang, who asked them, "Where are you going?"
"I would like an audience with the Jade Emperor." The two Heavenly Teachers hurried in to announce her,
and the Jade Emperor came out of his palace to receive her. The Bodhisattva went forward to greet him and
said, "On my way to the East on the orders of the Buddha to find the man to fetch the scriptures, I met a
wicked dragon suspended in mid−air.. I have come here especially to ask you to spare his life and give him to
me so that I can teach him to serve the pilgrim with his legs." On hearing this the Jade Emperor issued a
decree pardoning him, and he sent a heavenly general to release him and give him to the Bodhisattva. The
Bodhisattva thanked him for his generosity and left. The young dragon kowtowed to show how grateful he
was for having his life spared, and he obediently did what the Bodhisattva told him to. She took him to a deep
ravine, where he was to wait until the pilgrim came. When that happened he was to turn into a white horse and
achieve merit by going to the Western Heaven. On receiving his orders the young dragon hid himself.
The Bodhisattva led Moksa the Novice across this mountain, and they hurried on towards the East. Before
they had gone much further they suddenly saw ten thousand beams of golden light and a thousand wisps of
"Teacher," said Moksa, "the place where all the light is coming from is the Five Elements Mountain, where
the Tathagata's restriction order is posted."
"This must be cause that Great Sage Equaling Heaven who wrecked the Peach Banquet and threw the
Heavenly Palace into chaos is imprisoned there."
"That's right," Moksa replied, and teacher and pupil climbed the mountain together to look at the paper. On it
were written the true words Om mani padme bum, and when the Bodhisattva saw them she sighed deeply and
composed a poem that went:
"Pity the evil monkey who did not obey the lord
In his arrogance he showed off his valour in the old days,
In his folly he wrecked the Peach Banquet,
And he had the effrontery to sin in the Tushita Palace.
In the army of a hundred thousand there was none to match him;
His might was felt above the ninefold heavens.
But now he has been caught by our Tathagata, the Buddha:
Will he ever be able to unleash his talents and win more glory?"
The conversation between teacher and disciple had disturbed the Great Sage, who shouted from under the
roots of the mountain, "Who's that up there?" When she heard this the Bodhisattva hurried down the mountain
to visit him. At the foot of the mountainside the local gods, the mountain gods and the heavenly generals who
were guarding the Great Sage all bowed to the Bodhisattva in greeting and took her to the Great Sage. She
saw that he was pressed down inside a stone box, so that he could speak but could not move his body.
"Monkey," the Bodhisattva said, "do you know who I am?" The Great Sage opened wide his fiery eyes with
their golden pupils, nodded his head and shouted at the top of his voice, "Of course I recognize you. You,
thank goodness, are the All−Compassionate. All−Merciful Deliverer from Suffering, the Bodhisattva Guanyin
from Potaraka Island in the Southern Sea. You're a very welcome visitor. Every day here seems like a year,
and nobody I know has ever come to see me. Where have you come from?"
"I have received a mandate from the Buddha to go to the East and find the man who will fetch the scriptures,"
she replied, "and as I was passing this way I decided to come over and see you."
"The Buddha fooled me and crushed me under this mountain−−I haven't been able to stretch myself for five
hundred years. I desperately hope that you will be obliging enough to rescue me, Bodhisattva."
"You wretch," she replied, "you have such an appalling criminal record that I'm afraid you'd only make more
trouble if I got you out."
"I have already repented," he said, "and hope that you will show me the road I should follow. I want to
cultivate my conduct." Indeed:
When an idea is born in a man's mind
It is known throughout Heaven and Earth.
If good and evil are not rewarded and punished
The world is bound to go to the bad.
The Bodhisattva was delighted to hear what he had to say.
"The sacred scriptures say," she replied, '"If one's words are good, they will meet with a response from even a
thousand miles away; if they are bad, they will be opposed from the same distance.' If this is your state of
mind, then wait while I go to the East to find the man who will fetch the scriptures; I'll tell him to rescue you.
You can be his disciple, observe and uphold the faith, enter our Buddha's religion, and cultivate good
retribution for yourself in the future. What do you say to that?"
"I'll go, I'll go," the Great Sage repeated over and over again.
"As you have reformed," she said, "I'll give you a Buddhist name."
"I've already got a name. It's Sun Wukong." The Bodhisattva, very pleased, said, "I made two converts earlier,
and their names both contained Wu ('Awakened'). There's no need to give you any further instructions, so I'll
be off." The Great Sage, now aware of his own Buddha−nature, was converted to the Buddha's religion; and
the Bodhisattva devotedly continued her search for a saintly monk.
After leaving that place she and Huian carried straight on to the East, and before long they reached Chang'an,
the capital of the Great Tang. Putting away their mists and clouds, teacher and pupil turned themselves into a
pair of scabby itinerant monks and went inside the city of Chang'an. It was already dark, and beside the great
market street they saw a shrine to a local tutelary god and went in. The local god was thrown into confusion at
the sight of them, and the devil soldiers quaked with terror; they knew that she was a Bodhisattva, and
kowtowed to her in greeting. The local god then scurried off to tell the City God, the Lord of the Alter, and
the gods of all the other shrines in Chang'an. When they knew that the Bodhisattva had come they all went to
report to her and said, "Bodhisattva, please forgive us for our crime in being late to welcome you."
"You mustn't let a whisper of this get out," she said. "I have come here on a decree from the Buddha to find
someone to fetch the scriptures. I shall be borrowing your temple for a few days while I find this true monk,
and then I shall go back." All the gods returned to their own shrines, and they took the local god to stay in the
temple of the City God. Teacher and disciple disguised their true appearances. If you don't know whom they
found to fetch the scriptures, listen to the explanation in the next installment.
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