The ancient storytellers used story telling to convey lessons and meanings to those who listened. We shall look at the Chinese folklore of the Monkey King in the story titled Journey To The West. Xuanzang and his 3 disciples encountered many ghosts and demons who try to trick, kidnap and kill Xuanzang in their long journey.
Wukong the Monkey King possessed great fighting abilities,strength, endurance and magical powers. Now if we dig a little deeper beneath the surface of the story, we can easily observe the symbology hiding behind the drama. Thus, the monk sets on a journey to control and discipline his mind, lust, greed, laziness and anger in order to attain peace and enlightenment, or Buddhahood.
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In ancient times, the masses were not educated and could not read, therefore the best mode of conveying any message is by story telling or parables. In ancient China, the people knew that enlightened monks who attained Buddhahood came from India (west of China).


Similarly, Jesus was confronted by the devil and Buddha saw the devil when he was meditating under the Bodhi tree right before attaining enlightenment.
The various traits of the human mind and emotional psyche are personified into characters in the book! In the end, all of the characters attained buddhahood due to their contributions along the journey.
Note that there are no devils per se, but the our own human nature of doubt, greed, lust, and anything that is anti-love or anti-oneness.
Sandy the demon had little character development in the story, but it was understood that he was an angry demon trying to repent and release his karma. Sun Wukong the mighty monkey king who has great powers, intelligence, magic and fighting skills is capable of great trickery to defeat his enemies.
According to legends, he was a deity in heaven who was lazy and lustful, and was sentenced to earth as punishment by the Gods to become a pigman. Neville Goddard once remarked while in meditation one day, he had a vision of a man sitting in a lotus posture. The characters are ancient personifications and metaphors for the aspects of our mind, emotions and consciousness. In AD 640, a Chinese monk named Xuanzang travelled across the mountains and deserts of Inner Asia to India to study and search for Buddhist scriptures.
Together they all serve their master Xuanzang in his quest for the Buddhist scriptures in the west to attain Buddhahood.


In Buddhism, in our journey to englightenment, we have to discipline our laziness, greed and lust.
According to the folklore, the Monkey King was imprisoned under a rock by the Buddha for 500 years before he freed himself and joined Xuanzang on the journey. He was once in heaven but was punished by the gods and sent to earth as a demon-man because of his uncontrolled anger.
The Goddess Of Mercy (Guanyin) of Heaven, bestowed upon Monk Xuanzang 3 disciples to protect him in his journey against demons who intent to obstruct him. We must always keep our emotions in check, especially our negative emotions in order to be able to meditate and attain our Buddhahood.
His disciples were Sun Wukong (a monkey king), Zu Pajie (a pigman) and Sha or Sandy (a demon who was training himself to control his anger and release his past karma). Because according to Buddhism, in order to attain enlightenment and let go of our dogmas, beliefs and thoughts and associated feelings and karma, we have to quiet the mind in meditation. Therefore, the monkey king (the mind) must be disciplined by one who is enlightened about the nature of the mind (the Buddha). The examples of Pigsy and Sandy also goes in line with the fact that we are all gods, but we have come to this world to experience the human experience, human nature and emotions.



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