Exploring the Journey to the West: The Bottomless Pit

Chuan Jiang

PureInsight | September 13, 2007

[PureInsight.org] I am inspired
to write by the Story of the Mouse Spirit that lived in the Bottomless
Pit who captured the Tang Monk (Translator's note: the Tang Monk is a
famous Buddhist monk of the Tang dynasty who is the main character of
the Journey to the West. It
is a classical novel about gods, being considered one of the "famous
four Chinese classical novels." The story narrates the many evils
experienced by Master Tang Xuan Zang and his companions on their way to
the west to obtain Buddha sutras. It was written in the Ming dynasty
during the sixteenth century.)

To cultivators, the trials of lust will happen many times and at different cultivation states.

It is said that gods in the Three Realms have not obtained Righteous
Attainment and can be demons. They can seduce and interfere with
cultivators. Cultivators must strengthen their righteous thoughts and
not be moved by them. To cultivators, obtaining Righteous Attainment
and reaching Consummation are their final goal. The gods' worlds are
definitely more glorious than human society. The gods' abilities are
higher than those of humans, but reaching their levels is not the goal
of cultivators. Those gods and demons that interfere with cultivators
are all guilty. Some of them can be rehabilitated benevolently and some
will be eliminated. Actually, some of the demons Tang Monk encountered
were eliminated and some were benevolently reformed. It is something to
do with predestined relationships. A cultivator doesn't need to
consider these and only need to keep righteous thoughts and not to be
moved by them. All others will be helped by the righteous gods.

Why is it a bottomless pit? It doesn't matter that how high a level a
cultivator has reached. If he or she commits inappropriate sexual
activities or crime, he or she will fall down. Their falls will be
worse than those of ordinary people. It is because cultivators are not
ordinary people. They are walking on the path of godhood. Their
cultivation paths involve the gods' world so if they commit an error,
their mistakes are more serious than those committed by ordinary
people. That is why cultivation is a very serious issue.

The gods are merciful. If those cultivators who fell into the
bottomless pit can return to their true self and not to be moved by the
demons, their masters or righteous gods will save them from the pit.

Ordinary people see cultivators being beyond this world and not getting
involved with worldly affairs. They seem to be passive by human
standards. Actually, cultivators try hard to make progress. They need
courage and willpower and are far from what ordinary people imagine.
The reason cultivators can be dauntless is because they understand the
truth of the universe and the true meaning of life.

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