Exploring "Journey to the West"*(8)

Chuan Jiang

PureInsight | October 8, 2007


Six Bandits

 After Sun Wukong was released from the Wuxing Mountain, he became
the protector of Tang Xuanzang. The first things he encountered were
six bandits who blocked their way. He killed all of them. The names of
these six bandits are: Eyes. Ears, Nose, Tongue, Body, and Notions. In
the community of cultivators, they are called the six bandits. These
are the problems that should be taken care of in the beginning of one's

Human beings are affected by their growing-up environments, which are
getting worse as time goes on. However, that is the unchanging rule of
formation, maintenance, and degeneration. When human beings strengthen
their righteous thoughts to eliminate the interference from the six
bandits, those human beings will gain an understanding heart. Tang
Xuanzang did not like what Wukong did and criticized him for taking too
many lives. You see, the human reasoning in this world is turning
things upside down!

Therefore, a Bodhisattva later gave Tang a magic gold band to restrain
Wukong. As a result, the master and his disciple could help each other:
Wukong understands the truth and will not be confused by the falsehood
and Tang is persevering and steadfast.

Many people are very sympathetic towards Wukong. He has unsurpassed
supernormal capabilities but is restrained by Tang Xuanzang: Life is so
unfair! In reality, that is true compassion to Wukong. That is because
only if he can cultivate and obtain fruit status can he return home.
Living beings without gods' caring are the most pitiful and skeptics
are the saddest.

Some people even said, "Wukong was so superior. He could go to the Ling
Mountain and obtain the scriptures. Why did he have to get tangled up
with Tang Xuanzang? Well, this is cultivation. Without the process of
going to the West, without the trials and tribulations, none of them
could cultivate and obtain the right fruit or the Buddhist scriptures.
Sun Wukong could not carry Tang's body up to Heaven because his body
consisted of materials from the three realms and could not be accepted
by any dimension outside of the three realms.

*"Journey to the West" is a
classic novel of Chinese mythology. The Buddhist monk Tang Xuanzang and
his three disciples went to India to obtain the Buddhist Scriptures. On
the surface, it is a novel about the adventures of a monkey with
unsurpassed supernormal capabilities battling demons of all sorts.
Underneath, it is a story about cultivation and tells the attachments
that cultivators have to overcome one by one.

Translated from:


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