Exploring "Journey to the West"* (11)

Chuan Jian

PureInsight | October 10, 2007


Guanyin Helps Defeat Demons

When the entourage encountered many demons during the journey, Guanyin
or other immortals came to help. This truly happens during cultivation.
When cultivators encounter tribulations or crises, particularly the
interference of demons, as long as cultivators can maintain their
righteous thoughts and never compromise, then the immortals will help.
The abilities of cultivators are limited and cannot possibly resolve
all problems. However, when anyone starts cultivating, he will have a
master to look after him. Sometimes, there are other divine beings in
addition to his master coming to his assistance.

A cultivator must have a master or other divine beings. The success of
cultivation does not come from a cultivator's notion or some special
techniques. The key is a firm and steady heart.

Zhu Bajie

The worldly name for Zhu Wuneng is Zhu Bajie. Bajie literally means eight precepts.

The main teachings of Sakyamuni are "precept, samadhi, wisdom." The
very first is precept. There are things that the Buddhist school asks
its disciples to give up: the most basic are killing, stealing,
lusting, lying, and drinking. Rules for precept are to make sure that
cultivators do not make mistakes and add unnecessary burdens to

However, Sakyamuni never mentioned that his disciples should not eat
meat: Eating meat and killing are different in nature. In the earliest
original Buddhism it mentioned five forbidden foods: onions, chives,
garlic, mustard, and hot peppers.

Zhu Bajie represents the normal cultivators.

He dreamed about the wonders of the right fruit and kept an eye on the
little gains in daily life. Just like Laozi said, "When an average
person hears it, this person will practice it on and off."

*Journey to the West is a
classic novel of Chinese mythology. The Buddhist monk Tang Unsung 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.

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