Exploring the "Journey to the West"* (12)

Chuan Jiang

PureInsight | October 14, 2007

Yellow-Wind Cliff

[PureInsight.org] When they reached the Yellow-Wind Cliff, there was another tribulation for the cultivators.

If someone has good enlightenment quality and strong righteous thoughts, no matter how strong the wind is, it should not change his mind. The fact that cultivators are presented with various tests and sometimes even man-made persecution is to see whether they have firm belief. If they waver, the blasts of strong wind will blow them away, particularly those who have cultivated for only a short period of time or became a cultivator for insubstantial reasons. Some cultivators want a healthy body. Some want to be protected from celestial immortals. Some just want to have fun by following the fad and have no solid understanding of the Fa principles. Unless you are a genuine cultivator, you will most likely fail to pass the test. True cultivators have righteous thoughts and firm belief and will have protection from divine beings. Cultivation is not a child's play. Every trial or tribulation can be a test of life and death.

No one in Tang Xuanzang's entourage was an ordinary person and everyone was somebody from above. Through the enlightenment of Bodhisattva Guanyin, they joined Tang Monk. Why should they choose such an incompetent Master? That is so far unsatisfactory for most readers. But did anyone notice? Truth be told, the most important quality for a person to bring back the Buddhist scriptures is perseverance, not supernormal capabilities. Master Tang Monk had that quality and that was why, under his guidance, master and disciples could bring back the true scriptures from India. As long as you are steadfast, the gods will help or all disasters will disintegrate.

Ordinary people know how hard it is to be a cultivator and that cultivators need to suffer. Suffering is the result of not being able to let go of the attachments to fame, gains, and sentimentality.

* "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.

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