Exploring the "Journey to the West"* (23)

Chuan Jiang

PureInsight | October 22, 2007

The Real and Phony Monkey Kings

[PureInsight.org] The story about the real and phony monkey kings has profound meanings.

What is the purpose of cultivation? On the superficial level, all
cultivators are cultivating. However, there is a tremendous difference.
Cultivators may entertain all sorts of intentions. Some are doing it
out of curiosity, some want blessings, some want to get rid of
diseases, some want knowledge, some seek supernormal abilities, some
are searching for spiritual support, some want to resolve problems in
their lives, and for other reasons. These are incorrect intentions and
slowly they will create interference for the cultivators. Actually, the
problems come from the individual cultivator. Cultivation is
unconditional and one has to come for the principles of the Cosmic Fa.
Any other purpose is impure and should be cleaned out. Immortals from
above will use all possible means to dig out such impure thoughts. Just
like the phony money king, [a cultivator with these impure intentions]
looks just like the monkey king and can fool many people.

Fire Burning Mountain

After the group passed over the Fire-Burning Mountain, they found
everything was fine and both fire and water were available. This
symbolizes the time when the cultivator's body has reached a balanced
state. For people who practice ordinary qigong, this is quite an
accomplishment, but for the cultivators, this is still far away from
the destination.

Golden Light Temple.

After they passed the Fire-Burning Mountain, the next test was the Golden-Light Temple.

This epidsode refers to the fact the human beings are born with the
knowing side, but unfortunately it was covered up by acquired notions
just like the golden temple was being showered by a bloody rain.

After Tang Xuanzang went up to the temple and cleared away the dirt and
debris, the disciples defeated the demons and put the pearl back on the
temple, just like cultivators have to eliminate their demonic
interference and their unwanted thoughts. The temple immediately
regained its golden light.

* "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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