Thoughts from Reading Sun Wukong's (Monkey King) Three Fights with the White-Bone Spirit

A Mainland Practitioner

PureInsight | July 22, 2002

In the book Journey to the West, Monk Tang and his three
disciples traveled to the Western paradise in search of the Buddhist
Scripture. Monk Tang represents those who reached consummation through
enlightenment. Although his fearful mentality overtook him here and
there in his journey, through the pure heart of acquiring the scripture
and with the help of the heavenly guardians as well as Sun Wukong, Zhu
Bajie and Monk Sha's (Monk Tang's three disciples) hard efforts in
killing the evil in the way, overcoming 81 tribulations, putting down
his life in the face of tribulations, he finally found the True
Scripture and achieved the Right Fruit status.

Although on the
surface they were teacher and disciples, they represented a cultivation
body and were all scripture-seekers. The scriptures couldn't be
acquired without Monk Tang cultivating Buddhahood steadfastly.
Meanwhile Monk Tang played the role of promoting the Law of Buddha and
becoming acquainted with the predestined individuals. Sun Wukong (The
Monkey King) represented those who cultivate with supernormal
capabilities. He could see many dimensions and his supernormal
capabilities were way stronger than anyone else's. His cultivation
method was to distinguish the evil from the good, kill the demons and
eliminate the other dimension's evil that tried to destroy their
journey to seek the scripture. His battles against the evil were not
from a competitive mentality, but from his nature to eliminate the evil
from other dimensions that corrupt the human world and destroy
cultivators. Without Sun's help, the journey for the scripture wouldn't
have been possible. Zhu Baijie also cultivated with supernormal
capabilities. Originally, he was a corrupted deity who was unfit to
live in his level of paradise and was cast down into the human world.
But Guanyin (Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara) saw that Zhu still maintained
his true nature, and led him to the cultivators to return to his true
self. Zhu can only partially see the other dimensions, and cultivation
seemed to be of secondary importance to him. He was lost in the human
world and had a difficult time putting down his personal desires. He
also created a lot of difficulties for the whole party, but he was also
clear on what to do on key issues. Monk Sha could also see a bit of the
other dimensions, but he was even more limited than Zhu. But he was
more steadfast than Zhu. Although he didn't have much human desire, his
inborn quality was worse than Zhu's, so his main method of cultivation
was through suffering.

From Sun's three fights with the
White-bone Spirit, we can see the evil elements that White-bone Spirit
represented were taking advantage of Monk Tang's compassion. They tried
to fool Monk Tang in numerous incidents, trying to kill him, eat his
flesh (it was said that those who ate Monk Tang's flesh would live
forever) and ruin his cultivation. Jiang's regime secretly said,
"Because Falun Gong cultivates Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance
they wouldn't fight back when they were beaten or sworn at. We should
take advantage of this and persecute them brutally." The evil elements
that are being represented by Jiang's regime and the White-bone Spirit
are the same. The White-bone Spirit saw that Sun could see through all
her wicked plans in numerous dimensions, so she created distrust,
tribulations and separation among the party by taking advantage of
Zhu's limited cultivation level, limitations in seeing the truth and
his human mind's weakness. And she took advantage of Monk Tang's
oblivion to the truth and his compassionate heart towards the evil
beings. White-bone Spirit's purpose was to prevent them from reaching
the Right Fruit status. This is very similar to the evil's undermining
Dafa by taking advantage of some practitioners' inability to put down
attachments during tribulations and not viewing problems from the
standpoint of Fa-rectification and Dafa. In the face of tribulations
and the truth, Monk Tang and Zhu gave up their suspicions, found their
mistakes from within, helped each other and became a single unit once
again. Hence they destroyed the White-bone Spirit's illusions in
undermining their cultivation and finally they overcame the spirit.
Zhu, as the one who fell for the trap of the demons, saw the situation
from the grand angle, put down his selfishness and attachments and went
to find Sun (Sun was driven away through the Spirit's plans) so they
could fight the evil together. This was especially important and
valuable. And from this memorable lesson, Monk Tang and his disciples
became a more united party, which finally led them to complete their
cultivation and reach consummation.

In their journey to the West,
the heavenly deities were always looking after the cultivators. When
Sun met demons that were beyond his power, the Fa-guarding deities from
various dimensions came to eliminate these demons for him. These
deities did so without seeking any reward. When Sun met the six-ear
monkey that no one could distinguish, even Amitabha personally came to
help him. This is indeed Fa-rectification cultivation. All the
righteous deities will help and protect the cultivators without seeking
reward. Monk Tang was totally oblivious to these great moments, since
he couldn't know or hear any of it. But this is indeed eliminating the
evil elements. These evil beings include various levels' animal
spirits, corrupted living beings from higher dimensions, as well as
corrupted deities from various levels. We see that as practitioners, if
we hold a righteous mind, and when our mind has reached the standard of
our level, the tribulation will be overcome. In the Journey to the West,
whenever they had reached their standard, the righteous deities would
come down and get rid of some of the blockades. In the last
tribulation, the greeting-Buddha came with a bottomless boat. Sun saw
the truth and told Monk Tang and helped him eliminate his fear, and
Monk Tang boarded the bottomless boat with confidence. He had put aside
his attachment of his own life. Monk Tang gave up fear for his life bit
by bit throughout his journey, and he was tested for his firmness in
cultivation during tribulations that endangered his life. His tests
lasted till the very end of his cultivation. In the last compensating
tribulation, (The Buddha found out that Monk Tang still had one more
tribulation after he had received the scripture, so He created one more
to compensate), Monk Tang, as someone who had already elevated beyond
the three-realms, still had to pay his debt with one final tribulation
because he forgot to perform a task that he promised. We can thus see
the seriousness of cultivation. In the book Journey to the West,
they were tested often in their journey regarding their desire for
consummation. This was also to test if they were steadfast in their
cultivation. From the broad perspective, they absolutely walked the
path that the deity had planned for them until they finished their

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