Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sun Wukong confronts Buddha


Buddha left the Lei Yin Temple and went to the Heavenly Palace accompanied by two gods.
Buddha used his great powers to stop Wukong's attack.
The Monkey King angrily cried,"Who dares to stop me?" 
Buddha laughed and said,"I am Buddha of the Western Paradise."
Wukong said,"I am Wukong,the Greatest Sage, conqueror of all heaven. I demand to be Emperor."
"And what makes you think you are clever enough to be an emperor?" Wukong answered Buddha,
"Everybody should have a chance to be emperor..."
from the classic Chinese story Journey to the West

Sun Wukong, or the Monkey King, is the story of a monkey demon obsessed with immortality,  has to be one of my favorite characters. When the gods offended him, he doesn't bow down, and would rather die first than have his honor be defiled. He causes havoc and chaos in Heaven just to earn respect. He eventually atones for his arrogance and sins by becoming a disciple of Xuanzang, and aiding in bringing the Buddhist sutras to China. He is rewarded for his service with buddahood.

A powerful tale to illustrate Wukong’s fearlessness, is when he once took a nap on the Mountain of Fruit and Flowers, he awoke to being dragged to the underworld. Wukong refused to accept death, and beat the demons carrying him away. On inspection of the realm, he found the Book of the Dead, and in it his name and all of his subjects in his kingdom on the mountain. He erased his and their names, freeing himself and his clan from the unknown world of death.


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