Chapter 2 Look for a devout monk to take Buddhist ures
第二章： 寻高僧取经 观音自荐奔大唐
Rulai Buddha, the father of Buddha lived in Big Thunder Temple in Mt.
Lingshan in Western Paradise, namely, the present India. One day, he gave a
lecture on Buddhist ures.
He said to his listeners, “I’ve been observing the four continents. Some
people like to eat but hate to work. Others always wallow in luxury and
pleasure. Worse, the bloodthirsty evil doers take killing people as their
hobby.” Rulai Buddha said continuously. “I have three canons of true
Buddhist ures. They can advise people to do good works.”
“What about your three canons?” Some listeners asked.
“No.1 is on the heaven. No.2 is on the earth. And No.3 is to help ghosts detach themselves from sufferings. These three canons include 35 books. There’re altogether 15,144 chapters,” said the father of Buddha. “I’m going to give these ures to East Continent of Shengshen. But the people there are quite stupid and defame truth
ures and don’t understand the real meanings of Buddhism.” He told his listeners. “I’m going to find a devout monk in East Continent of Shengshen. I want to let him come here to take my true ures and leave them there forever so as to advise the people there to do good works. But he must undergo untold hardships during the trials of his long journey. Who’s willing to go there to look for the monk for me?”
“I’m willing to go.” One of audiences said.
The father of Buddha found it was the Guanyin Bodhisattva.
Quite delighted, the father of Buddha said, “No one other than Guanyin
can go there. It must be Guanyin that possesses the enormous ability to
fulfill such an important task.”
“You have orders?” Guanyin asked.
“You should carefully examine the route of your journey. Remember how far
your route is. Do not go in the sky. Take your way where is half-cloudy and
half-misty. You should exhort the monk to surmount numerous difficulties
and dangers to take my ures,” said Rulai Buddha. “I’m afraid it’s
hard for the devout monk to walk all the way, so I’d like to give him five
The father of Buddha asked his two disciples to take over a monk’s robe
and a monk’s crosier.
“Give these two treasured objects to the monk,” he told Guanyin. “If
the monk perseveres to come, he can wear my monk’s robe so as to avoid the
circulation of life and death. He can also use my monk’s crosier so as not
to be hurt.”
Guanyin took over these two treasured objects. And then Rulai Buddha took
out and gave three golden hoops to Guanyin.
“These treasured objects are called tightening hoops. They are all the
same in shape but they have different uses.” Rulai Buddha said. “I have
three Incantations of the Golden Hoop. If you meet with a demon possessing
enormous abilities, you may advise him to do good works and to be a
disciple of the monk. If he doesn’t listen to you, you may tighten his
head with these golden hoops which will naturally take roots into his
flesh. If you mutter incantations, his eyes will be swollen and he will
suffer from a terrible head-ache, and his forehead will split open. We’ll
see to it that he will be converted to Buddhism.”
Parting with Rulai Buddha, Guanyin departed without any delay with a
capable young monk Huian as his bodygard, who was in fact the heaven god Li
’s second son Mucha. Guanyin wrapped the monk’s robe and asked Huian to
take it. He himself took the golden hoops and the monk’s crosier.
Soon after departure, they met the master of Yuzhen Temple. The master
offered some tea to them. Guanyin didn’t dare to stop.
“We’re going east to look for a devout monk to take Buddhist ures
according to the order of Rulai Buddha.”
“When will the monk come?”
“I’m not sure,” Guanyin said. “Maybe he’ll come here about two or
three years later.”
Saying good-bye to the master and taking their way where was half-cloudy and
half-misty, they continued their long journey.
Shortly, a river named Liushahe River blocked their way.
“The current is so swift with violent waves,” said Gyanyin.“How can an
ordinary monk cross the river?”
“Master,” his disciple asked. “Do you know how long and how wide the
river is ?”
Facing the rapid streams, Gyuanyin guessed its width was at least 800
miles, and its length at least 10,000,000 miles. The turbulence was surging
like the earth having an overturn. And the roaring waves were high as
mountain peaks. The deafening sound could be heard ten miles away.
While watching the river, they suddenly saw an ugly demon jumping out of
the streams with a terrible crash.
The color of his face was rather strange, half-green and half-black. The
naked creature was neither very tall nor very short. His protruding eyes
were sparkling like two lamps. His red hair was fluffy like grass. Two
buckteeth stretched out of his big mouth. His howl was just like thunder
rumble. While walking on the water surface, there was seemingly a roaring
gale getting up from under his bare feet.
Coming onto the river bank with a treasured stick in his hand, the
ferocious creature was going to catch Guanyin. But Guanyin’s disciple
stopped him with a large iron stick. Then the two waged a fierce battle.
Neither would give in.
After fighting several decades of rounds, it was still difficult to
predict who would win the battle.
“You stupid monk! Where do you come from?” The demon blocked the monk’
s iron stick. “How can you have the gut to set against me?
“I’m the second son of the Heaven God Li,” the monk said. “I’m
escorting my master to go east to look for a devout monk to take Buddhist
ures.” The monk asked. “What kind of demon are you? Who gave you
the gut to block our way?”
It was just at this moment that the demon suddenly saw the light.
“If you don’t believe,” said the monk. “Just look at there. My master
is sitting on the bank.”
Hearing this, the creature declared cease-fire at once and then he was
dragged to see Guanyin. Coming onto the bank, the demon immediately knelt
down before Guanyin.
“Forgive me, please!” the demon said to Guanyin. “I’m willing to tell
you the truth. In fact, I’m not a demon. I was the official in charge of
all the curtains in the heavenly palace. It was only because I broke a
treasured glass at the flat-peach banquet that I was severely punished.
Heaven Emperor issued an order to whip me 800 times and send me here in
exile. And therefore I’ve become so ugly.” The demon complained
continuously. “Moreover, I must have my heart penetrated through by a
flying sword once a week, each time over a hundred penetrations. I’m
greatly tormented with it. But I can do nothing but endure it. Worse of it
is that I have to suffer the terrible hardships of hunger and cold. I have
no choice but to come out of the river and look for a human to eat every
other two or three days. Unexpectedly, today, I offend Guanyin. I’m really
guilty of the most heinous crimes.”
“You were guilty in the heaven and therefore sent here in exile,” said
Guanyin. “But you don’t repent and mend your ways. Worse of all, you
should have the gut to eat human beings. You’re really doubly guilty.”
Added Guanyin.“Now I’m going east to look for a devout monk to take
Buddhist ures. Why aren’t you converted yourself to Buddhism? If you
’re willing to follow the monk to go west to take Buddhist ures, I
can prevent the flying sword from penetrating your heart. Moreover, when
your task finally comes to completion, the punishment on you can be
remitted. And if so, you can be restored to your original post. How do you
think of it?”
“I’m willing to be converted myself to Buddhism,” said the demon. “
Guanyin Bodhisattva, I’ve eaten countless people here. Among them, there
were quite a few monks to take Buddhist ures. But they were already
eaten by me. I’ve thrown their skeletons into the water. All of them have
already sunk to the bottom of the river. But there’re nine odd skulls.
They didn’t sink but floated on the surface of the river.“
“Regarding them as something rare, I’ve already dredged them up from the
water and strung them together with a rope. Whenever I’m free, I would
take them out and play with them.” The demon added. “You ask me to wait
here. But who knows whether the monk will come or not? If he doesn’t come,
won’t that destroy my bright future?”
“How could he refuse to come?” said Guanyin.“You may put the string of
skulls around you neck. They’ll be useful when the monk comes here.”
“Alright,” The demon said. “I’m willing to follow your instructions.”
Guanyin touched the top of his head and let him initiated into monkhood
and gave him a Buddhist name Wujing Sha.
Wujing Sha escorted Guanyin to cross the river and then waited there for
the monk. Reforming himself thoroughly, he had never eaten any human beings
from then on and did nothing but wait for the man taking the Buddhist ures.
Parting with Wujing Sha, Guanyin and his disciple Mu Cha continued their
journey to the east.
Walking for a long time, they found a big mountain blocking their way.
Guanyin was going to rise into the cloud and ride the mist. But just at
this moment, a violent gust of wind was rising and then a creature
appeared. His curly hair was dirty and his ugly lips were thick. His ears
were large as palm fans and his eyes were bright as lightening. His two
buckteeth were sharp as steel files. When opening, his protruding mouth
large as a basin. Generally speaking, his head was exactly like that of a
pig. Odd enough, his weapons were only a spike-tooth iron rake in hand and a bow at waist.
Leaving no chance to explain, the demon raised his rake and was going to
strike Guanyin. Mu Cha rushed forward instantly and stopped him.
“You creature! Don’t be reckless.” Mu Cha raised his treasured stick
and cried. “Look at my stick!”
“Stupid monk!” shouted the demon. “You’re really heedless of
consequences. Look at my rake!”
The two fought a furious battle at the foot of a mountain. Just at the
moment neither would give in, Guanyin threw a lotus flower from the sky
which separated Mu Cha’s stick and the demon’s rake.
Seeing the lotus flower, the demon trembled with fright and asked, “Monk,
where are you from? Why do you play a trick on me with the lotus flower?”
“You blind demon! Entertain an angel unawares!” Mu Cha said. “I’m a
disciple of Gyuanyin Bodhisattva. This lotus flower was thrown by my
master. You can’t recognize it?”
“Guanyin Bodhisattva!” the demon exclaimed. “Is he the merciful
Guangyin who rescued numerous people from untold misery?”
Mu Cha replied, “If he isn’t Guanyin Bodhisattva, then who is he?”
Throwing his rake away and kneeling down, the demon said to Mu Cha, “
Brother, where’s Guanyin Bodhisattva? Would you please represent me to him?”
Raising his head, Mu Cha said, “He’s over there, isn’t he?”
The demon kowtowed toward the sky and shouted aloud, “Guanyin Bodhisattva, I beg your pardon!”
Stepping down from the cloud, Guanyin sternly asked, “You wild boar
spirit, where do you come from? You old pig demon, why do you incite and
create trouble here? You should dare to block my way!”
“I’m neither wild boar nor old pig.” Said the demon. “I was the
Tianpeng general in Milk Way. One day I was deadly drunk and seduced Chang
E, the moon goddess. Only because of this, Heaven Emperor struck me 2,000
times with an iron hammer and sent me down to the earth in exile. I wanted
to go into a decent family to get myself reborn. But by mistake, I went
into a pig pen and entered the belly of a sow. I got myself wrongly reborn
with the ugly features like this. Bursting into anger, I bit the sow to
death and killed all the other pigs and finally occupied this area. Having
no food to keep myself alive, I have to eat human beings. Unexpectedly, I
meet with Guanyin Bodhisattva today. Rescue me, please!”
“What’s the name of this mountain?” Guanyin asked.
“Its name is Mt.Fuling,” said the demon. “There’s a cave at the
hillside named Yunqian Cave. There was a girl in it. Her name was No.2 Egg
Sister. She thought I was rather capable and took me as the master of her
family. But less than one year, she died and I got all she had. Because I
have no necessary skills to keep myself alive, I have to depend on the
family property I got from her. As time went by, the property was gradually
used up, and I had to eat human beings. I wish Guanyin Bodhisattva could
“If you want a future, then you mustn’t do anything to destroy your
future. You violated the heavenly laws. That’s your first sin,” said
Guanyin. “But you don’t want to get rid of your evil ideas and still do
evil here by eating human beings. This is your second sin.”
“Future, future!” shouted the demon. “You want me to eat wind? There’s
a saying goes: If following the official laws, you have to be beaten to death. But If following the Buddhist doctrines, you have to get yourself hungry to death. No, no. I’d better go. There is nothing better than catching a human being and eating him. So fat, so
delicious! Who cares about the second sin or the third sin? And sins No.
1000 or 10,000? ”
“If you want to become benevolent, the heaven would help you.” Guanyin
added, “So long as you behave well, there must have some proper way for
you to follow. There’re various kinds of grains in the world for you to
eat. What’s the need to eat human beings?”
Hearing this, the demon suddenly saw the light just like waking up from a
“I want to behave well,” said the demon. “But I’ve already violated
the heavenly laws. What can I do?”
“According to the instructions of the father of Buddha, I’m going east
to look for a devout monk to take Buddhist ures” Guanyin told him. “
You can be a disciple for him and follow him to go west to take Buddhist
ures. You can amend your misdeeds by good service. I’m sure you can
be free from disasters.”
“O.K. I’m willing to act upon your words.” The demon agreed.
Toughing the top of his head, Guanyin made the demon initiated into
monkhood and gave him a Buddhist name Wuneng Zhu. Zhu means pig.
As a monk, the previous demon, from then on, began to follow a proper way.
Abstaining from eating meat, he had to be on vegetarian diet. General
speaking, he must give up eight habits, so he was also called Ba Jie. Ba
means “eight“. And Jie means “give up”.
And from then on, the pig spirit started waiting here for the monk to take
Parting with the pig spirit, Wuneng Zhu, Guanyin and Mu Cha continued
their journey by way of half-cloud and half-mist.
While advancing, they found a young jade dragon shouting aloud in the sky.
Stepping up, Guanyin asked, “What sort of dragon are you? Why are you
suffering hardships here?”
“I’m the son of Ao Ruin. My father is Dragon King of the West Sea.” The
young dragon said. “I once set the dragon palace on fire and burned away
many pearls. My father sued me in the heavenly court. The Heaven Emperor
burst into anger and made me hung half in the sky as a punishment. I’ve
already been beaten three hundred times and will be put to death very soon.
Guanyin Bodhisattva, rescue me please!”
After hearing this, Guanyin and Mu Cha went to the heaven palace
Guanyin made a bow to Heaven Emperor, saying, “I’m going east to look
for a devout monk to take Buddhist ures. I met with the young dragon
hung half in the sky.” Added Guanyin. “I’d like to ask you to spare his
life and give him to me. I’ll teach him how to help the monk go west
getting Buddhist ures.
Hearing this, Heaven Emperor let the young dragon exempt from punishment
and set him free and give him to Guanyin. Thanking Heaven Emperor, Guanyin
left. And the young dragon kowtowed to Guanyin for his rescue and said he
was willing to do whatever he was told. Guanyin sent him into a deep
mountain brook so that he could turn himself into a white horse and help
the monk to go west when the monk came here later on. The young dragon
accepted Guanyin’s instructions and hid himself in the water.
Climbing over the mountain, they go east continuously. Shortly, they saw
dazzling brilliant light ahead.
“Master, it’s Mt. Wuxing over there,” said Mu Cha. “Rulai’s notes
were on the mountain.”
“Monkey King was weighed down there.”
“Right,” said Mu Cha.
Reading the notes of the father of Buddha, Guanyin composed a poem and
muttered. The meanings of the poem was: neither well-behaved nor
well-disciplined, the monkey demon acted wantonly and disturbed the
heavenly palace, such as introducing troubles into the flat peach banquet
and stealthily eating the elixir of life, and was finally weighed down by
Rulai Buddha as a punishment.
They climbed up the mountain and their action alerted Monkey King.
“Who’s reading a poem and exposing my faults here?” Monkey King asked.
Going down the mountain, Guanyin found Monkey Kind was weighed down in a
stone box. He could only speak but not move.
“Sun Wukong, you know me?” ask Guanyin.
Opening his magical eyes, Monkey King shouted aloud, “How can it be
I don’t know you? You’re Guanyin Bodhisattva, aren’t you? Look at me, look at
me! I’m suffering hardships here. Days wear on like years. Worse of it,
nobody calls on me.” He added, “Where do you come from?”
“By orders of the father of Buddha,” Guanyin told him. “I’m going east
to look for a devout monk to take Buddhist ures. I chance to pass
here and take this opportunity to come to see you.”
“Rulai cheated me and weighed me down the mountain. Five hundred years
have passed over. I cannot move. Please save me, if it is convenient to you!“
“You’re sinful,” said Guanyin. “I’m afraid you’ll make troubles
again if I make you free.”
“I’ve already realized my error and are determined to mend my ways,”
said Monkey King. “I hope you may point out a correct way for me. I’m
willing to practice Buddhist teachings.”
Hearing this, Guanyin Bodhisattva was very happy and said to Monkey King,
“Now that you have this aspiration, I’m willing to help you. When I find
the devout monk to take Buddhist ures, I’ll ask him to rescue you.
You can become a Buddhist monk and help him as his disciple so as to practice Buddhist teachings. What do you
think about it?”
“O.K. O.K.” Monkey King replied without any delay.
“Now that you’re willing to become a Buddhist monk, I’d like to give
you Buddhist name.” Guanyin said to Monkey King.
“I’ve already got one,” said Monkey King. “It’s Wukong Sun.”
Guanyin was very pleased and said, “I’ve already vanquished two demons
before you. There’s also the word Wu in their names. What a happy
coincidence! So you three seem to be brothers. It’s excellent. I’m going
Parting with Monkey King, Guanyin and his disciple Mu Cha continued their
long journey. In the end, they came to Chang An City, the capital of the
Chinese Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 - 907), which was over 1,000 years ago.
Stepping down from the sky, they turned into two dirty traveling monks.
It was getting dark. The master and disciple found the temple of the local
earth god. When they entered the temple, the earth god immediately
recognized their true identity. Knowing they were Guanyin and his disciple,
the earth god called over all the local gods at once.
“Do not leak any information,” Guanyin said to the gods. “By orders of
the father of Buddha, I come here to look for a devout monk to take
Buddhist ures.” He turned to the earth god. “I’d like to borrow
your temple to stay in for a few days. Whenever I find the monk, I’ll
All gods left. The earth god had to live in temple of the city god. With their real looks covered up, Guanyin and his disciple stayed in the temple of the earth god at night,
and in day time, they went out to look for the monk.