Masterpieces of East Asian
The Crow-Cock Episode, 3
• 4. Competition and Contrast between Monkey and
• How does Monkey trick Piggy into going with him to retrieve the body of the dead emperor?
• By taking advantage of Piggy’s greed and making Piggy believe that they are on a treasure hunt (p.187). Monkey’s jealousy for
Piggy’s strength (p.185).
• How does Piggy revenge Monkey’s trick?
• By hoaxing a guillable Tripitaka into reciting the head-bank sutra that gives Monkey excruciating pain. Tripitaka sometimes easily swayed by his disciples.
• What’s the result of Piggy’s revenge?
• Monkey has to go to the Taoist patriarch, Lao Tzu, to get an elixir pill for reviving the king.
The Cart-Slow Country, 3
• 3. Cooperation and Contrast between Tripitaka and
Contest #1, Calling for rain: Monkey wins the day by relying on his will and fearlessness, intimidating the heavenly gods and dragons into blowing the wind in his direction.
Contest #2, Meditation high in the air:
Monkey admits that he is too fidgety to settle-down and meditate, “It’s quite against my nature to sit still.” (p.235)
How do the Buddhists win?
Tripitaka meditates, relying on his superior spiritual cultivation and concentration, “I had first-rate masters when I was young and can remain suspended at the frontier between life and death for two or three years.”
Monkey transforms himself into a centipede and climb into the meditating
Daoist’s nostril. The Daoist falls to the ground.
• The “River that Leads to Heaven” Episode
• Chapters 25-27:
• Why are the villagers sad even if the Great King in charge of the river gives them good harvest every year? • Because the mystical king requires the offering of a pair of children per year.
• How does Monkey decide to help the villagers?
• Cooperation between characters: Monkey and Piggy transform themselves in a boy (War Child) and a girl
(Load of Gold) and take the sacrificed children’s place.
• 3. Trials and Challenges Arranged by Guanyin:
• After being chased away by Monkey and Piggy, how does the cannibal king manage to capture Tripitaka?
• By freezing the river first and then cracking the ice when the pilgrims walk on the river
• What does the king turn into?
• The goldfish in Bodhisattva Kuan-yin’s pond
• After Kuan-yin takes back the goldfish, how do the pilgrims cross the river?
• Being carried on the back of a big turtle
• Gradual journey toward enlightenment
The Monster freezes the River
The pilgrims cross the frozen river
The Boddhisattva Kuan-yin retrieves her “goldfish” with her fishing basket Chapter 27
The Finale, 1
• Chapters 28-30:
• 1. Unity of the Three Teachings: Who first greets the pilgrims when they step into
• A Taoist priest
• 2. Paradox #1: How do the pilgrims cross the last river separating them from Buddha’s
Thunder Clap Palace?
• Riding in a bottomless boat
The Finale, 2
• 3. A Leap of Faith:
• In your opinion or speculation, why does the boat have to be bottomless? • The river that blocks your path to the “Other Shore” is really not a river; it is your apprehension of the difficulty of reaching the other shore that stops you from crossing. The boat, therefore, is only an appearance of the carrying vehicle. What carries you over is not the boat, but your own belief that overcomes fear and sees through desire.
• Analogy to Neo trying to “leap” across a vast cavern between buildings in the Matrix--- an “impossible” task:
The Finale, 3
• 4. Enlightenment– Transcendence of limitations of
• What happens to Tripitaka while he crosses the river?
• He sees his own body floating away – total transcendence over the material world. “Tripitaka stepped lightly ashore. He had discarded his earthly body; he was cleansed from the corruption of the senses, from the fleshly inheritance of those