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Chapter 57

The True Sun Wukong Makes His Complaint at Potaraka

The False Monkey King Copies a Document in the Water Curtain Cave

Angry and depressed, the Great Sage Sun rose up into the air. There were many places he would have liked to go to but could not. In the Water Curtain Cave on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit he was afraid of being teased for coming back so soon after he had gone, not like a real man. He did not think he would be allowed to stay long in the palaces of Heaven; he could not face the immortals in the three magic islands in the sea; and he could not bring himself to beg for the help of the dragon king in his dragon palace. He had nobody to turn to.

There's nothing for it, he thought bitterly. I'll just have to go back to the master and pursue the true achievement.

He then brought his cloud straight down to stand in front of the Tang Priest's horse and say, Please forgive me this time, Master. I'll never commit another murder, and I'll do every thing you tell me. You must, must let me escort you to the Western Heaven. The moment the Tang Priest saw him he reined in the horse. His only reply was to start reciting the Band-tightening Spell, which he did over and over again more than twenty times, not stopping until Monkey lay weeping on the ground, the band sunk a good inch into his head.

Why haven't you gone back? Why are you still bothering me? Sanzang asked.

Don't say it again, said Monkey, don't! I've got places I can live, but I'm afraid you'll never reach the Western Heaven without me.

You are a brutal murderer, you macaque, Sanzang angrily burst out. You have got me into a lot of trouble on your account. I want nothing more to do with you. Whether I get there or not is nothing to do with you. Go at once. One more moment's delay and I'll say the spell again, and I won't stop till your brains have all been squeezed out. In unbearable pain, and seeing that the master would not change his mind, Monkey had no choice. Once again he shot up into the air on his somersault cloud, and this time he had a sudden inspiration.

That monk has let me down, he thought. I'm off to Potaraka to lodge a complaint with the Bodhisattva Guanyin.

The splendid Monkey set off once more on his somersault cloud and in less than two hours he was at the Southern Ocean. He stopped his auspicious cloud and then straight to Potaraka.

Sun Wukong charged in to the Purple Bamboo Grove where Moksa the Novice appeared to greet him politely and ask, Where are you going, Great Sage?

I would like to see the Bodhisattva, he replied. Moksa then led him to the mouth of the Tide Cave, where the page Sudhana bowed and asked, Why are you here, Great, Sage?

I want to lay a complaint before the Bodhisattva, Monkey replied.

At the word complaint Sudhana said with a smile, What an evil tongue you have, you ape. It's just like when you tricked me after I caught the Tang Priest. Our Bodhisattva is an infinitely holy and good Bodhisattva who in her great mercy and compassion has made a vow to use the Great Vehicle to save all suffering beings. What could she have done wrong for you to complain about?

At this Monkey, who was already in thoroughly bad spirits, exploded with fury. He gave a shout that made Sudhana fall back: Ungrateful little beast! Stupid fool! You used to be a monster-spirit till I asked the Bodhisattva to win you over and convert you. Now you're living in eternal bliss and freedom, and you'll go on doing so as long as the heavens last. You ought to be bowing low to thank me instead of being so thoroughly insulting. I come here with a complaint to lay before the Bodhisattva, and you accuse me of having an evil tongue and complaining about her.

I see you're as hot-tempered a monkey as ever, said Sudhana. I was only teasing: no need to turn nasty.

As they were talking the white parrot came and flew around them, which they recognized as a summons from the Bodhisattva. Moksa and Sudhana then led Monkey in to her lotus throne, where he kowtowed to her, howling aloud as the tears streamed down his cheeks. Telling Moksa and Sudhana to help Monkey to his feet, the Bodhisattva said, Wukong, tell me straight out what it is that is upsetting you so. Don't cry: I shall deliver you from your troubles.

I've never been treated this badly in the whole of my life, said a tearful Monkey, continuing to kowtow to her. Ever since you saved me from the disaster sent by Heaven I've been a faithful Buddhist and protected the Tang Priest on his way to the Western Heaven to worship the Buddha and fetch the scriptures. I've risked my skin to rescue him from demons, even though it's been like taking crunchy bones out of a tiger's mouth, or lifting the scales on a dragon's back. I've been trying so hard to win a true reward and wipe out my past sins. I never thought that the master would be so ungrateful that he'd ruin my chances of a good destiny because he couldn't tell right from wrong.

Explain what you mean by not telling right from wrong, said the Bodhisattva, and Monkey told her all the details of how the bandits had been killed, and of how in his anger at so much slaughter the Tang Priest had said the Band-tightening Spell many times over without going into the rights and wrongs of the case then repeatedly sent him away. He said he had come to her because he had no way of getting up to heaven or into the earth.

The Tang Priest is travelling West on his emperor's orders, said the Bodhisattva, and would not allow anyone to be killed for no good reason. He is a monk whose heart is set on kindness. Why did someone of your tremendous powers need to bother with killing so many small-time bandits? Bandits like that are bad, but they're human and it's wrong to kill them. It's not the same as with evil beasts, demons and spirits. Killing them is a good deed. Killing those men was cruel. You could have saved your master by just making them run away. In my impartial judgement it was wicked of you to kill them.

Even if I was wicked, said Monkey, I ought to be allowed to redeem it by doing good. He was wrong to sent me away like that. I beg you in your mercy, Bodhisattva, say the Band-loosening Spell and take it off. I'll give the band back to you and go and live in the Water Curtain Cave.

The Tathagata Buddha taught me the Band-tightening Spell, the Bodhisattva replied. He gave me three treasures when I was sent to the East to find a pilgrim to fetch the scriptures: the brocade cassock, the nine-ringed monastic staff, and the three bands. He taught me the three secret spells, but a band-loosening spell was not one of them.

In that case, Bodhisattva, I must say good-bye, Monkey replied. Where will you go? the Bodhisattva asked. I'll go to the Western Heaven to pay my respects to the Tathagata and ask him to teach me the Band-loosening Spell. Monkey replied. Wait a moment while I find out for you whether the prospects are good.

No need, said Monkey. Things are quite bad enough as they are already.

I'm not finding out about yours but about the Tang Priest's, the Bodhisattva replied.

The splendid Bodhisattva then took her seat on her lotus throne and sent her heart roaming through the three worlds while her perceptive eyes traveled all over the universe. Within the instant she spoke: Wukong, your master is just about to be wounded, and he will soon be coming to look for you. Wait here while I go to see the Tang Priest and tell him to continue taking you with him to fetch the scriptures and achieve the true reward. The Great Sage could only agree and control his impatience as he stood at the foot of the lotus throne.


The story returns to the Tang Priest, who since sending Monkey away had done some fifteen more miles to the West with Pig leading the horse and Friar Sand carrying the luggage. Disciples, he said, reining in the horse, I'm extremely hungry and thirsty. I've been going for many hours since we left that cottage before dawn and I've been thoroughly upset by that Protector of the Horses. Which of you is going to beg me some food?

Down you get, Master, said Pig, while I look round here for a village to beg some food in. At this Sanzang dismounted, while the idiot went up into the air on a cloud and took a good look all around. All he could see were mountains: there was no hope of spotting a human house. Bringing the cloud back down Pig said to Sanzang, There's nowhere to beg from here. I couldn't see a single farm when I looked around.

In that case, said Sanzang, fetch us some water to quench our thirst.

I'll get some from the stream on that mountain to the South, said Pig, and Friar Sand handed him the begging bowl. While Pig carried it off on his cloud the master sat and waited beside the path for a very long time, getting more and more unbearably thirsty, and there was no sign of Pig. There is a poem to prove it that goes,


Preserve the true spirit and nourish the breath, for this is called essence.

Feeling and nature originally shared the same form.

When spirit and heart are disordered all illness arises;

If essence and form both decline the primal will crash.

Without the three contemplations all effort is wasted;

Should the four elements be too wretched there's no point in contending.

Without earth and wood there can be no more metal or water;

How can the dharma body be won through idleness?


Seeing his master in agony from thirst as Pig was not back with the water, Friar Sand put the luggage down, tethered the white horse, and said, Master, make yourself comfortable. I'm going to hurry him up with that water. Sanzang, too tearful to speak, nodded his head in agreement, whereupon Friar Sand headed by cloud for the mountain to the South.

Sanzang was left by himself to endure his excruciating pain. In his deep misery he was alarmed by a noise that made him sit up and look. It was Monkey kneeling by the side of the path holding a porcelain cup and saying, Without me you can't even have water to drink, Master. Drink this cup of lovely cold water while I go to beg you some food.

I won't drink water you give me, said Sanzang. I'd rather die of thirst right here. I want no more of you. Go away.

But you'll never get to the Western Heaven without me, said Monkey. Whether I get there or not is none of your business, the Tang Priest replied. Wicked ape! Why do you keep pestering me? At that Monkey turned angry and started shouting abusively, You've been lousy to me, you cruel, vicious old baldy. With that he threw the bowl aside and swung his cudgel, hitting Sanzang on his back. Sanzang fell to the ground, barely conscious and unable to speak, as Monkey took the two bundles wrapped in blue felt in his arms and disappeared without trace on a somersault cloud.

As Pig was hurrying to the mountain to the South with the bowl in his hand he noticed a thatched cottage in a hollow. He had not spotted it when first he looked because it had been hidden in a fold of the mountain. Realizing that it was a house now he was close to the idiot thought, If I show them my ugly mug they'll be so scared they won't possibly give me any food. It'd all be wasted effort. I'd better turn into something a bit better-looking.

The splendid idiot then made a spell with his hands, said the magic words, shook himself seven or eight times, and turned himself into a consumptive monk with a fat, sallow face who was mumbling something as he went up to the door and called out, Benefactor, have you any leftover rice in the kitchen for starving travelers? I'm from the East and I'm on my way to fetch scriptures from the Western Heaven. My master is back at the road, hungry and thirsty. If you have any left-over rice stuck to the bottom of your pan I beg you to give me some to save our lives.

As it happened the men of the house were all out transplanting rice and sowing millet, and the only people in were two women who had just cooked the rice for the midday meal and had filled two platters with it that they were preparing to take to the fields. There was some rice left at the bottom of the pan. Seeing how sickly he looked they took what he said about going from the East to fetch the scriptures from the Western Heaven as delirious ravings. Afraid he might collapse and die in the doorway, they made a great to-do as they filled his bowl with rice from the bottom of the pan. The idiot took it from them, reverted to his true form, and went back the way he had come.

As he was going along he heard a shout of Pig! and looked up to see Friar Sand standing on the top of a precipice yelling, Over here, over here. Friar Sand came down and walked straight towards him, asking, Why didn't you take some of the fresh water from this stream? Why did you go over there?

After I got here I saw a cottage in a hollow, so I went and begged this bowlful of rice.

We could certainly use it, said Friar Sand, but the master is terribly thirsty, so how are we going to carry some water back?

That's easy, said Pig. Carry this rice in the fold of your habit while I go and fetch some water in this bowl.

The two of them were feeling very cheerful as they went back to the path, only to find Sanzang lying face downwards in the dirt. The white horse had slipped its bridle and was running to and fro beside the path, whinnying. There was not a sigh of the baggage. Pig stumbled and beat his breast with horror, Don't tell me, he shouted, don't tell me. The survivors of the gang Monkey drove away have come back, killed the master and stolen the baggage.

Tether the horse, said Friar Sand. Whatever shall we do? We've failed halfway along our journey. Master! Tears poured down his face as he sobbed bitterly.

Don't cry, brother, said Pig. As this is what's happened we'll just have to forget about fetching the scriptures. You look after the master's body. I'll take the horse till I get to some town, village, market or inn where I can sell it for a few ounces of silver to buy a coffin to bury him in. Then we'll split up and go our separate ways.

Friar Sand, unable to bear the loss of his master, turned the body over to warm the face with his own. Poor, poor master, he cried, then noticed hot breath coming from his master's nose and felt warmth in his chest. Come here, Pig, he shouted, the master's still alive. Pig came over and helped Sanzang to sit up.

As Sanzang came to he groaned and said bitterly, That evil macaque tried to murder me.

What macaque? the other two asked. The venerable elder sighed and said nothing.

Only when he had asked for and drunk a few mouthfuls of water did he reply, As soon as you'd gone Wukong came to pester me again. When I still refused to take him back he hit me with his cudgel and stole the bundles wrapped in blue felt. At this Pig ground his teeth as the fury rose higher and higher in him.

Damn that monkey, he said. How could he do such a terrible thing? Look after the master, he continued, addressing Friar Sand, I'm going to his house to get back the bundles.

Don't lose your temper, said Friar Sand. Let's help the master over to that cottage in the hollow to ask for hot tea. Then we can heat up the rice you've begged already, and get the master better before we go after Monkey.

Accepting this suggestion Pig helped the master back on the horse. Carrying the bowl of water, and with the rice in Friar Sand's habit, they headed straight back for the door of the cottage. There was only an old woman at home, and at the sight of them she hid herself as fast as she could. Friar Sand put his hands together in front of his chest and said, Good lady, we've been sent by the Tang court in the East to the Western Heaven. As our master is not very well I have come to ask you for some hot tea to warm his rice with.

We had a consumptive monk begging here just now who said he'd come from the East, the old woman replied. Now you say you're from the East too. There's nobody at home. Please try somewhere else.

Hearing this, the venerable elder dismounted with Pig's help, bowed to her and said, Madam, I used to have three disciples who worked together to protect me on my way to the Thunder Monastery in the country of India to worship the Buddha and fetch the scriptures. But because my senior disciple Sun Wukong is a born murderer and will not be kind I sent him away. To my utter surprise he sneaked up on me, hit me across the back, and stole my clothes, baggage and bowl. I want to send one of my other disciples after him, and as I can't stay by the roadside I have come here to ask if I may rest in your house for a while. It will only be till the luggage has been recovered. I won't stay long.

A consumptive monk with a fat, sallow face begged some food from us just now, the woman said. He said he had come from the East and was going to the Western Heaven. There can't be another group of you.

That was me, said Pig, unable to keep a straight face any longer. I made myself look like that. I thought my long snout and big ears would give you such a fright that you wouldn't give me any food. If you don't believe me, my brother here has the rice from the bottom of your pan inside his tunic.

Recognizing the rice the old woman stopped trying to send them away. She asked them to sit down inside and prepared a pot of hot tea that she gave to Friar Sand to warm the rice with. He did this and handed it to his master, who ate a few mouthfuls, sat quietly to calm himself for a while, then asked, Which of you will go to fetch the luggage?

When you sent him away the other year, replied Pig, I went to fetch him. I know the way to his Water Curtain Cave on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. Wait here while I go.

No, said Sanzang, not you. You have never got on with that macaque, and besides you're very rough-spoken. If you say anything wrong he'll hit you. Let Wujing go. Friar Sand agreed at once, and Sanzang gave him these instructions: When you get there you must keep a close watch on the situation. If he is willing to give you back the bundles then pretend to be very grateful when you accept them. If he won't you must on no account quarrel with him. Go straight to the Bodhisattva in the Southern Sea, tell her what has happened, and ask her to demand them from him.

Friar Sand accepted his instructions and said to Pig, I'm off to find Monkey now. Whatever you do, don't complain. Look after the master properly. You mustn't have a row with these people or they might not feed you. I'll soon be back.

I understand, Pig replied with a nod. Off you go, and come back soon whether you recover the luggage or not. Otherwise we'll have lost both ways, Friar Sand then made a hand spell and headed off by cloud for the Eastern Continent of Superior Body. Indeed:


When the body is present but the soul files off, nothing remains to keep it alive;

A furnace without fire can refine no cinnabar.

The yellow wife leaves the lord to seek the metal elder.

Wood's mother puts on a sickly face to look after the master.

Who knows when this journey will ever end

Or when he will return from far away?

The Five Elements give birth and yield to each other.

All is disorder until the mind-ape comes back.


Friar Sand flew for three days and nights before he reached the Eastern Ocean. At the sound of its waves he looked down and saw


Black mists up to the sky and gloomy vapors;

The ocean embracing the sun in dawn's cold light.


But he was in no mood to enjoy the view as he crossed Yingzhou and the other islands of immortals and headed on East straight for the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. Riding the sea wind and walking on the water it took him a lot longer before he saw a line of peaks like serried halberds and sheer rocks like screens. When he reached the highest peak he landed his cloud and found his way down the mountain, heading for the Water Curtain Cave. As he approached he heard a great commotion: the mountain was covered with yelling monkey spirits. When closer still he saw Monkey sitting on a high stone terrace holding a piece of paper in both hands from which he was reading:


We, the Emperor Li of the Great Tang Dynasty in the East have called to our presence our younger brother the Master of the Law Chen Xuanzang and commissioned him to go West to seek the scriptures from the Lord Buddha in the Thunder Monastery at the Saha Vulture Peak in India. When our soul went wandering in the Underworld after we succumbed to a sudden illness we were fortunate enough to have our years of life extended and to be returned to the world of the living by the Lord of Darkness. Since then we have held many masses and built altars to help the souls of the dead across to the other side. We were blessed by the appearance of the golden deliverer from suffering, the Bodhisattva Guanyin, who informed us that the Buddha in the West has scriptures that will deliver all lost souls. We have therefore sent the Dharma Master Xuanzang to make the long journey across a thousand mountains in search of the sutras and the gathas. We request that in the states of the West through which he passed he be allowed to proceed in accordance with this passport and that his holy cause be not brought to naught. Given on an auspicious day in the autumn of the thirteenth year of Zhenguan of the Great Tang.

Since leaving that mighty empire he has passed through many other states. On the journey he has taken three disciples. The senior one is Sun Wukong the Novice; the second is Zhu Wuneng, or Zhu Bajie; and the third is Sha Wujing, or Friar Sand.


Having read the text of Sanzang's passport through once he read it out again, at which Friar Sand could not help himself calling out at the top of his voice, Brother, why are you reading the master's passport out?

When Monkey heard this he jerked his head up and, refusing to recognize Friar Sand, shouted, Arrest him! Arrest him! All the monkeys rushed him and surrounded him, pulling him and dragging him towards Monkey, who shouted, Who do you think you are? What a nerve, coming so close to our immortals' cave.

Seeing how Monkey had turned cold and was refusing to recognize him any longer Friar Sand had no choice but to go up to him with a bow and say, Elder brother, it was wrong of our master to be so angry with you, curse you and send you away. Pig and I ought to have persuaded him not to, and we shouldn't have been away looking for water and begging for food for our starving, thirsty master when you were so good as to come back. It was wrong of the master to be so stubborn and to refuse again to let you stay. That was why you knocked him senseless and took the luggage. When we came back we revived the master and now I've come to see you. Unless you hate the master and have forgotten what you owe him for delivering you from your torment in the past, won't you bring the luggage and come back with me to see him? Then we can all go to the Western Heaven and win our true reward. If you really hate him so deeply that you won't come with me, then please, please give me the bundles. Then you can enjoy the sunset of your life here in your native mountain. This way we'll all be fine.

Monkey's answer to this was to say with a derisive laugh, that's not what I had in mind at all, brother. The reason why I hit the master and took the luggage isn't because I'm not going to the West or want to stay here. I'm learning the passport off by heart so that I can go to the Western Heaven to worship the Buddha and fetch the scriptures myself. I shall have all the glory of taking them back to the East. I'll make those people in the Southern Jambu Continent see me as a great master and I'll be famous for ever.

What you say isn't quite right, replied Friar Sand with a smile. Nobody's ever heard of Sun the Novice going to fetch the scriptures. Our Tathagata Buddha created three stores of true scriptures and sent the Bodhisattva Guanyin to the East to find the pilgrim who would go to fetch them. Our job is to escort the pilgrim across a thousand mountains and through all the countries along the way. As the Bodhisattva has told us, the pilgrim was once the venerable elder Golden Cicada, a disciple of Tathagata Buddha's. Because he was exiled from Vulture Peak and reborn in the East for not listening to the Lord Buddha's sermons on the scriptures he is the one who must make his true achievement in the West and return to the Great Way. We three were saved to protect him from the demons he would meet on the journey. No Lord Buddha's going to give you the scriptures if you turn up without the Tang Priest. It'd just be wasted effort.

Brother, said Monkey, you've always been rather thick. You don't know the half of it. You may say you've got a Tang Priest, but what makes you think I haven't got one to escort to? I've chosen another holy monk here to escort. No problem! We're starting off on our big journey tomorrow. If you don't believe me I'll show you him. Little ones, he called, bring my master out at once. In they ran, and they came out again leading a white horse, a Tang Sanzang, a Pig carrying the luggage and a Friar Sand with his monastic staff.

I've never changed my name, roared Friar Sand in fury at this sight. There can't possibly be another Friar Sand. How dare you! Take this! The splendid Friar Sand raised his demon-quelling staff with both arms and brought it down on his double's head, killing him outright and revealing that he had really been a monkey spirit. This made Monkey so angry that he swung his gold-banded cudgel and led all the monkeys to surround him. Lashing about him, Friar Sand fought his way out and escaped by cloud.

That damned ape is being so thoroughly vicious that I'll have to report him to the Bodhisattva, he thought; and as Friar Sand had killed a monkey spirit and been driven away Monkey did not go after him. Going back to his cave he told his underlings to drag the corpse to one side, skin it and cook its flesh, on which he and the other monkeys then feasted with coconut toddy and the wine of grapes. Then he chose another monkey fiend who was good at transformations to turn into Friar Sand and started instructing him again as he prepared to travel to the West. There we shall leave him.


Meanwhile Friar Sand flew his cloud away from the Eastern Ocean and traveled for a day and a night to the Southern Ocean. Before long Mount Potaraka came into view not far away, so he pressed forward then brought his cloud down so that he could stop and look. It was a wonderful sight. Indeed:


It includes all the mysteries of heaven and earth.

Here is the confluence of the rivers,

Where sun and stars are washed and bathed.

Hither all creatures come,

The winds are born and the moon is rocked in the ripples.

When the tidal wave rises high the leviathan is transformed.

Amid the mighty breakers the giant turtle swims.

The waters are joined to the Western and Northern Seas;

The waves connect with the Central and Eastern Oceans.

The four seas are linked as the artery of the earth;

In the magic islands are palaces of immortals.

Forget about all the earthly paradises;

Look at Potaraka's cloudy cave.

A wonderful sight:

Noble the primal spirit of the peak at sunset;

Below the cliffs the winds make rippling crystal.

Peacocks fly in the Purple Bamboo Grove;

Parrots talk in the branches of green poplar.

Flowers of jade and jasper always bloom;

Precious trees and golden lotuses grow every year.

White cranes come to pay homage at this peak;

Phoenixes often alight in the mountain pavilions.

Even the fish here cultivate their true nature,

Leaping in the waves as they listen to the scriptures.


As Friar Sand strolled on the mountain enjoying this magical view Moksa the Novice came up to him and said, Why are you here instead of escorting the Tang Priest on his way to fetch the scriptures, Sha Wujing?

Friar Sand bowed to him and replied, There is something on which I would like an audience with the Bodhisattva. Could I trouble you to take me to her?

Moksa, who realized that he was looking for Monkey, asked no further questions but went straight to the Bodhisattva and said, The Tang Priest's junior disciple Sha Wujing is here to pay homage.

When Monkey, who was still there below the lotus throne, heard this he said with a smile, The Tang Priest must be in trouble if Friar Sand is here to ask for your help, Bodhisattva. The Bodhisattva then asked Moksa to bring him in. Friar Sand prostrated himself on the ground to kowtow to her, then looked up, about to start making his complaint, when he saw Monkey standing beside her. Without a word he struck at Monkey's face with his demon-subduing staff. Instead of hitting back Monkey dodged the blow and got out of the way.

I'll get you, you thoroughly evil, treacherous ape, roared Friar Sand. You're trying to deceive the Bodhisattva too.

Don't hit him, shouted the Bodhisattva. Tell me what's been happening.

Only then did Friar Sand put down his precious staff and kowtow to the lotus throne again, saying with raging fury, We're lost count of the number of murders this ape has committed on the journey. The other day he killed two highwaymen and the master let him have it, so when we were spending the next night at the bandit chief's home it came as a shock when he butchered as many of the gang as he could and took a severed head all dripping with blood to show to the master. It gave the master such a fright that he fell off his horse, said some nasty things to Monkey and sent him packing. After he'd gone the master was so hungry and thirsty that he sent Pig off to look for some water, and because Pig took a very long time to get back he sent me off after him. We never imagined that Monkey would come back, hit the master with his iron cudgel and steal the two bundles wrapped in blue felt while we were away. We came back and brought the master round. Then I went all the way to the Water Curtain Cave to fetch Monkey. To my amazement he turned cold and refused to recognize me. He was reading the master's passport aloud over and over again. When I asked him why, he said that as he couldn't escort the Tang Priest any further he was going to fetch the scriptures from the Western Heaven and take them back East himself. Then they'd treat him as a great master and he'd be famous for ever. When I asked who'd give him scriptures if the Tang Priest wasn't with him he said he'd chosen a holy monk and asked him to come out. There was a white horse, a Tang Priest, a Pig and a Friar Sand. Tm Friar Sand,' I said, 'and the one and only Friar Sand too'. I hit him one with my staff, and he turned out to be a monkey spirit. When Monkey came after me with his hordes I decided to come here to tell you, Bodhisattva, and ask for your help. I never realized he'd get here before me by somersault cloud, or that he'd fool you with his fine words.

You must not make such slanders, Wujing, the Bodhisattva said. Wukong has been here for four days. I never let him go back, and he didn't send for another Tang Priest to go to fetch the scriptures.

But what about that Monkey in the Water Curtain Cave? I'm telling you the truth, replied Friar Sand.

Calm down, said the Bodhisattva. I'll send Wukong back to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit with you to take a good look round. If he's real he'll be hard to wipe out, but if he's a fake you'll be able to eliminate him easily. You'll find out which he is when you get there. At this Brother Monkey and Friar Sand took their leave of the Bodhisattva. They were making their journey


To the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit

The rights and wrongs to reveal;

To the cave with a curtain of water

To tell the false from the real.


If you don't know how they told them apart you had better listen to the explanation in the next installment


Chapter 56 | Journey to the West (vol. 2) | Chapter 58