In my previous posts about Feng Shui – 2012 YEAR OF THE WATER DRAGON FENG SHUI FLYING STAR FORECAST, FENG SHUI-CHINESE ZODIAC FORECAST FOR 2012 YEAR OF THE WATER DRAGON PART 1 AND PART 2: and 2012 CHINESE NEW YEAR FENG SHUI RITUALS TO USHER IN THE YEAR OF THE WATER DRAGON – I made mention of the monkey god Sun Wukong as one of the most powerful wealth and protector deity and as the deity featured in the specially designed WEALTH AND MASTER PROTECTION PENDANT.
A lot of people are not familiar with the Taoist and Chinese Buddhist Monkey God called Sun Wukong and a lot of Westeners think that having a Monkey God is a preposterous idea. However, the truth is Sun Wukong or the Monkey God is one of the most wonderful and powerful Taoist immortal and Buddhist deity. However, Sun Wukong is also one of the most misunderstood Buddhist deity. A lot of people thought that Sun Wukong is merely a Taoist God or Immortal, but the truth is Sun Wukong embraced Buddhism and thus is also revered in Chinese Buddhism. I say Chinese Buddhism because I’m not sure whether he’s recognized in Tibetan Buddhism. But note that there’s also a Monkey God in Hinduism.
In the Taoist story of creation, Nuwa is the goddess who created the universe. It’s believed that she purposely left a blessed celestial rock that through the passage of time and exposure to different forces and energies became the Stone Monkey [Chinese Character:石猴 Pronunciation: Shí Hóu] .
The Monkey God being a creature out of a celestial rock is naturally intelligent. He banded with other groups of monkey. But has always been discontented about the way they live their life. One time in search for a bottomless source of water, they came across a strong waterfall. They believe that the true power of their future lies behind the curtain of water. However, no one dared to be the first person to enter the curtain of water (waterfall) for fear of the current and the unknown. Stone Monkey volunteered to his group but demanded that should he survived the crossing of the curtain water he should be honored as the king of the monkeys. All the monkeys agreed and Stone Monkey crossed the curtain water and found a cave behind the curtain water filled with fruits and flowers. He called this place the Mountain of Flowers and Fruits [Chinese Character: 花果山].
He called in his fellow monkeys, told them about this great place and encourage them to live there. He also reminded them of their agreement that he should survive the crossing he will be then honored as king. The other monkeys-young and old-honored this agreement. As the King of the Monkeys, the Stone Monkey gave himself the name: Handsome Monkey-King [Chinese Character:美猴王 Pronunciation: Měi Hóuwáng ].
However, the Handsome Monkey-King being naturally impatient got tired of his Mountain and Flowers and Fruits. He decided to that he wants to learn more about Taoist magics. He left his monkeys and the Mountain and flowers and Fruits to look for a ‘master’. After traveling for more than ten years and after passing several ‘exams’ a master adopted him, gave him the name Sun Wukong [Chinese Character: 孫悟空 Pronunciation:Sūn Wùkōng], and then train him with some magic and supernatural skills. He soon mastered the Transformation Magic and was also trained in Cloud Riding and he is also able to jump 54,000 kms. in a single flip. However, he played with his Transformation Magic and boasted his skills with the other students. When his master found out about this he was banished.
Sun Wukong then went back to the Mountain of Flowers and Fruits where he found out that his fellow monkeys were attacked and the younger monkeys were kidnapped by a monster. He then went to look for the said monster, freed and avenged his monkeys. He was greatly satisfied with his success but realized that he need a weapon worthy of his powers, for the monster that he attacked has scimatars.
In search for this weapon, he arrived at the lair of the Dragon Kings of the Ocean. The Dragon Kings kindly received him but Sun Wukong abused their kindness greatly inconvenienced them. He demanded for a weapon and for an outfit worthy of his power. After several choices he finally found the most powerful weapon in the Dragon Kings of the Ocean stockroom. The weapon is called the Magical Golden Hooped Rod which weighs 8.1 tons. Much to the surprised of the Dragon Kings was able to carry the weapon, something that hasn’t been done before. The Magical Golden Hooped Rod is really heavy, but once you’re able to carry it you are able to command it to change it size, does Sun Wukong command it to become as small as needle so that he can hide it behind his ears. As mentioned, not contented with just getting the weapon, he also demanded the Dragon Kings of the Ocean to give him magical clothes worthy of his power. They then gave him Golden Chain Mail ( Mail is a type of armor consisting of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh), Phoenix-Feathered Cap, and Cloud-Walking Boots.
With his new found abilities, weapon and magical clothers, Sun Wukong decided that he wants to be truly immortal. He then went to hell and erased his name and that of his monkeys from the book of hell. This made him and his monkeys truly immortal.
When the Jade Emperor found out about this he called on Sun Wukong intending to punish him. However, upon the advice of the other Heavenly Beings the Jade Emperor decided to just give him a non-existing position in the Heavenly Kingdom. He was made caretaker of the Heavenly Horses. Where he got the title Keeper of the Heavenly Horses [Chinese Character: 弼馬溫 Pronunciation: Bìmǎwēn]. But Bimawen soon became bored again and challenged the Jade Emperor.
Angered, the Jade Emperor sent Heavenly Beings to subdue Bimawen. However, Bimawen’s power is so great that the Heavenly Beings that was sent to subdue him were no match to his skills, thus they are unable to subdue him. The other Earthly Immortals found out about his and they started addressing him as the ‘Great Sage, Equal of Heaven’ [Chinese Character: 齊天大聖 Pronunciation: Qítiān Dàshèng]. The Great Sage greatly enjoyed this title and immediately adopted it.
However, with the help of Sakyamuni Buddha, The Great Sage was subdued and imprisoned. However, he begged the Boddhisatva of Compassion (Goddess of Mercy) Kuan Yin to release him. Kuan Yin realizing The Great Sage’s power decided to have The Great Sage accompany the Tang Buddhist Monk Xuan Zang in his journey to the West to acquire some Buddhist scrolls. Nevertheless, Kuan Yin knows that The Great Sage with his tremendous power will be hard to subdue. Thus Kuan Yin instructed Xuan Zang to trick The Great Sage into wearing s Heavenly Headband. Using some prayers the Heavenly Headband will cause pain to The Great Sage. Xuan Zang is to used this whenever The Great Sage becomes out of control.
The Great Sage became the protector and disciple of Xuan Zang. Thus earning him the name Pilgrim or Ascetic [Chinese Character: 行者 Pronunciation: Xíngzhě]. Xuan Zang did have to used the Heavenly Headband but he soon was humbled and subdued. Other than being the disciple of Xuan Zang, Pilgrim became the Xuan Zang’s main protector also. More than that he is also the wittiest disciple of Xuan Zang (there are 3 more disciples). He often acts as the strategist of Xuan Zang.
Despite of the numerous challenges that they came across during their journey to the West, they were still able to finish the ‘order’. Because all of this Sakyamuni rewarded all of them giving Pilgrim the title of Victorious Fighting Buddha [Chinese Character: 鬥戰勝佛 Pronunciation: Dòu-zhànshèng-fó].
This story is greatly detailed in the novel of the fictionalized account of the legendary pilgrimage of the Tang Buddhist Monk Xuan Zang. It is unfortunate, that Westerners regard it as a fiction. However, to most Taoist and Buddhist believed that the story really happened in the Heavenly Realm.
I personally have a deep devotion to The Great Sage Sun Wukong. But that’s another story for another post.
In writing this I hope you’ll have a better understanding of who Sun Wukong is and why I decided to have Him as the main deity of my specially designed – WEALTH AND MASTER PROTECTION PENDANT. He is no ordinary Monkey God, he is ‘The Great Sage, Equal of Heaven’.