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The Monks of the Guanyin Monastery Plot to Take the Treasure,
The Monster of the Black Wind Mountain Steals the Cassock

Sanzang and disciples stay overnight at the Chan Monastery of Guanyin. The abbot of the monastery offer them tea and food. Everything is beautifully arranged in exquisite porcelain. When Sanzang sees all this he is full of praise. “What splendid things,” he says, “what splendid things. Wonderful tea in wonderful vessels.” “They’re not worth looking at,” the old monk replies. “After all, sir, you come from a superior and heavenly court, and have seen many rare things in your wide travels; so how can you give such exaggerated praise to things like that? What treasures did you bring with you from your superior country that I could have a look at?” “I’m afraid our Eastern land has no great treasures, and even if it did, I would have been unable to bring them on so long a journey”, Sanzang replies.

“Master,” puts in Monkey, who was sitting beside him, “isn’t that cassock I saw in our bundle the other day a treasure? Why don’t I take it out for him to see?” Monkey shows Sanzang`s cassock to the Abbot. When the aged monk sees how rare a treasure it was, his heart is indeed disturbed. He goes up to Sanzang and kneels before him. “Sir,” the aged monk says, “it is already evening, so my eyes are too dim to see it clearly. Would you let me take it to my room to examine it closely during the night, I will return it to you in the morning to take to the West. What do you say to that?” This request startles Sanzang, but Money assures him that everything would be fine, and that he would be responsible.

The Abbot wants to keep the cassock and tries to kill Sanzang by setting fire to the monastery. Monkey finds out about the Abbot’s plan and steels back the cassock. He then keeps the Tang Priest, the dragon horse, and the luggage, safe from the fire with his magic. However, during the fire a monster of the black wind mountain, who notices the fire and comes to see what it is all about, sees a magic glow and propitious vapors coming from one of the rooms. When he sees it is a rare treasure of the Buddhist religion, he grasps the cassock and makes off with it. When Monkey wants to go off to find the cassock, Sanzang is afraid that there will be no one to protect him. Monkey replies: “Don’t worry, gods are watching over you in secret”.

Check back next week for Journey to the West Abridged: Chapter 17!

Journey to the West is one of the most famous novels in Chinese history. It was produced in the 16th century during the Ming dynasty. It has influenced countless other stories, works of art even in to the modern day, such as the anime Dragonball and the film The Forbidden Kingdom drawing inspiration from this classic.

The story follows the Tang Monk on his journey to India to obtain sacred Buddhist scriptures. Along the way he is joined by the magical Monkey King, a foolish Pig man, and the mighty Sand Monk. This article is part of a series by Walther Sell, summarizing the Chinese epic.

All content in the article are not our original work and are the property of Walther Sell. Check him out at:
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