Continued from here
|Fierce Pigsy [Source*]|
|Don't ask.... [Source*]|
Perhaps this is yet another Buddhist message that comes out in many other legends; that lust is an unworthy emotion and a dangerous one, along with greed and sloth, and no-one who is slave to these vices has reached the first rung on the ladder to humanity.
|Pigsy's pin-up girl; love (lust, really) sadly unrequited. [Source*]|
|Very flirty Dragon Princess tells Monkey to make his magic staff bigger. [Source*]|
The Spirit Craving
One of the lessons of Monkey certainly is that Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy are spirits only, and they can therefore claim no independent existence. Like gods and demons, they only exist because we believe in them, and their great longing is to become real.
All three of them want to become human, so that they can advance along the path to fulfilment. In one episode, they are allowed to view themselves in a magic mirror in the forms they eventually will have as humans, and their handsome images appear with all the outward manifestations of their vices obliterated.
The ultimate optimism of Buddhism shines through this incident like a beacon, for its universal message is that all life will finally achieve the blissful state of nirvana. But for the three spirits who accompany Tripitaka, there is a very long road ahead of them before that goal is attained, and many lessons to be learnt on the way.
|Sandy, the Water Spirit [Source*]|
|Monkey and Sandy [Source*]|
Bearing in mind the overwhelmingly allegorical nature of the story, Monkey can teach us how to view Mahayana Buddhism in a new light. It may be full of magic and demons, but its symbolic qualities are a constant reminder that the realities of existence are beyond the illusions we have come to believe in.
*Modified. Unmodified illustration source: http://www.greatsage.net