The Legend Of the Monkey King

The Legend Of the Monkey
Important supplemental information for American
Born Chinese
The Birth of Sun Wukong
He is born on Flower Fruit Mountain from a
stone egg that forms from an ancient rock
created by the coupling of heaven and earth.
Sun Wukong Becomes Monkey King
He first distinguishes himself by bravely
entering the Cave of Water Curtains on
the mountain; for this feat, his monkey
tribe gives him the title of "Handsome
The Gods Take Notice
After angering several gods and coming to
the attention of the Jade Emperor, he is
given a minor position in heaven as the
Protector of Horses so they can keep an
eye on him.
The Jade Emperor
The Jade Emperor in Chinese folk culture
is the Taoist ruler of Heaven and all
realms of existence below including that
of Man and Hell, according to a version of
Taoist mythology.
What Is Taoism?
The philosophy founded by Lao-Tzu.
 It is a combination of mysticism,
philosophical reflection, and poetry.
 Taoism stresses the unity of humanity and
the universe. It is the loss of that unity that is
responsible for desire, competition, and the
unsuccessful attempts to regulate the
behavior by moral law.
Monkey King Grows Angry
When he realizes that he is not
considered a full-fledged god, he becomes
very angry.
Monkey King Is Undefeated
Upon returning to his mountain, he puts
up a flag and declares himself the "Great
Sage Equaling Heaven."
 Then the Jade Emperor dispatches
celestial soldiers to arrest Sun Wukong,
but no one succeeds.
Monkey King Becomes More
The Jade Emperor has no choice but to
appoint him to be the patrolman of the
heavenly peach garden.
 The peaches in the garden bear fruit
every 3,000-years; eating its flesh will
bestow immortality, so Wukong eats one
and becomes more powerful and
Monkey King Trapped!
Later, he starts making trouble in Heaven.
 Eventually, the Jade Emperor appeals to
Buddha, who detains Sun Wukong under a
mountain called Five Elements.
Who Is Buddha?
Gautama Siddartha (c. 563–479 BC), the
prince from present day Nepal who
became the Buddha, ‘the Enlightened
 Required his followers to isolate
themselves from worldly life.
Monkey King Freed
He is later set free five centuries later
when Xuanzang comes upon him during
his pilgrimage and accepts him as a
 If the Monkey King helps
Xuanzang, his sins will be
Who is Xuanzang?
Xuanzang (c. 602 – 664) was a famous
Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and
translator who described the interaction
between China and India in the early Tang
He became famous for his seventeen year
overland journey to India, which provided
the inspiration for the epic novel Journey to
the West.
Controlling the Monkey King
Understanding that that the monkey
would be hard to control, Xuanzang used
a magical headband.
 Sun Wukong was tricked into putting it
on, and then it could never be removed.
 With a special chant, the band would
tighten and cause unbearable pain to the
monkey's head.
The Monkey King Is Faithful
Throughout the epic Journey to the West,
Sun Wukong faithfully helped Xuanzang on
his journey to India.
 Xuanzang's safety was constantly under
threat from demons and other
supernatural beings.
 Sun Wukong often acted as his bodyguard.
The Monkey King’s Buddhahood
Sun Wukong was eventually granted
Buddhahood, or perfect enlightenment,
for his service and strength.
Monkey King’s Powers and Weapons
Sun Wukong possesses an immense
amount of strength; he is able to lift his
7,881 pound staff with ease.
Monkey King’s Powers and Weapons
He is also superbly fast, able to travel
33,554 miles in one somersault.
Monkey King’s Powers and Weapons
Sun Wukong knows 72 transformations,
which allows him to transform into
various animals and objects.
 He has trouble, however, transforming
into other people because he is unable to
complete the transformation of his tail.
Monkey King’s Powers and Weapons
He is a skilled fighter, capable of holding
his own against the best generals of
Monkey King’s Powers and Weapons
Each of his hairs possesses magical
properties, and is capable of transforming
either into a clone of the Monkey King
himself, or various weapons, animals, and
other objects.
Monkey King’s Powers and Weapons
He also knows spells that can command
wind, part water, conjure protective
circles against demons, and freeze humans,
demons, and gods alike.
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