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The mythology of Wukong is a fascinating story that has captivated audiences for centuries. It is the birth of a legend that has become an iconic character in Chinese culture. Wukong, also known as the Monkey King, is a character that has become a part of many cultural references around the world. Let’s explore the mythology of Wukong and the story that has enchanted audiences for generations.
The Birth of a Legend
The birth of the Monkey King started with the story of the Jade Emperor who ruled the heavens. One day, the Jade Emperor decided to hold a feast for all the creatures of the world, including the monkeys. The monkeys were thrilled to attend, but the Jade Emperor saw them as noisy and mischievous, and wanted to get rid of them.
Wukong, the smartest and strongest of all monkeys, proposed that he and his fellow monkeys become protectors of the heavens. The Jade Emperor agreed but asked for proof that they could live up to their word. Wukong was given a job as a stable boy, but he saw it as an insult and refused to do menial work.
In his anger and frustration, Wukong left the heavens and went down to earth. He discovered the Taoist master, Subhuti, who taught him the secrets of magic and immortality. Wukong became a skilled warrior and a master of fighting in the sky with his staff. After many years of training, he returned to the heavens to take his place as a protector.
However, the Jade Emperor saw Wukong as a threat and gave him many impossible tasks, hoping he would fail. Wukong succeeded at each one, including a task to retrieve sacred scrolls from the East, West, South, and North Seas. Each scroll gave him new powers, like the ability to make copies of himself, to see through lies, and to travel great distances in seconds.
Wukong’s power grew too great, and he became arrogant and disrespectful towards the other gods. He even challenged the Jade Emperor for his throne, which resulted in his being imprisoned under a mountain for 500 years. During his imprisonment, Wukong repented and became a Buddhist. He was eventually released and given a new role as a protector of the sacred Buddhist scriptures.
The Legend of Wukong
The story of Wukong has become a Chinese classic, including being the inspiration for the beloved novel, Journey to the West. The Monkey King is often portrayed as a lively and cheeky character, but his personality has varied from medium to medium.
Wukong’s legacy has influenced many art forms around the world. Hollywood also had a go creating a movie based on Wukong called ‘The Monkey King,’ and popular video games featuring Wukong have been released.
The Legend Continues
Wukong remains a beloved character and a symbol of Chinese myth and legend worldwide. His journey from being an arrogant monkey to a Buddhist monk has made him an endearing and relatable character. His story continues to inspire and ignite the imagination of many people, ensuring that the legend of Wukong will live on forever.
Goodbye for now, and until next time.