“Monkey King”, also known as “Journey to West” written by Wu Ch’eng-en (1500?-1582) a scholar-official, is one of the renowned classical Chinese novels about an allegorical rendition of the journey, mingled with Chinese fables, fairy tables, legends ,superstitions, popular beliefs, monster stories, and whatever the author could find in the Taoist and Buddhist religions.
It was based on a true story of a famous Chinese monk, Xuan Zang (602-664). After years of trials and tribulations, he travelled on foot, budgeting what resources he could to make it to what is today India, the birthplace of Buddhism, to seek for the Tripitaka, the Buddhist holy teachings. This was before the time of unlimited conference calls, so a great physical journey was necessary and travel to the source of knowledge. When he returned to China, or the Great Tang as was called that time, he started to translate the sutras into Chinese, thus making a great contribution to the development of Buddhism in China.
Monkey King is a rebellious extraordinary being, born out of a rock, fertilized by the grace of Heaven, Being extremely smart and capable, he learned all the magic tricks and gongfu from a master Taoist, Continue reading
Myths and Legends of China
By Edward T.C. Werner, 
Chapter XIV – How the Monkey Became a God
The Hsi Yu Chi
In dealing with the gods of China we noticed the monkey among them. Why and in what manner he attained to that exalted rank is set forth in detail in the Hsi yu chi 1—a work the contents of which have become woven into the fabric of Chinese legendary lore and are known and loved by every intelligent native. Its pages are filled with ghosts, demons, and fairies, good and bad, but “it contains no more than the average Chinese really believes to exist, and his belief in such manifestations is so firm that from the cradle to the grave he lives and moves and has his being in reference to them.” Its characters are said to be allegorical, though it may be doubted whether these implications may rightly be read into the Chinese text. Thus:
Hsüan (or Yüan) Chuang, or T’ang Sêng, is the pilgrim of the Hsi yu chi, who symbolizes conscience, to which all actions are brought for trial. The priestly garment of Hsüan Chuang symbolizes the good work of the rectified human nature. It is held to be a great protection to the new heart from the myriads of evil beings which surround it, seeking its destruction. Continue reading
Five elements (Japanese philosophy)
The five elements philosophy in Japanese Buddhism, godai (五大?, lit. “five great”), is derived from Indian Vastu shastra philosophy and Buddhist beliefs. It is perhaps best known in the Western world for its use in Miyamoto Musashi’s famous text Gorin-no-sho (The Book of Five Rings), in which he explains different aspects of swordsmanship by assigning each aspect to an element.
The five elements are, in ascending order of power, Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void.
地 Chi (or ji) or tsuchi, meaning “Earth”, represents the hard, solid objects of the earth. The most basic example of chi is in a stone. Stones are highly resistant to movement or change, as is anything heavily influenced by chi. In people, the bones, muscles and tissues are represented by chi. Emotionally, chi is predominantly associated with stubbornness, collectivity, stability, physicality, and gravity. It is a desire Continue reading
From Reading the Mind
By K. Khao-suan-luang
Discernment vs. Self-deception
It’s important that we discuss the steps of the practice in training the mind, for the mind has all sorts of deceptions by which it fools itself. If you aren’t skillful in investigating and seeing through them, they are very difficult to overcome even if you are continually mindful to keep watch over the mind. You have to make an effort to focus on contemplating these things at all times. Mindfulness on its own won’t be able to give rise to any real knowledge. At best, it can give you only a little protection against the effects of sensory contact. If you don’t make a focused contemplation, the mind won’t be able to give rise to any knowledge within itself at all.
This is why you have to train yourself to be constantly aware all around. When you come to know anything for what it really is, there’s nothing but letting go. On the beginning level, this means that the Continue reading
by Lama Surya Das
Even the Dalai Lama gets angry. The trick is what you do with it.
Q: What did the Buddha teach about anger, specifically righteous anger? Is any anger acceptable in Buddhism?
A: The Dalai Lama recently answered the question, “Is there a positive form of anger?” by saying that righteous anger is a “defilement” or “afflictive emotion”–a Buddhist term translated from the Sanskrit word klesha–that must be eliminated if one seeks to achieve nirvana. He added that although anger might have some positive effects in terms of survival or moral outrage, he did not accept anger of any kind as a virtuous emotion nor aggression as constructive behavior.
Buddhism in general teaches that anger is a destructive emotion and that there is no good example of it. The Buddha taught that three basic kleshas are at the root of samsara (bondage, illusion) and the vicious cycle of rebirth. Continue reading
The worship of Devi in Sri Chakram
By M. Murali, 2012
The Sri Chakram, Sri Mahameru platform should always face East flat on ground. You should sit facing North and to the right of platform. The force of gravity of the northern direction will help you in your pooja. Likewise in the temple where the deity faces East. Coconut oil with cotton wick should be used for lighting lamp (Thiruvilakku Jothi). Ghee and gingerly oil can be mixed and used. Flowers without smell should not be used. It is not necessary to light incense sticks and camphor for pooja. You require only mantrams for pooja.
Both Sri Chakram and Sri Mahameru possess [the] same quality. It is the residing power of the great power that directs, protects, destroys their make and ceaselessly work. Continue reading
The Eight Limbs
By Mara Carrico
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called ashtanga, which literally means “eight limbs” (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health; and they help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.
The first limb, yama, deals with one’s ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on our behavior and how we conduct ourselves in life. Yamas are universal practices that relate best to what we know as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The five yamas are: Continue reading