Does the idea of a ‘journey’ apply to Tripitaka’s pilgrimage? If so, how?
The idea of embarking on journeys has stood the test of time - early man explored uncharted territories, while modern citizens jump at the chance to have an overseas experience. Are we truly concerned with materialistic experiences, or are we seeking to expand our horizons ? The term pilgrimage itself suggests a journey to a geographical location of spiritual importance. However, journey in this case may not solely be categorized as physical travel but also as the voyage of soul development. Tripitaka's pilgrimage is more likely a spiritual journey to enlightenment than a mission to retrieve Buddhist scriptures from the West.…show more content… During one of the trials, Wuneng asks Wukong: "All you need to do is carry Master on your back...and jump across. Why continue to fight this monster?" (Vol 1, P.436) Hearing this, Wukong answers that he cannot because “You and I are only his protective companions, guarding his body and life, but we cannot exempt him from the woes, nor can we obtain scriptures all by ourselves.” (Vol 1, P.436)
The series of events undergone by Tripitaka continues to suggest that the idea of experiencing a journey outweighs objective fulfilment. In the final chapters of the book, when Tripitaka arrives in India, the deities observe that he only has undergone eighty
trials. Consequently, after being given the scriptures, several deities magically carried him to an area where he would have a confrontation with a giant turtle he encountered along his pilgrimage, thus orchestrating one final trial before his enlightenment. The heavy babysitting of Tripitaka pilgrimage by higher powers and the attainment of his enlightenment, not, notably, for fetching the scriptures back, but instead for the eighty one tribulations he overcame seem to exemplify that the idea of spiritual journey is of paramount importance. The