Dal jsem se do čtení Cesty na západ (Journey to the West). Budu si tady shromažďovat úryvky, co mě zaujmou.
The Handsome Monkey King had enjoyed this insouciant existence for three or four hundred years when one day, while feasting with the rest of the monkeys, he suddenly grew sad and shed a few tears. Alarmed, the monkeys surrounding him bowed down and asked, “What is disturbing the Great King?” The Monkey King replied, “Though I am very happy at the moment, I am a little concerned about the future. Hence I’m distressed.” The monkeys all laughed and said, “The Great King indeed does not know contentment! Here we daily have a banquet on an immortal mountain in a blessed land, in an ancient cave on a divine continent. We are not subject to the unicorn or the phoenix, nor are we governed by the rulers of mankind. Such independence and comfort are immeasurable blessings. Why, then, does he worry about the future?” The Monkey King said, “Though we are not subject to the laws of man today, nor need we be threatened by the rule of any bird or beast, old age and physical decay in the future will disclose the secret sovereignty of Yama, King of the Underworld. If we die, shall we not have lived in vain, not being able to rank forever among the Heavenly beings?”
“If you have penetrated to the dharma nature to apprehend the origin,” said the Patriarch, “you have, in fact, entered into the divine substance. You need, however, to guard against the danger of three calamities.” When Wukong heard this, he thought for a long time and said, “The words of the master must be erroneous. I have frequently heard that when one is learned in the Way and excels in virtue, he will enjoy the same age as Heaven; fire and water cannot harm him and every kind of disease will vanish. How can there be this danger of three calamities?”
“What you have learned,” said the Patriarch, “is no ordinary magic: you have stolen the creative powers of Heaven and Earth and invaded the dark mysteries of the sun and moon. Your success in perfecting the elixir is something that the gods and the demons cannot countenance. Though your appearance will be preserved and your age lengthened, after five hundred years Heaven will send down the calamity of thunder to strike you. Hence you must be intelligent and wise enough to avoid it ahead of time. If you can escape it, your age will indeed equal that of Heaven; if not, your life will thus be finished. After another five hundred years Heaven will send down the calamity of fire to burn you. That fire is neither natural nor common fire; its name is the Fire of Yin, and it arises from within the soles of your feet to reach even the cavity of your heart, reducing your entrails to ashes and your limbs to utter ruin. The arduous labor of a millennium will then have been made completely superfluous. After another five hundred years the calamity of wind will be sent to blow at you. It is not the wind from the north, south, east, or west; nor is it one of the winds of four seasons; nor is it the wind of flowers, willows, pines, and bamboos. It is called the Mighty Wind, and it enters from the top of the skull into the body, passes through the midriff, and penetrates the nine apertures. The bones and the flesh will be dissolved and the body itself will disintegrate. You must therefore avoid all three calamities.”
“I won’t condemn you,” said the Patriarch, “but you must leave this place. [...] See that you don’t get into trouble and involve me: that’s all I ask.”
Seeing that there was no other alternative, Wukong had to bow to the Patriarch and take leave of the congregation. “Once you leave,” the Patriarch said, “you’re bound to end up evildoing. I don’t care what kind of villainy and violence you engage in, but I forbid you ever to mention that you are my disciple. [...]”
The Dragon King accordingly led him to the center of the ocean treasury, where all at once they saw a thousand shafts of golden light. Pointing to the spot, the Dragon King said, “That’s it—the thing that is glowing.” Wukong girded up his clothes and went forward to touch it: it was an iron rod more than twenty feet long and as thick as a barrel. Using all his might, he lifted it with both hands, saying, “It’s a little too long and too thick. It would be more serviceable if it were somewhat shorter and thinner.” Hardly had he finished speaking when the treasure shrunk a few feet in length and became a layer thinner. “Smaller still would be even better,” said Wukong, giving it another bounce in his hands. Again the treasure became smaller. Highly pleased, Wukong took it out of the ocean treasury to examine it. He found a golden hoop at each end, with solid black iron in between. Immediately adjacent to one of the hoops was the inscription, “The Compliant Golden-Hooped Rod. Weight: thirteen thousand five hundred pounds.” He thought to himself in secret delight, “This treasure, I suppose, must be most compliant with one’s wishes.” As he walked, he was deliberating in his mind and murmuring to himself, bouncing the rod in his hands, “Shorter and thinner still would be marvelous!” By the time he took it outside, the rod was no more than twenty feet in length and had the thickness of a rice bowl.
“Where did this baneful monkey come from?” asked the Bodhisattva. “He was born of a stone egg on top of the Flower-Fruit Mountain of the Aolai Country of the East Pūrvavideha Continent,” said the Jade Emperor. “At the moment of his birth, two beams of golden light flashed immediately from his eyes, reaching as far as the Palace of the Polestar. We did not think much of that, but he later became a monster, subduing the Dragon and taming the Tiger as well as eradicating his name from the Register of Death.”
When the monster heard these words, he apologized repeatedly. Putting away his staff, he allowed Mokṣa to grasp him by the collar and lead him away. He lowered his head and bowed low to Guanyin, saying, “Bodhisattva, please forgive me and let me submit my explanation. I am no monster; rather, I am the Curtain-Raising General who waits upon the phoenix chariot of the Jade Emperor at the Divine Mists Hall. Because I carelessly broke a crystal cup at one of the Festivals of Immortal Peaches, the Jade Emperor gave me eight hundred lashes, banished me to the Region Below, and changed me into my present shape. Every seventh day he sends a flying sword to stab my breast and side more than a hundred times before it leaves me. Hence my present wretchedness! Moreover, the hunger and cold are unbearable, and I am driven every few days to come out of the waves and find a traveler for food. I certainly did not expect that my ignorance would today lead me to offend the great, merciful Bodhisattva.”
It was fortunate that Liu Hong was called away by urgent business the next morning. The lady thought to herself: “If this child is here when that bandit returns, his life is finished! I might as well abandon him now to the river, and let life or death take its own course. Perhaps Heaven, taking pity on him, will send someone to his rescue and to have him cared for. Then we may have a chance to meet again.” She was afraid, however, that future recognition would be difficult; so she bit her finger and wrote a letter with her blood, stating in detail the names of the parents, the family history, and the reason for the child’s abandonment. She also bit off a little toe from the child’s left foot to establish a mark of his identity. Taking one of her own inner garments she wrapped the child and took him out of the mansion when no one was watching. Fortunately the mansion was not far from the river. Reaching the bank, the lady burst into tears and wailed long and loud. She was about to toss the child into the river when she caught sight of a plank floating by the river bank. At once she prayed to Heaven, after which she placed the child on the plank and tied him securely to it with some rope. She fastened the letter written in blood to his chest, pushed the plank out into the water, and let it drift away. With tears in her eyes, the lady went back to the mansion, but we shall say no more of that.
“When you established your empire,” said Yuchi Gong, “you had to kill countless people. Why should you fear ghosts?”
“When I return to the World of Light,” said Taizong, bowing again to thank them, “I have very little that I can present you as a token of my gratitude. Perhaps I can send you some melons or other kinds of fruit?” Delighted, the Ten Kings said, “We have eastern and western melons here, but we lack southern melons.” “The moment I get back,” said Taizong, “I shall send you some.” They bowed to each other with hands folded, and parted.
Meanwhile, another notice was posted asking for a volunteer to take the melons and other fruits to the Region of Darkness. [...] After the notice had been posted for some days, a worthy came forth to volunteer his life for the mission. He was originally from Zunzhou; his surname was Liu and his given name Quan, and he belonged to a family of great wealth. The reason he came forward was that his wife, Li Cuilian, happened to have given a gold hairpin from her head, by way of alms, to a monk in front of their house. When Liu Quan chided her for her indiscretion in flaunting herself outside their home, Li became so upset that she promptly hanged herself, leaving behind her a pair of young children, who wept piteously day and night. Liu Quan was so filled with remorse by the sight of them that he was willing to leave life and property to take the melons to hell. He therefore took down the royal notice and came to see the Tang emperor. The emperor ordered him to go to the Lodge of the Golden Pavilion, where a pair of southern melons were put on his head, some money in his sleeve, and some medicine in his mouth.
So Liu Quan died by taking poison. His soul, still bearing the fruits on his head, arrived at the Gate of Spirits. The demon guardian at the door shouted, “Who are you that you dare to come here?” “By the imperial command of the Great Tang Emperor Taizong,” said Liu Quan, “I came here especially to present melons and other fruits for the enjoyment of the Ten Kings of the Underworld.” The demon guardian received him amiably and led him to the Treasure Hall of Darkness. When he saw King Yama, he presented the melons, saying, “By order of the Tang emperor, I came from afar to present these melons as a token of thanks for the gracious hospitality of the Ten Kings.” Highly pleased, King Yama said, “That Emperor Taizong is certainly a man of his word!” He accepted the melons and proceeded to ask the messenger about his name and his home. “Your humble servant,” said Liu Quan, “resided originally in Junzhou; my surname is Liu and my given name is Quan. Because my wife hanged herself, leaving no one to care for our children, I decided to leave home and children and sacrifice my life for the country by helping my emperor to take these melons here as a thank offering.”
In a little while, as they were passing the Mountain of Two Frontiers, they saw a fierce tiger approaching, growling and waving its tail. Tripitaka, sitting on his horse, became alarmed, but Pilgrim, walking at the side of the road, was delighted. “Don’t be afraid, Master,” he said, “for he’s here to present me with some clothes.” He put down the luggage and took a tiny needle out of his ears. One wave of it facing the wind, and it became an iron rod with the thickness of a rice bowl. He held it in his hands and laughed, saying, “I haven’t used this treasure for over five hundred years! Today I’m taking it out to bag a little garment for myself.” Look at him! He strode right up to the tiger, crying, “Cursed beast! Where do you think you’re going?” Crouching low, the tiger lay prone on the dust and dared not move. Pilgrim Sun aimed the rod at its head, and one stroke caused its brain to burst out like ten thousand red petals of peach blossoms, and the teeth to fly out like so many pieces of white jade. So terrified was our Chen Xuanzang that he fell off his horse. “O God! O God!” he cried, biting his fingers.
“You really have no conception of my ability. This pair of eyes of mine in daylight can discern good and evil within a thousand miles; at that distance, I can even see a dragonfly when it spreads its wings.”
After leaving that place, they had a peaceful journey for two months, for all they met were barbarians, Muslims, tigers, wolves, and leopards. Time went by swiftly, and it was again early spring.