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For Fun : How did Sun Wu Kong get so powerful?


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#1 snowybeagle

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 04:35 AM

Sun Wu Kong (孙悟空), aka Monkey God, the main character of Journey to the West 《西游记》, was one of the most powerful characters in the novel and Chinese mythology.

In the novel, the only characters clearly able to win against him was the Buddha and Guan Yin.
He probably couldn't or wouldn't win against his former teacher Grandmaster Xū P T (菩提祖师) either.
I found his battle against Yang Jian, nicknamed Er Lang Shen (二郎神杨戬) inconclusive, given he and his monkey folks were outnumbered.
Fellows who drew with him were his impersonator - the Six Eared Peach Monkey, and the Red Child.
In several battles, his opponents had certain particular weapons (such as the Iron Fan or the stolen artefacts) without which he would have won against them.
Somehow though, Sun Wu Kong wasn't able to fight as well in waters in later episodes.

The near-invincibility and powers of Sun Wu Kong were attributable to several sources.

(1) His origins - He was a divine rock came to life after absorbing the essence of the heavens and the earth (仙石吸收天地之气孕育而生).

(2) The skills he learned from Grandmaster Xū P T (菩提祖师) at the Cave of Crescent Moon and Three Stars (斜月三星洞) on Mount LngTiFāngCn (灵台方寸山) - 72 Transformations (七十二变) and Cloud Riding (筋斗云).

(3) Rewriting/destroying the Book of Life and Death (生死簿) in the Netherworld (地府).

(4) Eating the peaches of immortality (蟠桃) from the Celestian Gardens.

(5) Eating the golden elixir pills (九转金丹) concocted by Tai Shang Lao Jun (太上老君) in his special brazier (八卦炉).

I don't suppose he got much powers from drinking the wine prepared for the Western Goddess' Banquet.
I will discount his weapon - the magical cudgel, as it is something external to himself.

Though (1) to (5) all added up, which would you consider as the most significant in him being so powerful?

Edited by snowybeagle, 26 July 2005 - 04:41 AM.


#2 Wujiang

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 01:01 PM

I would htink that key thing that made him unbeatable would have been (3). Without a death-date, he can take any punishment and come right back at you.

Although what made him packing one hell of a punch would have been (2).
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#3 Sephodwyrm

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 02:53 PM

Hey, I suggest you guys get the comic series Da Sheng Wang (or the Saint). It is in full color and very entertaining. The Cloud that Sun Wukong uses is actually a cutie cloud spirit...
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#4 snowybeagle

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 09:04 PM

The Cloud that Sun Wukong uses is actually a cutie cloud spirit...

What blasphemy against the canon ... ! :ranting:
Eh ... wait ... cute? ... could you post a few pictures for us ... :rolleyes:

#5 ShanXiYan

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 12:35 PM

I'd say (2). Lots of beings in Chinese mythology have divine origins, but that doesn't mean they're all-powerful. Eating the tasty grub in Heaven and destroying the Life and Death records in Hell certainly made him extremely hard to destroy, but without the skills he learned from his shifu, he'd never have the ability to crash around Heaven and Hell in the first place. Most of the time, he battled or magicked his way around those two places, using the teachings of Pu Ti. Without learning all that, he'd still be another monkey ruling it over the population and worrying about death on Flower Fruit Mountain.

By the way, a lot of versions of Xi You Ji have come out in all mediums, some of them rather aggravating because they ruined the original coolness of Wu Kong. Do people now have the freedom to mess with the story, or any ancient Chinese novel for that fact if they were written a certain # of years ago?
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#6 Wujiang

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 01:49 PM

By the way, a lot of versions of Xi You Ji have come out in all mediums, some of them rather aggravating because they ruined the original coolness of Wu Kong.  Do people now have the freedom to mess with the story, or any ancient Chinese novel for that fact if they were written a certain # of years ago?

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After watching that Japanese anime where the Tang Monk uses a gun, Sandy being a bad-boy, the pig being a kind healer, and they are all travelling in a jeep, I have long since lost the hope that an authentic, good quality production will occur.
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#7 ShanXiYan

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 02:04 PM

Yeah, I heard about that anime abomination (in my opinion, anyway. No offense to any anime-lovers here.) Same goes for Dragonball Z; none of my friends who were fans knew that Goku was based off Wu Kong. They all said, "Oooh, that's why he transforms into a giant monkey and has a tail." ;)

I've also seen some really lame series about Wu Kong (cough cough Quest for the Sutra :rolleyes:) But I'm a huge fan of the CCTV production starring Liu Xiao Ling Tong. That's one of my favorite series of all time, even with its rather crappy graphics. I think that was the best, most faithful adaptation of the spirit of the story, if anything.
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#8 xu huang

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 11:26 AM

Hey, I suggest you guys get the comic series Da Sheng Wang (or the Saint). It is in full color and very entertaining. The Cloud that Sun Wukong uses is actually a cutie cloud spirit...

View Post


Hey, I collect the series. It ended recently. Too bad Erlang died, but at least he died honourably. But I wish they would continue ther series, with baby Erlang and his dog joining in the company for the journey.
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#9 Borjigin Ayurbarwada

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 03:24 PM

Hey, my cousin is planning to make a newer version of Journey to the West comic.

There are a few addition she is going to add.
The reason that the old Journey to the West is not popular for people other than children is because:

1) It drawing is cheap
2) Its story line is shallow and lacks those from the original Novel
3) It lacks complex details such as action seens and most important of all for teenagers, violence and blood, (The novel is filled with these, such as brains bursting like flowers)

Now she would also do it in Manga, some fun additions are that she would make Yu Huang Da Di the same as the Western God and also include Angels that come and fight the Great Sage equal to heaven.

#10 yongzheng freak

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 09:30 AM

Yeah, I heard about that anime abomination (in my opinion, anyway. No offense to any anime-lovers here.) Same goes for Dragonball Z; none of my friends who were fans knew that Goku was based off Wu Kong. They all said, "Oooh, that's why he transforms into a giant monkey and has a tail." ;)

I've also seen some really lame series about Wu Kong (cough cough Quest for the Sutra :rolleyes:) But I'm a huge fan of the CCTV production starring Liu Xiao Ling Tong. That's one of my favorite series of all time, even with its rather crappy graphics. I think that was the best, most faithful adaptation of the spirit of the story, if anything.


Hahaha....I must say that i have to agree with you though that series irritated the h@#$ out of me esp the song at the end of each episode :P But after watching the more 'modern' versions of it later, i have learnt to appreciate the CCTV version....that's the one to watch if you are too lazy to read the tome.
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#11 Gweilo

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 08:37 AM

Does anyone know if Sun Wu Kong had the ability to communicate with animals? I'm not talking about his comrades on the journey to the west (example: Pig), but other wild animals. Thanks.
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#12 Blues Snow

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 08:24 PM

Ur, I don't think it worth discussing, because Sun Wu Kong is created instead of a real person. Chinese or anyone can create whatever they want.

#13 MinMinTeMuEr

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 09:50 AM

No, he can't.
In that book "Xiyou ji(Journey to the West)", common animals do not have intelligence so they can not speak and talk to anyone.

Does anyone know if Sun Wu Kong had the ability to communicate with animals? I'm not talking about his comrades on the journey to the west (example: Pig), but other wild animals. Thanks.


Edited by MinMinTeMuEr, 24 March 2008 - 09:50 AM.


#14 MinMinTeMuEr

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 09:55 AM

Actually, this just enable he not die naturally. He can still be killed.

What really makes sense his "72 transforms" which also gives him 72 lifes, and so he can relive 71 times.

I would htink that key thing that made him unbeatable would have been (3). Without a death-date, he can take any punishment and come right back at you.

Although what made him packing one hell of a punch would have been (2).


Edited by MinMinTeMuEr, 24 March 2008 - 09:57 AM.





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