Friday, January 13, 2012


This is yet another Chinese drama series based on the famous novel by Wu- Cheng-En. Even though I have written about it in a previous blog (2010 version) but I will probably never get tired of watching this story. Everytime I watch it, it seems I learn something new. For example, the Monkey God was said to be born of the forces of nature and through time it appeared as a rock. And when the rock cracks open, a shining monkey appear. This has a deep meaning in dharma actually. My interpretation is that originally there is only clarity but through defilements, the clarity becomes obscured. This is shown in the first episode when the Monkey loses its shining body. An untamed mind soon loses its direction and creates havoc in heaven and hell. The five aggregates, which is actually the constituents of the mind can be used to tame it. But it needs to be liberated first by a Good Knowing Advisor, i.e. a Guru. Our mind have to be directed towards the Path and slowly tread it, learning along the way the lessons that needed to be learned. Then only we can be liberated. In one of the episodes, it also shows the Emperor of China being taken to a hell region and explained a few of the various types of hell and what are the punishment and the causes. I find this very good because it is teaching dharma on TV, which is otherwise cannot be found on a Malaysian TV programme. Even though it is not strictly a Buddhist drama series, it is as close as we can get. In this version, I also like the translation because they use the accurate sanskrit terms in the translation. And this is because they use the accurate chinese terms in the dialogues and voice-overs. It also shows the producers make a good effort to know about Buddhism. And it is good if it is shown in China itself because this will make the communists indirectly learn about Buddhism. Even though the animation is not as good as the 2010 version, I feel the producers really tried their best. At the end of every episode, they will show clips of the making of the movie. From there, we know it is not that easy. Much work and effort have gone into it. I will probably write more about it as the series progresses. Watch it on 8TV channel from 8.30pm till 9.30pm every Monday to Friday.

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