The Revenge of the Skeleton Spirit


In every relationships, there would always be disatisfaction and the need to compromise. If one party is feeling very unhappy about it and did not address or discuss the issue, then cracks would be there. If relationship breakers, ie people who are envious of your relationship or wants what you have enters your life, it would be a matter of time when that person- who by the time already buy his/her way into your trust…. start to instigate both sides. And if you don’t have trust to discuss the matter with the other person, the relationship would break.

But should we blame relationship breakers?

Not entirely- because if there is no cracks, no third party could do anything. If there is open communication and mutual trust, it’s hard for any party to break up.

Like the Journey to the West, our loved ones are in our lives as part of our journey together.  In the course of the journey, anyone of us can make a mistake. When we hear about stories from other people who do seemingly stupid stuff, don’t be too quick to judge and ridicule them. For when we are in the same shoes, we may have done the same.

In the story, the Skeleton Spirit did evil because she wanted to the love of a man (as a spirit, the man did not love her but she had hoped by eating Tang Sanzang’s meat she would have real flesh and could then bear babies for the man). As the saying goes:

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” – Copy to Clipboard
  —  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Everyone, good or bad, craves for happiness in life. Perhaps the person had been shaped negatively through life experiences. So people resort to instigating, gossiping, breaking up relationships to fill that gaping sorrow in their hearts. The more they do these stuff, the more happiness excludes them.

So in essence, such people deserve your pity- instead of your anger.

It’s very similar in our lives- strong bonds that stood the test of time are build from mistakes and forgiveness. If we never forgive a person who had repented…we would never know. Trust and true love require this to be developed. Don’t expect life to be smooth sailing for like muscles, we would not get stronger if we do not challenge them.

Challenges and setbacks are not curses in life- if taken with the correct mindset, they are here to make us stronger and better. Think back of the meaningful things that you have achieved in life- often, they are meaningful because they come through blood, sweat and tears.

The ending part of the Skeleton Spirit in Journey to the West illustrates these  valuable lessons:

This is post is part of  the series of posts written on the lessons from Journey to the West (1996 TVB version).
Back to Journey to the West (TVB) Main Page

Skeleton Spirit went into the body of her deceased husband- who was the missing prince and went back to the kingdom to convince the king that Tang Sanzang and Sha Wujing were in fact evil spirits. The king, happy to see his son again, believed ‘him’.

Meanwhile, Skeleton Spirit kidnapped Tang Sanzang and injured Sha Wujing. She then turned Tang Sanzang into a big black bear.

Skeleton Spirit kidnapping Tang Sanzang and injuring Sha Wujing

Piggie looking at a knife and wanted to kill the bear whom he taught had eaten his teacher and injured Sha Wujing

By the time Piggie got into the scene, he saw Sha Wujing injured (that he could not talk) and a black bear. Jumping to conclusion that the black bear had killed his teacher, he went and hit the black bear. At last, he snatched a soilder’s sword and was about to kill the black bear with it when Shu Wujing jumped in between to protect his teacher and took the stab. In his dying words, Shu Wujing said that he would forgive Piggie.

Tang Sanzang being turned into a bear and kidnapped by Skeleton Spirit

Piggie ran amok- he blamed himself for causing his teacher to die and for killing Sha Wujing. After wailing and crying, he was in the midst of committing suicide by hanging himself when the dragon prince (white horse) came and begged him not to. Apperently the horse saw everything and knew the black bear was their teacher. He begged Piggie to go back to help his teacher.

Piggie was about to commit suicide

They went back, and the dragon prince sacrificed his life so that Piggie can run away to look for Wukong for help. Piggie begged Wukong to come back.

Piggie begging Wukong to go back to help

Wukong had never forgotten his teacher- he went back and killed Skeleton Spirit.

Skeleton Spirit- going to see her dead husband one last time

Wukong killing Skeleton Spirit

Skeleton Spirit’s bones and her husband’s drifting away-together forever?

Tang Sanzang was glad to see Wukong again and apologised for banishing him. They were reunited, but sadly, Sha Wujing and dragon prince had died at the hands of the Skeleton Spirit.

Tang Sanzang happy to see Wukong again

Piggie swore in front of the death bodies of Sha Wujing and dragon prince that he would never abandoned the group and would not make the same mistakes again. When they were about to cremate Sha Wujing and dragon prince, Guan Yin came and help to restore their lives back- for their time was not up.

Piggie swore he would not make this mistake again

Guan Yin came to offer advice and to restore the lost lives

The lives of Shawujing and dragon prince being restored

All disciples offer their thanks to Guan Yin

In this lesson, we can see that everyone can make a mistake. Earlier, Piggie had blamed Wukong for killing an innocent woman- and eventually Wukong was banished. Then, he feel in love and chose to abandon his teacher and his quest…. and yet his teacher and Wukong still forgave him regardless.

Sometimes we see others making a mistake, we should not be too quick to jeer… for we would not know when our turn would be. No doubt, Piggie’s mistakes had seemed unforgivable, but it was after doing that that he really realize the foolishness of his ways….and from then on, never choose to desert the group again. Also, the relationship between Wukong and Piggie had improved after that.

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