Zhu Bajie, Enlightened Pig Hero

Buddhism is full of weird characters. I thought I knew most of them, but only just encountered Zhu Bajie.

Get your $400 statue here.
     Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 30, 2018
     Category: Anthropomorphism | Antisocial Activities | Religion | Statues and Monuments | Asia

He's a character in Xiyou Ji (Journey to the West) by Wu Cheng'en, d. 1582. I just taught it. Plenty of TV and movie versions on Youtube.
Posted by Dr. Fian on 01/30/18 at 09:44 AM
Pigs are fairly intelligent. I'm not surprised that one appears in the anthology of Buddhist stories.
Posted by KDP on 01/30/18 at 11:12 AM
I'd prefer a more accurate statement than "Buddhism is full of weird characters." Buddhism founded by Siddhartha Gautama has to do with only mankind. It developed in areas that were pagan at the time, so the areas of thought got mixed together. Depending on where and when you look, you will come across demigods or other entities we now see as odd, with Buddhism layered in. However, Zhu Bajie is something the author made up or got from folk tales to add to his fictionalized account of a monk's story to make it more interesting. I don't see how that makes it any part of Buddhism.
Posted by Virtual on 01/30/18 at 08:13 PM
I'm now wondering if Donald Trump could be Zhu Bajie's latest reincarnation. Not a perfect fit but new lives do differ from the original.
Posted by Phred22 on 01/30/18 at 08:25 PM
Virtual in Carnate: your point well taken. Of curse my original statement was a too-brief reductionist quip that elided the matter of how all these various deities were subsumed into Buddhism. As for Zhu Bajie being strictly an invention of an author, the Wikipedia page has relevant speculations about his predecessor avatars. And even if he were strictly an invention, he could still be Buddhist the same way that Dante's Inferno is Christian.
Posted by Paul on 01/31/18 at 11:30 AM
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