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In this classic 16th century Chinese novel, Journey to the West, there are four primary characters: Xuanzang, Sun Wukong, Sha Wujing and Zhu Bajie.
Xuanzang, the main character, is a monk who is sent on a pilgrimage. At the end of his journey, he achieves Buddhahood, which would be described as the perfection of knowledge and wisdom.
Sun Wukong, is a disciple in the form of a monkey. His reward for his part in the journey is an arhat, which is an acknowledgement of worthiness. It is one step below Buddhahood.
Sha Wujing is a river ogre who must gain atonement for his transgression. His final outcome is to become a deity known as naga. Commonly, naga is represented as a great snake or cobra.
Finally, there is Zhu Bajie, a creature of great lusts and appetites. He is represented as a pig. Fittingly, his reward is to become an altar cleanser. He is responsible for cleaning up excess offerings left at Buddha’s altar.
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