How is Xuanzang, Monkey, Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing changed by the journey to the West?
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.