Mountains play a crucial role in the Monkey King’s journey to immortality. The Monkey King’s quest for immortality begins on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit. This is the mountain on which the Monkey King was born (he came from a magic stone). On the mountain, the Monkey King plays joyfully with other monkeys. However, the death of an elder monkey fills the Money King with sorrow. The Monkey King does not want to die.
To live forever, the Monkey King is determined to meet the Immortals. At first, this adventure doesn’t involve climbing, scaling, or conquering mountains. What it requires is years of sailing across seas and wandering throughout countries. Only after all of this fruitless venturing does the Monkey King stumble upon a “high and beautiful mountain.”
A helpful woodcutter informs the Monkey King that he has reached the Spirit Tower Heart Mountain. On this mountain, there is a cave called the Cave of the Setting Moon and the Three Stars. This is where the Immortal, Patriarch Subhuti, resides.
Wasting little time, the Monkey King goes to meet Subhuti. Their first interaction is not pleasant. However, after telling Subhuti that he’s been trying to locate him for almost ten years, Subhuti warms up to the resilient Monkey King. He gives the Monkey King a name, Sun Wukong, and agrees to help him in his quest for immortality.