The Journey to the West Questions and Answers
by Wu Chengen

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Why does Tathagata want someone to go to the East?

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In The Journey to the West, Buddha, also known as Tathagata, notices a varying morality of characteristics in the Four Continents of the Universe. He sees the people of the Southern Continent as evil, murderous, greedy, and spiteful, and he wants them to change and find the right path.

He has three bundles of scripture that he wants to use to influence these malicious people: scriptures that tell of Heaven and Earth and the Sutras that can redeem the damned. He has thirty-five scrolls for finding Truth that can lead to finding perfection.

Tathagata looks for a true believer. He needs someone to travel to the East on a treacherous journey to find a traveler who will make the journey back, claim the scriptures, and follow them to the right path. The Bodhisattva Kuan-Yin volunteers to do so.

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