Adventures of the Mad Monk Ji Gong: The Drunken Wisdom of China's Most Famous Chan Buddhist Monk
Ji Gong studied at the great Ling Yin monastery, an immense temple that still ranges up the steep hills above Hangzhou, near Shanghai. The Chan (Zen) Buddhist masters of the temple tried to instruct Ji Gong in the spartan practices of their sect, but the young monk, following in the footsteps of other great ne'er-do-wells, distinguished himself mainly by getting expelled. He left the monastery, became a wanderer with hardly a proper piece of clothing to wear, and achieved great renown—in seedy wine shops and drinking establishments!
This could have been where Ji Gong's story ended. But his unorthodox style of Buddhism soon made him a hero for popular storytellers of the Song dynasty era. Audiences delighted in tales where the mad old monk ignored—or even mocked—authority, defied common sense, never neglected the wine, yet still managed to save the day. Ji Gong remains popular in China even today, where he regularly appears as the wise old drunken fool in movies and TV shows. In Adventures of the Mad Monk Ji Gong, you'll read how he has a rogue's knack for exposing the corrupt and criminal while still pursuing the twin delights of enlightenment and intoxication. This literary classic of a traveling martial arts master, fighting evil and righting wrongs, will entertain Western readers of all ages!
speak to the short man, but he did say to the monk, “Teacher, do not shout out ‘you rascal’ like that.” The monk said, “Well, I guess I was wrong, but do bring the wine, and if you have any of those pancakes filled with meat and vegetables, bring me one of those, too.” “Strange,” thought the waiter, “we call them stuffed biscuits.” And he started back to the kitchen. Just then the short man called him and said, “I will have one of those filled pancakes with my wine, too.” The pancakes or
how, as payment for curing his mother, Ji Gong had demanded the scroll, frightening those hiding behind it. All the company was laughing, highly amused by that incident. “How could you possibly have killed Ji Gong?” concluded Ma Jing. “I think, though, that his written words really mean that unless you two change your ways, some calamity will befall you. You must be very careful to avoid it!” “When we leave here, we will go home for a day or two,” said Jiao Liang. “Afterward, we will return to
office. You must do good deeds, promote the prosperity of all, and be virtuous. You not only failed to do good deeds, but you wanted to destroy a Buddhist building, a monstrous sin of the deepest kind. Because you tried to destroy the Great Memorial Pagoda in the Monastery of the Soul’s Retreat and locked up the monks, I want you to listen to my wholesome advice. Release the monks quickly; then restore the Great Memorial Pagoda completely.” Just as the ghost had spoken to this point, the huge
nineteenth-century Beijing had its parallel forms of rectitude. Beijing life occupies, in The Complete Tales, a moral landscape, where a harsh and deeply ingrained vision shapes events, although these codes may have varied from what the Emperor recommended. Ji Gong governs an ad hoc clan of the righteous oppressed. He pulls the threads of karmic connections, wrestling the high and mighty out of their compounds. Abuse of office, sexual violence against the weak, humiliation of the ordinary, and
One of the heads was named Qin Lushou. The other, Dong Shichang, asked, “Friend, you are named Gao, are you not, and is your personal name not Guoqin?” Gao Guoqin replied, “That is not wrong. Why do you two ask?” Dong Shichang immediately took iron fetters and locked them upon the wrists of Gao Guoqin. Li Seming started to protest, and he was locked in irons as well. One of the heads said, “We will now enter the inner courtyard and search for stolen property.” Searching everywhere, they soon