Sunday, April 24, 2016

Monkey King Temple

Today, while running along the edge of the city in East Kowloon, I stumbled upon an unusual temple.  It was at the junction of Sau Mau Ping Road (秀茂坪道) and Po Lam Road (寶琳路). 

When I spotted it on the other side of the road, I almost decided to give it a pass.  It was raining, and I was eager to go home to change to go for dinner with my sister.  But my curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to investigate.  And I am so glad I did.  

It turned out to be dedicated to the monkey king (齊天大聖,孫悟空).   

The monkey king takes centre stage, with the pig (悟能, 猪八戒) to the right, and the grisly monk (悟净, 沙僧) to the left. 

The concept behind the worship of the monkey king is rather fascinating.  The three characters are obviously fictional characters in the 16th century Ming Dynasty novel Journey to the West (西遊記).  While the characters may be vaguely based on some original legend, the idols worshipped in the temple are obviously based on the fictional characters.  How could a fictional character become a buddha/god?  


洪松勳 said...

Hau Haung Temple is actually not related to monkey as Hau is a surname and haung is the official position of a person acquired.

StephenC said...

This is not 侯王廟. It is 大聖廟.

Anonymous said...

"How could a fictional character become a buddha/god?"

I think this is a question that can be aimed at all religion.