Red Boy

Red Boy

Red Boy (zh-tspw|t=紅孩兒|s=红孩儿|p="Hóng Hái-Er"|w="Hung Hai-Erh"; Japanese: "Kōgaiji") was a character featured in the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. Red Boy was also known as the Boy Sage King (聖嬰大王), and had been the son of Princess Iron Fan and the Bull Demon King, a former sworn brother of the Monkey King Sun Wukong. Through the orders of his father, Red Boy was told to be the protector of the Fiery Mountains due to his supreme abilities when it had came to fire after cultivating his powers for over 300 years.

Through this, Red Boy had developed "True Samādhi Fire" (三昧眞火, Pinyin: "Sānmèi-zhēnhuǒ"), which enables him to shoot fire inexstinguishable by water and smoke from his eyes, nostrils and mouth.

Red Boy is described thus:

"A face as pale as if powdered, Lips as red as from lipstick. Hair in two tufts looking darker than indigo, A clear−cut brow like a crescent moon. His kilt was embroidered with phoenix and dragon, He looked like Nezha, but a little plumper. In his hands he wielded an awe−inspiring spear, As he came out through the gates, protected by his aura. When he roared it echoed like thunder, And the glare of his eyes flashed like lightning. If you would know this demon's true name, He was the Red Boy of undying renown."

Sun Wukong had battled against Red Boy in hopes of returning his master, the Tang Priest. Red Boy did not believe Wukong's statement that Red Boy's father (the Bull Demon King) is his sworn brother, which makes Wukong a relation of his.

Red Boy then tried to kill Sun Wukong by controlling five carts (each one after the Five Elements) that emitted an absurd amount of fire that had the power to blotch out the heavens, but Wukong casts a fire resistance spell and chases after Red Boy, who came back into his cave, thinking he had defeated Wukong.

Sun Wukong at first asks some rain from the Eastern Dragon King to counter Red Boy's Samadhi Fire, to no avail (the Dragon King's rain can only extinguish normal fires, but Red Boy's fire is inextinguishable). He then later asks for the help of the Bodhisattva Guanyin (Avalokitesvara).

As Red Boy is fighting Wukong in a forest, he found Guanyin's (empty) Lotus Seat, and then sat in it imitating Guanyin's posture. Suddenly the Lotus Seat transformed into swords which pierced and wounded Red Boy; as he attempted to take them out, the swords then transformed into halberds, which trapped him. In pain, Red Boy then vowed to become a Buddhist. He was then given the name 'Sudhana' (善財童子, Pinyin "Shan Tsai") by Guanyin.

She then withdrew the blades and healed Red Boy's wounds but Red Boy then attempted to attack the Bodhisattva once more. She then threw a golden band which multiplied into five and fixed it around his head, wrists and legs (which were similar to the magical band around Wukong's head, in that it also tightened after Guanyin recited a special chant, causing pain to Red Boy), thereby subduing him. []

Red Boy then found out that he could not remove these bands, and after being jibed by Wukong, took his spear and attempted to attack him, only to have Guanyin recite another spell, which made Red Boy put his hands together in front of his chest, unable to pull them apart; Red Boy, now with his arms immobilized, could do nothing than lower his head in a kowtow. []

External links

* [ Journey to the West, chapter 41]
* [ Journey to the West, chapter 42]
* [ Journey to the West, chapter 43]

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