Sanzang, also known as Tang Sanzang, Xuanzang, Tang Monk and in some English translations of Journey to the West, Tripitaka. He is the monk that vowed to the Tang Emperor to go from China to India to get Buddhist scriptures and gained three disciples along the way; Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing.
It is said that Sanzang lived from 602AD to 664AD.
Sanzang himself has the ability to easily remember scriptures after reading it once and to meditate two or three years non-stop if needed. He is a compassionate and caring man who tries to help those in need, but can be easily fooled by demons along with easily captured. If it wasn’t for his three disciples he surely would have died during his travels to fetch scriptures.
Sometimes, a bodhisattva known as Ksitigarbha is mistaken as Sanzang or the other way round due to the two being portrayed similarly with robes, a crown and a staff of a monk. Sanzang is also described often as handsome.
Sanzang also appears in the games Warriors Orochi 2 and Warriors Orochi Z but as an attractive woman rather then handsome man.
Originally this monk was Jin Chan Zi, a disciple of the Buddha and was banished to earth due to being disobedient and didn’t pay attention to Buddha’s teachings. Over the course of ten lives Sanzang was a monk until he was born to a couple known as Mr. and Mrs Chen.
Mr. and Mrs. Chen were taking Sanzang’s grandmother to a high post that was recently secured, with the grandmother falling ill on the way. Mr. Chen bought a carp for her and noticed this carp blinking, so he put it back into the sea as he thought it was a special creature. It was after this that the grandmother decided to stay at an inn, asking Mr. Chen and Mrs. Chen to go by themselves.
Upon taking a boat the couple were in trouble, the two men in charge killed Mr Chen and pushed him into the sea with one of them impersonating Mr. Chen. Mrs. Chen who also was heavily pregnant bore a son soon after, Sanzang, tying him to a board and throwing him into the nearby river seeing as she was fearful that he would be killed.
Sanzang eventually was found by the head monk of a monastery who raised him under the name of Jiang Liu. It was during this time that Mr. Chen’s spirit was revived by the Dragon King who found him. It was this Dragon King that turned out to be the carp that Mr. Chen had released and Mr. Chen’s body was preserved by a magic pearl, from then on Mr. Chen stayed with the Dragon King waiting for his family to find him.
Sanzang grew up as a monk known as Xuanzang, and it was one day that he would ask the head monk of his heritage due to being provoked by another monk. It was revealed to Sanzang a letter found with his body as a baby that explained his origins and what happened to his father. Sanzang vowed revenge and left the monastery.
Sanzang did find his mother who told him to go see Sanzang’s very grandfather, a powerful official. Sanzang’s grandfather lead troops to execute the people who caused his very family trouble. Sanzang went on to find his grandmother and found her just as he found his mother, bringing the old woman back to see Sanzang’s mother.
Upon the reunion, family went to the bank of the river that Sanzang’s father, Mr. Chen, died. Mr. Chen’s body was seen floating towards them on the river. Mr. Chen was pulled out and he started to breathe again.
Years after this, Sanzang was asked by the Emperor of Tang to hold a religious ceremony. It was during the ceremony that Sanzang was approached by Guanyin and her disciple in disguise whom gave Sanzang a monks staff and robe, telling Sanzang to find scriptures known as the Sanzang in India. Guanyin and her disciple left in their original forms and after this the Emperor became sworn brothers with Sanzang, giving him the surname of Tang and changing his name of Xuanzang to Sanzang.
Soon after the events during the religious ceremony, Sanzang left for the scriptures. During the travels he found his first disciple stuck under a mountain and freed him, this was Sun Wukong and he had a band put around his head to keep him under control.
In going to Gao Village Sanzang found his second disciple, Zhu Bajie, and his third disciple Sha Wujing was found in going to a river that needed to be passed.
Over the course of his travels, many demons have captured Sanzang. Many wanted to eat the meat of Sanzang for long life due to a rumour that the very meat of Sanzang will cause the consumer to live for a considerable amount of time. Some whom have captured Sanzang didn’t want to eat his meat, they wanted sex with him. Sanzang got away from all those who captured him thanks to the help of his disciples and eventually got the scriptures he so long he sought after, becoming a Buddha.