Chinese Mythology

The Folk Gods and Spirits of the Middle Kingdom

PIGSY

Chinese Gluttony Spirit

Also known as ZHU-BAJIE, ZHU-BA-JIE, CHU-PA-CHIEH, PIG

A Pig Spirit, ex-Marshall of the Hosts of Heaven

One of the main characters in the legendary novel Journey To The West, he was one of Tripitaka’s disciples.

The Marshall was by nature a sensual spirit, lusting after angels and stuffing his face with food at every opportunity. Being a good general, his indiscretions were generally overlooked, until one day he guzzled too much peach wine and misbehaved with Chang’e, Goddess of the Moon.

His drunken advances were very unwelcome to the chaste Goddess. She raised such a fuss that armed guards grabbed the drunken Captain and hauled him off to the Jade Emperor. Punishment was swift, and the Marshall found himself kicked out of Heaven.

Landing on Earth, he discovered he’d been turned into a monstrously ugly pig spirit, complete with snout, curly tail and boar-like tusks. This was supposed to teach him a lesson. But it didn’t work. His lustful nature multiplied and soon he was reveling in troughs and chasing pretty ladies for all he was worth.

Then along came Guanyin, who offered him salvation — provided he become a Buddhist and help protect the young monk Tripitaka. The ex-Marshall of the Heavenly Hosts reluctantly agreed, and adopted the name of Pigsy.

In the company of Monkey and Sandy, Pigsy traveled to India, carrying Tripitaka’s baggage and fighting demons along the way. His lustful nature caused many embarrassments, and he fell pray to many of Monkey’s little jokes.

Finally their quest was fulfilled and Pigsy achieved enlightenment. Arriving at Buddhist Heaven, he was rewarded with the title Cleaner of the Holy Altar. That sounds like a very menial job for an ex-Marshall of the Heavenly Hosts, but as Buddha explained, thousands of worshipers send offerings to that altar every day.

So now Pigsy gets all the best pickings — and even his enormous appetite is satisfied.

Pigsy Facts and Figures

Name: Pigsy
Pronunciation: Jhoo Bar Jee-yeh
Alternative names: ZHU-BAJIE, ZHU-BA-JIE, CHU-PA-CHIEH, PIG

Gender: Male
Type: Spirit
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Greed and Gluttony
Area of expertise: Greed, Gluttony

Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 394

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Article last revised on November 21, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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