Who Is Sha Wujing?(sha Seng)

In general, the largest institutionalized religion in mainland China is Chinese Buddhism. Within this religion, several disciples and figures form the basis of beliefs among the Chinese. One of them is Sha Wujing, who we will extensively discuss in this write-up.

Who is Sha Wujing?

Sha Wujing, who was also known as Sha Heshang – the sand priest, is considered one of the generals who lived in heaven. He is the leading character in the Chinese Classic novel titled ‘Journey to the West, written by Wu Cheng’en in 1592. According to the narrative, he was assigned the role of carrying all the luggage for Xuanzang’s party. Along the way, he was caught up in a fit of rage. In the process, he destroyed the most beautiful, valuable, and expensive vase in Xuanzang’s collection. Some historical records and Chinese literary works claim that Sha Wujing may have destroyed the vase accidentally. Others insist that it was intentional. Regardless of the intention, the Jade emperor punished him by striking him 800 times and then exiled him to eath, where he was reincarnated as a vicious man-eating sand demon. While on earth, he lives in the quicksand river, which was known as ‘Liusha-he’, and 7 flying swords are sent from heaven to stab him in the chest daily. To avoid such terrible punishment, he had to move from the ‘Liusha-he’ to the river where he could not be found.

What does Sha Wujing look like?

sha Seng

According to most Chinese historical records and literary works, Sha Wujing is described as a horrifying demon. He was partially bald and had red hair and a red-toned beard. On his neck, he wears a necklace comprised of the skulls of the various monks that he killed. However, when he became Xuanzang’s student and mentee, his appearance drastically changed, and he became more inviting to look at. His hair appearance changed to black, and he started wearing a Buddhist pilgrim robe. On his arm, he carries his signature weapon. 

Sha Wujing Weapon

Sha Wujing is armed with the magic wooden staff, which is his signature weapon and fighting staff. His weapon was created by the god of builders and contractors – Lu Ban, who created multiple products that were designed to help ordinary people in society. 

Sha Wujing Animal 

According to English renditions of Sha Wujing’s story, he is identified as Sand, Sandy, or Friar Sand. He is also often described as a water buffalo. This is mostly in reference to his extremely low intelligence that regularly got him into trouble. His popular name ‘Sha Wujing’ was given to him by Guanyin the bodhisattva, and it means the sand that is aware of purity.


Despite having such a gruesome story, Sha Wujing was quite polite, and this trait helped him in several situations in life. Besides that, he was also very strong, and he possessed great hand-to-hand combat skills that allowed him to fight in combat easily. 

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