Page 1

1981

VOLUME III NUMBER 6 KOREA


580

581

**CoNTENTS**

Editorial

Dae San Prime Dharma Master's

New Year,s Dharma lecture

in WonBuddhist Year 66

-rhe Path of Study in Our Lives by Ven. Kil Chin Pa*

Ethics between the Superior and the Inferior in Their hogressive Coune

byDr.PalKhnChon

WON BUDDHISM

A Research of Ven. Sotaesan, the Founder of Won Buddhism

byDr.ChunEunSong

Missions Won Kwang University Iri City, Ctrolla Pukdo, Kotea

11

.......15

Don't Take Part in Miscellaneous Games

Published by: Research Institute for Overseas

.......

by

I*e

SungTack

22

f News.Corner I

lj li ll

27


582

VOL.III

NO.6

WON BUDDHISM

1981

EDITORIAL Religion and Won Buddhism

Religion existed in human society in the primitive age before civilization. Religion, which has accompanied mankind through history, can be construed in many ways but prayer and devotion can be

*. ,al

f.:

? a a :!

All communications $ould be addressd to; Miss Pal

Khn Chon

tor, Ou e rceas M issiotu of Won Buddhism Won Kwarg Uniuersity Korea

Di

re c

cited as the representative form of religious faith. People of the primitive age experienced anxiety and terror in their lives due to disease, death and natural disasters, and they came to seek something to depend on to eradicate their arxieties. At the same time, primitive man had no concept of a deity and therefore turned to large rocks, trees, mountain peaks and the like and prayed for protection. This is prirnitive religion. It is approximately 3000 years since these primitive times, and as human civilization has develofied, eminent religions personalities have appeared, formed religions and taught moral precepts. Religious bodies have appeared for man to depend on. Just as in the primitive age, today man is seeking to overcome anxiety and terror but now his implorative faith, and desires for blessings are direeted to God and Buddha. He has come to think that the act of eschewing disaster and begging for blessings is the entirety of reli$on. But consider what kind of beneficial effect this begging without fixed principles might have. A deity could not answer all man,g prayere because the content is so multifarious. It is here that we can find a difference between Won Buddhism and otherreligions. First, Won Buddhism lets one develop his own strength while beggurg for strength from the outside. It says that although prayer is an important part of religion, it is ttre signifrcance of self-reflection, confession and making vows that give prayer strength. It can be said that a major characteristic of religion is faith based upon equal growth of self and outside strength, primarily developing one,s own strength while also beggurg for strength from the outside. Second, Won Buddhism is a religion which allows self-awakening to mind-nature. All life has received the pure energy of the universe and has come into existence but man, in particular, as a result of action based upon the six Roots has given rise to all sorts of craving and the

-3-


585

581

WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

pure, original mind has become shaky; it is being lost. So, Won Buddhism is teaching the discovery and nurturiance of the original mind which is being lost and the practical use of it in our everyday lives. There is religion like the nursery school which entreats and tries to win one over, religion like the grade school which is made up of half entreatment and half fear, religion like the middle sctrool where the student who listens to parents and monks, does good and not evil, religion like the high school where the students their intellect a bit more developed, critically accept the words of parents and monks, accept the logical and reject the illogical, and also religion like the university where the student struggles on day after day, with the conviction that if one cultivates and studies oneself one can become a finer person than one's parenLs or monks. In this wBV, just as the educational system has five levels, so does religion have five levels of faith. Amongst these five levels, Won Buddhism, teaching self-awakening to the mind-nature and the advancement of self and outside strength can be said to be the religion of the university student. This is not to say that faith like that of the nursery school, grade, middle or high school students is unnecessary. These complete the true character of religion and sometimes become the tonic of religious conduct. In the society in which mankind's spiritual age is gradually increasing, the university students' religion of self-awakening is required. On this point, Won Buddhism is the religion of the present and will become the religion which receives the welcome of the future.

Dae San Prime Dharma Master's Nerr Year's Dharma Lecture

-

in lUon Buddhist year 66

-

Speeding out the old year along with its troubles, both within our nation and abroad, let us celebrate with all our hearts, a bright new year, replete with blessings for the religious body, the nature and the world. Especially, wâ‚Ź pray for the brimming joy for all mankind which may come from a peacefuI solution to the Mideast crisis this year.

In the

all

heavens, the sun and moon rise and set, the seasons change, creation, each with its own responsibilities, is created and develops

according to principles of nature, and leaders of nations, heads of gloups and parents-all become the heads of their households, maintaining and managng them. And in this world, generation after generation of Buddhas and sages transmit and inherit their positions, each becoming the head of his household in his age, bestowing upon it unlimited enlightenment. Now, long after the departure of the last sage and amidst the <iimming light of the days of the Buddha, in an age of transition, thirstily awaiting the confrontation of a new sage and a new order, the Great Master, under the great vow of eternal kalpas, as the householder in charge of the new agle, has come to this earth, and after cultivating and enlightening himself, has seen that the world is in the height of an age of great transition and stipulated the past as a dark age and the coming age as a bright one. Consequently, he has made it such that though in the old, dark age of the past, the rights of heaven took charge, in the new age, as an age of persistence of human rights, mankind doesn't look to God, Buddha and Heaven as he did in the past but revives God, Buddha and Heaven in the human world, mutually respects mankind and Buddha, and in his everyday life, just as breathing air or drinking water, puts Tfuth into practical use, with no distinction of time and place.

And so he has elucidated,

for restoration of order under

Initial Dharma Words, the principles heaven, a new age's Principles for Self-

as

Discipline, Principles to Regulate the Home and Govemment, accompanying the energy of heaven and earth and the flow of history. First, he has bid us to undertake a remodeling of mankind through selfdiscipline. Without the remodeling of mankind, one man at a time,

-4-

-5-


586

587

WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

there can be no reformation of the family, society, nation or world, nor attainment of the creation of a new history, and thus self-discipline becomes the foundation of the universe. On this point, the Great Master clarifies the Principles for SelfDiscipline: (1) According to the time in which you are living, study your lessons diligently and try to acquire all forms of knowledge. (2) Practice spiritual training, and by knowing yourself be at peace; in joy and anger, h pleasure and soirow, do not lose your righteous-

(3) The members of each family should live in harmony with one another and they should value the srchange of opinions. (4) Outwardly, families should conform to the laws of the government and inwardly they should have a moral teacher who can enlighten their minds. (5) The members of each family should refer to families of old and modem times and to the hopes and methods by which they succeeded

or failed to practice harmonious tiving. If one properly e:recutes the Principles to Regulate the Home, as manifested above, eventually the road will open to the cultivation of responsibility of elders to lead the young, and the young to serve elders and to working out one's own salvation by one's own efforts through production by preparatory saving. Within one household, when both mother and father satisfactorily do their parts and maintain their responsibilities, a peaceful and comfortable household is attained; and in the nation as well, if government as the father and religion as the mother do their parts and maintain their responsibilities well, the democratic welfare state which we aspire to will be attained. On this point, there will have to be a unification of religion and government for a cea.seless enforcement of the government's drive toward wealth and power with the peoples' total ability and religion's enlightening education by all of the peoples' truthfulness, govemment and religion should be as one mind and one strength. Third, he clarifred the universal road by way of Principles by which the Inferior and the Superior can Progress. He understood that on the verge of this age, if the superior and inferior cease their opposition and co-operate with one another, they will prevent mutual misforhrnes and an age will come in which there is a way out of difficulties, and there will be one truth and one world and mankind will be one family; thus he orplained, as follows, the principles by which the superior and inferior help each other, leam together and depend upon one another. (1) The superior may achieve his purpose bymaking use of the inferior, but the inferior can always acquire superiority from the superior. Therefore, they rely upon each other and can become friendly or antagonistic. (2 ) The superior person can always continue to be superior by elevating the inferior to a superior position through the method of mutual interests. The inferior may become superior by overcoming difficulties and hardships, regarding the superior as his leader until he himself is elevated to a superior position. (3) If the superior only takes advantage of the inferior without being concerned as to how one remains superior and as to how the superior degenerates into the inferior, even the superior will finally degenerate into the inferior. On the other hand, if the inferior person only resists the superior person without realizing that he can elevate himself and

-6-

-7 -

ness.

(3) Study Facts and Principles, and learn to discriminate between the tnre and the false, correctly judging Right from wrong and Advantage from Disadvant'age. (a) In the conduct of your mind and body, carefully select what is right and abandon what is wrong. Try to integrate your knowledge with action. If one executes the Principles for Self-Discipline as manifested above, eventually one will become a True Man with a mind containing no falsehood, will be endowed with the character of a Virtuous Man, who does not deceive his own conscience, other men nor heaven, and also, as a whole and unabstructed Wise Man, endowed with both moral and scientific philosophy, will become a useful tonic in the world. Second, he clarifred the Principles to Regulate the Home, in order that we may achieve prosperity in the family and nation. He says: (1) Practice a stable oecupation and secure adequate clothing, food and shelter. Balance income and orpenditure every day, trying to be

thrifty and save money. (2) The head of the family should not neglect to acquire a broad education and to study, should not neglect the education of his children, and strould recognize his obligation to serve his elders and to guide the young.


589

588

WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

that the superior person can degenerate into the inferior, the inferior person will then remain inferior forever.

He has orplained the principles by which the leader of a household, society or nation prepares himself in order to do this work. (1) Acquire more knowledge than those under your guidance. (2) Do not lose the confidence of those under your guidance. (3) Do not seek personal profit from those who are under your guidance.

(4) 1n doing all things, continirally re-e:ramine your knowledge and actions.

mankind exucutes the universal principles as manifested above, a moral world, reformed by the light of the Right way through virtuous cultivation, and in the religious body, society, nation and world, the superior and inferior, will perpetually evolve and develop through mutual aid and achieve an equitable society; and simultaneously, there will be attainment of the great Buddhist work of world salvation through the enlightenment of unifred knowledge and action and the direction of initiative techniques. All followers, countrymen and mankind will have to put into practice the universal principles manifested in this age of great transition-Principles for self-Disciplines, Frinciples to Regulate the Home, and Principles of Government, and we will have to build new minds and bodies, a new lifestyle, new countrY, new world, new religlon and a paradise good in which to live, on this earth.

If

-8-

The Path of Study in Our Lives

by

It

Ven.

Kil

Chin Park

is said that the truth of Channa(Zen), which conveys the mind of Buddha was introduced into China by Bodhidhanna. When a desciple asked a Zen master what the Dharma wasi like before Bodhidharma came to China, he answered that six-sixes are thirty-six. So the desciple then asked what it is like now after his arrival and he said that nine nines are eighty-one. This seems to be a meaningless answer but it is a right answer. Whether before or after the coming of Sakyamuni or Bodhidharma into this world, the law of the universe is just as such and it is not that these men have made and explained the law anew but rather merely discovered and taught the natural law. There is one energy within the universe. This energy, as a lively, stirdng energy, becomes the source of aII creation and gives them life. Plants, animals and all of creation receive this energ;y and are born. The energy is neither good nor bad. As it is a clean, pure' tranquil energ:y, the source of all creation which receive the energy is the same. The Kung-an says, "How is Buddha like the Big Cone Pine Tlee before the garden? " This means that because the Big Cone Pine Tree also receives that energy, the energy source stored up in the tree is precisely Dharma, Buddha. The Buddha discovered a truth such as this and has taught it to us. But because a man is born and is equipped with the Six Roots, all sorts of cravings come into being and he suffers. From the standpoint of the original nature, the sufferings which man faces are like bubbles on water, futile things. But he is not able to rcalize this and is only attached to the hard realities of life and thus his sufferings are worsened. Accordingly, the value and significance of religious faith is in the reflection upon the pure, tranquil original nature and endeavoring to retrieve it, when anxious sufferings are encountered. Man also has aquired the lively, stirring energy and thus is Buddha; the original nature which has been endowed is called Buddha-nature. Enlightenment and retrieving this Buddha-nature is the object of true religious faith. When religious bodies are promoted, when professional religionists

and spirit

-9-


591

590

WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

appear and when the smell of religion spreads, formalization and cormption can easily appear. If religion becomes corrupt, the original nature. of religion is forgotten and another social evil created. With respect to the signifrcance of this, the everyday man who puLs into good practice the original nature of religion may have a frner character than the professional religionist. The objective of human life is to be ready to live, refrning and calming our minds, making them free from troubles. To us, with our one life which returns to a handful of earth, nothing else can become our objective. To have fun while doing the work with which one has been entrusted, ffid live broadmindedly is to put religion into practice and fulfit the objective of human life. We must not fall into this form of religion while leading the Buddhist home life but endeavor to become studious practicioners.

-10-

Ethics betl reen the Superior and the lnferior in

Their Progressive Course by Dr. Pal Khn Chon

1.

Evolutionary Law viewed from a point of historieal consciousness. What was the purpose of the Ven. Sotaesan when he announced, as one of his Initial Dharma Words, the 'Principles by which the Inferior and the Superior can Progress? The Ven. Sotaesan, when he attained Enlightenment, declared that the original principle of the Universe is the Thth of Ilwon, one Circle. He inspected the contemporary situation of his country from a historical point of view and set forth the doctrine of 'Faith in a Religion based on Truth and actual moral training' in order to reform the world and to renew the spirit of the people. Accordingly, he presented a system of ethics in order to establish the ideal words: They were the 'Initial Dharma Words,' and among them, 'Principles by which the Inferior and the Superior can Progress' was his view of history and a social ethic which he announced when he surveyed the world situation. His Principles might be regarded as a new evolutional law of human society whereas the evolutional law of nature, "the survival of the fittest" or "the stronger prey upon the weaker" is being still adopted in human society. The Venerable Sotaesan, even under the Japanese domination at that time, tried to accept the Korean-Japanese relationship as only that of the superior and the inferior by transcending the political relationship. His social ethics which could look to the future even under the hard and blocked situation may well be regarded as the way to stand above conflicts and struggles. Furtherrnore, his principle shows his wisdom which may construct the ideal world in which inferior men will gradually disappear. He seems to indicate clearly, from an enlightened point of view, the motive power by which only superior men who keep the interdependent relationships forever may carry out our human history. Then, what does "superior man" and "inferior man" mean and how can they find the way to progress? Human history up to the present day has been that of antagonism or confrontation between the superior and the inferior. To speak

-11

-


592

593 WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

it has been the course of struggles between the two extermes, such as a superior man and an inferior man in force, a dominator and a dominated in power, a possessor and a wanter, and so on. more concretely,

tried to encourage and help the weak so that they may grow up to be equal to themselves. Nowadays, it seems that too often the strong are apt to oppress or deceive the weak. Under such circumstances, how can the strong retain lasting power? The weah will not always remain weak. Some day the weak will gain enough power to equal the strong. When the weak equal the stronB, the strong who once oppressed and deceived the weak will be overthrown. Therefore, the truly enlightened person knows he must help and protect the weak

Such antagonism caused the repetition of bad circular situations in which a winner would lose and a loser again challenged to take back what he had lost. This is why we are usually apt to think that the superior man should be oppressed and the inferior man ought to be helped. And this way of thinking has often been accepted as the way which may harmonize tbe world. However, we have to foresee another po\Mer, that is, the third power coming uP, bY only oppressing the superior and helping the inferior. Then, again the world would not be harmonized peacefully. The ven. Sotaesan, gave us the doctrine that the superior man carl rl t keep his perpetual power by means of struggling for the survival of the fittest but only through assisting the inferior until he elevates him to his own level. And also, the Venerable Sotaesan dissapproved of the depression of the superior only to help the inferior. An inferior man, in order to elevate himself to the level of a superior man must obey his zuperior as his leader and must perform what he has to do even under thousands of hardstrips and sufferings. Then finally he will be able to change himself into the superior. Ttris shows the Principle of Ven. Sotaesan: how to maintain the power of the superior and how the inferior elevates himself to the level of the superior. Ven. Sotaesan said, "A superior person can always continue to be a superior by elevating the inferior to the position of the superior by means of mutual.interests when the superior exercises his power." And also he said in section 3, 'Principles by which the Inferior and the Superior Can progress,' Chapter 13 of the Canonical Text Book, "If the zuperior only takes advantage of the inferior without being concerned as to how one remains superior, and as to how to supenor degenerates into the inferior, even the superior will frnally degenerate into the inferior. On the other hand, if the inferior person only resists the zuperior person without realizing that he can elevate himself and that the superioq can degenerate into the inferior, the inferior person will then remain inferior forever." He also presented the ethics between the superior and the inferior by the following words: "It is always regrettable to see the strong who do not know how to act like the strong. The strong will not have lasting power, nor be respected as seniors and as leadens, until they have

in their need in order to retain his lasting power." Ven. Sotaesan seems to have presented this ethic as a silent but fearless resistance for independence against the Japanese domination of Korea. Ven. Sotaesan, in this situation, talked about a society in which the zuperior and the inferior would be making progress under mutual help and in peaceful harmony, ffid a society in which the gap between the zuperior and the inferior would not exist and finally the society would be full of only superior people. In other words, Ven. Sotaesan, being confident that the history of the coming society cf irumor beings must change into a harmonious one, presented the evolutionary law of the superior and the inferior. This law itself may be said to have explained a new ethic point of view. From his point of view, this ethic was realizable. The Ven. Sotaesan was the first man to view the history of harmony. His evolutionary law of the superior and the inferior was an ethical resolution which had been presented to the civilized people. .Because the superior and the inferior make progress not through antagonism or conflict but through harmooy, they may achieve their end only on the basis of mutual benefaction. Ethical resolution to root out an antagonistic relationship like jealousy and envy will spring from the discovery of benefaction. Therefore, the moral or ethical world which sages and saints of the world have been insisting upon is the world in which peoples are linked through a relationship without which they are not able to live. To grasp the meaning of ethics between the superior and the inferior more concretely, I present the following two lists of ethics or morals in two steps. In the first step, the evolutional ethics between the superior and the inferior have to be seized in the course of conflicts between the two. In other words the question is what kind of ethics should be taken in the revolutionary course of the superior and the inferior.

-12-

-13-


595

591

WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

Here again the ethics can be observed from two aspects: One is the ethics for the inferior to elevate itself to the superior. The other is for the superior tc keep its position forever. Then how does the inferior elevate himself to the superior? The inferior must be very careful to be conscious of his position, must try to wear an air of humility and of dull-wittedness to make the superior feel safe. AIso, he must do his best in leaming, his living attitude should be sincere, ffid until he reaches his goal he must make constant effort. Then, what is the ethics which enables the superior to remain an everlasting superior man? The superior man will be degraded, however superior he may be, if he misuses or abuses what he posseses. Therefore if the superior wishes to maintain his position continually as a superior man, he must realize the ethics of benevolance, refraining from abusing his power and must always try to frnd promising inferiors until they grow into superior men like himself. By assisting the inferior, the power of the superior man never becomes weak but becomes stronger. In conclusion, the evolutional ethics which develops the superior and the inferior can be regarded as the motive power which may plant a peace of harmony in the minds of individuals, in societies and in nations.

A

Research of Ven. Sotaesan, the Founder of Won Buddhism -

upon the ground of the fundamental spirit of opening l{on Buddhism by Dr. Chun Eun Song Preface

Won Buddhism, which made its fint appearance in an out-of-theway place, Kilyong-ni, Bak-soo-myun, Yung-kwang county, Chulla Namdo Province of Korea, has been forming a new image in the field

of religion during the course of ik development for over half a century. The Ven. Sotaesan, (1891-1943) the founder of Won Buddhism who had been venerated as a gteat saint for his lifetime of devotion to his religion, was a great master who attained self-enlightenment without any particular scholastic practice except some study of Chinese characters. It might not be meaningless to introduce, especially to Englishspeaking people, Won Buddhism and the fundamental spirit of the

founder who gave his nev,, religion to the world. I have been intending to focus the search light upon his personality in the study of his real greatness. However, due to limited time and materials I have decided to limit the sphere of my research to his fundamental spirit which opened the gate of Won Buddhism. someday, if I have the opportunity, I expect to proceed and complete the research centered upon both his personality and his doctrines. There will inevitably be overlapping with the history of won Buddhism if I describe the founder by way of centering upon his life. If I describe him through his thoughts and philosophies, there will be duplication with the many theses on dochine. In spite of this, I dared to research the founder through the description of his thoughts and philosophies rooted in the fundamental spirit of opening the gate of Won Buddhism. This is because the fundamental spirit of opening Won Buddhism or its opening motive seemed to represent the basic characteristic of the founder.

L

The Life of the Founder

(1) Seeking after The [aw and Great Enlightenment

The ven. sotaesan was born at Yung-chon village, Kilyong-ni,

-L4-

-15-


597

596 WON

WON BUDDHISM

BUDDHIW

Baksoo-myutr, Yungkwang-kun, Chulla-nam-do Province, on the 27th of March in the year 1891. His last name was Park and his frrst name Joong-bin. Sotaesan was his Dharma name. His father Sung-sam and his mother Yoo Jung-chun were ordinary farmers. The Ven. Sotaesan was the third of four sons. [Ie was dignified and magnanimous. He was never careless in his treatment of things that came to him but always behaved with deep consideration and judgement. He preferred to associate with adults, listening to their t tk- and questioning them, rather than to play with ordinary children_. He has such a strong resoluteness that he could overcome any difficulties or hardships and achieve that he had once made a decision to do. At the age of seven, while a student in a Chinese Classics School, he incidentally began to cherish a great doubt about the natural phenomena of the universe. After that, he became less enthusiastic at literary study and started seeking for the fundamental truth of the universe, extending his question from the principles of all phenomena of the universe to the phenomenon of human life. The life of his parents also caused him doubt and even his own oristence was mysteribus to him. He also had a question about the age of creation of the universe.

To solve all these doubts, Ven. Sotaesan quit his Chinese Classics School. He asked his seniors these questions but received no answers. The Master, having decided to find answers to his questions, became. more enthusiastic day by day. Day and night, he concentrated upon the questions. One day, under such conditions, he attended his family

religious senrice held in the mountains and happened to learn about the great power of a god or spirit. Consequently he decided to meet the *ouniain god to solve his cherished questions and for four full years, even in rain or snow, he continued praying sincerely for his purpose at the summit of Mt. Kusoo. However, he failed to meet the mountain god. At the age of sixteen when he visited his wife's family for a new year's gleeting, he heard the villagers reading classic stories such as ih" "Cho Oong Boo Tale" and "Park Tae Boo Tale." He again decided to realize his goal with the help of Tosa, an "enlightened master.l' After that, for frve fulI years, until he became twdnty-trnro years old, hardships and sufferings from seeking an "enlightened master" followed one after another. Still, however, there was no one who

-16-

could answer him. He only encountered a number of would-be "enlightened masters" who just seduced the public. At the age of twenty, his father passed away and his carelessness caused him to squander his family properties; He realized that he had been deceived by falsehood and evil tricks. From the age of sixteen he even gave up seeking for an "enlightened ma.ster" and came to be more melancholically meditative. Day and night until he reached twenty-four years of age, his mind was occupied with the concern of "what should be done for this?" After twenty-five he came to forget even that concern and was almost completcely unconscious of his doings. When it was raining, water leaked through the roof of his decayed house, and dripped down onto the floor where he was sitting. Neverthless, he was unaware of the water which was up to his knees. Once he was found sitting senseless from morning to evening before his rice bowl which was filled with boiled rice mixed subsidary articles of diet. Once or twice, he was seen standing motionless for almost half a day on the road under the hot sun on his way from the Strn-jin-po market, and was taken home by members of his family who had noted his state and come running. While he was in this state of meditation, he ate food without knowing its taste and he was just a waste of a person whom the villagers pitied, and the agonies of his family were indescribable. What's worse, the master's entire body was covered with boils and there was a large one on his belly. In addition to this, the persistent coughing made him look indescribably miserable. However, at the age of tw&ty-six, in the early morning on the 26th of March in the year 1916, the Great Master who had been sitting in silence, felt an unimaginable freshness in his spirit. He became conscious of all things around him and of what he was doing. on this same day, some members of the ckrun-do-kyo religion brought "Tong-Kyung Daejun", the chun-do-kyo textbobk and discussed it. In the book, it says, "I have here a sublime charm; It's name is the Elixir (cure all); It's form in Tae-Guk, or a form of trro bows." "virtue of a gleat man coincides with that of heaven, his brightness with that of sun and moon, his discipline with that of four seasons and his god or bad luck with that of a spirit." The Great Master had been born and brought up in the remotest village. He had had no person who could teach him. He who had only two strort years of study did not know about doctrines and histories of traditional religions. Accordingly, his moral practice and

-17

-


598

s99

WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

great Enlightenment were exclusively his own independent practice and also an independent achievement.

(2) Buddhism and Won Buddhism As we have read above, the Ven. Sotaesan, before he attained en' Iightenment, had not been a believer in any religion nor had he had any knowledge of religions. His relationship with Buddhism started when he inspected many scriptures of other religions in the East and West after his enlightenment. Ven. Sotaesan, intending to refer to sutras or Bibles of religions in the East and West for his missionary works, let his descriple collect and bring them to him. Having frnished reading, he was moved and said, "What I have enlightened to, the ancient sages and saints had already enlightened to. But there are differences in the depth of their truths. Buddhism depicted the truth fundamentally clearer than any other religion." He thought that the motive of his spiritual awakening and the course of his enlightenment coincided accidentally with that of Sakyamuni Buddha. He decided to try to establish a perfect religious order which would be based upon or related to Buddhist teachings, and could include all proper teachings of other religions. (History of Buddha Dharma Study Association, Association Magazine: P. 38, No. 40, 1937). This is the beginning of the relationship of our order with Buddhism. The Buddhist order was later named the Buddha Dharma Study Association. The History of the Buddha Dharma Study Association (in No.44,. the Association Magazine) explains the event of the announcement of Buddha Dharma. "I have already discovered the truth of Buddha Dharma but I have not told you about it in definite terms. It is because the level of your study of Buddha Dharma is not sufficient enough for you to understand the Tluth of Buddhism. And the relic which mistreated Buddhism for several hundred years still remains. Anyone that is regarded as a Buddhist has never been respected. Therefore Buddhism has to suffer social mistreatment from people of low intelligence. All of the missionary works of religions, right or superstitious, have tried only to lead people into a life of faith in an unorganized way according to their low level of intelligence. Now that we have decided to find out the fundamental Tluth altd to study it, leading people into the path of bliss and wisdom, we have to rely upon Buddha Dharma which, I expect, will become a leading religion not only in Korea but also in the world in one hundred years."

-18-

He continued, "However, Buddhism in the future will not be the will not be separated from all kinds of jobs such as officials, thrmers, technicians and merchants: Buddhism should be practiced by general people including both the priesthood and laymen. And also worshipping Buddha should not be confined to the worshipping of Buddha images only, but all things in the universe should be regarded as Buddhas. Then you will know that Buddhist practice and any doings are not two but one. This means that if you do worldly affairs successfully you are practicing Buddha Dharma successfully and vice versa. Dharma Hall is not the only place to worship Buddha and a Buddha image or statue is not the only object of worship. Everyplace is a Dharma Hall and everything is Buddha. Then Grade of Buddha will go to everything and everywhere, creating an unimaginable ideal and celestial world." Thus he explained. the New Buddhism which is different from the traditional same as the traditional Buddhist system: Buddhism

Buddhism.

Therefore our New Buddhism is called Won Buddhism and is different from traditional Buddhism. But from a broader point of

view, both Buddhisms are interrelated as one Buddha Dharma. I have just introduced very briefly the relationship of The Venerable Sotaesan with traditional Buddhism from a historical stand-point.

(3) Missionary works: One of the most conspicuous changes of the Great Master, after his enlightenment, wffi his appearance. He recovered naturally from all the diseases without medicines; his emaciated complexion retrieved its lustre. Moreover, his matured personaiity and virtue cast a strong influence upon everybody that approached him. He was dearly looked upon by his elder blood brother, as well as a swom brother, pal-san, who was twelve years his senior, and even by his uncle, Chil-san, all of whom became his first desciples. From the fact that he succeeded in leading to the religious path Rev. Pal+an and Chil-san who had been uncommonly vigorous and proud, we may imagine what the changes of Great Master's personality must have been after his enlightenment. His followers started increasing around him, and he selected the most distinguished followers among them, organizing nine desciples. Among the nine desiples, only master song Jung-san who was given fhe central position was not a man of Ryung-kwang but of

-1.9-


600

60t

WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

Kyung-sangdo province. He was residing with some of his family in a home in JunE-Eup, practicing meditation by himself. At the age of eighteen, he was first visited by the Great Master and was deeply moved by his unmatctred personality, immediately becoming his desciple and the youngest descriple as he was, he was glven the central position. Among his nine descriples, some were versed in Confucian theory, but they all joined in the prayer, making a vow that they would sacrifice their lives for the sake of all sentient beings. They also successfully completed the great works of recliamation of a beach, forming a new religious image. The Great Master also put his effort into industries such as farming, raising domestic animals, oriental medicine, etc., from the beginning of Ik-san Headquater's establisttment, creating the new Buddhist order with the new doctrine that spirit and body should be fully integrated and Truth or Dharma and actual life must go together. The Great Master's missionary works are proceeded rightly and justly in the practical and very ordinary lives of his followers. They have never doubted his great sainthood and through his perfect personality his great commonness stimulated their sense of respect toward hirl, and it was regarded as a proof of his greatness. He had both wisdom and love, w6 magnificent but sympathetic with unmatchable dignity, was very accurate but capacious and receptive, respected others but was very creative, and also was very active and looked businesslike but led his congregation with the undisturbed serenity of a saint. He was truth itself but very practical. EVeryone that approached him was harmonized and moved by his broad-mindedness, The Great Master was literally a perfectly harmonized enlightened saint.

ping Buddha through both the faith

4) Won Buddhism does not regard the religious practice and practical life as two but one: It regards our real life itself as a religious training and tries to realize the Elysium of our mind-nature in the practical life.

5) Won Buddhism inclines neither toward spiritual life nor to material life, but tries keep them side by side. 6) Won Buddhism is not inclined to either independent life or dependent life but equally values both. 7) Won Buddhism points in the direction of the generalization and the modernization of Won Buddhism. 8) Won Buddhism regards "The Cultivation of Spiritual Stability," "The Study of .Facts and Principles," and "The Selection of Right Conduct," which provide liberation, wisdom and the harmonized way of practice as the proper direction of Buddhist shrdy. 9) Won Buddhism counts highly the cultivation of mind and the degree of practice regardless of whether one is a missionary or a follower, a man or a woman, married or single. (to be continued to the 7th issue.)

(4) The Characteristics of his Religion We may itemize briefly the general characteristics of The Venerable Sotaesan's religion, Won Buddhism, as follows:

1) Won Buddhism believes in the Thrth of Il-Won, the One Circle, which is the source of human beings and the Universe, as the object of faith and religious practice. 2) Won Buddhism emphasizes the requite and repayment for the great four graces of heaven and earth, parents, brethren and laws to turn practical life into the path of graces. 3) Won Buddhism emphasizes that life itself strould be like worship-

-20-

in truth and faith in practical

matters.

- 21-


602

603

WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

Dont Take Part in Miscellaneous

Games

variations in limits and conditions for spending spare time, the inevitable consequence that the question of the moral worth of man has come to the fore. With recreation and adequate use of spare time for dissolving the fatigue and emotion wrapped up in man's mechanical life style, one can enjoy productive recreation which refines sentiment and prepares one for his next job; but there is also the possibility of recreation which incurs mental and physical impediments and becomes an obstruction to healthy humhn society. Looking at this point, one sees the need to reconsider again in the lives of modem day people, the provisions of the precepts which forbid miscellaneous games.

by Lee Sung Tack Productive Holidays

In the wake of the development of scientific civilization, human society has been systematized and the surge of scientific thinking has brought forth "convenience-ism" and created an abnormal society out of the simple and honest society of days pffit, which overflowed with human appeal. Amidst the repetitiveness of a society in which all the urbanites go to their places of work early in the morning and return home late in the evening, arid, mechanical encounters are being effected. Moreover, the keenly sensitive and rational younger generation are receiving, under the premise of so called 'study for college entrance,' a mechanical education of cramming and memorizing rather than an education which fosters humanity, and genuine encounters between friends or between teacher and student are becoming deficient. The position for the o'Formation of an Ideal Society", the ba^sic concept of the school, is hard to find in the modern day school. Instead, only competitive, intellectual confrontation has become the secret to success and because of this, the socialization of man by way of the school is becoming more and more difficult. Man is a social being. Unable to live alone, he must live depending on reciprocal actions and social intercourse. Because of this. he is' unable to turn his back on his basic need for intimacy. For him to lead a life with no human encounters is to lose the significance of Iife. Amidst human encounters, a man gradually becomes socialized and passes through the course of his completion of the personality. But as a result of the deficiency of human encounters within the family, the primary factor in human socialization, the increment of problem-ridden youth is becoming more and more severe by the day. In these times, amidst such conditions, making good use of spare time through sound recreation and effecting encounters worthy of man cannot but be gteat hope of modern day people. Amidst the fixed, structured way of life, wanting to spend spare time and holidays with cordial friends or the family can be seen to be the one hope of modem day people. But not only is there such an important demand in these times for adequate use of spare time, there is also, according to the

-22-

What are Miscellaneous Games? i

Miscellaneous games refers

t

to techniques or abilities which

are base

and impure. All kinds of games which are based upon greed and self-interest rather than cool-headed judgement and reason are called miscellaneous games. Also, miscellaneous games are unproductive. If playing such games helps neither oneself nor others, neither psychologically nor materially, but rather produces injury or just has no benefit at all, we must recognize that this kind of game is a miscellaneous game. Games which due to ignorance of principles of cause and effect attempt to make a big fortune with one swoop, are also miscellaneous games.

To receive rewards according to the amount of effort one has made is a fundamental principle of the natural laws but to try to get a lot with no effort by way of a one-time-play or by way of machination is a miscellaneous game. The kinds of miscellaneous games are numerous. Nowadays, if one goes to an amusement park in the city environs, there are all kinds of games from hwa-too, matr-jong, pachinco, harooma, rice-speculation, yoot, chinese chess, playing cards, goh and other such conventional games, to billiards, target shooting, electronic games and others. But we run into problems if we use categorization according to varieties as a stipulation for being a miscellaneous game. This is because according to the situation, sphere and circumstances in which the game is played, it can be recreation or it can be a miscellaneous game. For ex.ample, we may say that hwa-too is gambling and generate a gfeat public controversy, but there is no need to make the stipulation

-23-


601

605

WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

of miscellaneous game for playing for the purpose of devising sornc harmony within the family. It is just the same with goh. Goh, especially, can become a simple method by which to pass the time but seeing as goh is the occupation of goh experts, it is tough to use the stipulation of miscellaneous game. One cannot classify miscellaneous games according to type of game or recreation. Because the same game may or may not be a miscellaneous game, it is a question of stipulation according to the mind and environment of the person playing. Miscellaneous games bring about the cornrption of the character. It is because a person with a sound body and mind doesn't endeavor properly that it is easy for his moral nature to become idle. Also it is easy for the mental attitude of 'chance luck' which is fostered to create a spiritual obstacle and a character which puts pleasure above all else. Miscellaneous games also eventually bring about material loss" They possess the power to charm. The more you play them, the more fun they become. Accordingly, the result is the incurrence of a wa.ste of time and money. Even if it can be said that a temporary monetary gaiir has been made through miscellaneous games, it runs counter to the laws of cause and effect because it is not a gain made through just means. Man's overstepping healthy recreation and indulging in miscellaneous games which are the cause of crime is due to the polar functioning of the personality. This polar functioning is between rightfulness and wrongfulness. If we say that there is mdral value, there is sinfulness. If we say there is a mind which seeks fruitfulness, there is a mind which seeks pleasure. If we say there is a mind which endeavors and serves others in society, there is aspiration for comfort and ease. With anyone, this human psychology of wrongfulness is always functioning somewhere. Accordingly, miscellaneous games is one phenomenon which infringes upon sufficiency in man's essential necessities of life. But even more than this, it is particularly easy to infringe upon the family or society in which there are no great discomforts felt as to the basic necessities of life, as in the time of sudden economic improvement. This is because with human beings, when the most essential necessities of life become sufficient, most certainly there is a consequent functioning of aspiration for sufficiency of ease and pleasure. The instances of wives' gambling which some-

-24-

time fill the society pages of the newspapers are instances of the fruition of this aspiration.

If We are Not to Indulge in Miscellaneous Games There is the need for man to have an even greater aspiration. If

we can hold the aspiration to rcahze ourselves in human society and receive authentification from society, we won't waste time on miscellaneous games. Man must always be aware of enjoyment,' which stands at the crossroads of sinfulness and blessedness. Therefore, the Great Master has said in the rules for Keeping a Diary, "Regardless of whether one ls a wealthy person or not, one should try to eliminate the evil habit of living an idle life;" and in number 3 of. The Six Points for Constant Application under The Method of Practicing Constant Training, "Be careful to practice the scriptures and regulations when you find leisure time." A person who practices this cannot indulge in miscellaneous games. It is always a question of values in human behavior. Values are the most important question in human ethics. There is a big change in human society depending on where one places values. Presently, values are in a state of extreme chaos. Within the younger generation's subsistence framework, a favorable rather than adverse situation has been reached and there is pursuit of advancement rather than decline. Due to this, there is confusion in values. And so, shall we say very simply that through a psychology in which modern youth are seeking to relieve the repression of their minds, it is in recreation that they thus express that mental discord? There is value in pleasure. There is no lack of value in more noble pleasures and enjoyments. But even more than this kind of value, if, while winning out over hardship and difficulty, we can recognize that tacitly doing the work that truth summons us to do, as we carry on fullfilling our human duties and responsibitities and helping others, has even more noble ethical value, we will not indulge in miscellaneous games.

When we realize that maintaining commonplaceness rather than enjoying momentary delights, winning out over the adverse rather than facing the favorable and sublimating rather than obliterating hoid a more noble value, we won't indulge in miscellaneous games. In rectifying the disease of the times, we need the essential countermeasure. I should say that this is precisely the work of shaping an

-25

-


606 WON

607

BUDDHIW

WON BUDDHISM

upright sense of values through education. To work and perspire and obtain security in the necessities of life in retum for the price of that perspiration, and carry on serving human society-this is the highest human value. It is this that should show us what happiness is. To use one's strength working for others, to devote one's entire self to one's country, society and world-this is the culmination of human happiness. We wilI have to educate to facilitate awakening to this ultimate aim. If this education which can develop human nature rather precedes scientifrc, technical education, the current of the times can change, and this kind of effort in education will become the primary task on the plane of the society and the nation. Also, as for religious men, when, through training they can faithfully perform their original duty and render service to the revolution in national spirit, the social trend toward extravagance, waste and pleasure will be remodeled and the social evils arising from miscellaneous games

will

be eradicated.

This education which erects basic human worth must be achieved in the schools, and when we actualize training through religious practice, there will be a remodeling of the social trend toward extra. vagance and waste and the social evils arising from miscellaneous games will be eradicated.

News Corner

1.

Acceptance of lilon Buddhism as a World Fellwoship of tsuddhists Regional Centre.

The world Fellowship of Buddhists (wFB) was founded on zb May 2493 (1950) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where representatives from 27 countries in Asia, Europe and North America (including Hawaii) met for this purpose. Nearly every school of Buddhism in the Mahayana, Theravada and Vujrayana traditions was represented by members of the Ssangha as well as laity... Thus founded, the wFB represents the common interests of Buddhists throughout the world numbering many millions. The aims and objects of the World Fellowship of Buddhists are: (1) To promote among the members strict obsenrance and practice of the teachings of the Buddha; (2) To secure unity, solidarity and brotherhood amongst Buddhists; (3) To propagate the sublime doctrine of the Buddha; (4) To organize and carry on activities in the fleld of social, educational, cultural and other humanitarian senrices; (5) To work for securing peace and harmony amongst men and happiness for all beings and to collaborate with other orgenizations working for the same ends. The letter of acceptance was received by Dr. Pal Khn Chon, Director of Overseas Missionary of Won Buddhism and opened as follows: Dear Friend in the Dhamma,

We write to inform you that your Association was accepted as a WFB Regional Centre by the WFB General Council on Saturday 22nd November 1980 during the 13th General Conference of WFB at BangKok in November 1980 (B.E. 2523) ...... As Won Buddhists, we should be gratified at our acceptance into such a prestigious organization as WFB and continue our diligent practice, in the footsteps of our founder, the Venerable Sotaesan, so as to be worttry of this honor.

2,

The Won Buddhist Professors Association Training and Annual General Meeting. I

Ttris' year's Won Buddhist Professors Association Training and

-26-

-27 -


608

6A9

WON BUDDHISM

WON BUDDHISM

Annual General Meeting was held over a period of three days and two nights from February L4 to February 16 at the Won Buddhist Central Training Institute, located in Iri. From opening registration and greeting until the bows and handshakes of the professors' departure, a joyous, yet disciplined atmosphere was maintained. Rising promptly at 5:00, all were assembled in the Dharma Hall by 5:10 for moming service and meditation. This wa.s followed by a brief, vigorous period of group exercise, after which the professors broke into small groups and went off to assigned areas for sweeping and mopping of the institute The 15th was the longest and busiest day. But five informative lecture periods and a spirited General Meeting later, what all had been anticipating, what all had spent every precious moment of free time before and after meals preparing for, the best climac to a training session any sentient being could ask for had arrived-8 p.m.-the annual Hymn Singing Contest. Three strikes of the wooden clacker and the show was off to an entertaining start with the first of the tirree team's very well prepared hymns. Each team sang its required two hymns, lips all round and beautiful as Il Won Sang. Team T\uo delighted the assembly with male members'timely change into large, black, butterfly bow ties. After the hymn competition proper, a humorous free-song portion of the contest ensued, Team Two once again scoring valuable points with a, shall I say, "Pretty" song and dance. It was most refreshing to see Deans, University Vice-Presidents and Doctors, all accomplished' teachers of Dharma, swaying to and for. Then, Team One made a gallant attempt to catch Team Two with a comical rendition of "Ballad of Roasted Chestnuts", a traditional Korean folksong with somewhat daring lyrics, sung by the assemblys' only foreign professor, yours truly. But it was just not enough to catch Team TWo as they fluttered on to victory. Upon opening the prize packages, wâ&#x201A;Ź discovered they all contained exactly the same thing anyway. Tangerines. Good for another laugh. Each day closed with diary writing and confession, recounting the events of another day as a follower of the Great Master and member of the Sangha. It was a very wonderful and necessary time for all of us. It is especially hoped that members of the overseas community who read this will be able to appreciate, although so far from Korea, the spirit

-28-

#

of Won Buddhism, the spirit which is so vital to our training sessions well as all won Buddhist occasions. It is hoped that vou mav tina

as

inspiration with which to continue to walk the Right way. ;

\

i

Memben

of

Won-Buddhist hofessors Associotion

Annual General M ee ting.

-29-

at

this

yeo's Tlaining and


6tt

6to

I

!

The Fourth Fenule Devotees'Initiol Youts Ceremony.

Won Buddhism Youth Association at the Sacred Loution where the Venemble Sotaevn, the founder of l4ton Buddhism, in Byon San

The Leaden e s

of

tablished won Buddhist Doc trine.

Symposium on Korean Traditiotul Thought and Won Buddhist Thought sponsored by the Reseorch Institute of Won Buddhist Thought.

Scene

isn.

from the Chaity Bazaar Sponsored by the Seoul District of llon Buddh-

Vol-3-No-6  

http://www.wonbuddhism.org/doc/6.won.buddhism.quarterly.magazine/Vol-3-No-6.pdf