Chongji Buddhist Order - South Korea
Thursday 14 February 2013
Buddhist Chongji Order, one of the leading lay Buddhist order of South Korea, was established in 1972 as a separate organization. The foundation of Chongji Order is a historical fact in the history of Korean Buddhism which prolonged over 1,500 years. During the long journey of Korean Buddhism only few traditional order systems have been surviving where lay Buddhist’s role is less remarkably and very limited.
When Chongji Order was founded Korean Buddhism was decreasing accumulated legacy. Korean Buddhism was losing its legacy and religious zeal for its outdated order system which became irrelevant during the course of history. However, the whole social order was being modernized, and urbanized with rapid speed that was geared by Western values. In that feudalistic environment Korean monks were bound to survive and carry their inherited values. Their everyday life style and entire monastic culture was entirely different from the lay people of Korean society. Furthermore, Buddhist community had become paralyzed and even not able to understand everyday anguish and sufferings of the common mass. These circumstances provided a space for the Korean lay Buddhist order to set out the organization to proselytize the people. Moreover, the system which was near to collapsed that so called traditional Korean Buddhist orders was against of any activity organized by lay Buddhists. Chongji Order was founded in order to overcome such hindrance and motivate the common mass and find better way to proselytize the people into Buddhism.
With the mottos of “Buddhism in Everyday Life” Chongji Order thrust oneself into Korean society, and served an excellent opportunity for common people. The order built its central building not on the mountains but in the main city of South Korea, and devoted her work to modernize Buddhist rituals reflecting modern culture. The practice and teaching were also able to be led by lay Buddhist leaders. With all these changes, the order made great achievements since its foundation. Presently, the order has become one of the five major Buddhist orders of Korea, having thirty six centers with thousand of followers. Chongji Order have also established a foundation for education and welfare, and running a middle school and welfare centers. Chongji Order is also focusing on the other areas. This order has been co-founder of the Buddhist Broadcasting System and Buddhist Television Network of Korea.
Presently one of the most important activities proposing by the Chongji Order is to devote herself to build friendly relation with overseas Buddhist groups. Since 1997, Chongji Order has been promoting companionship with Chinese and Japanese Buddhist Orders for shake of popularizing the activity of order. The proposed forum to be held in coming October will be a historical momentum in this regard.
Chongji Order is committed to build the World Buddhist Exchange Center at the center of Seoul, where the center will facilitate several facilities such as bedrooms, seminar rooms, conference hall, restaurant, and meditation hall etc. for the Buddhist follower visiting Korea and around countries to get Buddhist experience.