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South Korea — Won Buddhism

Thursday 28 October 2010

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Wŏn Buddhism, Wŏnbulgyo, a compound of the Korean wŏn (circle) and pulgyo (Buddhism), means literally "Round Buddhism," or "Consummate Buddhism." It is the name of an indigenous religion founded in Korea in the twentieth century.


According to Won Buddhist sources, Pak Chungbin (1891–1943; Sot’aesan) attained great enlightenment in 1916 and had a precognition of the world entering an era of advancing material civilization, to which humans would be enslaved. The only way to save the world was by expanding spiritual power through faith in genuine religion and training in sound morality.
With the dual aims to save sentient beings and cure the world of moral ills, Sot’aesan began his religious mission. He opened a new religious order with the buddhadharma as the central doctrine, establishing the Society of the Study of the Buddha-dharma at Iksan, North Cholla province, in 1924. He edified his followers with newly drafted doctrine until his death in 1943. The central doctrine was published in the Pulgyo chŏngjŏn (The Correct Canon of Buddhism) in 1943.

In 1947 Song Kyu (1900–1962; "Chŏngsan"), the second patriarch, renamed the order Wŏnbulgyo (Wŏn Buddhism) and published the new canon, Wŏnbulgyo kyojŏn (The Scriptures of Won Buddhism), in 1962.

Doctrine and Practice

The central doctrine lies in the tenets of Irwŏnsang (unitary circular form), Four Beneficences [Graces], and Threefold Practice:

- Just like a finger pointing at the moon, Irwŏnsang, enshrined as the symbol of the dharmakaya of the Buddha, refers to the Buddha-nature of the Tathāgatha and the fundamental source of the four beneficences (heaven and earth, parents, fellow beings, and laws) to which one owes one’s life. Irwŏn (unitary circle), the Wŏnbulgyo name for the Dharmakāya Buddha, is the noumenal nature of all beings of the universe, the original nature of all buddhas and patriarchs, and the Buddha-nature of all sentient beings. The worship of Irwŏn lies in requiting the four beneficences, as stated in the motto: "Requiting beneficence is making offerings to Buddha." The practice of Irwon lies in wisdom (prajñā), fostering concentration (samādhi) and using virtue (śīla), upon enlightenment to the Buddha-nature in mundane, daily life.

- The requital of the four beneficences is carried out:

1. for heaven and earth, harboring no thought after rendering beneficence;
2. for parents, protecting the helpless;
3. for fellow beings, benefiting oneself by benefiting others; and
4. for laws, doing justice and forsaking injustice.

- The threefold practice is perfected by:

samadhi, cultivation of spirit;
prajňā, inquiry into facts and principles; and
śīla, the heedful choice in karmic action.

The threefold practice is carried out through Zen, which holds as its central principle that when the six sense organs are at rest, one should nourish the One Mind by clearing the mind of worldly thoughts; when they are at work, one should forsake injustice and cultivate justice.

Goals of Won Buddhist Mission

The Won Buddhist order is bringing beneficence to the human race by way of mission, education, and charity, which are its three major tasks. Mission is accomplished mainly at the Won Buddhist temples. It goal to deliver Won Buddhist teachings to people who have are seeking a more enlightened way. It also purposes to help people to discover the Buddha nature within themselves - which is equal to the nirvana of Buddhas - and to become free from karmic bondage augmented by regular services, training sessions, rituals,counseling, and other support in the temples.

Won Buddhist educational task seeks to dispel the negative effects of karma and realizes ignorance, and to manifest brightness and the emancipation that comes with knowledge. These goals are fulfilled in the educational institutions affiliated with the Won Buddhist order. At the same time, Won Buddhism’s goal for education is the goal of education in general, which purposes to promote human spirituality and world civilization for a better world. Charitable work aims to protect disadvantaged people in the realms of spiritual, physical, or material conditions, and to help them to cultivate independence. It also aims to build a society based on the ideals of perfection and equality.

For these goals, the Won Buddhist order has established many charitable institutions and welfare facilities for homeless people, orphans, disabled people, aged people, sick people, and various neglected people in the society.

Soe Tae San taught that human beings become enslaved to materialism and degenerate due to the influence of advanced science and technology. The United Religions Movement” purposes to free the individual from one’s own religious egotism and boundaries, and to fulfill the original mission of religion.

In furtherance of the goal of religious cooperation, the Won Buddhist community proposes to establish an institutionalized organization for world religions comparable to, and on parallel with, the United Nations organization. The Won Buddhist community aims to take the lead in removing the boundaries and barriers of the past, and creating one global family on earth, in tandem with other religious communities

Source : Wikipedia

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4 Forum posts

  • South Korea — Won Buddhism 25 August 2011 20:41, by Junu Barua

    Dear Dharma Friend,
    With great respect, we are writing from Colombo. Every years our High Priest sends us various country for participate conference, seminar, Festival and Program around the Global. So this year we have decided to visit and to participate you’r programmed.

    We visit your website today and knowing that its very great for participate to learn.Then we inform our High Priest he also deeply interested to sends us in your yoga center and to participate your programmed. If we would like to participate your programmed and to visit yoga center then we need your co-operation. Without your co-operation we are unable to participate your programmed and to visit. We need an invitation and accommodation letter for our visa processing. Our High Priest fully able to pay our flight fair and other cost and programmed fee.
    We expect that you would not refuse our request. We are looking forward to hearing you as soon as possible.
    Thanking you.

    Best Regards
    Junu Barua.

    Colombo, Sri-Lanka.

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  • South Korea — Won Buddhism 22 May 2012 15:29, by aryan bangsha bhikhu


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  • South Korea — Won Buddhism 28 August 2012 19:39, by Nidorson Barua

    Dear Dhamma friend,

    At first accept my Bless. I am a Bangladeshi Buddhist Monk. For 6 year I am
    staying in Sri Lanka and studying here about Buddhism. When I was
    surfing your news about Special Conference "South korea -won Buddhism Sources,
    2012 Conference. I am very delighted to read this news. I am eager to
    attend on this conference cause of I like this kind of Conference.
    So, I want to know details How to process to attend on this event and
    How to process to reserve a place for me.

    Hoping this conference will success with all-knowing Buddha’s Bless.
    May all living being be happy and free from all kinds of sufferings.
    Take care.
    May Buddha Bless You in Everyway.

    With a lot of Bless and Love Nidorson Barua

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