So-Tae-San, the Founder of Won Buddhism
Tuesday 1 June 2010
So Tae San (1891–1943)
So-Tae-San, the Founder of Won Buddhism - Sot’aesan is his Dharma name, and Taejongsa is his Dharma Title, by which he is referred to within the Won Buddhist order. Sot’aesan Taejongsa was born as a son of a peasant on May 5, 1891 in Youngchon, Kilryong Li, Paeksoo Myeon, Youngwang County, Chunnam Province.
So-Tae-San’s path to Buddhist awakening started with common questions. Since the age of seven, So-tae-san had inquired into the natural phenomena of the universe; the processes of human life - birth, aging, diseases, and death; various human emotions - happiness, anger, sadness, and joy.
After twenty years of incessant searching he finally obtained the great awakening after entering nirvana. After the great awakening, Sot’aesan observed that people of the contemporary world were enslaved by materialism due to the loss of spiritual power, which can make good use of materials. He founded the Won Buddhist order with the goal of leading all human beings from the state of samsara into paradise on earth with the help of his nine disciples.
He initiated many innovations - such as dispensing with formalities and vanity, abolishing superstition, executing thrift and savings, and erecting an embankment to reclaim land from the sea. So-tae-san wrote the doctrine and institutional system of Won Buddhism. He established the headquarters of Won Buddhism in Iksan city and started the Won Buddhist community in the headquarters. He passed away at the age of 53 on June 1, 1943, after twenty eight years’ selfless mission.
Source : http://saieditor.com