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The Scriptures of Won Buddhism

The Scriptures of Won Buddhism: A Translation of the Wŏnbulgyo kyojŏn with Introduction

Bongkil Chung
Copyright Date: 2003
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  • Book Info
    The Scriptures of Won Buddhism
    Book Description:

    Won Buddhism, one of the major religions of modern Korea, was established in 1916 by Pak Chung-bin (1891-1943), later known as Sot'aesan. In 1943 Sot'aesan published a collection of Buddhist writings, theCorrect Canon of Buddhism (Pulgyo chongjon), which included the doctrine of his new order. Four years later, the second patriarch, Chongsan (1900-1962), had the order compile a new canon, which was published in 1962. This work, translated here asThe Scriptures of Won Buddhism (Wonbulgyo kyojon), consists of theCanon(a redaction of the first part of thePulgyo chongjon) and the analects and chronicle of the founder known as theScripture of Sot'aesan. The present translation incorporates critical tenets from the 1943Canonthat were altered in the redaction process and offers persuasive arguments for their re-inclusion.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6501-6
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Robert E. Buswell Jr.

    Wŏnbulgyo—“Consummate,” or “Circle,” Buddhism—is a Korean new religion formed in the early twentieth century that purportedly derives from the unique enlightenment experience of its founder, Sot’aesan (1891–1943). After his enlightenment, Sot’aesan researched different religious systems to guide him in framing his insights before finally deciding that his realization had profound affinities with Buddhism. Because of these affinities, Sot’aesan originally called his new religion thePulbŏp yŏn’guhoe, the Society for the Study of the Buddha-dharma, and later his followers came to call their tradition Wŏnbulgyo. In this book, Professor Bongkil Chung, a lifelong student and scholar of this...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Abbreviations and Conventions
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. STUDY

    • Introduction: The Foundation and Doctrine of Won Buddhism
      (pp. 3-110)

      Won Buddhism is one of the major religions of modern Korea and has been preparing itself to grow to be a world religion ever since it was founded upon the spiritual awakening in 1916 of a young Korean man, Pak Chung-bin (1891–1943), better known in the West as Sot’aesan. According to his biographer, his enlightened vision showed that the world was entering a new era of material civilization, by the formidable power of which sentient beings were about to be enslaved. He felt it urgent to show the sentient beings how they could be delivered from the tormenting seas...


    • The Canon
      (pp. 111-164)

      As a result of scientific advancement, the ability of the human spirit to make use of material things has gradually weakened while the power of the material things that human beings make use of has daily grown stronger, conquering the weakened spirit of humankind and thereby bringing the latter under its rule. With human beings enslaved to material things, how can they avoid suffering in the bitter seas of misery?

      The founding motive of this religious order is to lead all sentient beings suffering in the bitter seas of misery to a vast, immeasurable paradise by expanding spiritual power and...

    • The Scripture of Sot’aesan
      (pp. 165-352)

      1. Upon his great enlightenment on the twenty-eighth day of April, in the first year of Won Buddhism (A.D. 1916), the Master said, “All things in the universe are of unitary noumenal nature and all dharmas are of unitary source, amongst which the way of neither arising nor ceasing and the principle of cause-effect response, being mutually grounded on each other, have formed a round framework.”¹

      2. Sometime after his great enlightenment, the Master perused the basic scriptures of various religions.² Upon reading the Diamond Sūtra, he said, “The Buddha Śākyamuni is truly the sage of all sages. Though I...

  8. Appendix I: Translator’s Notes on Restoration of the Text
    (pp. 353-356)
  9. Appendix II: Individuals in The Scripture of Sot’aesan
    (pp. 357-364)
  10. Chinese Character Glossary
    (pp. 365-368)
  11. Glossary of Terms
    (pp. 369-376)
  12. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 377-394)
  13. Index
    (pp. 395-413)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 414-414)