WŏN BUDDHISM (Korean : 원불교) is a modernized form of Buddhism
that seeks to make enlightenment possible for everyone and applicable
to regular life. The scriptures are simplified so that they are easy
to understand and their applications to life are made clear. Practice
is simplified so that anyone, regardless of their wealth, occupation,
or other external living conditions, can still practice Buddhism.
Practices that are considered outdated, confusing, or unnecessary are
removed. Because of the major changes that Won Buddhists have made to
their practice, Won
* 1 History
* 2 Doctrine
* 2.1 Il-Won: The One Circle * 2.2 The Fourfold Grace * 2.3 The Four Essentials * 2.4 The Threefold Study * 2.5 The Eight Articles
* 3 Scriptures and writings * 4 Connection to other Eastern philosophies * 5 Translations of the name * 6 References * 7 Further reading * 8 External links
According to Won Buddhist sources, Bak Jungbin (
Hangul : 박중빈 ,
hanja : 朴重彬 , 1891–1943, aka Sot'aesan) attained bodhi 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 of
saving sentient beings and curing the world of moral ills, Sot'aesan
began his religious mission. He founded a new religious order with
Buddhist teachings as its central doctrine, establishing the Society
of the Study of the Buddhadharma at
North Jeolla Province
In 1947, Song Gyu ( Hangul : 송 규 , 1900–1962), the second patriarch , renamed the order "Won Buddhism" and published a new canon, Wonbulgyo gyojeon (The Scriptures of Won Buddhism), in 1962.
Won Buddhist doctrine is split into two gates by which enlightenment is attained. The first, the Gate of Faith, is made up of the Fourfold Grace and the Four Essentials, which together make up the necessary mindset of a practitioner. The second gate is the Gate of Practice, composed of the Threefold Study and the Eight Articles, which make up the necessary behaviors of a practitioner.
IL-WON: THE ONE CIRCLE
Il-Won is the symbol that Won Buddhists use to represent the ultimate truth. This ultimate truth is said to be beyond the limits of what words can describe, so the circle is often said to be like a finger pointing at the Moon. In addition to representing the ultimate truth, Il Won Sang also represents everything we know, because for the ultimate truth to be ultimate, it must cover everything—therefore, everything must be a representation of the truth. As Buddhas' minds are one with the truth, Buddha-nature , Il-Won is the symbol of the dharmakāya of the Buddha and of all enlightened masters; it is the true nature of all sentient beings, regardless of whether they have awakened to it or not. That means it is the original source of the Four Graces (heaven and earth, parents, fellow beings, and laws) to which one owes one's life. The practice of Il-Won lies in wisdom (prajñā ), fostering concentration (samādhi ), and using virtue (śīla ) upon enlightenment to the Buddha-nature continuously in daily life.
THE FOURFOLD GRACE
The Four Graces are the embodiment of the Il-won in its different forms; that is, all that exists in the universe can be separated into the Four Graces. The Graces are written from the perspective of gratitude owed by the practitioner, so even though parents are a type of fellow being, the debt of gratitude owned by practitioners to their parents is special and different compared to the debt of gratitude owed to other fellow beings.
* The Grace of Heaven and Earth, which is requited by harboring no thought after rendering beneficence, and no attachment to joy, anger, sorrow, or happiness; * The Grace of Parents, which is requited by protecting the helpless; * The Grace of Fellow Beings, which is requited by learning to benefit oneself by benefiting others; * The Grace of Laws, which is requited by doing justice and forsaking injustice.
THE FOUR ESSENTIALS
* Developing Self-Power; * Primacy of the Wise; * Educating others' children; * Venerating the public-spirited.
THE THREEFOLD STUDY
* samādhi, cultivation of spirit; * prajñā, inquiry into facts and principles; and * śīla, the heedful choice in karmic action.
The threefold practice is carried out through
THE EIGHT ARTICLES
The Four Articles to Develop Belief Zeal Questioning Dedication The Four Articles to Forsake Unbelief Greed Laziness Foolishness
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