, 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 20th century.
According to Won Buddhist sources, Pak Chungbin
) 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 , and Threefold Practice
- Just like a finger pointing at the moon, Irwŏnsang,......