The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Two: Doctrine


The Founding Master said, “In the past all the founders of religions have appeared according to their own proper time in order to instruct all sentient beings in how to conduct their lives. However, their core principles in disseminating their teachings differed according to their era and region, just as there are different specialties within the field of medicine. Buddhism took the formlessness of all things in the universe as its core principle and taught the truth that is free from arising and ceasing and the principle of retribution and response of cause and effect, elucidating principally the path whereby ignorance is transformed into awakening. Confucianism took the forms of all things in the universe as its core principle and taught the three duties, the five relationships, and the four constants of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and knowledge, elucidating principally the path whereby one cultivates oneself, regulates one’s family, governs one’s country, and realizes peace in the world. Daoism took the Way of the natural universe as its core principle and taught techniques for nourishing the nature, elucidating principally the path of tranquility and nonaction. Although these three paths have core principles that differ from one another, they all have the common goal of rectifying the world and benefiting living beings.
“In the past, however, these three traditions of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism have mainly disseminated their own doctrines, but in the future it will not be enough to deliver the whole world through limited subjects alone. Hence, we have synthesized all these doctrines and established all courses on the basis of combining Cultivation, Inquiry, and Choice into the Il-Won (One Circle), and on the basis of the wholeness of both spirit and flesh and the simultaneous practice of universal principles and human affairs. Whoever practices well in this manner will penetrate not only to the cardinal doctrines of those three teachings, but also to doctrines of all religions in the world. And the dharmas under heaven will return to the one mind, so that we are able to attain the great Way that reaches everywhere.”