The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Two: Doctrine


Kwangjŏn asked, “What is the relationship between Il-Won-Sang (One Circle Image) and human beings?” The Founding Master answered, “You have asked about a great truth. In our order, we enshrine Il-Won-Sang in the same way that Buddhists in the past have enshrined buddha images. However, while a buddha image manifests the physical form of the Buddha, Il-Won-Sang manifests the mind-essence of the Buddha. The physical form represents only his human form, but the mind-essence is vast and infinite, combining being and nonbeing and sustaining itself through the three time periods of past, present, and future. Hence, it is the original source of the myriad things in heaven and earth and the realm of samādhi beyond all words and speech. Confucianism calls it the grand ultimate (t’aegŭk) or the ultimate of nonbeing (mugŭk); Daoism calls it nature or the Way (to); Buddhism calls it the pure Dharmakāya Buddha. In principle, however, all of these are different expressions for the same thing, and regardless of which direction or which road one takes, at the ultimate stage they all eventually lead back to the truth of Il-Won. If anything that calls itself a religion does not found itself upon such a truth, then it is a deviant Way. Therefore, our order designated the truth of Il-Won-Sang as the paradigm for relating that ultimate truth to our daily lives, and elucidated also the two gateways of faith and practice.”

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