The Scripture of the Fo...

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The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Two: Doctrine

9

A person inquired, “Which buddha does your hon-ored order worship as its foundational teacher?” The Founding Master replied, “We worship Śākyamuni Buddha as our foundational teacher.” The person asked again, “If Śākyamuni Buddha is your original teacher, why do you not enshrine an image of him but instead enshrine Il-Won-Sang?” The Founding Master replied again, “With an image of Śākyamuni Buddha, it is difficult to elucidate and teach a realistic understanding of the evidence of bestowed transgressions and merits. However, Il-Won-Sang represents the pure Dharmakāya Buddha. Heaven and earth, parents, and our fellow beings are all transformation bodies of the Dharmakāya Buddha; laws as well are bestowed by the Dharmakāya Buddha. We can easily expound and teach the evidence that heaven and earth, parents, fellow beings, and laws bestow transgressions and merits on us. Therefore, we enshrine Il-Won-Sang as our object of faith.” The person then asked, “If this is the case, then aren’t you only paying lip service to worshiping Śākyamuni Buddha as the foundational teacher and in fact not showing him any particular propriety?” The Founding Master answered, “Even though we do not enshrine a statue of the Buddha in our dharma halls, we nevertheless direct our regular adherents’ faith so that they have sincere respect for the Buddha. At the same time, the true worship of the Buddha lies in eternally transmitting and developing the Buddha’s dharma lineage and his work by respectfully receiving his fundamental spirit and so engaging in practices ourselves when we employ our six sense organs. This is what we emphasize. For how could worship of the Buddha be limited only to the act of enshrining and regularly bowing before his image?”