The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Thirteen: On the Order


At the Seoul Temple, the Founding Master asked Yi Wanch’ŏl to help him haul his luggage to the train station. Wanch’ŏl replied, “Not only am I currently managing a dozen laborers in repairing the temple building, but this also might affect my dignity as a minister (kyomu).” The Founding Master then asked Oh Ch’anggŏn to haul his luggage for him, instead. When the Master returned, he asked Wanch’ŏl, “What do you think about how you handled this matter earlier?” Wanch’ol replied, “I don’t think there was too much wrong with it.” The Founding Master said, “The reasons you gave then are not wholly groundless. But if you are not terribly concerned about your behavior after disobeying your teacher’s order out of shame for carrying a piece of luggage, how can you say that this reflects the original duty of someone who has taken a vow as an ordained devotee? Not only that, but with such a mind, how can there be any promise of your becoming a great public servant who widely saves myriads of living beings?” The Master severely reprimanded him, saying, “If you cannot overcome such an attitude, then go back to your own home.” Wanch’ŏl begged for the Mster's forgiveness and from then never again maintained any false pretenses out of worries about his dignity.