Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Fifteen: Entrustments


36. In the forty-sixth year of the Won-Buddhist Era, twelfth month (1961), the Master asked on his sickbed, “Do you remember the four plans I made earlier?” The attendant replied, “The four plans were preparation of doctrinal materials; establishment of institutions; single-mindedness between government and religion; and mastering the foundation and illuminating the root.” The Master said, “Explain the details.” The attendant replied, “‘Preparation of doctrinal materials’ means completing the compilations of The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism and The Scripture of the Founding Master, editing religious texts such as The Canon of Propriety (Yejŏn), Sacred Hymns (Sŏngga), and so forth, so that all materials necessary for edifying the public will be fully available. ‘Establishment of institutions’ means further developing all institutions of edification, education, philanthropy, and production, so as to fully lay the foundation for fostering human talents, economic self-sufficiency, and business enterprises. ‘Single-mindedness between government and religion’ means being of unified mind with leaders of the nation or the world, so that we may exert our efforts together in the construction of a peaceful world in both government and edification. ‘Mastering the foundation and illuminating the root’ means not neglecting our own spiritual cultivation even while exerting our efforts in all these enterprises, so that we will master our original concern and, by always illuminating well our origin, we may not forget what is fundamental. This is how I understand them.” The Master said, “What you say is correct; but have even half of these plans been completed?,” and, for a fleeting moment, sadness and regret showed on his face. Finally, on December 25th, the Master gave his final special instructions and entrusted six of his disciples, Kim Taegŏ, Yi Kongju, Yi Wanch’ŏl, Pak Kwangjŏn, Yi Un’gwŏn, and Pak Changsik, to edit the scriptures and religious texts, and urged his attendant Yi Kongjŏn to make speedy progress on compiling the scriptures.”