The History of Won

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The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 1. The Dawn of Great Opening

Chapter 2. Founding Master Sot`aesan

2. Raising Questionings by Sot`aesan

One day, when Sot`aesan was seven years old, he looked up at the beautiful clear sky that did not have a single cloud. He also observed the mountains that were filled with pure energy in the four directions. Suddenly, he raised a question, "That sky is high and vast, how did it get so clean?", then another question arose, "How does the wind and clouds arise unexpectedly from such a clean sky?" These initial questions were the catalyst for more inquiry. From the age of nine, he started to reflect on himself so that his own existence became the subject of questioning. As he thought of his parents, brothers, and sisters, the relationship of his parents, brothers, and sisters became subjects of question. While thinking about these many things, much became the object of questioning. When thinking of day and night, the change of the day and night became an object of questioning, and all these questions made Sot`aesan restless.
Following the order of his parents, he attended a private Confucian school (K. Sodang), at the age of ten, to learn the Confucian classics,11) but his heart was so preoccupied with questions, that he did not focus on his studies nor did he have the desire to play with other children his own age. 12)