The History of Won


The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 1. The Dawn of Great Opening

Chapter 3. Sot`aesan`s Statecraft of Saving all living beings and Curing the World

3. Skillful Means for the First Salvation and Nine Disciples

After announcing the Motto and his Dharmas (Teachings), Sot`aesan thought "What I enlightened to is the Right Essence of the Way and Virtue, and my purpose is to establish a new religious order in the new world, thus to lead all sentient beings to the boundless Paradise. However, I have been treated as a cripple, and have never been a part of any religious order. Also, since the people of this period do not know the Right Dharma in their daily lives, and think only of fallacies and false faiths, what should I do in the future?" And so he waited for the proper time to spread the Dharma.
At that time, the sects of Chungsangyo were widely spread, influencing people even in the area of Kilryong-li. Sot`aesan made a decision to gradually teach people the Right Dharma after collecting the people`s mind and beliefs. Around July of the first year of Won-Buddhism (Won-Buddhism Era), he volunteered to become a member of Chungsangyo and underwent the process of rituals. After performing the ritual ceremony for seven days, he enraptured people with his words of wisdom, which were considered beyond normal thoughts and understanding. While addressing his teachings to the people, over forty from the various neighborhoods became his followers in a span of a few months.
Sot`aesan communicated with his forty-plus followers for four to five months. But most of them gathered for vain glory and had an unstable life. Therefore, Sot`aesan postponed teaching them until later, but selected eight disciples who were sincere and firm in faith in December of the first year of Won-Buddhism (1916). The first disciples were: Kim Song-sop(金成燮), Kim Song-ku(金聖久), Park Han-sop(朴漢碩), O Chae-kyom(吳在謙), Yee In-myong(李仁明), Park Kyong-mun(朴京文), Ryu Song-kug(劉成國), Yee Chae- p`ung(李載馮). After that, Sot`aesan welcomed Song To-kun(宋道君). They were the first nine disciples of the new religious order.
Among the nine disciples, Kim Song-sop maintained a close friendship with the family of Sot`aesan, and was like a brother and assisted Sot`aesan greatly before and after the period of deep meditation. Park Han-sop was the younger brother of Sot`aesan. Ryu Song-kug was Sot`aesan`s uncle, his mother`s brother. Park Kyong-mun was a nephew of Sot`aesan. Yee In-myong, Kim Song-ku, and O Chae-kyom were friends of Sot`aesan. Yee Chae-p`ung from the Kunso region was introduced by O Chae-kyom. And Song To-kun, who was from the Songju region in the Kyongbuk province, became Sot`aesan`s disciple in March of the third year of Won- Buddhism (1918, 戊午), after his long search for the Right Dharma.