The History of Won


The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 1. The Dawn of Great Opening

Chapter 5. Drafting the Teaching

4. Establishing the Founding Members

In Bongrae Mountain, seeing that the number of believers was increasing, Sot`aesan organized a male edification group in the Yeonggwang region in June of the sixth year of Won- Buddhism (1921). In addition a male and a female group were organized in the combined regions of Yeonggwang, Kimje, and Jeonju in August to test the system of group edification. However due to the uneven number of membership in the groups compounded with the disunity in the management, Sot`aesan decided to postpone the group formation for a later time and conducted edification himself, as was done previously. To roughly list the order of Sot`aesan`s edification, immediately after his great enlightenment, he only regarded desire for seeking after truthto be the subject of his edification, regardless of whichever dharma he cited. From the second to the fourth year of Won-Buddhism (1917 to 1919), belief, unity, and public spirit were the subjects of his edification; after the proclamation of the new religious principles of the Order in the fifth year of Won-Buddhism, the religious principles became the subject of edification from then on.
Several years after he had entered the mountain, he became aware that the karmic connection worthy of receiving the Buddha`s edification had ripened for opening a new system of religious order in the future and waited for the proper time to go down the mountain. In September of the seventh year of Won-Buddhism (1922), he sent Song Gyu to Jin-an to meet with Choe Dohwa at Mireuk Temple located in Mandeok Mountain. In December, he personally traveled, accompanied by O Changgeon and Song Doseong, to meet with Choe Dohwa, Jeon Samsam, Jeon Eumkwang, and No Deoksong-ok and returned to Bongrae Mountain in March the following year (Won-Buddhist year 8 [1923]). In May, he met with Seo Dongpung and Seo Jungan who were brothers from Kimje.
In addition, he met with the principal members of the early period one after another, such as Ku Namsu, Yi Mangab, Jang Jeongsu, and Jang Jeokjo from Wonpyeong, Mun Jeongkyu and Park Hojang from Jeonju, and Park Wonseok from Iri. At the same time, he metwith Song Mankyeong at Naejang Temple in Jeongeup in February of the ninth year of Won- Buddhism (1924), followed by a meeting with Park Sasihwa and his brother, Seong Seongwon, Yi Dongjinhwa, and Kim Sammaehwa in Seoul with Choe Dohwa as his guide. Later, he met with Yi Kongju.