The History of Won

Dictionary

The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 3. Fruition of the Sacred Work

Chapter 1. Continuing the Sacred Work of Sot`aesan

1. Construction of the Sacred Tower Dedicated to Sot`aesan and Preparations for the Continuance of the Sacred Work

On April 25th, Won-Buddhist year 34, in the pine forest in Yeongmo-Won [Won-Buddhism Memorial Park] inside the General Headquarters compound, the sacred tower memorializing Sot`aesan was erected and its dedication ceremony was performed. After which the continuance of Sot`aesan`s sacred work began. The sacred tower dedicated to Sot`aesan was funded by contributions made by believers in various parts of the country. The tower was constructed out of granite from Hwangdeung Mountain. A spherical stone was placed on the stone seat in the shape of a lotus, which is supported by the foundation platform with a lotus carving. Sot`aesan`s remains were placed inside the tower and five layers of stones were erected, which were capped with a lid stone. The tower was completed in October of that year and Sot`aesan`s remains were placed inside the monument 6 years after his passing. Thus, Yeongmo-Won [Won-Buddhism Memorial Park], the place where the sacred tower dedicated to Sot`aesan is enshrined as its core, has developed into the sacred ground where believers renew their dedication to revering, memorializing, and following the example of Sot`aesan.
At the meeting of the General Assembly that was conducted the following day, the Association for the Continuance of Sot`aesan`s Sacred Work was organized. Although the Preparatory Committee for the First-Term Commemoration Projects (with Yi Kongju as the chairwoman) was organized at the meeting of the General Assembly the following year (Won-Buddhist year 35, [1950]), preparations were stalled due to the War. Thus, at the General Assembly special meeting held in October, it was decided that there would be a one-year postponement of the commemorative general meeting. It was further decided that the Association for the Continuance of Sot`aesan`s Sacred Work and the Preparatory Committee for the First-Term Commemoration Projects would be combined into the Third Association for the Continuance of the Sacred Work. It was also decided that under Yi Kongju`s supervision, the compilation of the Order`s history and the erection of the sacred tower dedicated to Sot`aesan would be carried out and the final summing up of the work performances of all the believers during the first term would proceed.
At this time, the Judicial Bureau (with Yi Wunkwon as the Director) also began its dharma rank assessment for all believers, which was the third assessment following the second which was conducted by Sot`aesan 20 years earlier in March Won-Buddhist year 16 (1931).
Meanwhile, in thirty-third year of Won-Buddhism (1948), Seukdu Temple in Bongrae Mountain was undergoing renovation to completely change into a holy ground. This project was originated and supervised by O Changgeun, but then was later destroyed by afire during the War. In the year in which the sacred tower was completed (Won-Buddhist year 34 [1949]), a partial revising and reprinting of the Principal Book of Won-Buddhism was conducted. In doing so, matters outside the scope of Sot`aesan`s original intention were eliminated.