The History of Won


The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 3. Fruition of the Sacred Work

Chapter 3. The Basis of the World of Il-Won Buddhism

1. Rigorous Observance of the Four Duties and Revisions to the Constitution

On April 26th, in the fortieth year of Won-Buddhism (1955), the period of emphasis for the four duties of the believers was promulgated at the ceremony to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Order`s founding. The four duties refer to morning and evening prayer, helping others, guidance of people to the Won-Buddhist faith, and observance of the regulations. The purpose of the promulgation was to insure the substantiality and expansion of the Order`s religious influence by emphasizing and implementing the four duties of the believers.
Prior to the Promulgation, the Board of Administration (with Kim Daegeo as the Chief Administrator), publicly announced the period of emphasis for the four duties. This was part of an all-round edification development policy and was done in addition to measures such as, the yearly program of emphasizing guidance of people to the Won-Buddhist faith, the launching of regularly-scheduled propagation broadcasting, the establishment of the student organizations, and the performing of a joint coming-of-age ceremony in January Won-Buddhist year 40. This would be the first time since the proclamation of the newly revised Book of Ceremonial.
The campaign received a positive response from each temple, as the result of which 11 temples were commended with the Edification Award, 24 believers with the Special Guidance Award, and 11 edifications groups with the Edification Group Award. From Won-Buddhist year 44 (1959), edification was further strengthened by the establishment of an edification proposal, the establishment of a yearly plan for the period of emphasis of gratitude, the establishment of the month of special devotion, and reading and memorizing the verses from the scriptures.
On April 25th of that year (Won-Buddhist year 44 [1959]), the proposal for the revision of the Constitution was passed by the General Assembly. The Constitution, which consisted of 225 articles covered in 24 chapters divided into 2 parts, was drastically condensed into 81 articles and 11 chapters. At that time separately enacted regulations governing the organizational structures of the Board of Administration and the Board of Inspection were also adopted. The notable characteristic of the revised Constitution, which was concretely mapped out by Pak Jangsik and four other research committee members (Appendix 24) in June Won-Buddhist year 40 (1955), was that the Organizational System, Part Two of the first Constitution, was only mentioned in terms of its general principles. The particulars were stipulated in the Rules and Regulations.
The day following the amendment of the Constitution, Head Dharma Master Chŏngsan spoke at the inauguration ceremony held for his third reappointment. "With our Order`s influence always expanding anew, not only are we gradually gaining the recognition of the country and society, but also all our grounds for propagandizing the world are maturing step-by-step." He emphasized: "Let us become internationalists."
The newly-revised Constitution was amended again 5 years later (Won-Buddhist year 49 [1964]). The 86 articles in 11 chapters were changed to 90 articles in 10 chapters, and the clause, "with the Principal Book as the main scripture", was modified to read "with the Books of the Order as the main scripture." The Administrative Committee, which had been a consultative organ, was empowered in reality as a legislative organ that preceded the General Assembly. The clause, "through the resolution of the Head Circle Council", was inserted in the three articles stipulating the authorized powers of the Head Dharma Master. The Consultative Committee to the Head Dharma Master, the Office of dharma Affairs, the Office of Head Circle Council, and the Office of the General Assembly, were newly established and the system of dharma merit and record of performance were provided.