The History of Won


The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 3. Fruition of the Sacred Work

Chapter 4. Moving Forward with the Fruition of the Sacred Work

4. Implementing the Examination System and Improving the Institutions and Organizations

In Won-Buddhist year 46 (1961), the regulations governing both the propagator`s certificate examination and the ministers` examination system were enacted. The regulations governing the Examination, which was enacted in April Won-Buddhist year 49 (1964) was carried out from that year. After multiple meetings the first Examination Committee announced 24 successful applicants who passed the first three-day Examination starting from February 4th, of the fiftieth year of Won-Buddhism (1965).
The Examination focused on the three subjects of Cultivating the Spirit, Inquiry into Human Affairs and Universal Principles, and Mindful Choice in Action. The subject of Cultivating the Spirit was marked on the basis of the applicant`s devotion to reciting the Buddha`s name and to seated meditation. The subject of Inquiry into Human Affairs and Universal Principles was marked on the basis of the applicant`s understanding of the Principal Book, Dae-Jong-Geong, the Essential Discourses of Buddha, the Book of Ceremonial, the Won-Buddhist Constitution, the History of Won-Buddhism, and so forth as well as the ability to address the public and to keep a fixed-term diary. Finally the subject of Mindful Choice in Action was marked on the basis of the applicant`s level of mindfulness and moral conduct. The passing or failing of an applicant was determined by the applicant`s total score. Through such annual examinations ever since then, 218 believers were newly certified to become propagators by the half-year centennial commemorating general assembly (Won-Buddhist year 56 [1971]).
In April Won-Buddhist year 40 (1955), Su-Deok-Hwoe, a social gathering of Jeonmu-Chulshin was formed. This was followed by Jeong-To-Hwoe, a social and cultural meeting of the parents of Jeonmu-Chulshin. In Won-Buddhist year 45 (1960), the Consociation of the Student Association was established, followed by the Consociation of the Believers` Association in Won-Buddhist year 47 (1962). Finally, the Central Youth Association and the Consociation of Charity Organizations was formed in Won-Buddhist year 48 (1963). The summer public-service activities for the students majoring in Won-Buddhism at Won-kwang College also began, and in December, tentative teaching material for the Children`s Association (proposed by the Department of Religious Affairs) was drawn up. From Won-Buddhist year 49 (1964), the Children`s Society began its short-term training classes and in Won-Buddhist year 55 (1970), the Conference of the Sacred Ground Development was inaugurated in the Yeonggwang region.
As of March 28th, of the forty-nineth year of Won-Buddhism (1964), the Won-kwang School Group was separated from the Won-Buddhist Religious Foundation and in May Won-Buddhist year 54 (1969), the inauguration of an edification foundation was attempted, followed by the separation of Yeongsan Branch Office (with Yi Jungwha as the head) from Yeongsan Sŏn Center and the Yeongsan District in March Won-Buddhist year 55 (1970). In January Won- Buddhist year 56 (1971), the Won-Buddhist Credit Union (with Song Woncheol as the chief director) was established.
Meanwhile, in May Won-Buddhist year 41 (1956), a lot of ideas were collected to unfold a campaign to build the new way of life. In July a research committee for the improvement of the way of life for the religious workers was formed. In December Won-Buddhist year 47 (1962), Yiheung Orchard was sold and the proceeds from the sale was used to purchase more rice fields in order to maintain the operation of the General Headquarters. This was followed by the sale of the Hwangdeung Chestnut Orchard for the expansion of the facility at the Wongkwang Temple. In April Won-Buddhist year 50 (1965), the Bohwawon of Iksan was consolidated with the Iri Orphanage (Jo Kabjong, the director) and from November, a monthly charity program was carried into effect. In July Won- Buddhist year 52 (1967), the Seoul Bohwawon was absorbed into Hongjewon as its subsidiary in accordance with the monastic policy. In the 1940`s and the early 1950`s, the Order`s institutions and organizations were established, reorganized, abolished, and consolidated.