Kyong Ho Seong-Wu, 75th Patriarch
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The Jogye Order, officially the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism (대한불교조계종, 大韓佛敎 曹溪宗) is the representative order of traditional Korean Buddhism with roots that date back 1,200 years to Unified Silla National Master Doui, who brought Seon (known as Zen in the West) and the practice taught by the Sixth Patriarch, Huineng, from China about 820 C.E. The name of the Order, Jogye, was adopted from the name of the village (Chinese: 曹溪; pinyin: cáo xī; Wade–Giles: ts'ao ch'i) where Patriarch Huineng's home temple is located.
The Jogye "sect" as a distinct entity arose in the late 11th century when Jinul sought to combine the direct practices of the Seon school with the theological underpinnings of sutra-based Buddhist schools, as well as with Korean Pure Land Buddhism.
In 1994, the Jogye order managed 1,725 temples, 10,056 clerics and had 9,125,991 adherents.
The original "Nine Schools" of Seon Buddhism, which descended from Chinese Chan Buddhism were instrumental in the development of the nation during Unified Silla and thereafter. However, during the Goryeo Dynasty, the Korean Cheontae School under Uicheon rose to prominence and drew away many talented monks, forcing the Seon schools to innovate. In response to this Bojo Jinul and Taego Bou led major Seon movements. Jinul in particular sought to develop an order that had the direct-practices of Seon Buddhism as its foundation, but also gave importance to sutra study, and reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha as found in the Pure Land teachings. The basic precept Jinul advocated was "sudden-enlightenment followed by gradual cultivation."
The Jogye Order was thus established as the representative Seon order until the persecution of the Joseon Dynasty. Due to its inclusive nature, and emphasis on continual discipline, the Jogye Order gained considerable support from the military establishment, and developed across monasteries all over the Korean peninsula.
However, during the Joseon Dynasty, Buddhism was repressed in favor of Neo-Confucianism. During the reign of Joseon King Sejong (r. 1418-1450), two sects were formed, one of all the doctrinal schools and another of all the Seon schools. These were then temporarily disbanded under the reign of King Yonsangun (r. 1494-1506), resulting in great confusion. However, during the Hideyoshi invasions of the late 16th century, National Masters Seosan and Samyeong raised armies that protected the nation which improved the situation of Buddhism for a time. However it was not until the political reforms of 1895 that monks were permitted in the cities again. Then in 1899, under the leadership of Seon Master Gyeongheo (1849-1912), monks petitioned from Haeinsa Temple to reestablish the traditions and the philosophical basis for a reconstructed Buddhist order. Eventually, the Wonjong and Imjejong (Linji) orders were founded, and attempts were made to revive the doctrinal schools and to reestablish activities in the cities, but these movements were soon suppressed during the Japanese occupation, which began in 1910.
Reaction to the occupation by Japan was mixed among the Jogye Order. While some collaborated with the authorities, monks such as Yongsong and Manhae led efforts to keep Korean Buddhist traditions alive. In 1921 the Sonhakwon Seon Meditation Center was established and in 1929, a Monks’ Conference of Joseon Buddhism was held. In 1937, a movement for the establishment of a Central Headquarters began which was successful with the building of the Main Buddha Hall of Jogyesa Temple in Seoul in 1938. Finally in 1941 the Joseon Buddhism Jogye Order which was distinctly Korean and free from Japanese influence, was established. This was the first legal Buddhist order in modern Korea and the precursor of today's Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.
Following liberation from Japan in 1945, Seon monks who had preserved and cherished Korean Buddhist traditions began a purification drive to re-establish the traditional celibate orders and take back the temples from married priests, a remnant of the Japanese Occupation. Finally, in 1955 the Jogye Order was established centered on celibate monks; however, as a result of mediation between the elder monks and the government, already-married priests were also included.
On April 11, 1962 Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism was officially established with three main goals: training and education; sutra translation into Korean from Chinese characters; and propagation. These goals continue to guide the Jogye Order today as well. It was in 1947-1949 that a group of monks at Bongamsa Temple began a movement advocating "Living According to the Teachings of the Buddha" and this provided the opportunity for the establishment of fundamental principles and traditions as well as the accepted ceremonies of the order.
Internal Conflicts and Scandals
In the late 1990s a struggle broke out between two factions of the Order for who would appoint the heads of major temples in Korea. Although the court ruled in favor of the Purification and Reform Committee (PRC), the ruling was not sufficiently enforced, and fighting broke out between hundreds of monks using makeshift weaponry.
Conflicts with the Lee Myung-bak government
The Jogye Order has faced a lot of conflicts with the government when led by former President Lee Myung-bak, a conservative Presbyterian Christian. The government is at odds with the Jogye Order by the decreasing of Temple Stay fundings, the lack of government recognition of the Buddhist Lantern Festival, and neglecting Jogye-affiliated temple names in the new address system.
The numerous temples of the Jogye order are arranged under 24 "head temples." The head temples each oversee a district (gyogu), containing a large number of subordinate temples.
- 1. Jogyesa: Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, central Seoul.
- 2. Yongjusa: Taean-eup, Hwaseong, southern Gyeonggi-do.
- 3. Sinheungsa: Seorak-dong, Sokcho, eastern Gangwon-do.
- 4. Woljeongsa: Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang County, central Gangwon-do.
- 5. Beopjusa: Naesongni-myeon, Boeun County, Chungcheongbuk-do.
- 6. Magoksa : Sagok-myeon, Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do.
- 7. Sudeoksa: Deoksan-myeon, Yesan County, Chungcheongnam-do.
- 8. Jikjisa : Daehang-myeon, Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do.
- 9. Donghwasa: Dohak-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu.
- 10. Eunhaesa: Cheongtong-myeon, Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do.
- 11. Bulguksa: Jinhyeon-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do
- 12. Haeinsa: Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon County, Gyeongsangnam-do.
- 13. Ssanggyesa: Hwagae-myeon, Hadong County, Gyeongsangnam-do.
- 14. Beomeosa: Cheongnyong-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan.
- 15. Tongdosa: Habuk-myeon, Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.
- 16. Gounsa : Danchon-myeon, Uiseong County, Gyeongsangbuk-do.
- 17. Geumsansa: Geumsan-myeon, Gimje, Jeollabuk-do.
- 18. Baekyangsa: Bukha-myeon, Jangseong County, Jeollanam-do.
- 19. Hwaeomsa: Masan-myeon, Gurye County, Jeollanam-do.
- 20. Songgwangsa: Songgwang-myeon, Suncheon, Jeollanam-do.
- 21. Daeheungsa: Samsan-myeon, Haenam County, Jeollanam-do.
- 22. Gwaneumsa: Ara-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do.
- 23. Seonunsa: Asan-myeon, Gochang County, Jeollabuk-do.
- 24. Bongseonsa: Jinjeop-eup, Namyangju, Gyeonggi-do.
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