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English | Official Inauguration of the “Set 1,000 Years Aright” Steering Committee

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Author Jogye On23-04-26 11:04 Views704 Comments0


In order to reinvigorate Korean Buddhism, the “Set 1,000 Years Aright” Steering Committee was officially inaugurated, whose goal it is to set the past 1,000 years aright, and set a course for the future 1,000 years.

On April 19, the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism (president, Ven. Jinwoo) presided over the inaugural ceremony for the “Set 1,000 Years Aright” Steering Committee on a special stage prepared in front of Great Hero Hall (Daeungjeon) in Jogyesa Temple. The phrase, “Set 1,000 Years Aright,” embodies the Order’s aspiration that by setting upright the fallen Yeoram Valley Rock-Carved Buddha on Mt. Namsan in Gyeongju (hereafter “Yeoram Valley Buddha”), it wants to set the past 1,000 years aright as well as set a course for the future 1,000 years. By harnessing the power of individual vows to resurrect the Yeoram Valley Buddha, the Order wants to continue this momentum into other areas, including cultivating future generations of talented leaders, reviving regional Buddhism, developing an approved meditation program, and establishing more meditation centers. Through these diverse Buddhist projects, the Order ultimately aspires to reinvigorate Korean Buddhism and promote a happier and more optimistic Korean society.

The Yeoram Valley Buddha was first discovered in 2007. Years ago (perhaps centuries), the Buddha statue fell face down, and its nose was only 5cm away from being smashed on the ground; this became known as “the 5cm miracle.” From the moment it was discovered, the Jogye Order has strived to have it set upright. Ven. Wonhaeng, the 36th President of the Jogye Order, initiated the project as part of the Jogye Order’s One Million Vows Project, and Ven. Jinwoo, the 37th President, has inherited the project and set it in full motion.

As chairmen of the “Set 1,000 Years Aright” Steering Committee, Ven. President Jinwoo of the Jogye Order emphasized in a speech that we should make Korea a country stronger in culture by erecting the Yeoram Valley Buddha, a symbol of our brilliant history and culture. He further emphasized, “With rampant materialism, people are suffering more than ever, and Buddhism must come forward to help resolve these issues. I vow that the luminous wisdom of the Yeoram Valley Buddha will pervade the ten directions so that all discrimination, hatred, conflict, violence, poverty, and disease will disappear, and a pure land of liberty, equality, harmony, order, wisdom, and compassion will be made manifest.” He further exhorted, “I ask all Buddhists to work together for this cause.”

In a dharma talk read by Ven. Jagwang (President of the Elders’ Council), Ven. Jungbong Seongpa, Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order, said: “A single wave created by Master Lugen Daifu increased to 100 waves within the Seon community, and when these waves reached Mt. Namsan in Gyeongju, the number had increased to 10,000 waves, whose powerful vows manifested as the Rock-Carved Buddha in Yeoram Valley. The Yeoram Valley Buddha was not idle in saving beings from hell when he stood upright, and now he reveals himself to us again to guide us for another 1,000 years into the future. In reflection, the Rock-Carved Buddha was created at the exact opportune moment, it fell at the exact opportune moment, and now has made its presence known to us again at this exact opportune moment. Sooner or later, we will all be able to see again the magnificent face of the Rock-Carved Buddha, which will bring great joy to all beings in heaven and on Earth.”

Ven. Jugyeong, Chairman of the Central Religious Council, said, “The great cause pursued by ‘Setting 1,000 Years Aright,’ embodies the earnest wish of the Ven. President that by inheriting the brilliant history of Korean Buddhism he will establish a foundation for the coming 1,000 years. Based on the great vows of the fourfold community, his wish will manifest as a worthwhile accomplishment. Ven. Jeongdo, president of the Council of Abbots of National Head Temples, said, “The vision of ‘Setting 1,000 Years’ is to give hope to the Korean people. Head temples across the nation will strive together to set a proper course for the next 1,000 years.” In addition, the National Bhikkhuni Association, Central Lay Buddhist Organization, and the Cultural Heritage Administration agreed, saying, “We will act in unison to set the Yeoram Valley Buddha upright.”

At this inauguration ceremony, a ceremony to raise funds for the project was also held. According to the Future Planning Office of the Jogye Order, a total of 4,259 million won was pledged to be donated by 74 temples and organizations, including head temples across Korea.

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