11 SECULARIZATION OF MODERN KOREAN BUDDHISM AN METHODS FOR DESECULARIZATION — FOCUSING ON THE JOGYE ORDER OF KOREAN BUDDHISM

Thứ năm - 09/05/2019 12:17
by Cho, Ki-ryong





 
SECULARIZATION OF MODERN KOREAN BUDDHISM AMETHODS FOR DESECULARIZATION — FOCUSING ON THE JOGYE ORDER OF KOREAN BUDDHISM

by Cho, Ki-ryong*






INTRODUCTION

Sacredand secularare fundamental themes of religious discourse. Religion is considered sacred, and secular behavior of clergy or Buddhist monk is seen as religious and social taboos. Buddhism regards a Buddhist monk in particular as a renunciant, having transcended the secular world for the sake of enlightenment. However, despite their existence within a sacred territory, clergy and Buddhist monk who live in modern society, which overflows with material civilization and capitalism, are exposed to secularization.

Korean Buddhism is also subject to this secularization, or loss of sanctity. The values of Buddhist monks are slowly losing their differences from those of lay people. The management of the community of monks and nuns (hereafter saṃgha) is becoming politicized and commercialized like an organization in the secular world, and the legal system of the Buddhist order is imitating the legislation of the societal government. This study will examine the secularization of modern Korean Buddhism in terms of the values of



*. Cho, Ki-ryong is an Assistant Professor at the Academy of Buddhist Studies, Dongguk University.
 


Buddhist monks, the management of saṃgha, and the legal system of the Buddhist order. The values of Buddhist monks can reflect the secularization of the Buddhist community at an individual level, while the management of sagha can reflect it at an organizational level. Moreover, the Buddhist orders legal system can demonstrate the effects of secularization on Buddhist monks and saṃgha, as rules of an individual and an organization.

Out of more than 100 Buddhist orders in Korean Buddhism, this study will examine the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism (hereafter the Jogye Order), which is known to have the longest history and the greatest numbers of adherents. The founder of the Jogye Order
was Doui (道義), a national teacher in the Silla (新羅) period.
Therefore, the Jogye Order has a history of more than 1,200 years.
In 2019, it has over 12,400 Buddhist monks and 3,100 temples.

SECULARIZATION OF MODERN KOREAN BUDDHISM

The Values of Buddhist Monks Turning into Lay Values

A series of actions that have taken place recently in Korean
saṃgha, which violate the precepts and moral discipline (),
are not “temporary” but continuous,and thus must be examined
from the perspective of values. Values are internal consciousness
but are expressed externally through peoples daily lives, such as
in peoples food, clothing, and shelter. But saṃgha has regulated the daily lives of Buddhist monks through the Pure Rules ( ). Since the Pure Rules set the norms for the lives of Buddhist
monks, including food, clothing, and shelter, one can see the periodical changes to the values of the saṃgha by examining the background in which each provision of the Pure Rules has been established. In 2013, the Jogye Orders Committee for Reform of
the Order (曹溪宗宗團刷新委員會, hereafter JOCRO) enacted
Saṃgha Pure Rules (僧伽淸規) for the first time for this Buddhist
order.1 In terms of clothing, these Pure Rules prohibited Buddhist
monks from being dressed in expensive, luxurious fabrics and
trendy designs ( JOCRO, 2013, 67–68). In terms of food, they

 
  1. The Jogye Orders Committee for the Reform of the Order ( JOCRO) was founded on June 5, 2012, for the self-purification and reform of the Jogye Order.
 


prohibited monks from eating meat for reasons other than illness or recuperation, dining at fancy restaurants, entering restaurants that are inappropriate for the dignity of Buddhist monks, and drinking or eating expensive tea and food ( JOCRO, 2013, 70). In terms of residence, they prohibited monks from living in big and luxurious residential spaces, furnishing their residence with extravagant facilities, and staying in expensive accommodation ( JOCRO, 2013, 71). They also prohibited monks from driving an expensive vehicle, owning private real estate, making investments or speculations using financial institutions such as stocks and funds, enjoying high- cost leisure sports, and making use of extremely expensive daily supplies or foods ( JOCRO, 2013, 74–75). The contents of these rules prove that secular materialism is making an appearance in the daily lives of Buddhist monks, including food, clothing, and shelter. In other words, the provisions of these prohibitions are established in Saṃgha Pure Rules because these materialistic lifestyles have begun to appear in amongst the Buddhist monks.

Politicization and Commercialization of the Management of Saṃgha


In 1994, the Jogye Order carried out a reform under the banner of its independence and democratization. Since, while it was attached and subordinate to political power, the power of the Jogye order had become corrupt and depraved, independence was demanded in order to prevent this from happening, and the basis of this independence was democratization (Gwak, 2014, 113). In
this way, the power of the Central Council of the Order (中央宗
), which is the representative body, was reinforced to manage the
Jogye Order democratically by the request of the public.

However, with the growing power of the Central Council of the Order, which is an imitation of the National Assembly and integrates ideas of secular politics, the Buddhist order has become a microcosm of secular politics. As policy groups in the Buddhist order, similar to the political parties of the National Assembly, naturally formed, a distinction began to arise between the ruling party and the opposition party. And the policy groups in the Buddhist order politically intervened in various elections, personnel affairs, and rights and interests of the Buddhist order in order to seek benefits for their members.
 


The democratization of the Jogye Order in 1994 can be seen as introducing secular democracy and failing to consider the distinctiveness of religion in the way that the Buddhist order is managed. The democratization of the Jogye Order in 1994 can be seen as introducing secular democracy, which fails to consider the distinctiveness of religion in the way that the Buddhist order is
managed. The so-called Reform Council (改革會議), which led
the reform of the Jogye Order at the time, intended to democratize
the management of the order by reinforcing the power of the Central
Council of the Order, which is a representative body—a typical
democratic system of the secular world. However, as the members
of the Central Council of the Order indulged in rights and interests
just like the members of the National Assembly in secular society,
the parliamentary system instead became a factor that accelerated
the secularization of the Buddhist order.

If the faction activities of the Central Council of the Order represent the politicization of saṃgha, the revenue-making businesses of the Buddhist order clearly show the commercialization of saṃgha. Currently, the Administrative Headquarters of the Jogye
Order (總務院) carry out official revenue-making businesses in the
name of cultural programs,” including the production of mineral
water, food, funeral services, and publications. Furthermore, some
frontline temples are carrying out a variety of revenue-making
businesses in the name of “Buddhism in production,” including the
production of foods like salt and soybean paste, drugs like health
food supplements, restaurants selling Buddhist cuisine or noodles,
stores selling Buddhist supplies, or tea houses.

The central Administrative Headquarters of the Jogye Order and frontline temples are all pondering over different ways to make revenue, and the amount of revenue that is made has become a major criterion in assessing the capacity of Buddhist monks. However, actions that generate revenue are businesses” only in name, when in fact they are nothing but commercewhen buying and selling is involved. A renunciant monk becomes a Buddhist monk through Buddhist practice; if what he does is sell things, he becomes a peddler, even if he has shaved his head and is dressed in a monks robe. This is why, if the Buddhist order distorts the teachings
 


of Buddha and conducts revenue-making businesses in the name of cultural programs or “Buddhism in production,Buddhist monks merely become peddlers and the saṃgha is merely an interest group.

Imitation of Social Laws by the Legal System of the Buddhist Order


Most scholars do not disagree with the fact that harmony is the greatest ideology in the management of the saṃgha and the
fundamental  spirit  of  the  moral  disciplines  collection  (律藏,
hereafter Vinayapiṭaka). However, discord inevitably does occur
among the saṃgha, which is composed of people from diverse social
backgrounds; therefore, since Buddha was alive, many provisions for moral discipline (, hereafter vinaya) have been enacted in
order to enable harmony.

But unlike the time when Buddha was alive, vinaya no longer acts as a realistic regulation. Currently, the constitution and laws of the order have replaced the saṃgha rules of vinaya. However, the constitution of the order, which directly imitates the systems and contents of the nations constitution, laws, and ordinances, does not provide any content related to the ideology of harmony or to the Vinayapiṭaka, not even in Chapters 1 through 5, which cover the ideologies of the Buddhist order. Moreover, the current laws of the order simply provide administrative procedures and methods, without reflecting contents that relate to the Vinayapiṭaka.
The state of harmony that is suggested by to the Vinayapiṭaka
refers to the state in which all members of the same saṃgha to be manifested (現前僧伽)2  are in attendance to carry out galma

(karman in Sanskrit; a meeting or ceremony to make decisions among the sagha,” hereafter galma, 羯磨) (Lee, 2008, 11). The
resolution method of the galma is unanimity.

The Vinayapiṭaka regards harmony as being based on complete attendance and unanimity in making decisions. In this sense, harmony cannot be fulfilled by the order having a constitution and laws that adopt majority attendance and majority votes as the

 
  1. Sagha to be manifested (sammukhībhūtasaṃgha in Sanskrit) refers to determining the indicators of the four cardinal points and setting the boundaries, and seeing bhikṣus within the boundaries as members of a single community.
 


basic decision-making methods. Majority attendance and majority votes are more efficient than full attendance and unanimity, but this inevitably produces a neglected group.

According to the constitution and laws of the order, following the principle of majority vote, there is no legalistic issue in neglecting a few opposing views, but in reality this leads to various conflicts and disunity. A typical example of a majority vote that brings conflicts and disunity into the saṃgha is the election system of the Jogye Order. There may be a variety of systems that hinders the harmony of the saṃgha in the Jogye Order, but the election system is one of the most serious things resulting in disunity among the saṃgha.

The Jogye Order elects the Executive Director of Administration, the chief monks at the head temple (本寺住持), and the members
of the Central Council of the Order by vote, but these elections are stained with bribery and false propaganda and bring disunity to the saṃgha. This is because the parties that are divided in the election process are labeled as winners and losers after the election. This shows the need to adopt unanimity by kalma in Buddhism, in which all members are in harmony, instead of the secular election system based on majority vote, which neglects the minority.

METHODS FOR THE DESECULARIZATION OF MODERN KOREAN BUDDHISM

Desecularization of the Values of Buddhist Monks


The values of Buddhist monks are formed in an organic combination of education of saṃgha, daily living environment, and the guidance of teachers. In other words, when education of sagha is organized for Buddhist monks to learn the complete teachings of Buddha, when the daily living environment is created to be suitable for Buddhist practice, and when the teacher, also known
as a preceptor (), can provide guidance and inspection for
education of saṃgha and monksdaily living environments,
Buddhist monks can form suitable values as the disciples of
Buddha.

Saṃgha education in the Jogye Order is currently organized into the beginners’ program for postulants, the basic program for
 


śrāmaṇera and śrāmaṇerī, and the specialized program for bhikṣu and bhikuī, but it is questionable whether each program builds values that are suitable for Buddhist monks as Buddhas disciples. The beginners’ program, through which postulants strengthen the basis of their values of renunciation, is filled not with the teachings of Buddha but with all kinds of chores. The basic program, which consists of a study curriculum and daily Buddhist practice, is focused more on the study curriculum where postulants read and translate the textbooks while neglecting daily Buddhist practice. While the beginnersand the basic programs are obligatory, the specialized program is optional. The specialized program, in which bhikṣu and
bhikuī select and study meditation (), textual teaching (),
or vinaya (), aims to develop education experts in each field of
Buddhism.

To improve the contents of saṃgha education, it is first necessary to enrich the contents of the beginners’ program so that postulants can be enlightened and reinforce their source of desire to become Buddha. This is possible only when the people in the temples can perceive postulants not as odd-jobbers, but as beings who have renounced the world for enlightenment, and treat them accordingly. Moreover, the contents of the basic program must create an environment for Buddhist practice in daily life, beyond the current dependence on reading and translating textbooks. This is because enlightenment in Buddhism comes not from learning textbooks, but from a life where Buddhist practice is a daily routine. This is because enlightenment in Buddhism comes not from learning textbooks, but from a life where Buddhist practice is a daily routine. Furthermore, since the specialized program aims to nurture education experts in Buddhism, the contents must be organized to foster expertise in each field, along with the qualifications to become preceptors of Buddhist monks.

If education of saṃgha artificially establishes the values of Buddhist monks, the daily living environment of saṃgha naturally affects their values. If the daily life of sagha is carried out according to the teachings of Buddha, Buddhist monks will adopt values that are appropriate for Buddhas disciples without even knowing it. On the contrary, if the daily life of saṃgha is not free from greed for
 


meaningless things like money and power, Buddhist monks will obtain the values of secular people in spite of themselves.

The daily living environment of saṃgha is a combination of autonomy and heteronomy. Buddhist monks obey Saṃgha Pure
Rules  (僧伽淸規),  which  are  autonomous;  and  the  Buddhist
order operates under its constitution in order to ensure that monks
are faithful to Buddhist practice: this is the fundamental goal of the
saṃgha. To this end, it is necessary to revise the qualifications for
Buddhist monks in the constitution of the order, which provides
that Buddhist practice is optional for Buddhist monks.3  In other
words, the qualification for Buddhist monks, which is currently those devoted to Buddhist practice (修行) or’ missionary work (敎化),must be amended to those devoted to Buddhist
practice and’ missionary work,so that Buddhist practice becomes mandatory instead of optional.4

However, preceptors are absolutely necessary in order to provide education for saṃgha, and to guide and inspect the daily lives of Buddhist monks. A preceptor is a bhikṣu in charge of educating Buddhist monks throughout their lives as saṃgha. Preceptors are teachers who supervise the śrāmaṇeras renunciation ceremony
or the ceremony to receive the precepts (授戒), and guide them
for a certain period of time so that they can adjust to their life in
the saṃgha (RIBS, 2011a, 51–52). So what kind of bhikṣu should
preceptors be? Preceptors must have spent at least ten years as


 
  1. The constitution of the Jogye Order 2013, Article 9, Section j: Buddhist monks must be unmarried renunciant monks who take and obey the full precepts (具足戒) and bodhisattva precepts (菩薩戒), and are devoted to Buddhist practice or missionary work.
  2. In the qualification of unmarried renunciant monks who are devoted to Buddhist practice or missionary work,” missionary work includes not only propagation (布敎), but
all other activities related to the administration of the orders affairs and the management of temples. Buddhist practice has become an optional part of the qualification, along with missionary work, in order to embrace both the monastic Buddhist monks and the married Buddhist monks within the single Buddhist order, in the case of disputes between the two parties in modern Korean Buddhism. At the time, the monastic Buddhist monks were to take charge of Buddhist practice, while the married Buddhist monks were to take charge of missionary work. However, according to this standard, those who have already learned the full precepts and bodhisattva precepts are qualified to maintain their position as monks by only taking care of administration and management affairs, without having to be engaged in Buddhist practice at all in their lifetime.
 


Buddhist monks; obtained precepts (), concentration (), transcendental wisdom (); be knowledgeable about many things; be familiar with vinaya (); observe vinaya very well; and
be ashamed of themselves and repent. They must also be able to resolve the doubts of their disciples by answering their questions, look after them well, and determine whether the deeds of their disciples have violated vinaya (Lee, 2011, 243–244).5

Desecularization of the Management of Saṃgha

 
  1. Depoliticization

The Central Council of the Jogye Order is where those who represent the members of the order make decisions about its direction and content through legislative procedures. The opinions of the members of the Jogye order are delivered to the Central Council of the Order via elections, and the Central Council of the Order implements legislation or makes decisions according to these opinions of the members of the Jogye order (RIBS, 2011b, 71). Here, the members of the Jogye order include not only Buddhist monks such as bhikṣu and bhikuī, but also lay Buddhists such as upāsaka6 and upāsika.7 However, by limiting the membership qualifications of the Central Council of the Order, which is the representative body of the Jogye order, to only including Buddhist monks according to the laws of the order, it becomes fundamentally impossible for lay Buddhists to participate.

There are methods for enabling lay Buddhists to participate in the Central Council of the Order: the unicameral system and the bicameral system. The unicameral system would guarantee a certain ratio of seats for lay Buddhists while sustaining the current method of the Central Council of the Order. The bicameral system would mean reforming the Central Council of the Order into an upper

 
  1. There are slight variations of virtues that preceptors must have among vinaya, but the details provided in the main text are generally consistent.
  2. The Sanskrit word upāsaka is transliterated in Korean as ubasae, meaning an adult male lay disciple.
  3. The Sanskrit word upāsika is transliterated in Korean as ubai, meaning an adult female lay disciple.” The constitution of the Jogye Order, Article 8: The members of the order consist of Buddhist monks (bhiku·bhikṣuṇī) and Buddhists (upāsaka·upāsika).
 


house and a lower house, with the former consisting of Buddhist monks and the latter consisting of lay Buddhists. Both systems would be significant in that they would allow the participation of lay Buddhists in the representative body. However, from the perspective of the depoliticization of saṃgha, the bicameral system would have a relatively more positive effect than the unicameral system. Since there is a very low composition ratio of bhikuī in the Central Council of the Order, which is the current unicameral system that consists only of Buddhist monks,8 it would be difficult in the context of Korean Buddhism for lay Buddhists to be assigned more seats than that. Therefore, the unicameral system only has a symbolic meaning for lay Buddhistsparticipation, with little chance to contribute to the depoliticization of the saṃgha.

On the other hand, the bicameral system, in which the lower house would carry out a preliminary deliberation before passing matters to the upper house, could, for the most part, restrain Buddhist monks from intervening with their rights and interests. Since the unicameral system of the current Central Council of the Order consists only of Buddhist monks, there is no specific group that restrains them from conducting political schemes around their own rights and interests. Some may express concern about the lower house intervening in rights and interests, but the agenda items for deliberation in the Central Council of the Order are mostly matters regarding the administration of temple affairs and the management of saṃgha, which are not related to the rights and interests of lay Buddhists.
  1. Decommercialization

The Korean sagha currently carries out revenue-making businesses. In the Korean social context, in which the culture of
giving (布施) to saṃgha is not generalized, there is a need for
another way to cover the costs of the management of the Buddhist
order and temples. However, this situation in Korean Buddhism
does not make it legitimate for saṃgha to take part in commercial
activities. It is a rule for Buddhist monks to stop all production

 
  1. The current Central Council of the Order consists of 71 bhikṣus and 10 bhikṣuīs, indicating that bhikṣuīs are assigned 12.34% of the seats.
 


activities and gain subsistence only by living on aid given by society, including lay Buddhists (Sasaki, 1999, 18–20).

Over 2,500 years have passed since Buddha died, and in Korea, where the climate and culture are different, it is impossible to fully adopt the operational system of the early Buddhist community. However, it has been proved by the long history of Buddhism, especially Goryeo Dynasty Buddhism in Korea, that the saṃgha becoming involved in active economic activities results in tremendous corruption and depravity. If the Korean saṃgha ignores this historical experience and continues to focus on economic activities for revenue and profit as it does today, the Buddhist community will be overflowing, not with Buddhist monks in Buddhist practice, but with occupational Buddhist monks, locking Korean Buddhism in the fetters of corruption and depravity.

Although it is not easy to fully adopt the operation system of the early Buddhist community, there is a way to improve the current custom in which the saṃgha carries out economic activities
itself: using the pure humans (淨人), who still exist in Southern
Buddhism. Pure humans are Buddhists who have not received
the full precepts, and they take and deal with everything that is
restricted for Buddhist monks by vinaya in daily life. They manage
money, cook, and farm on behalf of Buddhist monks (Won, 2011,
162). In other words, pure humans help Buddhist monks not to
violate the precepts and vinaya.

Lay Buddhists that can act as pure humans in Korean Buddhism are employees of the temple or lay Buddhist executives. In terms of their relationship with Buddhist monks, pure humans have quite a different status from employees of the temple or lay Buddhist executives. If Buddhist monks and pure humans are in a complementary relationship,9 Buddhist monks and employees of the temple or lay Buddhist executives are in a subordinate and vertical relationship. To improve this matter, it is necessary to first improve the awareness of Buddhist monks.

 
  1. Buddhist monks live without violating the precepts and vinaya with the help of the pure humans, while the pure humans can directly experience the sublimity of dharma by staying near the Buddhist monks.
 
 

Desecularization of the Legal System of the Buddhist Order


Since there is precepts for faults that require special restraint (遮戒) in precepts and nonessential parts of vinaya, the view that
all precepts and vinaya must be strictly respected and obeyed regardless of the context” cannot be true (Mok, 2001, 315). The immutable part of the precepts and vinaya is their fundamental ideology of harmony, which is shared by the precepts and vinaya.

Buddha achieved harmony among the saṃgha through galma. In galma, harmony is fulfilled by unanimity. Unanimity may be fulfilled immediately, but in most cases it undergoes the process of mediating different views. This may sometimes be extremely tough, but harmony is achieved in a process in which not a single opinion is ignored. Even though the spirit of galma is in harmony, the Korean saṃgha today regards unanimity as a decision-making process that is impossible from the start, without even making an attempt.

Today, the Korean sagha makes decisions based on the majority vote. The majority vote allows one to make decisions quickly, but the opinions of the minority are inevitably excluded. This study discusses the secularization and desecularization of the legal system of the Buddhist order by focusing on the current election system, alongside various issues relating to the majority vote. The Jogye Order is currently in a fierce battle over whether to adopt a direct or indirect election system for the Executive Director of Administration. However, it seems that the key to solving these election issues is to decentralize the power.

This study discusses the secularization and desecularization of the legal system of the Buddhist order by focusing on the current election system, alongside various issues relating to the majority vote. The Jogye Order is currently in a fierce battle over whether to adopt a direct or indirect election system for the Executive Director of Administration. However, it seems that the key to solving these election issues is to decentralize the power.

With regard to the decentralization of power, the election method and customs of the Supreme Patriarch (宗正), who has the highest
authority and status in the Jogye Order, has implications. The Supreme Patriarch is selected by the members of Board of Elders
 


(元老會議議員), the Executive Director of Administration, the Executive Director of the Precepts Adjudication Council (護戒院 ), and the chairman of the Central Council of the Order (中央 宗會議長) (The constitution of the Jogye Order 2013, Article 21,
section 1). The constitution of the order states that the Supreme Patriarch should be selected with the majority approval of the members who are present (The constitution of the Jogye Order 2013, Article 21, section 2), but the actual management selects the Supreme Patriarch unanimously. The members mutually collect the minority opinions until the end in order to lead to unanimity. One of the main reasons why unanimity is possible here is because the Supreme Patriarch does not have powers related to rights and interests. Although he is given the highest authority and status in the order, he symbolizes not actual power but divinity (The constitution of the Jogye Order 2013, Article 19). On the other hand, the Executive Director of Administration actually has the power to represent the Jogye order and direct the administration of the orders affairs (The constitution of the Jogye Order 2013, Article 54, section 1). Moreover, the chief monks at the head temple have the power to represent the district, directing the affairs of the order within the district (The constitution of the Jogye Order 2013, Article 91 section 1). Members of the Central Council of the Order have voting rights relating to major personnel affairs and finance in the Jogye Order (The constitution of the Jogye Order 2013, Article 36). Contrary to the fact that the Supreme Patriarch has a symbolic existence, the positions of these Buddhist monks elected by the majority vote may exert direct or indirect rights and interests. As long as the power related to these rights and interests is concentrated on these monks, it will not be possible to avoid disunity among the saṃgha caused by overheated elections, whether in the direct or indirect election system. Therefore, the fundamental solution is not to adopt a different election method but to decentralize the power that is concentrated on these monks.

Unanimous decisions on all matters relating to the saṃgha unanimously conform to the teachings  of  Buddha.  However, not all matters can be decided by galma, because there are time restraints on the execution of the administration of the orders affairs. However, it is necessary to come up with a way to reflect
 


unanimity, that is, the rule of Buddhism, instead of majority vote, that is, the rule of secular society, in the current election system, which leads to serious conflicts and disunity among the saṃgha. In other words, in order to resolve the disunity that is caused by the Buddhist orders adoption of the secular election system based on the majority vote, it is necessary to reflect galma, part of the moral disciplines collection that brings together the harmony of saṃgha with the constitution and the laws of the order.

CONCLUSION

A secularized religious organization cannot be respected by society. Lay people respect Buddhist practitioners because they believe that these people live a life that is different from their own. In this aspect, the secularization of the Korean saṃgha today is casting a shadow over the future of Korean Buddhism. The values of Buddhist monks are accepting the materialism and epicureanism of lay people, the management of the saṃgha is following the political and commercial logic of the secular society, and the legal system of the Buddhist order is imitating secular laws.

It is difficult for Buddhist monks who have the values of lay people to properly preach Buddhas dharma to lay Buddhists. The saṃgha cannot effectively use Buddhas dharma to solve social problems if it is stained with politics and profits. Furthermore, secular legal systems that disregard Buddhas dharma cannot be proper rules for the Buddhist order. In other words, since secularized values, management, and legal systems cannot form a saṃgha that can be respected by the society, the future of Korean Buddhism depends on desecularization.

First, in order to desecularize the values of Buddhist monks, the saṃgha education, daily living environment and guidance of the preceptors must abide by Buddhas dharma. The current saṃgha education, which is focused on curriculums, must be reformed
to  provide  teachings  on  seeing  ones  true  nature  (見性)  and
awakening to the way (悟道). The daily living environment must be
improved by managing the autonomous rules and the compulsory
rules (Buddhist monk law) harmoniously, in order to suit Buddhist
practice. Moreover, preceptors must provide guidance so that the
 


sagha education and daily lives of Buddhist monks conform to Buddhas dharma.

Furthermore, to desecularize the management of the saṃgha, it is necessary to guarantee the participation and rights of lay Buddhists in managing the Buddhist community. Ironically, the secularization of the management of saṃgha in Korean Buddhism chiefly originates from the exclusion of lay Buddhists. Even though Buddhist monks can only be devoted to Buddhist practice when lay Buddhists take full charge of managing the Buddhist community, the Korean saṃgha carries out secular political actions and revenue- making businesses that are outside of Buddhas dharma. Accordingly, to desecularize the management of sagha, lay Buddhists must be able to participate in the political actions and revenue-making businesses of the Buddhist community. In terms of political actions, the Central Council of the Order, which is the essence of politics in the Buddhist order, must be changed to the bicameral system in order to guarantee the participation of lay Buddhists. In terms of revenue-making businesses, lay Buddhists as pure humans must take full charge of all kinds of businesses. However, since all of the goods of the Buddhist community are pure goods that are donated to the saṃgha, it is appropriate for saṃgha to have ownership for them while lay Buddhists take charge of managing them.10 Furthermore, it is a rule that pure goods should be used in sustaining the sagha. However, in the modern and broad view, the saṃgha as owner may use the pure goods to aid and liberate. The use of these pure goods will create a virtuous cycle, in which society donates pure goods to the sagha, which then returns them back to society, which then donates them to the saṃgha again.

Finally, to desecularize the legal system of the Buddhist order, it is necessary to reflect the ideology of the Vinayapiṭaka in the constitution and laws of the order. The biggest problem with the secularized legal system of the current Buddhist order is the conflict and disunity caused by elections. Therefore, to enable harmony, which is the greatest ideology in the Vinayapiṭaka, it is necessary
  1. The negative perception of Buddhist monks regarding the lay Buddhistsmanagement of the Buddhist community originates from the concern that lay Buddhists may also benefit from the ownership of pure goods.
 


to adopt galma and abolish the current election system. Elections cause discord among the saṃgha when rights and interests become involved in electing the positions of Buddhist monks, while galma guarantees the harmony of saṃgha in the process of reaching full attendance and unanimity.

Sagha consists of bhikṣu and bhikuī, while the Buddhist community consists of bhikṣu and bhikuī, and also upāsaka and upāsika. To prevent the secularization of the Korean Buddhist community, bhikṣu and bhikuī must be able to devote themselves to Buddhist practice and leave the management of the Buddhist community to upāsaka and upāsika. This is the teaching of Buddha. As one must not give up on future possibilities by only focusing on the practicality of the present, Korean Buddhists today must not give up on creating the Buddhist community with the participation
of the fourfold community (四部大衆), just because of the reality
of the current Buddhist community, in which roles are concentrated
on bhikṣu. The desecularization of Korean Buddhism is dependent
on a division of roles between Buddhist monks and lay Buddhists. In
the reality of Korean society, in which secular society is concerned
about the Buddhist community, bhikṣu and bhikuī must redeem
mankind and society through living the pure lives of Buddhist
practitioners, while upāsaka and upāsika must help saṃgha from
the outside by managing the Buddhist community rightly.


 

Abbreviations

T   Taishō shinshū daizō kyō 大正新修大藏經









***
 


 

References

Primary Sources

Dīgha Nikāya, 1975, edited by T. W. Rhys Davids and J. Estlin Carpenter, The Pali Text Society, London.

Suttanipāta, 1984, edited by Dines Andersen and Helmer Smith, The Pali Text Society, London.
T1 No.1., Chángāhán jīng 長阿含經
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