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Who We Worship

The Supreme God’s Descent into the Human World

The object of belief in Daesoon Jinrihoe is the Supreme God of the Ninth Heaven (Gucheon Sangje), who is the highest celestial deity and exercises supreme authority over the universe. He made a ‘Great Itineration’ around the world in response to the petition and request of all divine sages, buddhas and bodhisattvas, who have existed since time immemorial.
Stopping on this eastern land of Korea, He spiritually resided in the statue of Golden Maitreya Buddha in the Geumsansa Temple at Moak Mountain in North Jeolla Province where He stayed for thirty years.
On September 19, 1871, He was born as a human being to the Kang family in North Jeolla Province. His honorific name was Jeungsan. The Supreme God (Sangje) Kang Jeungsan proclaimed the unprecedented truth to the human world throughout His 40 years of life which He committed to ‘Reordering Works of Heaven and Earth’ and ‘Opening a New World.’ Then He passed into heaven and ascended to the throne of ‘Gucheon Eungwon Noeseong Bohwa Cheonjon Kangseong Sangje,’ as the Supreme God.

Gucheon Eungwon Noeseong Bohwa Cheonjon Kangseong Sangje
(Gucheon Sangje)

Gucheon (the Ninth Heaven) is the highest heaven where Sangje coordinates all the deities of Heaven and Earth.

Eungwon (in Response to the Supreme God) indicates that no phenomenon, including heavenly bodies, is able to come into being without a command from the Supreme God.

Noeseong (Lightning and Thunder) is a heavenly command for benevolence. It is created by the two vital forces of yin and yang. Noe (Lightning or electricity) is the essence whereas Seong (Thunder or sound) is its function. Lightning and thunder can cause energetic movement and changes by simultaneously causing the ascent of heavenly energy and the descent of earthly energy. This is the means by which all creatures on the earth are born and grow as lightning and thunder control and nurture them. They are the fundamental source of vital energy for all beings born into existence. This is why Noeseong is called as ‘a heavenly command for benevolence’.

Bohwa (Vast Becoming) signifies that every being in the world owes its existence to the benevolent activity of the Supreme God.

Cheonjon (Majesty of Heaven) indicates that Sangje is the holiest and greatest deity throughout the Three Realms of Heaven, Earth and Humanity.

Kangseong Sangje Kangseong Sangje (the Supreme God Kang) is the honored name of the omniscient and omnipotent Supreme God. He exercises the Great Authority over the Three Realms and He rules, directs, and attentively watches over every being and event.

Explanatory Paintings of the Sacred History of Daesoon
(大巡聖蹟圖解要覽)

Preface

Sangje, Gucheon Daewon Johwa Jushin, itinerated the Three Realms in spiritual form while presiding over the Three Realms with Great Authority. Then He descended to the human world in the form of human and reformed the existing Degree Number* of mutual contention into a completely new order of mutual beneficence. This was done in order to build an Earthly Paradise in the future by opening the path to the realm of immortals in the Later World. He sought to save the divine beings whose communication and cooperation with one another and with humanity had been impeded and also save the people of the world who had fallen into disasters as a consequence. The Reordering of the Three Realms of Heaven, Earth and Humanity that Sangje carried out for 40 years has been expressed in a series of sacred paintings, and this booklet has been published to enable viewers to understand the paintings more easily.


*Degree Number(s) : celestial and cosmic plans previously made in the divine world, which will unfold through various events in the human world each in their own due time.

Contents

1. Descent into the World and Childhood

① All the divine sages, buddhas, and bodhisattvas who had existed since the remotest ages gathered and petitioned the Supreme Being of the Ninth Heaven, saying that “Heaven and the Earth in its current state of calamities cannot be rectified by anyone but Sangje.” In response, Sangje descended to Cheon-gyetap Tower in the Land of Great Law in the West and itinerated the Three Realms of Heaven, Earth and Humanity.
② Then He spiritually entered the statue of 'the golden Maitreya Buddha' in Geumsansa Temple at Moaksan Mountain in Jeolla Province, Korea, and stayed there for thirty years.
③ There was a woman with a family name of Kwon who was married to the family of Kang in Jeolla Province. One day, she had a dream in which the sky split into north and south and an enormous ball of fire came to envelop her body while brightening the whole world.
④ Then she showed signs of pregnancy, and after thirteen months, on September 19th 1871, Sangje descended into the world by taking human form.
⑤ Starting in His childhood, Sangje frequently demonstrated the virtue of benevolence towards living beings. He took great joy in planting trees
⑥ and would even save the lives of tiny insects.
⑦ When He was 7 years old, Sangje was studying in His home with a village tutor.
⑧ He read the two Chinese characters, “Heaven” and “Earth,” and thereby knew the principles of Heaven and Earth just by reading those two characters and demonstrated this to His father who then allowed Sangje to dismiss His tutor.
⑨ Sangje was a youth of great strength and would playfully bite onto and then lift up the pivot of a millstone with His teeth.
⑩ Furthermore, He would not even move an inch even when neighborhood boys tested His strength by standing on His back.
⑪ Sangje visited His village school one day and received “frighten (驚)” as a one-character writing prompt from the teacher.
⑫ He thereby composed the following verse: “Taking a great stride, I hope that I do not demolish the earth. Shouting with a big roar, I worry I may frighten heaven.”

2. Correcting and Saving the World

① When Sangje was twenty four years of age (1894), government affairs were becoming increasingly corrupt and people’s lives were growing aggravated. Accordingly, the world became so chaotic that the people were unable to lead peaceful lives. At that time, Jeon Bongjun from Gobu started a revolution as he was infuriated by governmental misrule.
② When Sangje predicted that the Donghak followers would be destroyed by the time winter came, He advised everyone not to behave rashly or join the Donghak rebellion. Indeed the Donghhak rebels were annihilated by the government forces by the first snowfall.
③ In spring of 1895, Sangje attended a poetry club celebrating the restoration of peace on Duseungsan Mountain, where He received a book from an old man.
④ By 1897 Sangje, with the great intention of saving the whole world, set off to examine the state of world and public sentiment. Everywhere He stepped, He was honored like human incarnation of a Divine Being.
⑤ After traveling throughout all eight provinces over a period of 3 years, Sangje returned to His hometown, where He would untie His hair and weep on Sirusan Moutain,
⑥ He would transform into a tiger and this frightened off village lumberjacks. Chanting Jinbeopju (Incantation of True Law), He performed His Holy Work related to Obangsinjang (5 warriors of the divine world representing North, South, East, West, and Center), Sashipaljang (48 warriors of the divine world) and Isipaljang (28 warriors representing the 28 constellations of the divine world).
⑦ After hearing about Sangje's practice of magic, the constable sent an official to detain Him. However, when Sangje sat down while wearing a satgat (traditional hat made of bamboo) and conjured a fog of concealment, the official ended up passing Him by without recognizing Him.
⑧ Sangje’s habitual wearing of the satgat (traditional hat made of bamboo) earned Him the nickname: Kang Satgat.
⑨ Once, Sangje was on His way to visit maternal relatives when He encountered a swearing drunkard who was causing a commotion.
⑩ Abruptly, a stone mortar came out of nowhere and covered the drunkard’s head so that Sangje could continue on His way.
⑪ Another time, Sangje was passing Secheon Stream with Kim Ik-chan when they witnessed a Japanese hunter about to fire bullets towards a flock of wild geese. Once beside the hunter, Sangje stopped walking. The hunter's gun jammed up and was unable to be fired.
⑫ When Sangje started walking again, the flock of wild geese flew away. Only then, was the hunter able to fire his weapon.

3. Great Authority over the Three Realms

① Around mid-May in 1901, Sangje entered Daewonsa temple in Moaksan Mountain, Jeonju, and went through forty nine days of ascetic practice without food or rest in order to open the Great Dao of Heaven and Earth.
② When exiting Daewonsa Temple Valley with a few disciples, many wild animals gathered to bow at His feet in a way that seemed like pleading.
③ In November of 1904, the civilians of Jeonju formed an uprising which created a chaotic atmosphere across the nation. Faced with the heavy responsibility of national affairs, Kim Byung-wook, told Sangje about how difficult it would be to squelch the uprising and pleaded for a solution.
④ Sangje declared: “I will put down the rebellion”. Then He made rain and snow pour down, chilling the weather, and thus suppressing the revolt.
⑤ One day while residing in Donggok Valley Clinic (apothecary), Sangje saw the sun rise at an early hour from behind Jebibong Peak and when it rose halfway, Sangje said to His followers, “The world is stuck in an impasse. How can I have an aim to stabilize the state of things without the power to stop the sun? I will test on it.” In declaring this, Sangje smoked His pipe repeatedly until the sun stopped rising.
⑥ Only after throwing down His pipe, did the sun come to rise fully.
⑦ When taking midnight walks, if the clouds covered the moon, Sangje would wave His right hand toward the moon, dispersing the clouds, and enabling the moonlight to shine over Him.
⑧ Arriving at His destination, He would then wave His left hand to gather the clouds back to their original position.
⑨ At Kim Hyeong-ryeol’s house, Sangje slapped both hands on His knees whilst saying “Good! good!”. Then, lightning from Jebibong Peak struck Surigaebong Peak and lightning from Surigaebong Peak struck Jebibong Peak.
⑩ After repeating this motion a few times, He declared “That's enough” and brought His hands back to rest. Then, the lightning ceased.
⑪ Sangje created the wind, rain, sleet, snow, and lightning at His wish and ceased them upon His command. He could also conjure rain and wind at any time or anywhere only by His will through a variety of means such as certain words, simply lifting His glass, or other such actions.
⑫ He would take symbols of lightning and paste them on walls or bury them to cause lightning.

4. Omnipotence

① The roof of any house where Sangje resided would remain spotless even in times of heavy snowing and lucid energy would shine down upon Him from the azure sky.
② When Sangje prepared for outings, clouds would form in the shape of the Chinese character for eight (八) at the town entrance.
③ When He would go out during a downpour, the paths He took would remain dry.
④ And on hot summer days, the clouds would form over His path like a parasol.
⑤ Whether Sangje would engage in public or private affairs, the form of those affairs would appear in the sky. Once, Sangje was enjoying a plate of snakehead-fish sushi when its form appeared in the sky.
⑥ One day, Sangje and His followers were passing through Iri, Iksan and found a ferry but no oarsman. Sangje relied on His own power, and the form of this affair appeared in the sky.
⑦ Once Sangje and Gong-u were walking together,
⑧ Sangje turned around and said “Do I not look like Guan Yu*?” Upon hearing this, Gong-u was frightened out of His wits.
(* Guan Yu : a fearsome general warrior of the state of Shŭ during the Three Kingdoms Period in China)
⑨ Whenever Sangje would leave a location in the summer, He would raise the winds to drop dew onto the paths He traveled. In winter, He would freeze the wet roads to enable easier crossing.
⑩ Even while on densely overgrown pathways where mountain streams would flow, Sangje’s shoes would somehow always remain clean, much to the surprise of others.
⑪ Once He entered the room of Kim Gyeong-hak’s eight year old son who was sick and scolded him, “How dare you not rise to greet your Father?”
⑫ This prompted the son to rise up in fear, and he was miraculously cured shortly thereafter. Kim Gyeongh-hak, wondering why Sangje called Himself the Father of his son, remembered a past incident. According to customs of that time, he offered his son to the Maitreya Buddha at Geumsansa Temple. It was only then, that Gyeong-hak realized that Sangje Himself was Maitreya.

5. Curing the Sick

① Kim Gap-jin who lived in Dong-gok Valley had been suffering from leprosy for a long time, causing facial swelling and hair loss affecting his eyebrows. He pleaded to Sangje for a cure.
② Sangje had Kim Gap-jin stand outside the door facing the room and sent him back home. Gap-jin made a complete recovery thereafter.
③ Kim Sa-myeong, living in Dong-gok Valley, had a six year old son, Seong-ok, who had died from a sudden illness. His mother brought her son to Sangje and begged Him to spare his life.
④ Sangje chuckled and took the son into His embrace, the son came back to life shortly thereafter.
⑤ One day, a crippled person with the surname 'Kim' from Yongduchi came to see Sangje and imploringly asked Sangje to make him walk again.
⑥ Sangje seated the man in front of Him and told him to stand up whilst Sangje lifted up a pipe. Following the motion of the pipe, his crippled knees and legs steadily straightened as he rose to his feet. Sangje told Gwang-chan sitting nearby to strike the man’s calves. After having done so, the man was no longer crippled and walked away freely.
⑦ An official with the surname 'Oh' from Hwang-gyo, Gyeongseong had a wife who had been blind ever since she was young. The wife pleaded to Sangje to cure her blindness.
⑧ When Sangje arrived at the doors of the blind wife’s chambers, He drew a circle on the ground with His umbrella and had her eat some white salt. This brought sight back to her eyes.
⑨ Hwang Eung-jong’s son fell into a critical condition. Eung-jong drew a bowl of fresh water, set it on a table, and prayed in the direction where Sangje resided. This cured his son.
⑩ The next day, Eung-jong went to see Sangje who then asked, “I saw your hands joined in prayer when I looked down from the clouds. What happened?”.
⑪ Sangje made a herb name plate out of a chestnut tree at the Donggok Valley Clinic (apothecary). On it He wrote Man-guk (all the nations) Clinic and gave it to Park Gong-u to hang on the wall at Wonpyeong Market.
Then He asked Gong-u, “What would you say if the officer asks about it?”
Gong-u replied, “I would say You established Man-guk Clinic, a clinic wherein the blind, crippled, humpbacked, and all other patients with various illnesses are cured.”
⑫ Upon hearing this, Sangje said, “You are right” and burnt the name plate.

6. Resolution of Grievances

① Bansang refers to the classes of noblemen and commoners. Commoners were not allowed to study or speak out in front of nobles.
② Whether they were right or wrong, the commoners were told that their duty was to obey the noblemen. This convention was enforced by the law system of the time.
③ Sangje used honorific language when He spoke to Kim Hyeong-ryeol servant, Ji Nam-sik.
④ Sangje told Kim Hyeong-ryeol that he should use honorific language with everyone everywhere.
⑤ Jeokja is a word to describe the offspring of a man’s legal wife, whereas seoja refers to the offspring of a concubine. Offsprings born from concubines were not recognized no matter how outstanding their talents were. Also, they were not given any formal education.
⑥ During memorial rites for ancestors, the offsprings of concubines could only attend the service from outside the chambers, in the yard.
⑦ Sangje stated that the idea of the predominance of men over women should be banned and demonstrated this Himself by giving way to women.
⑧ He also wrote Yeojanggun (women warriors) on a piece of paper and burnt it, thereby empowering women with vigor.
⑨ Sangje revealed that He would eliminate the discrimination between commoners and noblemen, the unfair advantages given to offsprings of legal wives but not to those of concubines, and also the preferential treatment of men over women.

7. Mutual Beneficence

① Powerful government officials were embroiled in factional strife and were only interested in multiplying their wealth through trafficking seats in government offices.
② The Japanese employed armed forces and violent tactics to attain their covetous ambitions.
③ The civilians were caught up in their greed, and thereby habitually fell into conflicts among themselves and committed robberies against one another.
④ Even the weather was rough and unforgiving. Society had fallen into chaos.
⑤ One day Sangje asked, “How would you usually address Me?”
Gwang-chan replied “I would address you as Chon-yangban (a nobleman from a rural area)”.
Sangje again questioned, “How do rural noblemen address you?”
Gwang-chan again replied, “They call me an Uepnae-ajeon (a petty official in an urban area).”
⑥ Sangje asserted, “A rural nobleman calls a town official a bastard town official, while a town official calls a rural nobleman a bastard nobleman. They do this to express dissatisfaction with discriminatory customs. If you and I reconcile with each other, all grievances of the world shall be brought unto resolution.”
⑦ Sangje ordered Kim Hyeong-ryeol and Kim Gap-chil to make one paper lamp and one pair of straw shoes everyday for forty nine days. On the 49th day, 49 paper lamps and 49 pairs of straw shoes had been made.
⑧ They placed these in front of Sangje and He stated, “The shoes shall be worn by all the people in the world and the lanterns shall light up the darkness of all the people.” Then He sold the straw shoes and burnt the paper lamps.
⑨ Sangje lectured to His followers saying “Mutual contention have been ruling the human world as human beings have been captivated by the envy, jealousy, and scheming that is caused by their greed. They have been living under grudges and inequality caused by discrimination. Therefore, I came to this world in order to rectify the Heaven and Earth that had lost its way and form an Earthly Paradise devoid of mutual contention.”

8. Transferring of Sangje’s teachings

① In Kim Gyeong-hak’s house Sangje declared: “Now is the Era of the Resolution of Grievances. Therefore, I will first give teachings to those who are least privileged.” He called six shamans and took off their hats and headbands.
② Then, He drew a fresh bowl of water, placed it on a table and had the shamans bow four times while facing the enshrined water. He then had them read the Sicheonju incantation three times.
③ Sangje ordered nine of His followers to sit in a row inside Donggok Clinic (apothecary). Then He asked Gap-chil to cut off a branch of green bamboo whatever length he pleased. When Gap-chil brought the bamboo back they found out it now had ten segments.
④ Cutting off the largest segment, Sangje held it up and said, “This segment is the Great Leader. The Great Leader will have no limitations when exerting supernatural power and knowledge. The rest of the bamboo segments are its disciples.”
⑤ One day, Sangje said “I will show you how my teachings are to be transmitted in the future.” And then He told His disciples to bring a basin of water and look into the water while closing their eyes.
⑥ When the disciples looked into the water with their eyes closed, it turned into an ocean where the head of a snake and the tail of a dragon meander in the waters. As they described what they had seen to Sangje, He said “My Works are just like that of a humble snake’s head on a dragon’s colossal body.”
⑦ Sangje always preached to His disciples, “Even if you have been struck by a person,
⑧ comfort him by stroking his hand.”
⑨ Sangje lectured to His followers, “The souls of those who have excelled in the cultivation of Dao will remain soundly concentrated even after death as they ascend to Heaven.
⑩ However, as for those who have not properly cultivated themselves, their souls would fade away like smoke and foam.”
⑪ Sanjae said to some of His disciples, “The icon of Maitreya Buddha in Geumsansa Temple holds the cintamani (wish-fulfilling jewel) in his hands. I, on the other hand, hold it in My mouth.”
⑫ “If you wish to see me, look at the Maitreya Buddha in Geumsansa Temple.”

9. Opening of the Earthly Paradise

① In April of 1902 at Kim Hyeong-ryeol’s house Sangje said this will be the Reordering Work of Three Realms of Heaven, Earth, and Humanity.
② He stated, “We should not mimic what others have made, but create new things.”
③ “For comparison, it is like walking on eggshells every time you use your parents’ assets.
Figuratively speaking, you have to gauge your parents’ mood whenever asking about their wealth even if the wealth is entirely the family’s.
④ If you decided to keep living in an old house, you would live in fear that the house could fall down. Therefore, we should perform a great opening.”
⑤ “In the Former World, all humans and matters were ruled by mutual contention and incompatibility. The world lost its morality due to an over-accumulation of resentments.
⑥ Various catastrophes and misfortunes occurred and the world became gruesome. Therefore, I will resolve all the grudges that have piled up for millions of years by presiding over the deities,
⑦ and through the principle of Mutual Beneficence, I will build the Earthly Paradise of the Later World to save humanity and divine beings.”
⑧ “To reorder the universe I am willing to renovate Heaven and Earth, and then renew human beings by rectifying their constitutions and personalities. Therefore, do not provoke Cheok (emotional grudges) from others but promote their betterment instead.”
⑨ “In the Later World, all people will become one family. Authoritative, forceful, and punitive measures will not be used.
⑩ The public will not be anguished by enmity, resentment, avarice, or obscenities. There will be no gap between the rich and poor.
⑪ People would gain enlightenment and see into the past, present, future, and all other worlds.
⑫ Calamities caused by water, fire, and wind will cease and the world will be transformed into an auspicious and prosperous Earthly Paradise.”

10. Founding of the Religious Body

① The holy founder, Doju, was born on the 4th of December (lunar calendar) in Hoemun-ri, Chilseo-myeon, Haman-gun, Gyungnam in the Jo family who had anti-Japanese sentiments. His honorific name is 'Jeong-san.'
② When Jeong-san was fifteen, his family, whilst taking an active role in anti-Japanese campaigns, felt threatened during the time of the Korean-Japanese annexation. Therefore, on 28th of April 1909, the family sought asylum in Bongcheon, Manchuria.
③ Whilst participating in the save-the-nation campaign with his comrades,
④ Doju decided to save the nation through the power of Dao. During his cultivation of Dao in the mountains, on the 10th of February 1917 at age of 23, he achieved spiritual enlightenment into Daesoonjinri (the Great Truth unfolded by Sangje).
⑤ Following the divine revelation given by Sangje Kang, he returned to his homeland through sea route after nine years of asylum.
⑥ Doju travelled the splendid mountains and rivers cultivating himself in Dao.
⑦ Then he went to the house of Kim Gi-bu in Ma-dong, Jeong-eup, Jeolla province and received a sealed letter from Madam Seondol, the younger sister of Sangje.
⑧ He established a temple complex in Dochang-hyeon, Gutae-in, Jeonbuk and started religious activities there. Although it had gained considerable popularity around the end of the Greater East Asia War, he ceased religious activities due to the Japanese dissolution act that affected religious groups.
⑨ Doju established Hoeryongjae (a house built for memorial rites for ancestors) in his hometown, Hoemun-ri. And he made one of the executives keep in touch with other disciples to maintain communication.
⑩ After the nation’s independence in 1945,
⑪ Doju established the headquarters temple complex in Busan, Gyungnam and resumed religious activities there.
⑫ In April of 1958 at the age of sixty four, before many executives, he made a deathbed edict entrusting the management of the religious body to the present leader, Dojeon Park, and then he passed away.

The Road to Peace and Harmony

‘The Road to Peace and Harmony’ is a movie about the story of Sangje’s Reordering Works of Heaven and Earth, Doju Jo Jeongsan’s founding of a new religious body, and other such historical events. The story was developed by the film’s director, Kang Daejin, in 1982 and filming started in March of 1983 after organizing the Film's Production Committee. The committee included Professor Jang Byeong-gil of the Department of Religious Studies at Seoul National University and some executive members of Daesoon Jinrihoe. It starred Jeon Un as Sangje and Lee Sunjae as Doju; both of whom were top Korean movie stars. The movie was released in November of 1984 at Asia Theater in Seoul.