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Who We Worship

When facing despair and calamities, people naturally look to deities, buddhas, and bodhisattvas to find some sense of solace. Unbeknownst to humanity; however, deities, buddhas, and bodhisattvas have their own source of solace, and that is none other than the Supreme God of the Ninth Heaven (Gucheon Sangje). It was He whom they petitioned in humanity's darkest hour, and it was He who descended into the world to rectify disorder and reveal the path to an everlasting paradise. Brick by brick, this path is paved as we collectively resolve grievances and grudges, live in accordance with mutual beneficence, and serve one another in gratitude through Daesoon Truth revealed by the Supreme God.

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 entered 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 Kang Jeungsan. 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,' 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 (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.

Life of Sangje

1. Great Itineration around the Universe
The human civilization had became much materialistic and sinned against Mother Nature, an act which had undermined divine authority. The Heavenly Way and moral ethics finally collapsed to the point of being on the brink of annihilation of humanity. Therefore, all divine sages, buddhas, and bodhisattvas who have existed since the origin of Heaven and Earth, gathered and petitioned to the Supreme God of the Ninth Heaven, saying: "Heaven and Earth in this state of calamities cannot be rectified by anyone other than Sangje." In response, Sangje descended to Cheongye Tower in the Land of Great Law in the West and closely examined the Three Realms of Heaven, Earth, and Humanity. Then He spiritually entered the statue of 'the golden Maitreya Buddha' in Geumsansa Temple at Moak Mountain in Jeolla Province, Korea, and stayed there for thirty years.
2. Descending into the Human World
A woman with the family name Gwon married into the Kang family of Jeolla Province. One day, she had a dream in which the sky was torn in half, and a massive ball of flame came to envelop her body while brightening the whole world. Then she felt as though she were pregnant. After thirteen months of pregnancy, on September 19th, 1871, Sangje descended to the world in a form of human body. At the time of His birth, two celestial maidens came down from heaven to nurture Him. Accordingly, the room became filled with a divine fragrance and the entire house was surrounded by a bright energy reaching the sky.
3. Spending Childhood and Adolescent Years
From an early age, Sangje was generous and benevolent by nature. He was respected by others for His exceptional brightness. He had such a great love for life that He enjoyed planting trees with care, never breaking a branch or even killing a tiny insect. At the age of seven, He went to a village school. There, on receiving the Chinese character 'gyeong (驚, frighten)' as a one-character prompt from His tutor, He improvised the following poem:

   Taking a great stride, I hope that I do not demolish the earth.
   Shouting with a big roar, I worry I may frighten heaven..

(遠步恐地坼 大呼恐天驚)

At the age of 24, Sangje opened a village school in His brother-in-law's house and began teaching children in the neighborhood. All the surrounding people praised Him for His extraordinary teaching ability. At that time, the government of the Joseon Dynasty was deteriorating and the living conditions of people had worsened. Outraged by the misrule of the local government, Jeon Bongjun* from Gobu region started a revolution, shaking the entire nation while stirring up public sentiment. At this moment, Sangje predicted the failure of the peasant militia uprising mounted by Donghak (Eastern Learning) in the winter of 1894, and advised people not to join the peasant militia.

*Jeon Bongjun : the leader of the Eastern Learning (Donghak) Peasant Revolution which occurred in 1894.

4. Travelling All throughout the Country
In 1897 at the age of twenty-seven, Sangje's great intention of saving the whole world led Sangje on a journey around the eight provinces which make up the entirety of the country. He did this to look into public lives and the sentiment of His subjects. After three years of travelling, He came back to His hometown. Then, He summoned and coordinated the deities with the Incantation of Perfected Dharma (Jinbeopju) at Siru Peak.
5. Starting the Reordering Works of Heaven and Earth
On July fifth of 1901, Sangje opened the Great Daesoon Truth with His judgment on existing deities and a corresponding 49 day fast in Daewonsa Temple in Moak Mountain, Jeonju. Commencing the Reordering Works of Heaven and Earth in the winter of that year, He proclaimed, "I will rebuild Heaven and Earth and allow divine beings to pass in and out of human minds so that human beings can be renewed and fulfill their Heavenly purposes." Then He added, "I will redeem humanity by exercising great authority over the Three Realms and constructing the Earthly Paradise of Later World through the principle of mutual beneficence."
6. Performing His Work of Resolving Grievances
Sangje diagnosed that Heaven and Earth had deviated from their proper course due to the grievances that had filled up the Three Realms. These grudges were the result of the principle of mutual conflict in the Former World. He also said, "The grievance of Danzhu, the son of King Yao, is the beginning of all grievances throughout history. Once this is resolved, all the knots and chains of grievances stacked up for thousands of years will be resolved." And He carried out Reordering Work to resolve Danzhu's grievance.

7. Opening Up a World Free from Social Discrimination
Sangje always used honorific languages even when speaking to men of humble birth. One of His disciples, Kim Hyeongryeol, was embarrassed when Sangje used such honorific language when speaking to his servant. Regarding this, Sangje said to this disciple, "That man is your servant. Not mine. Afterwards, you should respect everyone regardless of their status. In the coming days, there will be no discrimination between nobles and commoners or legitimate and illegitimate children." And He added, "You have to discard old customs of social discrimination as soon as possible and begin respecting people from lower classes. In this way, grievances can be easily resolved, and the time of peace and prosperity will be hastened.

"Sangje also said, "Resolve the grievances between you and your enemy and love him as your benefactor, as doing so will bring about good fortune. Our work is to prevent grievances and live for the betterment of others. Even if one takes only whatever good fortune remains after making others prosperous, that remaining portion will be enough."
8. Setting a Foundation for the Later World
One day, Sangje asked the following question to one of His disciples, "Do you think it is better to leave modern conveniences invented by westerners as they are or take them back?" And the disciple answered, "It seems better to preserve them for the convenience of humanity." And He answered, "You are right, their devices have been modeled after those in Heaven."

Sangje said, "Daoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity have become foundations within their ethnic cultures or traditions. When these systems of thought reached full development, humanity finally began fighting one another, claiming their own particular thought as the truth despite the fact that these systems of thought had been formed respectively through different life experiences as passed down to them by their ancestors." To solve this problem, He summoned all the deities of enlightenment and civilization to set a foundation for a future civilization by extracting the essences of each different culture and unifying them.
9. Opening a New World Where Men and Women are Equal
Sangje said, "In the Later World, women can be treated just as men according to their achievements in spiritual cultivation. And the old custom of male dominance over women will disappear." Further, He said the following to his disciples, "Now that this is the time of resolving grievances, I have dissolved the barrier of difference between men and women so that they have freedom to do as they wish. But later, I will re-establish the principle of propriety by balancing the positions of men and women."

Sangje also said, "It is wrong to ban the remarriage of young widows and make them live in loneliness. In the future, it will be right to allow young widows to marry young widowers and old widows marry old widowers by holding official wedding ceremonies with their family members and friends.
10. Carrying out the Reordering Work for the Clinics of All Nations
Sangje relieved the suffering of many people afflicted by various illnesses. This led many people to admire Him. In 1908, He built Copper Valley (Donggok) Clinic* and carried out the Reordering Work for the Clinics of All Nations to save humanity from all diseases. He said "with this Work I will revive the dead, allow the blind to regain their sight, allow the crippled to walk once more, and clear away all diseases. He further added, "Those who receive 'Descending Spirit' from Heaven will be able to cure the sick with merely a touch or even a glance. In the future, the 'Descending Spirit' from Heaven will come down to you. Therefore, you should sincerely devote yourselves in cultivation."

*Copper Valley (Donggok) Clinic : the place where many of Sangje's Reordering Works of Heaven and Earth were performed including the curing of all forms of disease in the world.

11. Passing into Heaven
One day in June 1909, Sangje said to His disciples, "Take a good look at my face. Later on, when I make myself appear in the world, it will be difficult for you to look upon Me. Since early times, Immortals* have only been heard about without anybody having seen them. Only you will see an Immortal. I will appear with a height of 13 Ja (about 4 meters)." He requested all the disciples to pledge their faith asking, "Do you believe in me?" When the disciples answered "Yes", He added, "Now I am leaving for my Heavenly mission."

When Sangje passed into heaven, the sky suddenly got dark, covered by cumulus clouds; then it began raining with thunder and lightning. An auspicious energy went all the way up from the roof of Copper Valley (Donggok) Clinic to the Ninth Heaven. This happened on June 24th, 1909.

*Immortals : human beings who have attained divinity and immortality in terms of the Daoist tradition.

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.
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