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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 Gucheon Sangje (the Supreme God of the Ninth Heaven). 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 grudges, live in accordance with mutual beneficence, and by serve one another in gratitude.

The object of belief in Daesoon jinrihoe is Gucheon Sangje, the Supreme Being of the Ninth Heaven 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 Geumsan Temple at Moaksan Mountain in Jeolla Province where He stayed for thirty years. On September 19th, 1871, He was born as a human being to the Gang family in Jeolla Province. His honorific name was Jeungsan.

Sangje Gang Jeungsan proclaimed the unprecedented truth to the human world throughout His 40 years of life which He committed to 'Reordering of Universe' and 'Opening a New World.' Then He passed into heaven and retook His throne of 'Gucheon Eungwon Noeseong Bohwa Cheonjon Gangseong Sangje,' the Supreme Being.

Gucheon Eungwon Noeseong Bohwa Cheonjon Gangseong Sangje
(Gucheon Sangje)

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

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

Noeseong (Lightning and Thunderbolt) is a heavenly command for benevolence. It is created by the two vital forces of yin and yang. Lightning and thunderbolt help with birth, growing, nurturing, and changes on the Earth.

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

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

Gangseong Sangje (the Supreme Being Gang) is the honored name of the omniscient and omnipotent Supreme Being. 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 became very materialistic and tried to conquer Mother Nature, which had undermined divine authority. The Heavenly Way and moral ethics finally collapsed.

Therefore, all divine sages, buddhas and bodhisattvas who have existed since the remotest ages, gathered and petitioned to the Supreme Being 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 People. Then He spiritually entered the statue of 'the golden Maitreya Buddha' in Geumsan Temple at Moak Mountain in Jeolla Province, Korea, and stayed there for thirty years.
2. Descending into the Human World
A woman with the Gwon family name who married into the Gang family Jeolla Province. One day, she had a dream in which the Northern and Southern sky parted, and an enormous ball of fire 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 the baby Sangje. 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 letter 'gyeong (驚, surprise)' from the 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 Joseon Dynasty was corrupt and the living conditions of people had become worse. 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, predicting the failure of Donghak army in the winter of 1894, Sangje advised people not to join the army.
4. Travelling around the Eight Provinces
In 1897 at the age of twenty-seven with the great intention of saving the whole world, Sangje went on His journey around the eight provinces to look into public lives and their sentiment. After three years of travelling, He came back to His hometown. Then, He summoned and coordinated the deities with the JinbeopJu incantation (Incantation of True Law) at Sirubong Peak.
5. Starting the Reordering Works of Universe
In the middle of May 1901, Sangje opened the Great Daesoon Truth with His judgment on existing deities through fasting for 49 days in Daewon Temple in Moak Mountain, Jeonju. Commencing the Reordering Works of Universe in the winter of that year, He proclaimed, "I will rebuild the 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, constructing the Later World of Earthly Paradise with the way of mutual beneficence."
6. Performing His Work of Resolving Grievances
Sangje diagnosed that Heaven and Earth were deviated from their proper course due to the grudges that filled up the Three Realms. They were resulted from the principle of mutual conflict in the Former World. He also said, "The grievance of Dan Zhu, 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 Dan Zhu's grudge.

Also, Sangje said, "The Three Realms lost their order due to the chaos of the afterworld (nether world). Therefore, I will revise the existing Heaven-ordered Predeterminations* of mutual conflict in the after world in such a way that divine beings and human beings, who had been blocked for thousands of years, can cooperate with each other for mutual beneficence. Thus, the general current of Heaven and Earth will be put on the right track." Then, Sangje ordainedJeon Myeongsuk* as the head of Joseon afterworld, Kim Ilbu as the head of Chinese afterworld, and Choi Suwun as the head of Japanese afterworld.

*Heaven-ordered Predeterminations: cosmic plans previously made in the celestial realm, which will unfold through various events in the human world in due time. *Jeon Myeongsuk: he is referred as Jeon Bongjun, the leader of the Donghak Revolution.

7. Rescuing the East from Imminent Peril
Sangje said to two disciples, "Judge the matter of China as fairly as possible." And one of the disciples said, "China has long been considered as 'Glorious China', a nation that developed a great civilization based on its courtesy, music, extensive territory and abundant supplies. Yet, now that the territory and people of China have been conquered by the so-called barbarian, Qing and China continues losing land under the invasion of imperial powers, how could grudges not form as a consequence? I think it is right to let them restore their land." In this regard, Sangje complimented him by saying, "You made a fair judgement on China. With this decision, China will be restored."

In the summer of 1903, when Western imperial powers were expanding their colonies in the East, Sangje said, "In order to save the East from Western imperialism, I will have Russia retreat from the East by causing a war between Japan and Russia and assisting Japan in the war." For this, He performed the corresponding work wherein He reordered divinities. As a consequence, Japanese went on to win the war in 1905.
8. 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 of the low-class. In this way, grudges can be easily resolved, and the time of peace and prosperity will be hastened."

Sangje also said, "Resolve the grudges between you and your enemy and love him as your benefactor, as in doing so will bring about good fortune. Our work is to prevent Cheok* and live for the betterment of others. Even if one takes only whatever good fortune that remains after making others prosperous, this is enough."

*Cheok : an emotional grudge held against you by another person.

9. 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. Humanity has been fighting each other, claiming their own thoughts as the truth despite the manner in which these systems of thought have been formed respectively through their 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. Then, He appointed heavenly leaders for each religion: Choi Suwun as the leader of Daoism, Jinmuk as the leader of Buddhism, Zhu Xi as the leader of Confucianism, and Matteo Ricci as the leader of Christianity.
10. 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 grudges, 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."
11. Carrying out Reordering Works to Save Humanity
Sangje relieved the suffering of many people afflicted by various illnesses in the areas around Jeonju and Haun-dong. This led many people to admire Him.

In 1908, He built Donggok (Copper Valley) Clinic* and carried out the Reordering Works to save humanity. He said, "Those who receive the highest Heavenly Energy will be able to cure the sick with merely a touch or even a glance. In the future, the highest Heavenly energy will descend upon you. So cultivate yourselves now."

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

12. 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, you will hardly be able to look at me. Since early times, an Immortal* has only been heard without anybody having seen him. Only you will see an Immortal. I will appear with a height of 13Ja(about 4m)." 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 the house (Donggok clinic) to the Ninth Heaven. It was June 24th, 1909 of the lunar calendar.

*Immortal: a human being who has attained divinity and immortality in terms of 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 Universe, Doju Jo Jeongsan's founding of a new religious body, and other such historical events. The story was developed by the film's director, Gang Daejin, in 1982 and filming started in March 1983 after organizing the Film's Production Committee that included Professor Jang Byeong-gil of the Theology Department at Seoul National University and 20 executive members of Daesoon jinrihoe. A number of Daesoon jinrihoe members participated as extras in the film production. The movie was released in November of 1984 at Asia Theater in Seoul.
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