Spreading the Buddha’s teachings with ‘beomeum-beompae’

김태인 기자l승인2018.05.15






▲ Ban. Sangjin of Cheongryon Temple

Beomeum-beompae is a rite form of Buddhist chant and music that has been practiced for 1,700 years; it has been passed down from generations to generations without scores. It was 1992 that Ban. Sangjin started to study beomeum-beompae in earnest by majoring the subject at Dongbang Buddhist University. “Back then, many of us studied beomeum-beompae to spread the clean sound of the Buddha to the people. But its importance seems to decline and to lose its true meaning nowadays. Thankfully, however, this Buddhist music ritual has been passed down with its original form intact. And it is the reason that I have been teaching students and monks these Buddha’s sounds for the last 20 years” says Sangjin. Sangjin is famous for actively engaging in various Buddhist and other cultural events big or small, home or abroad with his passion in spreading excellence of beomeum-beompae to the world over Korea. “It is the reason of my being to spread the Buddha’s teachings to as many people as possible. The Buddha taught us how to get rid of human bondage, how to calm the mind and how to learn from others. Everybody can be the Buddha thus everybody can be a teacher and thus everybody can see and live without prejudice.” It is impossible to live without any possession since even monks have to endure harsh trials. Possessiveness probably is the most uncontrollable desire of us all. Yet a solution is at our heart and it is ‘sharing’, according to Sangjin. “The conception of ‘non-possession’ is not something grandiose but it simply is about ‘sharing’ what we have with others.” Sangjin currently is serving as Chairman of the Cheongryon Temple Foundation. The temple marks its 1,191 anniversary this year. The seminar held on April 14 shed a new light on the history, Buddhist statues and 13 Buddhist paintings of the temple. Belonged to the Korean Buddhism Taego Order, Cheongryon Temple was first founded in the name of Anjeong Temple during the King Heungdeok of Silla and kept its tradition in the name of Cheongryon Temple at Jongnam Mountain, Wangsimni in Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty era. It was 2009, that the temple relocated its base to current Gaemyeong Mountain in Yangju, Gyeonggi Province. The temple went through 7 times of rebuilding ever since until the colonial era. “Understanding the history of the temple is very important as it is the foundation for reilluminating its value since the temple has a number of valuable Buddhist assets. Currently, Sangjin is preparing to list its assets including beomeum-beompae to the national intangible assets. “Greed is the gate to unhappiness, anger to illness and folly to troubles. We can make the world a better place even a little if we try hard to be careful on these three things.” Sangjin added “Be humble as it makes you happy and be honest as it leads you to better roads.” 

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