|▲ Banya Temple / Chief Monk Jingak|
Banya Temple in Mokpo City, South Jeolla Province, is a branch temple of Baekyang Temple of the Jogye Order of the Korean Buddhism.
Banya Temple was founded in 1908 by monk Songheyun then the chief monk of Bulgap Temple. Banya comes from intellectual ability to see things intuitively as said in Buddhism. People with no enlightenment live in pain of life and death and banya helps these people to cross the hill here to the hill yonder. In other words, explains Banya Temple Chief Monk Jingak, banya can be compared with a boat or a raft that crosses people from one side of the rive to the other side. Banya also means 6 self training methods to reach nirvana which are temple offering, observing Buddhist commandments, bearing an insult, self improvement, just rule and wisdom. Jingak took the steering wheel of Banya Temple 5 years ago and has devoted to temple offering in cooperation with believers alongside sharing food and running various Buddhist lessons and activities.
"Buddhism is a religion people gain salvation through wisdom and compassion but not from praying to god. Compassion is limitless and is free of hatred and grudge. Helping people in need and sharing food with neighbors are two good ways to practice compassion. Lower yourself and do something good for others. At the end of the day, what you did comes back to you. So we better do good things" says Jingak.
Jingak and the believers of the temple have led donation of 300 bags of 10kg rice and sharing red bean porridge for 2 years. Knowing his good deed, more and more people are joining the practice and the temple in collaboration with doctors are now providing free medical services for North Korean defectors.
Alongside, Jingak is organizing overseas volunteer activities in Vietnam, Myanmar and Sri Lanka in line with learning regional Buddhism and its practices.
"Yuljeong is a Buddhist sector in Myanmar and I once visited a temple in the local. I and the chief monk of the temple were instantly drawn to each other at first sight and the chief monk said that he felt like we had known each other for a long time. It was a great moment."
Jingak opened a Korean language class in a temple in Myanmar for local monks and Buddhists who want to learn Korean while providing help and support for Burmese in Korea. Banya Temple also donated 40,000 masks to Myanmar recently.
Apart from his role as a monk, Jingak is a member of the USNDCTK registered as IRS 501C3 and is serving as a one star commander of the UN Peacekeeping. <PowerKorea>
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