Ven. Dr. Jinwol
The purpose and principles of the foundation of Dongguk University, as a spiritual identity, are to build an ideal society in which trust, respect, wisdom and compassion thrive among all beings, and to cultivate scholarship and character based on the Buddha’s teaching.
Since I had taken the office of Jeonggakwonjang, Dean of Religious Affairs of the university, in the beginning of last year, I have occasionally mentioned in my lectures and Dharma Talks that students of Dongguk University should be the modern Hwarang, who were the promising elite youth excelling in both literary and military arts as well as morality, beauty, and bravery for national leaders of Silla, the youth of Korea and her leading spirit was Buddhism. Considering the ethically chaotic situation around the world, I have appreciated the Hwarang’s Sesokogye, Worldly Five Precepts, and tried to make the new one for modern youth as an appropriate moral or living guideline: ① love the life, ② live moderately, ③ be faithful, ④ speak highly, ⑤ mind enlightenedly, in terms of global concerns regarding life, economy, integrity, speech, and ignorance.
I have thought suiting that a proclamation ceremony and campaign for the new Sesokogye as one of the events commemorating the 100 year anniversary of Dongguk University, as well as Buddha’s Birthday of 2550 Buddhist Era. As a Dharma master and the Dean of Religious Affairs in charge of realizing the spirit of the university foundation, I have felt that I am supposed to carry out this matter in addition to the occasion of giving precepts ceremony for lay Buddhists by the traditional: ① don’t kill, ② don’t steal, ③ don’t sexual misconduct, ④ don’t lie, ⑤ don’t drink alcohol. It was done on the 28th of April, 2006, and became the start of new life for the participants of the ceremony and the movement.
One hundred years ago, Buddhist leaders, who established the Myeongjin School, the original base of Dongguk University, felt that they urgently and fundamentally needed a school by which they could educate men and women with the ability and standards to manage national affairs combining with cultures of the East and the West, or the traditional and the modern.
Considering global situation, Buddhist leaders intended to make the school into one that could produce men and women of the highest learning of humanity and science. It is worthy to note that at Dongguk University it is not only vital to train students in academic research, but it is essential that the character is transformed into one of understanding, compassion, and wise choices.
This strives to give a holistic education that balances leaning and studying with the qualities of a socially-related and heartfelt intelligence, morality and sensitivity. It is encouraged for all to pursue the ultimate Buddhist ideals of attaining individual enlightenment and, in doing so, to achieve a Buddhist Pure Land that can fulfill one’s social and existential needs.
Relating to this ideal, it may seem reasonable to make a youth movement for living by the new five precepts to bring the ethical and peaceful community of our school as well as around the world. Let us share an idea of the new precepts with other people and practice it together for better life
Ven. Dr. Jinwol firstname.lastname@example.org
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