Mandeuksaji(萬德寺志) was the Documentaries into which Dasan(茶山, Chong Yagyong) compiled a series of historical facts about Mandeuksa temple, alias Baekryunsa(白蓮寺, temple), through his reliable and closed ascertainment of historical rese ...
Mandeuksaji(萬德寺志) was the Documentaries into which Dasan(茶山, Chong Yagyong) compiled a series of historical facts about Mandeuksa temple, alias Baekryunsa(白蓮寺, temple), through his reliable and closed ascertainment of historical research in connection with the temple. While Dasan played a role of fair and cautious supervisor on the whole book, his pupils and followers, including the priest A-am Hae-jang(兒菴 惠藏), edited and revised the Documentaries. During his periods of exile and demotion, Dasan cultivated close friendship with them, and led them to promote several studies at the Ganjin(康津). The after-effects of such a intimate friendship between Dasan and them or such their developmental scholarship caused the compilation of Mandeuksaji, finally.
Mandeuksaji was consisted of Annotated Account. Accordingly, there is no difference between the documentaries and a general historical book in editing or compiling form. Editors by Whom Mandeuksa was written, focused on several participants who took part in BaekryunGulsa(association of White Lotus) through the whole Korean Buddhist History during the middle and latter period of Goryeo Dynasty. They gathered historical sources, which had scattered far and wide, and sought to find and interpret the hidden meaning of Korea buddhist history. Although it was uneasy for the editors to gather historical material or source about Mandeuksa, as well as there is suppression of Choson Dynasty on Buddhism at those day, these not only were remiss in their duty, but also continually put great emphasis upon the restoration of Buddhist history and the historical prestige of Mandeuksaji. Futhermore, they not only corrected historical inaccuracies of the Goryeo Dynasty, but also tried to preserve historical material which might slowly faded into dark age from its loss. In addition to such activities, they placed stress on the contemporary prestige and value, which Mandeuksa held at those day. Finally, they recorded 8 great monks of Mandeuksa in the temple historical documentaries, who were the most typical monks of predominant Zen sect and Doctrinism of Buddhism in the late Choson Dynasty.
8 great monks were scholar monks inheriting the Buddhistic tradition and Buddhahood from Soyo Taeneung(逍遙 太能), and upon their receipt of ChungHeo(淸虛)'s and Hyujong(休靜)'s mantle, they played the role in lecturer or instructor of Daeheungsa(大興寺) temple. For example Mandeuksaji was recorded that monk who was called Chui-yeo Sam-woo(醉如 三愚) devoted one´s life to the restoration of Mandeuksa during the late Choson Dynasty. Mandeuksaji revealed that a good many people swarmed over at the temple site in order to attend Chuiyeo' lecture about of Huayan thought(華嚴學). Especially, an illiterate monk who was called Huha-Ak MunShin(華嶽 文信) attended at lecture site of the temple. With Going through a series of developmental process, Mandeuksa laid the revival groundwork and produced many monk who have distinguished scholarship in relation to Zen sect and Doctrinism of Buddhism. Although Mandeuksa's power was not up to Daeheungsa's in the Choson Dynasty, the figure of distinguished monks who the former produced did not lag behind the latter's.
Eventually, It seemed to me that the writing and editing of Mandeuksaji was the outcome of historical understanding, which was willing to show the self-reliant and autonomous awareness by them. The self-reliant ideal type of Korean history and expression of its identity out which writer and editor sought led into aggressive awareness of Korean Buddhist history, so that they could try to collect material broadly, embark oneself in detailed evaluations, and write or edit the objective temple history. It appeared to me that Mandeuksaji(萬德寺志) have made a significant contribution toward revivalism in view of "forgotten Buddhist history", which underwent the sense of oppression and alienation from Choson Dynasty.