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A Consideration of Naong’s Buddhification

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2014, (115), pp.219-256
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Jungseop Youm 1

1동국대학교 철학과

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Naong(懶翁) is the monk who was picked up by King Gongmin(恭愍王) after the downfall of Sindon(辛旽) in the late age of Goryeo and became the actual leader of Buddhism. But, during the political change that King Gongmin was assassinated and King Woo(禑王) was enthroned, he suddenly passed away in the Sinneugsa Temple(神勒寺). After then, in Joseon Dynasty, he became to be extremely venerated as “the incarnation of Buddha”. There have been no such cases in Korean Buddhist history. This paper is to consider the process of Naong’s Buddhification. For this, Chapter I deals with the living-Buddha culture that had existed in Goryeo even before Naong through the cases of Cheolsan(鐵山) and Jogong(指空). With this, we can see that Naong’s Buddhification was not a sudden change but a result of precedent tendency in the cultural background. And, as we know, Naong was sanctified after his death rather than during his life time. Therefore, though Naong’s Buddhification is based on the living-Buddha culture, there are strict differences between the two. Chapter Ⅱ deals with how Naong came to be Buddhified by Naong’s disciples based on the recognitive change about Naong through the production of many sariras and miracles in the cremation of Naong’s body. Naong’s Buddhification was promoted by his disciples who had felt the sense of crisis during the political change after Naong’s death and asked for the religious pivot point. Later, the persecution toward Naong was relieved by another change in the political power system, and the affection for Naong expanded to the whole nation, accelerating his sanctification. It resulted in Naong’s ‘Incarnation Theory of Shakyamuni’ during Joseon Dynasty. With this research, we can see more clearly about the role of Naong’s disciples and his status in the late Goryeo and the early Joseon Ages. It may have a great significance in understanding the Buddhism during the late Goryeo and the early Joseon.

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