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A Study on the Meaning of Yeongjaeujeok(永才遇賊, the monk Yeongjae accidentally met thieves) Jo and Ujeokga(遇賊歌, Song of encountering thieves) of ‘Samguk Yusa’

  • The Studies in Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Abbr : Korean Poetry and Culture
  • 2019, (43), pp.5-56
  • Publisher : The Society of Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature
  • Received : January 4, 2019
  • Accepted : February 15, 2019

ByeongIk hwang 1

1경성대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

<Ujeokga(遇賊歌, Song of encountering thieves)> is one of the most difficult Hyangga because it has missing letters and information about the writer and the background. This paper carefully examines the context of Ujeokga to identify the missing letters(缺字) and attempts to decipher them objectively and empirically according to the Buddhist theory. As a result, I supplement the missing letters as “I go far past the forest where the birds indwell(遠鳥逸林乙 過出知遣)” and “You will repeat the reincarnation in the next life(次弗生史 內於都 還於尸朗也)”. The last line is to teach the thieves to act right, saying, “If you build up good karma, you will have the blissful rebirth in the Pure Land.” Yeongjae called it Han(恨 ; deep-rooted emotions that can not be resolved) After all, it is like saying, “If you do not build up your good karma, you will not have the blissful rebirth in the Pure Land.” The following is a more detailed explanation. “I make up my mind firmly, I go far past the forest where the birds indwell, and search for a place to practice the path of enlightenment. Those who have broken the buddhist precepts will continue the painful reincarnation. It is hard to say good words to many bad karma built up with knives and spears. Alas! If there is one sorriness, ‘If (you) build up good karma, you will be able to reach the comfortable Pure Land.’ (Still, you build up such bad karma. I feel sorry.)”. In the lines 1-4 of <Ujeokga>, Yeongjae emphasized the necessity of practicing the path of enlightenment, illustrating himself as an example: he left the life of the mundane world harassed by Beonnoi(煩惱, all the mental functions obstruct the mind and pollute the mind and body) and set off for practicing the path of enlightenment despite his old age of 90. The lines 5-8 remind that as evil deeds that violate the precepts and threaten & kill with weapons will create the causality of Yukdoyunhoi(六道輪廻, the transmigration in the six realms of existence: hell, the worlds of hungry ghosts, animals, asuras, human, and heaven), the thieves will continue to suffer from birth, old age, sickness, and death in their next life. The lines of 9-10 suggest the direction of a new life, saying “Even if you have made bad deeds, it is all due to Tamjinchi(貪瞋痴, three poisonous elements: craving or greed, anger or hatred, and ignorance or illusion) of Musi(無始, beginningless beginning). From now on, if you repent and accumulate the store of virtue and merit, your sins will soon be washed away and you will be clean again”. In other words, Yeongjae showed a strong sense of responsibility and a warm humanity and tried to open a way of repentance so that the thieves could choose a new life in which they would stop their bad karma and cultivate their good karma, by awakening them to the Buddha nature and conveying the Buddhist doctrines.

Citation status

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