Jeung San Do

Jeung San Do (증산도), occasionally called Jeungsanism (증산교 Jeungsangyo), meaning "The Dao/Tao of Jeung-san", although this term is better reserved for a larger family of movements, is a new religious movement founded in South Korea in 1974. It is one of more than 100 Korean religious movements that recognize Gang Il-sun (강일순) (Kang Jeungsan, or Chungsan), an early 20th century religious leader, as the incarnation and personification of Sangjenim (上帝任, the "governing spirit of the universe") and performed a "reordering of the universe" through his mission and rituals.[1] The religion is characterised by a universal message, millenarianism, and a method of healing meditation.[2]

Jeung San Do
Revised RomanizationJeung San Do
Jeung San Do Logo
The symbol of Jeungsanist organisations.


A number of branches of Jeungsanism trace their origins to Goh Pan-Lye (Subu, literally “Head Lady,” 1880-1935, although in Kang's circle there was more than one "Subu"), a female disciple of Kang Jeungsan. Around September 1911, Goh gathered around her a number of Kang's followers. Eventually, Goh’s male cousin, Cha Gyeong-Seok (1880-1936), a leading disciple of Kang, became the leader of Goh's branch. Dissatisfied with this situation, Goh separated from Cha in 1919 and established her own new religion.[3] In the 1920s, Cha’s branch, known as Bocheon-gyo, became the largest Korean new religious movement and possibly the largest religion in Korea, with some six million followers.[4] It declined rapidly after Cha's death in 1936, and fragmented into several competing group, as did Goh's organization. Jeung San Do is the largest among the branches claiming a lineage originating from Goh. It was founded by Ahn Un-san (born in 1922), who established his first religious organization in 1945. After further divisions, Ahn founded Jeung San Do in 1974 together with his son, Ahn Gyeong-jeon (b. 1954).[5] Jeung San Do believes that, as Kang was God the Father, Goh, revered with the title of Tae-mo-nim, was God the mother and between 1926 and 1935 performed her own reordering of the universe.[6] Jeung San Do is the movement within Jeungsanism with the most visible presence abroad, although it is not the largest branch in Korea.[7] The central text of Jeungsanism, the Dojeon, was first published in Korean in 1992. The name "Dojeon" is used by other branches of Jeungsanism for their own, different sacred texts. Jeung San Do's version contains detailed description of Jeungsan Sangjenim's and Taemonim's ("Great Mother") lives and of Cheonjigongsa, the "Renewal of Heaven and Earth". The Jeungsanist theory stresses the concept of Tao, the way of nature.

Jeungsanism is often understood as having stemmed from Korean Sinism and Chinese millenarian Taoism,[8] and is defined as one of the Korean indigenous religions.[9]


Jeung San Do means "the Way [dao/do/Tao, 道] of the Jeung(甑)[siru] San(山)[mountain]". The word "jeung" is siru in Korean, which is Korean food streamer vessel for cooking Korean rice cakes, Tteok(떡). It signifies a vast vessel by metaphor that can contain everything in the world. To conclude, "jeung" (甑) denotes the process of rising, maturation, fruition or growth.

"Jeung san" is also a traditional Korean descriptive term for the highest mountain in a region or "steamer mountain".[10] "Do" (道) denotes Tao, the way. Considered as a whole, therefore, the name "Jeung San Do" signifies the highest truth that surpasses all existing religions and teachings.[11]


Sangjenim means "Highest Emperor", and is cognate of the Chinese Shangdi.[12] It is the governing spirit of the universe, and Jeung San Do believe he was incarnated as Gang Il-sun.[13], although God for Jeung San Do also exists as God the mother, incarnated on earth as Goh Pan-Lye.

Jeung San Do teaches that, at the age of seven, Sangjenim attained a sudden spiritual awakening while watching a performance of traditional music and dance. When he was twenty-four, he witnessed the tumultuous events of the Donghak (Eastern Learning) Uprising in which an ill-equipped but determined army of farmers fought the troops of both the Korean government and the Japanese. This insurrection sparked a war between China and Japan fought on the Korean peninsula and ended with the crushing defeat of the farmers and Japan's annexation of the country. After observing the death and misery brought on by these events, Jeung San Sangjenim resolved to save the world from suffering.

He traveled for three years to observe human behavior and the shape, qi, and spirit of the land. In 1901, after a period of intensive meditation he attained perfect enlightenment into the affairs of Heaven, Earth, and humanity. About this he said:

Since ancient times, a few have mastered the writing of the Heavens, a few have mastered the principles of Earth, but no one has mastered the nature of humans. I am the first to master the nature of humans.

- Dojeon 2:13:4-5

In that year, Sangjenim began a spiritual work that cannot be easily explained or understood. It was called the work of renewing Heaven and Earth (天地公事). For nine years, he conducted works of renewal in the form of rituals, proclamations, and conversations with humans and spirits and utilized the qi of various places and people. He established a federation of gods called the Creative Government, composed of regional gods, the founding spirits of family lines, gods that founded and advanced civilizations, enlightened spirits, spirits with unresolved bitterness and grief, and the spirits of revolutionaries. With this assembly of spirits, he intended to correct the wrongs of the past and chart a new course for the future. His work of renewing Heaven and Earth shifted the course of Heaven, Earth, and humanity and planted the seeds for a new enlightened and harmonious world of humans and gods.

According to his followers, Sangjenim differed from other prophets in that he not only spoke about the future but, through his spiritual work, actually transformed it. One way of understanding this is the Butterfly Effect in Edward Lorenz's Chaos Theory. According to that theory, a butterfly flapping its wings in America could cause or prevent a tornado in Indonesia. This of course illustrates the improbability of predicting any event in a highly complex system due to the difficulty of knowing all variables. But, what if someone were enlightened to the point of omnipotence? What if someone did know all the variables? Such a person could not only predict the future, but with the rippling effect of seemingly small actions could actually change the future.

About the method he used in the work of renewal, Sangjenim said:

There are opportunities for human action ... There is a program for each heavenly principle. The work of renewal is based on creating the opportunity and establishing the program. If I were to abandon this method and perform the work forcibly, it would bring disaster upon the world and kill multitudes. That is not My intention.

- Dojeon 2:55:7-8

Cosmic year

Jeung San Do Cosmic Year en
The "cosmic year" of Jeung San Do.

According to Jeun Sang Do, Gang Il-sun revealed to humanity that the universe embodies a four-fold cycle. A "cosmic year" contains four cosmic seasons corresponding to birth, growth, harvest, and rest.[14]

Views on Korean history

According to Jeung San Do, the History of Korea is that of a chessboard used by America, China, Russia, and Japan. While the Empire of Japan completed the annexation of Korea in 1910, they were merely pawns or workmen (ilkkun) of Sangjenim; racial brothers who saved Korea from domination by the Western great powers. The Japanese, according to this narrative, provided the "service" (pongsa) of modernizing Korea as penance for the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598). Accordingly, resistance against Japan was ill-advised, and Chinilpa collaborationist organizations such as Iljinhoe should not be condemned. Koreans merely had to "wait patiently", as Jeung San Do taught, for the guests to vacate the board in order to assume ownership of the Korean Peninsula.[15]


See also


  1. ^ Massimo Introvigne, "Daesoon Jinrihoe", World Religions and Spiritualities Project, Virginia Commonwealth University.
  2. ^ Lee Chi-ran, p. 21
  3. ^ See Lee Kang-o, “Chungsan-gyo: Its History, Doctrine and Ritual,” Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch 43 (1967), 28-66 (21); Introvigne, "Daesoon Jinrihoe," cit.
  4. ^ Robert Pearson Flaherty, “Korean Millennial Movements,” in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism, edited by Catherine Wessinger, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2016,ISBN 978-01-953010-5-2, 326-347 (335).
  5. ^ "Taesang Jongdosanism", official Web site of Jeung San Do.
  6. ^ See "Sahng-jeh-nim and Tae-mo-nim", official Web site of Jeung San Do.
  7. ^ See Introvigne, "Daesoon Jinrihoe," cit.
  8. ^ Lee Chi-ran, p. 21
  9. ^ Lee Chi-ran, p. 3
  10. ^
  11. ^ Lee Chi-ran, p. 22
  12. ^ Lee Chi-ran, p. 23
  13. ^ Lee Chi-ran, p. 23
  14. ^ Lee Chi-ran, p. 24
  15. ^ Walraven, Boudewijn (2002). "The Parliament of Histories: New Religions, Collective Historiography, and the Nation". Korean Studies. University of Hawaii Press. 25 (2): 160–163. doi:10.1353/ks.2001.0024.


Further reading

External links

Absolute (philosophy)

The concept of the Absolute, also known as The (Unconditioned) Ultimate, The Wholly Other, The Supreme Being, The Absolute/Ultimate Reality, The Ground of Being, Urgrund, The Absolute Principle, The Source/Fountain/Well/Center/Foundation of Reality, The Ultimate Oneness/Whole, The Absolute God of The Universe, and other names, titles, aliases, and epithets, is the thing, being, entity, power, force, reality, presence, law, principle, etc. that possesses maximal ontological status, existential ranking, existential greatness, or existentiality. In layman's terms, this is the entity that is the greatest, highest, or "truest" being, existence, or reality.

There are many conceptions of the Absolute in various fields and subjects, such as philosophy, religion, spiritual traditions, formal science (such as mathematics), and even natural science. The nature of these conceptions can range from "merely" encompassing all physical existence, nature, or reality, to being completely unconditioned existentially, transcending all concepts, notions, objects, entities, and types, kinds, and categories of being.

The Absolute is often thought of as generating manifestations that interact with lower or lesser types, kinds, and categories of being. This is either done passively, through emanations, or actively, through avatars and incarnations. These existential manifestations, which themselves can possess transcendent attributes, only contain minuscule or infinitesimal portions of the true essence of the Absolute.

The term itself was not in use in ancient or medieval philosophy, but closely related to the description of God as actus purus in scholasticism. It was introduced in modern philosophy, notably by Hegel, for "the sum of all being, actual and potential".

The term has since also been adopted in perennial philosophy.


Bocheonism (Korean: 보천교 Bocheongyo or Pochonkyo, "religion of the vault of heaven/firmament") was one among more than 100 new religious movements of Korea of the family of religions called Jeungsanism, rooted in Korean shamanism and recognizing Gang Il-sun (Kang Jeungsan) as the incarnation of Sangje, the Supreme God. It was founded by Cha Gyeong-seok (1880-1936) on Ibam Mountain in Daeheung-ri, Ibam-myeon, Jeongeup, Jeollabuk-do, in the year 1911. Today this site is part of Naejangsan National Park.

Cha Gyeong-seok was originally a Donghak (Cheondoist) priest, who converted to Jeungsanism after meeting Gang Il-Sun. After Gang's death, Goh Pan-Lye (Subu, literally “Head Lady,” 1880-1935, although in Kang's circle there was more than one "Subu"), a female disciple of Kang Jeungsan, around September 1911 gathered around her a number of Kang's followers. Cha Gyeong-seok was Goh’s male cousin and became the leader of Goh's branch. Dissatisfied with this situation, Goh separated from Cha in 1919 and established her own new religion. Cha continued under the name Bocheon-gyo, which was adopted in 1921, at a great ritual held in Hamyang County, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Eventually, Bocheonism became the largest Korean new religious movement and possibly the largest religion in Korea, with some six million followers, including leading activists in the Korean independence movements. Bocheonism, however, declined rapidly after Cha's death in 1936, and fragmented into several competing group, as did Goh's organization. The largest among these branches is Jeung San Do.

Cha prophesied that the unification of the world would take place beginning in Korea. Branches of Bocheonism are also credited with encouraging local culture in the Jeongeup region, including the pungmulgut performance tradition.

Boeun (Jeungsando)

Boeun, (報恩, Offering Gratitude and Repaying), is one of the main teachings of Jeungism. Bo (報) means "repay" and eun (恩) means "gratitude". Its literal meaning is repay other's gratitude to me.

Comparative religion

Comparative religion is the branch of the study of religions concerned with the systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world's religions. In general the comparative study of religion yields a deeper understanding of the fundamental philosophical concerns of religion such as ethics, metaphysics, and the nature and forms of salvation. Studying such material is meant to give one a broadened and more sophisticated understanding of human beliefs and practices regarding the sacred, numinous, spiritual, and divine.In the field of comparative religion, a common geographical classification of the main world religions includes Middle Eastern religions (including Iranian religions), Indian religions, East Asian religions, African religions, American religions, Oceanic religions, and

classical Hellenistic religions.

Cosmic year (Chinese astrology)

According to Jeung San Do, the universe generates and cultivates life through a cyclic process of birth, growth, harvest, and rest (生長殮藏). This is closely related to the fluctuation and interplay of the two polar energies, yin and yang and its cycle appeared in daily, yearly, and cosmically. 129,600 calendar years make up one Cosmic year and it was discovered by Shao Yung.

Daesun Jinrihoe

Daesun Jinrihoe (Korean: 대순진리회), which in its English-language publications has recently used the transliteration Daesoonjinrihoe and, from 2017, Daesoon Jinrihoe, is a Korean new religious movement, founded in April 1969 by Park Han-gyeong, known to his followers as Park Wudang (박한경) (1917–96, or 1917-95 according to the lunar calendar used by the movement). Daesoon thought is said to be a comprehensive system of truth representing the Great Dao of "resolution of grievances and reciprocation of gratitude into mutual beneficence".

Dojang (temple)

A Dojang ("Dao center") is a place of worship of the religion of Jeung San Do. Jeungics gather in these temples to meditate, study and worship.

Each dojang has a main room called the sung-jun "sacred shrine", which contains altars for celestial and terrestrial spirits. Typically there are at least four altars: one with Sahng-jeh-nim's portrait, another with Tae-mo-nim's portrait, one representing a local terrestrial spirit, and one enshrining the spirit tablets of the practitioner's ancestors.

Some dojangs have additional altars to honor other regional spirits, tribal spirits, the spirits of those who played a significant role in Jeungic history, or the spirits of those who greatly benefited humanity.

Most of the meditation, study, and instruction at a dojang takes place in the sung-jun in the presence of the spirits. It is a place for heaven, earth, and humans to unite as one.


A sacred text of Jeungism, the original Dojeon was published in Korean on October 25, 1992. The Dojeon has been translated into eight languages, including Korean, English, Japanese, German, Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese.


In the Korean religion of Jeungism, the term Gaebyeok refers to a sudden change in nature, society and human beings.

Gang Il-sun

Gang Il-sun, (강일순, Chinese 姜甑山) (September 19, 1871 – June 24, 1909), also known as Kang Il-sun and known to his followers as Kang Jeungsan, is the founder of Jeungsanism, a Korean religious movement that generated after his death around one hundred different new religions, including Daesoon Jinrihoe and Jeung San Do. Jeungsanism, as his movement was called, and various Korean new religions (sinheung jonggyo, literally, "newly emerged religions") derived from it, have been seen by scholars as a syncretism of Buddhism (Bul-gyo), Confucianism (Yu-gyo), Taoism (Do-gyo) with unique religious insights of Kang and certain elements borrowed from Christianity (Gidok-gyo), as well as an underlying Korean shamanism (Musok-Sinang).

Haeun (Jeungsando)

Haewun is one of the main teachings of Jeung San Do. Hae (解) means "release" or "solve" and wun (怨) means "grudge" or "grief". Therefore, a literal meaning of haewun is resolution of bitterness and grief.

Index of Korea-related articles

This is a list of articles on Korea-related people, places, things, and concepts. For help on how to use this list, see the introduction below.

Index of Korea-related articles (C)

This is a list of Korea-related topics beginning with C. For Korean words starting with ㅈ, see also under J


Jeungsanism (증산교 Jeungsangyo) is occasionally used as a synonym of Jeung San Do, a Korean new religious movement, but most Korean and Western scholars use it to designate a family of more than 100 Korean new religious movements that recognize Kang Jeungsan (Gang Il-Sun) as the incarnation of the Supreme God of the Universe, Sangje.

List of religions and spiritual traditions

While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a

[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic." A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.

List of religious groups in Korea

This is a partial list of religious groups in Korea.


Sangsaeng (相生) means mutual life-giving, and is one of the key philosophical principles of Jeungism, a spiritual movement from Korea dedicated to the well-being of all people. In English terms, "win-win" maybe the correct translation. Sang(相) means "mutual" or "together" and Saeng(生) means "live" or "survive". Because of its literal meaning, mutual life-giving or win-win, this term is used by Korean politicians very often.

Tae eul ju

Tae Eul Ju is a sacred mantra used throughout the world by practitioners of Jeung San Do. This mantra consists of twenty-three holy sounds. Jeung San Sangjenim, on whose teachings and spiritual work Jeung San Do is based, shared a meditative and spiritual practice aimed at transforming ourselves and society.


Unsibanbon (原始反本) is one of the main teachings of Jeung San Do. Wun(原) means "origin" or "primitive" and Shi(始) means "beginning" or "start". Ban(反) means "reverse" or "opposite" and Bon(本) means "origin" or "base". Its literal meaning is that returning to the origin.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.