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Song of Enlightenment (증도가)

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Writer Jogye Date17 Aug 2015 Read9,890 Comment0


Song of Enlightenment (證道歌; Zhengdao ge)

The Song of Enlightenment (證道歌: Kr. Jeungdo-ga) is a Seon text, in verse, that describes the attainment of enlightenment. “Jeung ()” refers to the enlightened state, “do ()” the truth all people must put into practice, and “ga ()” a poem in which sound and rhythm are gracefully harmonized. It is said to have been composed by the Tang Dynasty Seon Master Yongjia Xuanjue (永嘉玄覺; 675–713) on the day after his enlightenment was confirmed by the Sixth Patriarch Huineng. It describes one’s state of mind after attaining great enlightenment and is written in the style of old Chinese verse. It contains 266 phrases and 1,814 characters. It is thought to have been written in the early 8th century.

As one of the masterworks of the Seon School, along with the Xinxin ming, the Song of Enlightenment provides guidance to all Seon practitioners. In Korea, the printing woodblocks for this work are still preserved under the title Nammyeongcheon hwasangsong jeungdoga (南明泉和尙頌證道歌; Song of Enlightenment Recited by Ven. Nan Mingquan). These woodblocks were carved in the 26th year of the Goryeo King Gojong’s reign (September 1239). These printing blocks have been designated Korean Treasure No. 758 and belong to the Samseong Museum of Publishing.

Following is an excerpt from the Song of Enlightenment.

Have you not seen the leisurely ones,
Who have gone beyond learning and abide in the Way?
They neither expunge false thoughts nor seek after the truth.
Ignorance is intrinsically the Buddha nature,
And our illusory, empty body is the body of the Dharma.
When we awaken to the Dharma body, there is nothing at all.
The source of our self-nature is the Buddha of innocent truth.

- excerpt from Buddhist English (Intermediate 2) published in 2014 by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism​   

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Buddhist Tenets List
No Subject / Topic Writer Date Read
33 Mirror of Seon (선가귀감) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 9,509
>> Song of Enlightenment (증도가) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 9,891
31 Verses on the Mind of Faith (신심명) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 8,507
30 Diamond Sutra (금강경) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 24,956
29 Heart Sutra(반야심경) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 11,819
28 Four Immeasurable Minds (사무량심) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 8,815
27 Twelve Links of Dependent Arising (12연기) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 8,565
26 Noble Eightfold Path (팔정도) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 9,513
25 Four Noble Truths (사성제) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 9,205
24 Non-Self (무아) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 8,527
23 Suffering (고) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 8,467
22 Impermanence (무상) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 8,769
21 Five Aggregates (오온) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 10,329
20 Mahayana Buddhism (대승불교) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 10,130
19 Theravada Buddhism (상좌부불교) 인기글 Jogye 17 Aug 2015 10,060
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