A Reflection on Translating Jeung San Do’s Teachings

Kyung Kyu Lim, English Translation Team Leader, Jeung San Do International Department

    Jeung San Do, in my view, could perhaps be summed up in a single word: unity. This unity embraces no less than the grand purpose of the cosmic year, Sangjenim’s and Taemonim’s incarnations into this world, and the ilkkun’s mandate. These noble ideas come to life through the Dojeon?through Sangjenim’s words:

I shall unite the whole world into one household, and thus will all
people become one family in which harmony abounds and the
nurturing of life is the way of life. I shall bring unity in language
and writing to the world and end discrimination among races.
In the Later Heaven, all shall be united. (Dojeon 2:17:4-7)

Of the many facets of Sangjenim’s Cheonjigongsa, I believe unity at the scale of heaven and earth, humanity and spirits constitutes perhaps the very core of His holy work. To bring unity to the world, Sangjenim devised multitudes of dosu that would be fulfilled by the hands of His ilkkun, , as He Himself proclaimed,“ It is I who devise; it is you who shall accomplish”(Dojeon 5:334:6).

To carry out Sangjenim’s mandate, His Holiness the Taesang Jongdosanim consolidated and unified the essence of Eastern teachings, encapsulating them in 1946 in the form we now know as the cosmic year diagram. His Holiness the Jongdosanim later devoted decades of labor to compiling the holy lives, work, and words of Sangjenim and Taemonim, culminating in the creation of the Dojeon, first published in 1992 and revised in 2003.

So it is that the cosmic year diagram and the Dojeon, along with the Taesang Jongdosanim’s and the Jongdosanim’s extensive teachings about them, grant the ilkkun immeasurable opportunities to strengthen our conviction and deepen our wisdom, so that we might share Jeung San Do’s teachings with our loved ones and neighbors, both near and far, extending a hand of unity to all people by aiding them to understand the world through Sangjenim and Taemonim’s supreme dao.

A Two-Prong Strategy

Jeung San Do initiated a two-prong strategy in the early 1990s: the founding of dojangs abroad to create hubs for imparting the teachings in foreign lands; the translation of the teachings into many languages. Our teachings soon began reaching ears beyond Korea’s borders, fostering spiritual bonds with the peoples of various cultures and languages.

The first overseas dojang was founded in Flushing, New York, in 1990, followed by a host of other dojangs in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines over the course of some twenty years. Today, as our dojangs continue to mature, they take on the varied hues and richness of the world through the presence of our fellow practitioners from across the globe.

Meanwhile, Jeung San Do’s translation endeavors, under the Jongdosanim’s leadership, began in 1993 with the English translation of an excerpt from the original 1992 Korean-language Dojeon edition. Through a team effort led by Jaenam Kim of the New York Dojang, the first English translation of the Dojeon was published in 1995, establishing a strong precedent for subsequent translation initiatives. The Japanese translation of the Dojeon swiftly followed the English translation, seeing the light of day as an interim edition released in 1997. The Chinese translation, which also began in 1993, was compiled into an interim edition in 1998. With the founding of the Jeung San Do Research Institute in 1999, Jeung San Do’s translation enterprise now encompassed the French, German, Spanish, and Russian languages.

Formal public publication came in the forms of The Teachings of Jeung San Do and Autumn Calling, compilations of Dojeon verses in English, which were released in 1997 and 2000 respectively. The Jade Flute: Mantras and Teachings, a modest collection of English Dojeon verses and excerpts from the Taesang Jongdosanim’s and the Jongdosanim’s teachings on meditation, were published in 2001 and 2004. The foreign-language Dojeons in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese, incorporating many additional verses from the 2003 revised edition of the Dojeon, were published in September 2004, in time for the worldrenowned Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. The Cosmic Autumn Approaches, select verses from the Dojeon, was published in 2008 and 2009 in seven different languages.

Sharing Sangjenim and Taemonim’s Message of Renewal

Translating Jeung San Do’s teachings is a concrete means of fostering bonds of common understanding with others. Through these translated texts, our practitioners are able to introduce Sangjenim and Taemonim’s message of the deliverance of humanity, the birth of a new world, and the advent of a civilization of enlightenment, to myriads of people thirsting for answers about the world and their place in it. By sharing Sangjenim and Taemonim’s message of renewal via the native languages of different lands, we are creating opportunities for oneness in our quest to build a new world. By helping our brothers and sisters in Los Angeles, Manila, Tokyo, or Berlin to discover that they are children of heaven and earth and that they themselves embody heaven and earth, we help them reconcile their divided minds so that they may rediscover themselves as majestic beings with the power to forge new destinies for themselves and take part in building the Later Heaven’s Paradise of Immortality.

Next Steps

Some fifteen years of translating the Dojeon into English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese will bear fruit late this year in the form of updated and refined revised editions of the Dojeon. These foreign-language publications of Sangjenim and Taemonim’s supreme dao will be swiftly followed by the words of their successors?Taesang Jongdosanim and Jongdosanim?whose abundant teachings will be published as analects in different tongues. Additional literature such as Jeung San Do’s Eight Teachings and Elements of Jeung San Do Practice will also be published for the peoples of different shores.

What Jeung San Do must accomplish with the aid of these teaching materials is the awakening of the world’s people to: the approach of the cosmic autumn; Sangjenim and Taemonim’s gift of salvation through Their Cheonjigongsa; Their bestowal of the Taeeulju Mantra, which shall enable the diligent to attain communion with the spirits of heaven and earth, reconnect with their ancestors who gave them life, and so much more.

Jeung San Do’s quest to spread Sangjenim and Taemonim’s message of awakening will enter a new chapter this year as we actively disseminate the teachings to all lands. The tools of communication are available to foster unity, as we embrace in our hearts Sangjenim’s words:“ All people throughout the four seas are your kin”(Dojeon 8:63:5).