T'aego Pou


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A Buddhist figure of the Koryŏ period credited with the introduction of the Lin-chi line of Ch'an Buddhism into Korea.where it became known as Imje. Ordained at the age of 12, he spent many years meditating on riddles (Chin., kung-an; Jap., kōan) until he had two major enlightenment experiences at the ages of 32 and 37. Afterwards, he travelled throughout the north and south of Yüan-dynasty China between 1346 and 1348, during which time his experience was confirmed within the Lin-chi line. Returning to Korea.he divided his time between his agricultural temple in the south and the royal court of Koryŏ, where he was recognized as a National Teacher and arbitrated over the Buddhist establishment. In this position he attempted to unify all of the Ch'an sects in Korea, with limited success. By 1368 intrigues at court worked against him, and he returned once again to south China. While abroad, his detractors turned the king against him, and he was exiled, but the king relented and restored his honours and titles. After returning in 1369, T'aego was given control over a newly constructed temple in the capital, and was later given charge of another temple. He returned home to south Korea in 1381, and died the following year. He left behind a body of Dharma-talks.poems, prefaces, and stele inscriptions that show him to be a vigorous and demanding teacher who pushed his students in kung-an (Jap., kōan) practice and scriptural study.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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