The Fourfold Grace


Grace, in Won Buddhism, is a core expression of the interdependency and interconnectedness of all. It was expressed by Sotaesan based on his own awakening to the truth that nothing can exist without being interrelated with others. Each being in the universe is related to and indebted to other beings for its existence. The term Grace in Won-Buddhism, signifies this interdependency and interconnection between all things. With regard to human existence, all things in the universe are classified into four groups and are known as the Fourfold Grace: the Grace of Heaven and Earth, the Grace of Parents, the Grace of Fellow Beings, and the Grace of Laws.

The Fourfold Grace is the manifestation of Dharmakaya (Truth) Buddha or Il Won Sang. It could be said that the Fourfold Grace and Dharmakaya Buddha are two sides of the same coin. In Won Buddhism, we see the world from the perspectives of Grace which implies “co-existence” “interdependence” and “oneness”.

There have been two great discoveries that have benefited all humans on earth. One is Buddha’s discovery of our mind-nature, and the other is Sotaesan, the founding master of Won Buddhism’s discovery of Grace. There is a reason why we have two eyes. One is for looking inward and observing our mind and the other is for looking outward and finding Grace.

Daesan, the third head dharma master

“If we wish most easily to understand the grace we have received from heaven and earth, parents, all living beings, and Dharma, we first must consider whether we could sustain our existence and live without them. Then, even the most stupid or ignorant among us would acknowledge that we could not live without them. If there is a relationship where in we cannot live without the other, then where would there be a grace greater than that?” “If we were to specify the content of Il Won Sang, it is in fact the fourfold grace; if we were to specify the content of the fourfold grace, it is in face all things in the universe; and there is nothing among the myriad things in the universe that is not the Buddha.”

“Sentient beings turn even a benefactor ten times over into an object of resentment if he fails just once to favor them. Persons of the Way thank a person who has wronged them even ten times over if he favors them just once. Therefore, sentient beings discover only the harm within grace and bring on disorder and disruption; persons of the Way find the grace within harm and bring on peace and comfort.”

From the Scriptures of Won Buddhism