Malgo Hyanggiropge Only practical Virtue can only make our hearts purified and emptied.


In the 1960s, he served on the committee translating the Buddhist canon into Korean script, as well as being editor-in-chief of a Buddhist newspaper publishing company, and the Director of Training at Songgwangsa. At one time he also devoted himself to the pro-democracy movement. In the latter half of the 1970s, he cast all these things aside and by his own hands established and lived alone at Bulilam, a hermitage set on the mountainside behind Songgwangsa. However, because of his fame many people searched him out, and in April 1992 he left to reside in a remote mountain valley in Gwangwon Province, the exact whereabouts of which remains unknown today.

In 1994, Ven. Beopjeong inaugurated a citizens' movement called Malgo Hyanggiropge, which means "clean and fragrant." To establish a base for the voluntary group, he accepted the offering of Kim Yeong-han, a restaurant owner who was moved by his teachings. Gilsangsa was founded in December 1997 by remodeling Daewongak, the famous high-class Korean-style restaurant that Kim owned, and Ven. Beopjeong took the helm of all religious ceremonies and committee activities conducted there. In December 2003, he voluntarily conceded this role and was known simply as Master Beopjeong Sunim of Gilsangsa.

In accordance with his will, a simple cremation rite was held at Songgwangsa in Suncheon on March 13. There were no decorated bier or elegies, but thousands of people from all over the country gathered to bid farewell to Ven. Beopjeong

"It is asking ourselves the fundamental questions ― `Who am I?' and `Where am I going?'

Through these questions, we can finish every moment. The beautiful finish is not the end but a new start."
- From The Beautiful Finish