Folio 26 Recto

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Click the number in the image to see details on composition analysis and explanation.

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  • 1 As seen on this page, broad areas in the upper left and right corners of Jikji show thick stains of resin, tracesresulting from the fact that the book had long been kept as bokjangmul(服裝物), a sacred object inserted, along with sarira, inside the belly of a Buddha statue while it is being made. Generally, the cover of a book was removed before it was placed within a statue. As such, Jikji had been devoid of its cover for an extensive period, which allowed resin to be easily absorbed. It seems that, for the same reason, the first sheet of the book was severely damaged and then torn off. Indeed, the first and last surviving pages of Jikji display clear signs of resinabsorption.

    In Korea, the tradition of placingobjects within statues dates back to the Silla period. Such artifacts are of great importance, both culturally and historically, because they contain traces that can tell us about the Buddhist trends at the time, the origin of the Buddhist statue, and the artisans behind it.

    Jikji had been kept as bokjangmulfor a long time,before coming under the ownership of a number of people, the last of whom was Collin de Plancy. There are vestiges that suggest such consecutive transfer of ownership

    First, an areanear the first part of each paragraph is stamped with a black circular mark created withthe cap of a writing brush. Furthermore, there are traces of notes written in red ink. Specifically, the unknown owner added dotsat regular interval across the entire text to mark places of pause, and also wrote gugyeol (oral instructions) on various spaces within the text to facilitate the interpretation of the sentences.

    The comparison of black marks/writings and red ones suggests that the former preceded the latter. For instance, missed paragraph marks were supplemented or corrected in red.
  • 2
    Tengteng (騰騰) was a Chinese monk who succeeded the teachings of State Preceptor Lao’an (老安)who was a disciple of Daman Hongren (大滿弘忍) and stayed on Mount Song (嵩山). Reverend Tenteng’spoem “Song of Understanding the Source” (了元歌) appears within Jikji. The poem is also commonly known as “Song of Enjoying the Way” (樂道歌).

    The Chan master’s name came from the lines, “Today I play freely. /Tomorrow I also play freely.” (今日任運騰騰明日騰騰任運) The poem depicts his way of life, through which he is not bound by anything and fully enjoys the realization of nirvana.
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