Monk Inmook

Monk Inmook (인묵 스님) is a musician, educator, chairman of the Liturgy Committee of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism (조계종), and the holder of the Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 50 of Korea, Yeongsanjae (영산재,) inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanities in 2009. His dedicated study of Pompae (범패), one of the three vocal music of Korea and used in many Buddhist Ceremonies, started at a very early age. He earned his B.A, at Joong-ang Sangha University, Gimpo, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea and M.A. at Dongkguk University, Seoul, South Korea.

Monk Inmook has been active in promoting and advocating Korean Buddhist Rites, especially Buddhist music (Pompae, 범패) and dance (Jakbeob, 작법), through education and artistic performances. He served as Abbot of the Bongseon Temple (봉선사), Abbot of the Hoeam Temple (회암사), Dean of the Eosan Jakbeob College (어산작법학교), and Executive Director of the Institute for Buddhist Culture in South Korea. As the chairman of the Rites Committee of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and the holder of the Important Intangible Cultural Property, he promotes its sustainability and creativity as living culture.

Beompae (범패, music of India) or Eosan (어산, Mount Fish) is a Buddhist song praising Buddha’s charity. It is also called Beomeum (범음, the sound of reading Buddhist sutra and the teachings of Buddha), meaning the music of India where Buddhism originated. Since Beompae was brought to Korea by the Great Monk Jin-gam (진감국사) after his return from the Chinese Tang dynasty in the 830s, it has been performed at various ceremonies. It is one of the big three traditional vocal genres in Korea, along with Gagok (가곡, lyric song) and Pansori (판소리, Pansori epic chant). The lyrics are in Classical Chinese or Sanskrit. Hotsori (홋소리) composes the majority of Beompae. It is sung mainly solo and sometimes in choir. Jitsori(짓소리) is a song that Beompae Seung (범패승, monks who study Beompae) learns after mastering Hotsori; unlike Hotsori, Jitsori is always sung in choir. “Hwachung” (화청) is a folk song-like repertoire and sings about the tenets of Buddhism including filial piety.