The Chulga web site (http:// monk.buddhism.or.kr) was set up by the Bureau of Monastic Training of the Jogye Order (Executive Director: Ven. Hyeoneung) on September, 2010 to provide various types of information for those who dream of becoming a sunim (monk). Recently, the site reported having over one million visitors.
A staff member of the Bureau of Monastic Training said, “This site surpassed 1.05 million hits as of December, 2012. People who were inquiring about what was involved with becoming a sunim included those who were inquiring out of common curiosity as well as those who were asking about the possibility of becoming a monk in accordance with their personal situation. Counseling sessions about becoming a monk exceeded the 1,500 mark.”
As the number of visitors to the Chulga site increased, a survey found that this increase corresponded with an increase in the number of people who became sunims. According to this survey, of the novice monks who took part in a quarterly introductory training session conducted by the Bureau of Monastic Training, it was verified that about 20% of them became a sunim after visiting the Chulga site.
The virtue of the Chulga site of the Jogye order is not only that it gives detailed instructions, but also that it provides richly variegated content through which one can consider one’s life even after becoming a sunim.
If you have ever thought about becoming a sunim, it would be good to read the message, “For one who dreams of renouncing the mundane world” by Ven. Dobeop and Ven. Jeongmuk, along with the story of the Buddha’s renunciation posted in the menu “The Way to Chulga.” Additionally, it would also be desirable to ponder “the ever-lasting advice on renunciation that only the one who gives up greatly can obtain greatly” by Ven. Beobjeong.
If you decide to become a monk, you have only to be well-informed of the qualification for renunciation and the method through examining the ten questions and the ten answers in the menu “Chulga Q&A.” This menu shows in detail the procedure for renunciation, the matter of military service after renunciation, the way to determine a vocation master, the educational process for becoming a sunim, etc.
If you are anxious to know about what life after renunciation is like, examine the “Sumim’s Life” section. In this section, the lives of sunims who have left significant marks in the fields of practice, Dharma propagation, social welfare, and Buddhist culture after renunciation are introduced. These portraits provide a way to visualize your future after renunciation.
All the information on renunciation and a life in the Sangha (the community of monks and nuns) in general is contained in the Jogye Order’s Chulga site. The ultimate accomplishment in the Chulga site is the corner “Chulga Counseling.” This corner contained about 1,500 entries, and it provides one-on-one counseling. If anybody posts a question about renunciation or the Sangha, sunims belonging to the Bureau of Monastic Training answer in person.