The mysterious death of a monk

Chiljangsa Fire, Did They Have to Burn the Temple?

Police conducted an intensive investigation at Chiljangsa Temple, the site of the sudden entrance of Supreme Patriarch Jogye before his death. The incident involved a fire that broke out before the abbot could enter the yogachae (monks’ living quarters) with a white plastic bucket.

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Joint forensics with the police

The Gyeonggi Southern Police Agency conducted an on-site investigation with the fire department and the National Institute of Forensic Science and Investigation. To determine the exact cause of the fire, a sample taken from the floor area of the cookhouse was compositional analyzed. Police officials say the fire appears to have started in the cookhouse, which has been gutted.

Track the last movements of a ledger before sleeping

Police are closely tracking the ledger’s whereabouts before it was found. According to closed-circuit (CC) TV, the former head chef arrived at Chiljangsa on the day of the incident and entered the restaurant carrying a white plastic bucket. A fire then started in the kitchen, and there were no other occupants except for the former director.

The importance of found notes

Two notes were found in the ledger’s vehicle before he left. The note contained a message for the monk and the police in Chiljangsa. Police have commissioned a handwriting examination to confirm the authenticity of the note and are also investigating the contents of the plastic bin.

The abbot’s notes before he died reportedly read, “To the abbot of Chiljangsa Temple, it was an inconvenience to end my life here,” and “There is no need for the police to conduct an autopsy, I have severed my ties.”

Reaction of the bird of prey

The Jogye sect held a formal briefing on the incident, noting that the former abbot had left a warning to the sect’s members, calling for the stability of the sect and the development of the whole Dharma. The incident was a fire at a yosa chae in Chiljangsa Temple in Anseong-si, Gyeonggi-do, where the former head of the family was found dead inside.

The incident has sent shockwaves through the South Korean Buddhist community, and police are continuing to investigate to uncover the full story.

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