The Name of Jikji and Content
The Full Title of Jikji
The full title of the book published using movable metal type in 1377 at Heungdeoksa (Heungdeok Temple) in Cheongju was “Baegunhwasangchorok Buljojikjisimcheyojeol (白雲和尙抄錄佛祖直指心體要節).” This book has been called by increasingly short names throughout history, going from its full title to “Buljojikjisimcheyojeol,” “Jikjisimcheyojeol,” “Jikjisimche,” and ultimately “Jikji.” It was called by the wrong name for a while because it was introduced as “Jikjisimgyeong” at the Books exhibit at the National Library of France (Bibliothèque Nationale de France) in 1972.
The Details and Contents of Jikji
Jikji is composed of two volumes. The first volume has not been discovered, so only the second volume composed of 38 pages is stored in the Orient and Eastern Collections of the National Library of France (Bibliothèque Nationale de France).
The wooden type copy of Jikji published at Chwiamsa (Chwiam Temple) is a complete book that includes both of the volumes. Copies of it are stored in Jangseosak at the National Library of Korea and the Academy of Korean Studies and in Yeonggwang at Bulgapsa (Bulgap Temple). Therefore, the content missing from the metal type copy can be examined in the wooden type copies.
Jikji was compiled from “Seonmunyeomsong” and “Chimungyeonghun” in “Buljo jikji simcha yojeol” presented by Seokok Seonsa, Buddhist sermons of 145 houses from 7 buddhas (佛), 28 shrines (祖師) in India, and 110 Buddhist teachers from China. It contains a total of 307 passages in various formats. The only Buddhist teacher to be included in this book is Daeryeong Seonsa (大領禪師) from the Shilla dynasty who is included in the second volume.
The central theme of Jikji is jikji simche, derived from the saying “jikji insim gyeonseong seongbul (直指人心 見性成佛),” the central teaching of Seon (Zen) Buddhism. It is translated as, “when one properly examines their heart through Seon [Zen] meditation, the human nature of that heart realizes that it is the heart of Buddha.”
Source : Cheongju Early Printing Museum