The former head of the Jogye Order, Venerable Jaseung, died in a fire that occurred at a temple in Gyeonggi Province on Thursday.
Born in 1954 in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, Ven. Jaseung became a monk in 1972 and began working for the Jogye Order in 1986, going on to serve as its leader twice after being elected with the highest-ever approval rate in 2009 and earning another four-year term in 2013.
After stepping down from the top post, Ven. Jaseung had served as an adviser in the Buddhist world as a senior monk in Bongeunsa Temple in Seoul’s Gangnam District.
The police are carrying out an investigation into the cause of the fire while considering that the death may have been a suicide in light of a note written by the monk stating that an autopsy is unnecessary and everything was captured by security cameras.