He was born in Bozan in the late 1700s; from incidental references in his dzusuisi or teachings it seems he was a Mešaist monk— not coincidentally, his fiercest diatribes were against monks, who he considered to be both dissipated and hopelessly pedantic. Nonetheless, soon after he began preaching Endajué in the 1840s, a community of students gathered around him, and he is considered to be the first Master who welcomed this.
Codification of doctrine
Bodeusirc is known as the great codifier of Endajué doctrine and practice. As Bozan was then ruled by the Tžuro, it’s likely that he was influenced by the example of Jippirasti, whose simple and systematic theology was a reprimand to the lawless chaos of polytheism.
He divided the vices (zorti) into opposed pairs: theft / avarice, perversion / puritanism, aggression / cowardice, tyranny / lawlessness, servility / disrespect, selfishness / conformity, foolishness / cynicism. Recognizing that excessively retreating from one error might lead to an opposite one was a significant analytical advance, and helped establish the disapproval of several behaviors (e.g. arrogance and prudery) that Mešaism had never really condemned. Like the other Masters, Bodeusirc condemned the vices of the rich and powerful much more so than those of the poor.
The Masters taught that the striving soul is beset by illusion (beriludo), and Bodeusirc enumerated ten forms of illusion: incuriosity, superstition, magic or materialism, blindness, prejudice, self-satisfaction, error, illogic, indiscrimination, and overdiscrimination. Though he did not originate any of the items on the list, his consolidation and discussion helped establish a long Xurnese tradition of studying logic and clear thinking.
His most important contribution, however, was to lay out the disciplines (reataup) expected of a beylusu or Endajué cleric:
- 'Listening (aujudo) to the dzusey' or Master'; this was usually a series of short parables (dzusuisi) rather than long sermons
- Meditation (puceumudo), said to be the chief vehicle of unillusion: quiet, solitary reflection on the dzusuisi, on doctrine in general, and on one’s own life and practice
- Mentoring (endevugaudo), assisting those less enlightened (and keeping them from bothering the master)
- Movement (reatudo)— exercise or dance
- Labor (šigu)— physical work: growing food, cleaning, taking care of the sick
- Self-control (xeyacudo), disciplines intended to train the body, from fasting to self-flagellation
The Masters did not approve of studying from books— and in any case Endajué books did not yet exist. Such study however grew increasingly important, till it was named the šizaur reátuc, the seventh discipline.
In 1863 a soldier asked to be his disciple; but like the other early Masters, Bodeusirc was a zealous pacifist, and refused. The angry soldier proceeded to disembowel him. He thus became the first of the xaučipeje, the Loyal to Death— the seven Hermit Masters killed for their beliefs. The others were all killed by the authorities in a wave of persecutions about a generation later.
When commemorations or pucigeseš— a combination of festival, street teaching, and demonstration— began to be held for the other xaučipeje, one was held for Bodeusirc on the date of his death, the 48th day of spring. Customarily the commemorators wear red robes, and the approved mortification for the event is moaning. Each pucigeseč is associated with an art, and Bodeusirc’s is covered by drama. Though teaching dramas accompany each of the commemorations, that of Bodeusirc includes three separate plays:
- A reenactment of his martyrdom.
- A satirical play dramatizing the disciplines (usually focussing on lazy beylusú who need to be taught how to do them)
- A historical pageant showing the loss of Bozan to the foreigners and its later liberation
It’s also customary to open new dramatic productions after his commemoration.
It’s unclear whether the soldier was Axunemi or Tžuro, and not everyone has admired Bodeusirc’s refusal, though his courage has always been celebrated.
“The opposite of vice is not virtue, but a different vice; this is to teach us to follow the Path between All.”
“The All includes humans, but it is not human. To say otherwise is like a man who sees himself in a puddle, and maintains that water has a face.”
“There are two types of sex organ, so why did the Wede:i invent a third? This is overdiscrimination. Is it because of temperament? But cannot we distinguish sex from temperament? This is underdiscrimination as well!”
“I do not give you disciplines because I am a disciplined person, but because I am not; nor that you do them for themselves— they are simply tools for apprehending the Greater Principle.”