Sunday, 29 June 2014

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple (부석사)

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple (부석사) | by Meheartseoul Buseoksa is one of the 10 largest temples in Korea. According to Teacher Jeon, Buseoksa has these 3 elements that make it a perfect temple: 
1. Sarira / Buddha's Relics  (사리 = 舍利)
2. Buddha's Sutras  (장경각 = 藏經閣)
3. Nice Sangha / Monks

There are five national treasures in Buseoksa Temple:
1. Muryangsujeon (무량수전) Hall - National Treasure No. 18
Constructed in 1376, the temple’s main hall, Muryangsujeon, is is the second oldest wooden building in Korea that survive until now. Most others were destroyed in the Japanese invasions or accidental fires over the centuries. 

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
Muryangsujeon Hall and Stone Lantern (부석사무량수전앞석등)

Muryangsujeon boasts its beautiful curved lines of the building structure. It has 5 rooms at the front and 3 rooms at the side that radiates an effortless grace of elegance and dynamism, that make it one of the most beautiful wood building in Korea with its simple adornment.

2. Sojo Yeorae Seated Statue (National Treasure No.45) inside Muryangsujeon hall

3. Stone Lantern in front of Muryangsujeon - National Treasure No.17
In the courtyard, this 2.97m tall stone lantern is a very typical relic of the Unified Silla period (668 - 935). I's considered to be the most beautiful granite lantern in Korea, thanks to its magnificent sculpture and artistic shape. 

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
Stone Lantern and Three-story Stone Pagoda

This octagonal stone pole has 4 windows designed for better lightning, decorated with inverted lotus petals and flowers on the top of the pedestal, which also serves as the base of the light chamber. The sculpture of Bodhisattva finely crafted on four sides of the light chamber make it more elegant and artistic. 

4. Josadang (조사당) Shrine - National Treasure No.19
Josadang is a shrine for the great Monk Uisang. It said that in this Josadang, Monk Uisang taught the Avatamska Sect to his students until his death after the construction of Buseoksa Temple.

Outside the shrine, there is a tree called 'Seonbihwa'. Click here for the photo and story about this tree which grew up from Monk Uisang's walking stick.

5. Josadang Wall Painting - National Treasure No.46
On the wall inside of Josadang, there are 6 images of the Four Guardian Kings and two Bodhisattvas. These were painted in 3rd year of King Woo of Goryeo Dynasty (1377) when Josadang was first built.

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
The oldest mural painting of Buddhism.

Followings are cultural assets and remaining heritages that can be found in Buseoksa:
1. Three-story Stone Pagoda (부석사 삼층석탑) Treasure No. 249
This 526 cm high of 3-story stone pagoda was built during Unified Shilla Dynasty period. The pagoda has the double foundation. 

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
When the pagoda was dismantled for restoration in 1960, 
they found an empty space on the 3rd story that should have 
Sarira casket to enshrine relics, but it was being stolen...

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
There is no pagoda in the main courtyard in front of the Main Hall...

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
instead there are twin small stone pagodas in the lowest courtyard

2. Goryeo Sutra wood printing blocks  (부석사 고려목판 = Buseoksa Goryeo Gakpan )
Three kind of Daebanggwangbul Avatamsaka Sutra were engraved on these 634 woodblocks, which each line has 34  characters on it:
~ 40 volumes (122 blocks) of Avatmsaka Sutra Jeongwonbon
~ 60 volumes (239 blocks) of Jinbon
~ 80 volumes (273 blocks) of Jubon . 

These blocks are thought to have been made by importing scriptures from the Kitan people in the 13th to 14th century. This is an important relic as it is the only remaining wood blocks from the Kitan line. 

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
Daebanggwangbul Avatamsaka Sutra... (photo source

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
Woodblocks are being kept in Buseoksa's Library.

3. Buseoksa Buddhist Hanging Scroll (부석사 괘불)
This 9m x 6m was painted for Buseoksa Temple in 1684, making it one of the earliest of its kind. The figure at the center of the painting is Sakyamuni Buddha, who is preaching the Lotus Sutra on Mt. Gridhrakuta. In the upper part, a Buddha triad is shown preaching, with Vairocana in the middle, Bhaisajyaguru on the left, and Amitabha on the right. The latter two Buddhas also form another triad with Sakyamuni below, as the Buddhas of the three realms.

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |

This painting will be hang outside the courtyard if there's a celebration or congregation, otherwise it's stored in Museum. We didn't have chance to visit the museum, as it's closed on Monday.

4. Avatamsaka (화엄일승법계도 = 華嚴一乘法界圖)
The main essence is “One is all, all is one. One is identical to all. All is identical to one.” The Middle Way is the teaching of no distinction. That is, as all things do not have Self Nature, each one unites with the other without obstacles. Therefore, each one consists of elements of everything else. As each one involves all in each, there are no obstacles. In the realm of dependent origination, the unchanging does not exist and nothing has an independent nature. All individuals exist by and through each other and through the relationship of dependent origination. This is the world of dependent origination.

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
Avatamsaka (Flower-Garland Sutra)

The characteristics of dependent origination according to Uisang are the theory of “the revelation of Buddhahood,” in which all phenomena represent the Awakened One. The relationship of one and all is ultimately equal and is then further equalized to the rational world and to the world of varied phenomena. As far as the theory of the revelation of Buddhahood is concerned, all phenomena themselves are the Awakened One, everything implies a deeper meaning. Therefore, phenomenal identity can be considered to be a theory symbolizing the equality and the harmony of all of the components.

Monk Uisang solved the conflicts and the difficulties of worldly life through religious harmony and by reconciling the extremes based on this philosophy. (Source: Koreanbuddhism)

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
Monk Uisang explained the essence of the Huayan (화엄 = Hwaomdoctrine   
in this practical Haein-do (Ocean Seal Diagram), which consists of  210 
Chinese characters in an unbroken maze-like line with 51 angles.

"If you go through this diagram maze, you'll ended up at the same point where you started", Teacher Jeon told us... I tried few times from different points, and it really stopped at the same place. Amazing!

5. Flagpole Support (부석사 당간지주) - Treasure No. 255
We didn't notice this 428 cm flagpole support when we walked to Buseoksa. Only when Teacher Jeon showed us the photo of the flagpole, we remembered that we saw the similar flagpole outside Sosu Seowon (previously Suksusa Temple). 

He also highlighted that  flagpole support  is important to mark the temple site, to indicate the sect, to announce temple events, to hang different flags or banners, to commemorate the virtues of  Buddhisattva and to expel evil spirits and symbols of the temple being a sacred place of Dharma.

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
It's located between One Pillar Gate and 4 Heavenly Kings Gate

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
Buddha Statue sitting beside floating rock

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
It's time to say goodbye to this old temple that surrounded 
with so many treasures~!

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
to this wishing stones I whispered... "we're fated to be here, therefore till we meet again~!"

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
Really honor and thankful to Teacher Jeon from Korean Culture & Tourism Guide 
for sharing his knowledge and passionately explained every single details 
of this beautiful Buseoksa temple to us.

Now, I know that why they asked us whether we'd visited Buseoksa Temple... and we thought that we need to go to Buseoksa in order to take bus to Busan. Really thank you for this unforgettable trip to Buseoksa... to be frank, we were quite frustrated at first on our way to Buseoksa. 

But after explanation and knew so many stories in this temple, enjoying the spectacular and serene views after climbing up went up to Anyang Pavilion... yes, that's where all the troubles gone with the wind~~~ Just a grateful feeling that we arrived at the correct place to see with our own eyes of unbelievable and unexplained things in this temple, 1400 years old of Korean architecture that still standing charmingly,... We love Buseoksa Temple! 

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
신기하다~! 진짜 대박!!!

Treasures in Buseoksa Temple 부석사 |
but, I'm really sorry too, as I don't have good memory ㅠㅠ
I just couldn't recall what are these 2 pictures about... I didn't record them.
Maybe something related to Lady Seonmyo? Another treasure?

If you're interested to know more about Buseoksa, you can read these blogs:
1. => Poems of Kim Sat Gat about the view from Anyang Pavilion and Teogye Yi 
    Hwang (when he was a magistrate of  Punggi  country) about Uisang's Seonbihwa Tree,...

2. => Goryeo Sutra wood printing blocks and Avatamsaka,...

Travel Info:
북도 영주시 부석면 부석사로 345
Yeongju Intercity Bus Terminal: Bus 27 or 55 to Buseoksa Temple
Punggi Station: Bus 27 to Buseoksa Temple. 

Adults: 1,200 won / Youths: 1,000 won / Children: 800 won 

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