Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Travel to South Korean 7: Beomeosa (Temple of the Nirvana Fish)

main temples

< main temples >

This Beomeosa temple belongs to Zen Buddhism and is a head temple of the greatest denomination of Korean Buddhism.
It stands at the foot of Geumjeongsan mountain in Busan, South Korea.
Although the foundation is old in the 7th century, it suffered a fire and abandonment.
Now the rebuilding is advancing.
Several stone towers were built at the time of the foundation, and the oldest buildings are 400 years ago.


 A brook and a bridge 

Iljumum:  one-pillar gate

< Iljumum:  one-pillar gate
Firstly, we go across the bridge of the brook, and come to advance to the Buddhist world from this mundane world.
Then, we pass through Iljumum of the first gate that is meaning, "I meet face to face with Buddha single-mindedly."
By the same token, some gates and many temple halls that have the characteristic arrangement of Korean temple continued.
It is the reappearance of Buddhism world.


Buildings of the precinct 

< Buildings of the precinct  >

A. Cheonwangmun:  the second gate of the Four Heavenly Kings.
In Japan, Kongorikishi ( Nio ) stands in the first gate of Buddhist temple, and the Four Heavenly Kings stand to protect the principal image in the same temple hall.

B. Burimun:  the third gate.
C. One of main halls:  passing through this, we come out to an open space at front of Daeungjeon
D. Look down on the Burimun gate
E. Some buildings surrounding the open space.
F. Hall of the Ksitigarbha : This is on left-hand side toward the Daeungjeon. Hall of the Avalokiteshwara(Kannon) is on right-hand side toward it.

A. 天王門: 一柱門に続く門で、ここに四天王が4体立っている。

B. 不二門: 天王門に続く門で、煩悩を捨てることを意味する。
C. 普済楼? : ここをくぐると、大雄殿前の広場に出る。
D. 不二門を見下ろす。
E. 広場を囲む建物。
F. 地蔵殿: これは大雄殿に向かって左側にあり、右側に観音殿がある。

Daeungjeon: the main temple hall is dedicated to Shakyamuni (Shaka Nyorai)

< Daeungjeon: the main temple hall is dedicated to Shakyamuni (Shaka Nyorai) >

The stone tower that is behind a person taking a camera is a thing of the ninth century.


a sideways view from front of the Daeungjeon

< a sideways view from front of the Daeungjeon

Buddha statues

< Buddha statues >
A. One of the Four Heavenly Kings
B. Avalokiteshwara(Kannon)
C. Shakyamuni triad
The looks of these Buddha statues differ from the thing of Japan greatly.
I will explain this reason in my series “Go around the world of Buddha statues”.
I easily explain the difference for a person who has a sense of incongruity to Korean Buddhism.

A. 天王門にある四天王の一体
B. 観音菩薩像
C. 釈迦如来三尊像

The feature and its background of Korean Buddhism
There are Buddha statues that have to be not placed in Japan and China in Korean Zen temple.
This was because Zen Buddhism united with denominations that considered the sacred book or a prayer to Buddha important.
There are many famous temples deep in the mountains, and reconstructed temples and new Buddha statues are found largely.

This is associated with the Korean history.
The Korean Buddhism often received thorough oppression of the nation out of the adversarial relationship with Confucianism.
Moreover, Buddhist monk had a weapon and battled with the foreign enemy frequently, therefore the temple often was war-torn.
In this way, many temples and Buddha statues were destroyed and fell into decay.
Especially the damage of temples of ancient city was serious.
Therefore many temples were in mountains or reconstructed in recent history.
I guess that the formation of a denomination unlike China and Japan was because of the countermeasure for the national regulation.

Now, Buddhist and Christian (Protestant, Catholic) in Korea are the same numbers almost.




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