Gaesim-sa at Mt. Sangwang-san, Seosan
"Gaesim-sa" means the temple which opens minds.
Gaesim-sa has a long history over 1300 years since it was found in 654.
Hongryeon-am at Naksan-sa, Yangyang
It was called "Gaeweon-sa" when it
was founded by the Ven.
The Ven. Cheoneung restored the temple and
renamed it to "Gaesim-sa".
Before it has the appearance of
present, it was restored many times:
in 1475 and in 1740, and recently in
Gaesim-sa is such a valuable temple to be considered as
one of four most famous temples in Chungcheongnam-do
although it has only a few buildings,
such as "Daewung-jeon" or the Main Hall, "Simgeomdang",
which means the house of the sword of mind and which is
used as a temple dormitory, and ˇ°Anyangru", a huge bower.
"Daewung-bojeon", the Main Hall, built in Joseon dynasty, is designated as
Treasure No. 143 by Korean government.
The date when "Myeongbu-jeon", the hall for the world of the dead,
was built shows us that it has been a temple for bodhisattva Ksitigarbha from the middle of Joseon dynasty.
In "Myeongbu-jeon", Cultural Source No. 194 designated by the
government of Chungcheongnam-do,
there are the statue of bodhisattva Ksitigarbha and that of a Buddhist military deity.
The calm appeara nce of the former is in contrast to the dignified one of the latter.
"Siwang-sang", ten statues of ten kings of the world beyond, which are dispo sed in line at the left
and right side of the statu e of bodhisattva K itigarbha, are earthen ones, which are engraved by elaborated skill.
..The poem inscribed over the hanging boards on the columns of "Myeongbu-jeon" shows
how deeply Korean Buddhists has believed in bodhisattva Ksitigarbha.
Oh, the majestic power of bodhisattva Ksitigarbha!
No matter how much time is given, we cannot describe his whole power.
By seeing, hearing or worshiping him,
we can get infinite benefits to the world.
"Myeongbu-jeon", a hall for the world of the dead, whom bodhisattva Ksitigarbha made a
vow to save to Haeven, is so famous for its miraculous efficacy that many Buddhists
visit there to worship him and to be protected by him.
Address: 1 Sinchang-ri, Unsan-myeon, Seosan-si, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea.
Simweon-sa at Mt. Bogae, Cheolweon
Simweon-sa is one of the most famous temples for
bodhisattva Ksitigarbha in Korea, and it is called
"Saeng-jijang-doryang", the temple where real bodhisattva
The miraculous efficacy of praying to bodhisattva Ksitigarbha
in this temple is so famous that there is
"JiJang-yeongheom-bi", the Stone Monument of the
Miraculous Efficacy of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha.
|| The place names, "Seokdae-am", "Gyeonbul-ryeong", and "Daegwang-ri"
near Simweon-sa, are named from the miraculous efficacy of
"Jijang-bosal-seoksang", the Stone Statue of Bodhi sattva Ksitigarbha.
A Buddhist devotee found the statue,
which was lost in the vortex of Korean War, and donated it to
who founded "Simweon-sa" of the present. Being supported by
a military division commander, he moved "Cheonbul-jeon",
the Hall of 1000 Statues of Buddhas, which was at the original site
of Simweon-sa, to the new site of Simweon-sa of the present,
and enshrined the statue to the hall renamed as "Myeongju
The original site of Simweon-sa is located at Mt. Bogae, Yeoncheon-gun, Gyeongi-do. It is at the 20 km
south-west of the present site of Simweonsa. At the origina
l site are there 12 "budo"s or pagodas storing relics of eminent monks,
"Amitabul-yipsang" or the Standing Statue of Buddha Amit bha, "Sajeok-bi" or the Stone Monument Recording
the History of the Temple, and "Gongjeok-bi" or the Stone Monument Recording the People's Merit,
which show the past glory of Simweon-sa.
At 5 p.m. on every 17th of the lunar calender, the day before the service-performing day for bodhisattva
Ksitigarbha, a bus for Simweon-sa starts in front of Jogyesa in Seoul.
And you can take a bus departing every 15 minutes for Dongsong-eup to get to Simweon-sa.
Address: 72 Sangro-1-ri, Dongsong-eup, Cheolweon-gun, Gangweon-do, South Korea.
Tel: 82-33-455-3468, 5882
Dosol-am at Mt. Dosol, Gochang
Making an about-1-hour ascent along the mountain trail toward the top of Mt. Dosol from Seonwun-sa,
you will meet Dosol-am, which has two old buildings:
"Daewung-jeon", the Main Hall, and "Nahan-jeon",
the Hall for Arhats.
According to folklore, the king of Silla, Jinheung, founded three temples, "Jungae-sa", "Seonun-sa",
and "Dosol-sa", after he one day dreamed that Three Saints of Buddha Maitreya came out of a rock.
Interestingly, his wife's name was "Jungae" and his daughter's was "Dosol".
However, based on the fact that "Dosol-am Maae-bulsang", the Statue of Buddha Inscribed on
a Rockwall at Dosol-am, was set up by Seon master Geomdan between 554-598,
when king Wideok was on the throne of Baekje dynasty, it is more convincing that
Dosol-am was founded by Seon master Geomdan.
As we can see from its inauguration legend, Dosol-am was a temple for buddha Maitreya.
But now nobody knows when it bacame a temple for bodhisattva Ksitiga
rbha. We can just presume that it may be from the close of Goryeo dynasty,
when a statue of bodhisattva Ksitigarbha was sep up at "Naeweon-gung",
Dosol-am, that it became a temple for bodhisattva Ksitigarbha.
"Naeweon-gung", althought a statue of bodhisattva Ksitigarbha is set up in it now, is the name of a Heaven,
where future buddha Mitreya resides as a bodhisattva until he come down to this world
and become a buddha. So it is certain that it was a temple for buddha Maitreya at first.
And it is also interesting, unlike in other halls for bodhisattva Ksitigarbha,
where ten statues of ten kings of the world beyond are usually disposed in line at the left and
right side of the statue of bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, in "Naeweon-gung" at Dosol-am the statues
of ten kings of the world beyond are inscribed on the board behind the statue of bodhisattva Ksitigarbha.
..Huge "Maae-bul", a statue of a buddha inscribed on a Rockwall, which is
Treasure No. 1200, is inscribed on a natural rockwall at the right side of the entrance
of "Naeweon-gung". Falklore says that a mystic prophecy was concealed at the navel of the statue.
Address:529 Samin-ri, Asan-myeon, Gochang-gun, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea.
Tel: 82-61-564-2861, 561-0075