• Beomeosa,  Busan

    Geumgangam Hermitage – 금강암 (Geumjeong-gu, Busan)

    Hermitage History Geumgangam Hermitage, which means “Diamond Hermitage” in English, is one of the more popular hermitages on the Beomeosa Temple grounds in Geumjeong-gu, Busan. Although there is no way to confirm whether Geumgangam Hermitage existed before the late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), there are records that show that it was constructed in 1803 by the monk Chuigyu-seonsa. Since its foundation, Geumgangam Hermitage has been reconstructed twice; first in 1863 and then again in 1899. More recently, and during the 1980’s, Geumgangam Hermitage, which was a smaller mountain hermitage, started to gradually gain in popularity. It’s from this popularity that the hermitage began to grow in both size and influence. Like…

  • Beomeosa,  Busan

    Cheongryeonam Hermitage – 청련암 (Geumjeong-gu, Busan)

    Hermitage History Cheongryeonam Hermitage, which means “Blue Lotus Hermitage” in English, is located on the Beomeosa Temple grounds in Geumjeong-gu, Busan. Of the eleven hermitages on the expansive Beomeosa Temple grounds, Cheongryeonam Hermitage is the closest to the main temple. It’s unknown as to when Cheongryeonam Hermitage was first built; however, records indicated that the hermitage was rebuilt in 1709 by the monk Shinju-daesa. It’s believed that Cheongryeonam Hermitage was rebuilt around the same time as other hermitages at Beomeosa Temple. But Cheongryeonam Hermitage is perhaps best known for reviving Seonmudo (The Way of War for Seon), which is a type of Korean martial arts. Officially, Seonmudo is known as…

  • Artwork

    Universal Salvation Pavilion – Boje-ru: 보제루

    Boje-ru Pavilion Design The fifth and final entry gate at a Korean Buddhist temple is actually a pavilion/entry gate. This pavilion/entry gate is sometimes referred to as the Boje-ru Pavilion, which means “Universal Salvation Pavilion,” in English. The pavilion is a two-story structure that is positioned between the Beopdang (main hall) and the Bulimun Gate (The Gate of Non-Duality). Specifically, Boje means “universal salvation,” which is a reference to the casting of a net across Samgye (Realm of Desire), and the desire in Mahayana Buddhism to rescue all sentient beings. “Ru,” on the other hand, simply means “pavilion” in Chinese characters (Hanja). Typically, the first story of the structure acts…

  • Artwork

    Bulimun – The Gate of Non-Duality: 불이문

    Bulimun Gate Design The fourth potential gate at a Korean Buddhist temple is the Bulimun Gate, which means “The Gate of Non-Duality,” in English. At some temples, instead of being called a Bulimun Gate, it’s called the Haetalmun Gate, or the “Gate of Liberation,” in English. And even rarer, it’s sometimes called the Yeolbanmun Gate, or the “Nirvana Gate,” in English. These gates are usually adorned with beautiful pastoral paintings. Also, the structure itself can look similar in design to an Iljumun Gate in its open-pillar design like at Beomeosa Temple; however, it can also resemble the enclosed design of a Cheonwangmun Gate like at Tongdosa Temple. The greatest indicator…

  • Artwork

    Iljumun – The One Pillar Gate: 일주문

    Introduction So we’re going to be starting a new series here on the blog. We’re going to be talking more about Korean Buddhist temple architecture. What does it mean? What does it look like? Why is it there? And first on the list is the first gate, which is also typically the first structure that will greet you at a Korean Buddhist temple, is the Iljumun Gate. Iljumun translates into English as the “One Pillar Gate.” Iljumun Gate Design The Iljumun Gate is very simple in its design. It consists of a tiled roof that’s supported by either two or four pillars that stand in a straight line. A wooden…

  • Beomeosa,  Busan

    Beomeosa Temple – 범어사 (Geumjeong-gu, Busan)

    Temple History Beomeosa Temple is located on the northeast side of Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5) in Geumjeong-gu, Busan. Beomeosa Temple means “Nirvana Fish Temple,” in English. Beomeosa Temple was first established in 678 A.D. by the famed monk, and temple builder, Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.). The temple was established as one of the ten major temple sites for the Avatamsaka School (Hwaeom School). The name of the temple relates to the name of the mountain for which Beomeosa Temple is situated. Mt. Geumjeongsan means “Golden Well Mountain,” in English. This comes from the myth that a golden fish descended down from the heavens on a five-coloured cloud and played in a well…