• Gyeonggi-do

    Silleuksa Temple – 신륵사 (Yeoju, Gyeonggi-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Silleuksa Temple, which means “Divine Bridle Temple,” in English, is located in Yeoju, Gyeonggi-do. The origins of the temple are rather hazy. Lost in the fog of time. It’s believed by some that the temple was established during the reign of King Jinpyeong of Silla (r.579-632 A.D.). On the other hand, some believe that the temple was founded by the famed monk, Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.). As for the name of the temple itself, and according to temple legend, there was an uncontrollable horse that was reined in by the power of the Buddha. In 1469, Silleuksa Temple became the prayer sanctuary to the royal mausoleum to the…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do,  Video

    Video: Sinheungsa Temple – 신흥사 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Sinheungsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do has one of the more mysterious origins. Purportedly, the temple was built in 301 A.D. and later destroyed. However, according to Korean tradition, Buddhism didn’t enter the Korean peninsula until 372 A.D. in the northern kingdom of Goguryeo. The only possible answer is that Queen Heo of the Gaya Kingdom, who was Indian in origin and married King Suro, brought Buddhism with her to the peninsula and helped influence its spread earlier on than once thought. This is one potential answer. In addition to the temple’s mysterious history, the temple is filled with beautiful Buddhist artwork, especially in the main hall. Most…

  • Busan

    Samgwangsa Temple – 삼광사 (Busanjin-gu, Busan)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Samgwangsa Temple is situated on Mt. Baekyangsan (641.3m) in Busanjin-gu, Busan. Unlike the majority of temples in Korea like neighbouring Beomeosa Temple and Tongdosa Temple, Samgwangsa Temple doesn’t belong to the Jogye-jong Buddhist Order. Instead, it belongs to the third largest Buddhist Order in Korea: Cheontae-jong Order. The temple is a rather recent creation with it being built in 1983. Throughout the years, it has continued to grow with recent additions like the Myeongbu-jeon Hall and the Geukrak-jeon Hall on the upper hillside. Specifically, Samgwangsa Temple is dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Gwanseeum-bosal. And Samgwangsa Temple is best known for its lantern festival that it hosts…

  • Busan

    Haedong Yonggungsa Temple – 해동 용궁사 (Gijang-gun, Busan)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, which means “Korean Dragon Palace Temple,” in English is a reference to Yongwang (The Dragon King) and the Yonggung (Dragon Palace) that he lives in under the sea. Located in coastal Gijang, Busan, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple has perhaps the most beautiful location for any temple in all of Korea. The temple was first constructed in 1376 by the monk Naong Hyegeun (1320-1376). The temple was built after Naong Hyegeun had a dream. The dream was about the Divine Sea god of the East Sea. During this dream, the Divine Sea god told Naong Hyegeun to build a temple on top of Mt. Bongrae. If…

  • Beomeosa,  Busan

    Beomeosa Temple – 범어사 (Geumjeong-gu, Busan)

    Hello Again Everyone!! 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…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Ssanggyesa Temple – 쌍계사 (Hadong, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Located in Jirisan National Park, and north of Hadong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Ssanggyesa Temple is situated in one of the prettiest locations in all of Korea. The temple was originally built in 722 A.D. and called Okcheonsa Temple. The temple was built after the monks Daebi and Sambeop were instructed by the Jirisan Sanshin (Mountain Spirit) in the form of a tiger to find a valley where arrowroot blossomed throughout the year even during wintertime. Both monks were the disciples of the famed temple building monk, Uisang-daesa (625-702). Finding such a location, they built Okcheonsa Temple. And after returning from China, they buried the skull of the Sixth Seon…

  • Artwork,  Video

    Video: Bicheon: Flying Heavenly Deities – 비천

    Hello Again Everyone!! Typically, you’ll find these angelic paintings up near the roofs and rafters of a Korean Buddhist shrine hall. They can be playing a musical instrument, dancing, or even sprinkling water. Beautiful and elegant in appearance, you’ll find them in and around Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. These flying heavenly deities have their origins in Hindu myth. So find out what the do and why they’re at Buddhist temples throughout Korea in this next temple artwork video. Enjoy!

  • Artwork,  Video

    Video: Gwimyeon: The Monster Mask – 귀면

    Hello Everyone!! You might have spotted this somewhat terrifying and sometimes playful figure around a Korean Buddhist temple. They can be located on wall, halls, beams, and panels. These colourful images, usually painted, but can also be a relief or a statue, is called a Gwimyeon. In English, they’re called a Monster Mask. They also go by the name Nathwi. So what exactly are these creatures? What do they do? How did they end up appearing in Korean Buddhist temples and hermitages? Well, watch this video and learn more about these wonderful and colour creatures!

  • Artwork,  Video

    Video: Poroe: The Bell Dragon – 포뢰

    Hello Again Everyone!! Continuing with our all-new temple artwork videos, today, we’ll be talking bout The Bell Dragon: Poroe. If you look at the crown of a temple bell, or a Brahma Bell, that takes up residence inside a temple’s bell pavilion, you’ll find a metallic image of a dragon. This dragon has a unique phobia, Cetaphobia, which helps make the bell sound louder. So watch this video and find out what exactly this fearsome dragon is afraid of. Enjoy!

  • Artwork,  Video

    Video: The Dragon Ship of Wisdom – 반야용선도

    Hello Again Everyone!! In this all-new type of videos, we’ll be exploring the temple artwork that adorns Korean Buddhist temples. Specifically, we’ll be looking at masonry, paintings, architecture, bells, drums, and so much more! And the topic of this video, which can be seen from time to time around a temple or hermitage is called “The Dragon Ship of Wisdom,” in English, or the “반야용선도,” in Korean. This painting is highly symbolic in the Buddhist understanding of the after life. So sit back and enjoy the video, as I explain The Dragon Ship of Wisdom!