Korean Buddhism Orders and Sects

Dongnisan Sect – Taeansa Temple (Gokseong, Jeollanam-do)

The Stupa of Master Jeokin at Taeansa Temple.

The Dongnisan sect was founded at Taeansa Temple in Gokseong in present-day Jeollanam-do. The temple was first founded by Master Hyecheol (785-861 A.D.). Hyecheol’s family name was Bak, and he was from Gyeongju. He was born in 785 A.D., and he became a monk at Buseoksa Temple. In 814 A.D., he traveled to Tang China (618–690, 705–907 A.D.) to help further his Buddhist studies. There, he received the dharma from Zhizang (735-814 A.D.). Master Hyecheol returned to Silla in 839 A.D., where he started to lecture at Mt. Dongnisan. In 861 A.D., Master Hyecheol died. His posthumous name is Jeokin, and his stupa’s name, which can be found at Taeansa Temple to this day, is Joryun Cheongjeong. Among his many disciples was the famed Doseon-guksa (827-898 A.D.). In fact, Hyecheol had hundreds of disciples. Taeansa Temple was heavily damaged during the Korean War (1950-53), but it was later repaired in the 1970’s. Taeansa Temple is only one of four Gusan temples that still remain to the present day alongside Silsangsa Temple, Borimsa Temple, and Bongamsa Temple.

The Picturesque Yeon-ji Pond at Taeansa Temple.
A closer look at the Stupa of Master Jeokin at Taeansa Temple, which is Korean Treasure #273.

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