• Artwork,  Korean Temple Artwork

    Agwi – Hungry Ghosts: 아귀

    Introduction If you’ve ever looked close enough, especially around the Myeongbu-jeon Hall, perhaps you were lucky enough to see the image of an “Agwi – 아귀,” or “Hungry Ghost/Spirit” in English. Or more likely, you’ve probably seen this demon-like creature, but you weren’t sure what it was. So what exactly is an Agwi? Where can you find them? And what are they supposed to represent? Physical Description of an Agwi An Agwi, or “Hungry Ghost” in English, was formerly a human who is now suffering in the afterlife from hunger and thirst as a part of their karma for their bad deeds. These deeds can include killing, stealing, sexual misconduct,…

  • Artwork

    Banya Yongseon-do – The Dragon Ship of Wisdom: 반야 용선도

    The Purpose of the Dragon Ship of Wisdom One of the more distinctive paintings that you’ll find at a Korean Buddhist temple is the Banya Yongseon-do, or “The Dragon Ship of Wisdom Mural” in English. In this painting, you’ll see a dragon-shaped boat with passengers on it and a pair of Bodhisattvas looking like they’re the captain of this symbolic ship. So what exactly is this painting meant to symbolize? How does it relate to Korean Buddhism? And who exactly are the two Bodhisattvas and passengers onboard this ship? The purpose of the Dragon Ship of Wisdom is to help ferry devotees of Buddhism across Samsara (the endless cycle of…