|The Samseong-Bogung of
Bulam-san's East Cheonbo-sa
|The Samseong-gak [Three Saints Shrine] of East Cheonbo-sa is another remarkable faux-
stone-cave, larger and all-enclosed. Inside are three big granite carvings to symbolize and
venerate these three standard and popular folk-deities respected by Korean Buddhism.
An info-sign inside this shrine directs visitors
to chant-pray "Nam-u-san-wang-dae-shin"
[I Take Refuge in Mountain-King-Great-Spirit]
to the San-shin icon, and similar "Nam-u"
chants to the other two. That is a very common
and famous Buddhist phrase, used for "taking refuge
in" Amita-bul [Amibitha Buddha of the Western
Paradise] or the holy triad of Buddha, Dharma &
Sangha. This elevates the San-shin to the status of
a Buddha -- implied all over Korea these days, but
rarely made so explicit as this. This seems to be
a common tradition-theme around this
mountain, as reported on my pages on
Doam-sa and Bulam-sa.
|inside, the altar-icons are carved directly onto an outcropping of the cliff.
L to R: Dok-seong, a Yaksa / Jeseok-bul flanked by small white Chil-seong statues, and San-shin
This Samseong-gak is named in Chinese characters on its signboard (and in Hangeul on an
info-sign inside) as the Samseong-Bogung [Three Saints Treasure-Palace], consistent with
the theme of this temple; bogung is usually used for an enshrinement of holy relics of
Sakyamuni Buddha, and so the rare usage of it here elevates these folk-deities to the
religious-rank of Buddhas -- a nationwide phenomenon discussed in my book and often
tracked on this site.
|The central Jeseok-bul carving, with strong Yaksa-yeorae [Medicine-bearing / Healing Buddha]
motif, flanked by small white Chil-seong [Seven Stars of the Big Dipper statues.
|Dok-seong, the Lonely Arhant, sometimes called "the Recluse"
This is the San-shin painting
formerly installed in the Shrine
of this temple, before the
was built (my photo from about 1989).
It features extremely ordinary
motifs, except that the dongja
attendant is offering four Seondo
peaches-of-immortality (3 is typical)
and the top of his staff is similar to
crude bullocho depictions.