Busan City's Dragon Palace Temple
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
The motto of Haedong yonggungsa is "At least one of your wishes will be answered here through your heartful
prayers." The sea has been with human-being in history from long time ago. It was very calm sometimes while
furious sometimes. The Haedong Yonggungsa is situated near the sea unlike other temples located in
mountains, therefore it's quite reasonable to call this temple an aquatic Buddhist sanctum. They say that the
great Goddess Buddha of mercy in the sea lives alone at a solitary near the sea and appears on the back of a
dragon. That's why the Korean's worship of the Great Goddess Buddha was formed near the sea or on the
island, and this Haedong Yonggungsa is one of 3 Sacred Places related to the Goddess Buddha.
This temple preserves religious concept deeper than that of any other temple over as the sea, dragon and the
Great Goddess Buddha embody a harmony here. Haedong Yonggungsa , the southern most temple near the
east sea was founded by the great monk Naong, who was the consultant of King Gongmin. While he was
practicing asceticism at Bunhwangsa temple in Gyeongju, the nation was hard hit by a draught that made the
crops burn to death and people suffer from famine, so people were disturbed badly resenting the god not giving
One day, a sea god appeared in Naong's dream and said that if they build a temple at the edge of Bongrae
mountain and prayed there, all these hardship would go away leaving people back in happiness.
After that dream, Naong visited area where the Haedong Yonggungsa is located now, and saw that there was a
mountain in the front and the sea at the back, which means if they say prayers in the morning, they get
answered in the evening. He built a temple later called Bomunsa temple by him and named the mountain
Bongrae. The word "Bongrae" means something mysterious and pure to which hermits with great understanding
descended. The word "Bomun" means the absolute and limitless power of the Great Goddess Buddha of mercy,
called Gwanseumbosal in Korean. Unfortunately the temple was destroyed by fire when the Japanese
invadedKorea and the monk Ungang of Tongdosa temple rebuilt the temple in the early 1930's. Since then
many head monks managed the temple until the monk Jungam prayed that the temple recovered as the Great
Goddess Buddha's seminary. Amidst his 100-day pray session he witnessed the Great Goddess Buddha in
white robe on the back of a dragon emanating five-color beam and after the dream he renamed the temple
Haedong Yonggungsa. They believe that at least one of their wishes will be answered if they pray here and
because of that belief many people visit this temple.
Memorial portrait of Haedong Yonggung-sa's founder,
great Meditation-Master Na-ong Hyegeun-seonsa
(1320-76), a.k.a. Na-ong Hwasang-wangsa.