the Dharma-Blossom Mountain
in the Inner-Northeast / Hamyang County Sector of Jiri-san
Beobhwa-san means "Dharma-Blossom Mountain", a meaningful label -- the Lotus Flower is a primary
symbol of Buddhist enlightenment, which is considered to be the fruit or flower (best & final result) of
the Buddha-teachings; Jiri-san itself is considered enlightening or at least wisdom-granting (see
opening page), and so this name for one of its primary foothills follows-on nicely. It's a 1000-meter
mountain, the highest of Jiri's surrounding peaks, located in Hyucheon-myeon District of Hamyang
County on Jiri's northeast. The Eomcheon-gang River flows NE past its southern borders.
Above is the Main Hall of Southern Beobhwa-sa [Dharma-Blossom Temple], about 700 meters high, on
a steep east-facing slope but just south of the 1000-m summit -- an auspicious hyeol location -- and
there's another, ancient, one on the north slopes with the same name (see next page). This one claims
to also be an ancient traditional temple of Jiri-san, but physical or recorded evidence for that is lacking.
San-shin is well-done but
a bit hard to pick out in
in that Main Hall.
|The new Samseong-gak [Three Sages Shrine] of Southern Beobhwa-sa, and the excellent
modern Dokseong painting found inside of it (with San-shin below; the Chilseong is not here, but in the
Upper Main Hall, seen below on this page). In an extremely rare motif, the "Lonely Saint" is flanked by
two beautiful young women instead of the usual children -- looking not so lonely at all!
He looks surprised by his good fortune...
The very modern San-shin painting enshrined in that
Samseong-gak features three finely-drawn dongja,
one boy curiously standing separately in the top-right.
There are great waterfalls and a very twisted pine-tree
in the background.
|Excellent lotus-flower-and-other-motif dancheong and a very modern-style tiger with three cubs
are painted on the outside wall of that shrine -- note how the tiger's nose is exaggeratedly big, like
one on the famous Yangban and Seonbi masks of Andong's Hahoe Village Talchum [Mask-Dance]!!!
Details: a spring of drinkable water at the foot of the pagoda's stairway, and the Shipi-ji [12 Auspicious
Animals of the Oriental Zodiac] around its base. Shipi-ji stone-carvings are becoming more popular in the
Neo-Traditionalist wave, as an imitation of the very rare ancient motif on Shilla stoneworks, now seen as
uniquely characteristic of Korea's arts -- they are found only on a few tombs and pagodas in the Shilla capital
Gyeongju -- and in two treasures here at Jiri-san -- compare with those cases, at Hwaeom-sa & Yeongok-sa.
|The excellent modern
Chil-seong painting in
that Hall, with unusual
|The excellent modern Shin-jung painting in that Hall, in which San-shin (detail above) is plain & hard-to-find.
A very unusual but magnificent feature in this Upper Hall is this altar-display of ritual-portraits of the
21 greatest Masters of Korean Buddhism from Won-gwang, Jajang, Wonhyo & Uisang through
Chingpyo, Uicheon, Jineul Bojo and Seosan right up to Gyeongheo, Gusan and Seongcheol (etc)!
|Astoundingly-excellent modern dancheong paintings on the outer wall of that Hall!
Lowest section: the Wonhyo/skull story (left) and the Moktak-origin story (right).
The Upper Main Hall has no Buddha on its elaborate altar, but just a
window looking up to an ornate modern pagoda supposedly containing
Buddha-saria brought from India, surrounded by statues of guardians and lions -- in a Korean tradition
stemming from the famous Main Hall / saria-stupa of Yeongchwi-san Tongdo-sa (one of Korea's greatest temples).