Jiri-san's Naedae-cheon Valley
지리산  내대천골      PAGE FOUR:
Gilsang-am Hermitage  길상암
in the Inner-Southeast Sector of Jiri-san                       April 2006
                                    At the entrance of the Dojang-gol Gorge as it branches off northwards from the top of
                                    Naedae-cheon Valley, Gilsang-am is a fairly large newly-built Buddhist temple.  After this
compound the beautiful stream-gorge is only accessible by hiking trails.  At this high elevation, Spring had not yet
really arrived by mid-April.  Only one monk lives in this ambitious but remote hermitage, with a few acolytes.
View from the spirit-shrine, and the San-shin painting --
A matronly female, as common in this region, although wearing the
Sanshin's usual red robe with prominent circular gold embroidery,
characteristic of a male king In Korean iconography -- this is pretty rare.
The tiger has a "crazy" expression in line with Korea's old folk-painting
traditions.  The male
dongja attendant holds a typical staff with a gourd
attached, but the gourd has an unusual spiral-flower design on it, i'm
not sure what that's intended to signify.  The female
dongja attendant is
holding a sprig of
bullocho, appropriately feminine.
The signboard of this Sanshin-gak [Mountain-spirit Shrine]
Myriad boulders and clean tumbling waters of the seldom-visited Dojang-gol [Tao-Protection Gorge].
View of the southern Jiri mountains,  and a statue of the teacher of this monastery's founder in the Main Hall.
The remarkable grand display of the Main Altar of the Main Hall, featuring Biro-bul [Buddha of Infinite Cosmic
Light, main figure in Hwaeom (Ch: Hua-yen) doctrinal Buddhism], flanked by all of the Bodhisattvas, disciples
and the Celestial Kings of the Four Directions; great dancheong and didactic paintings are seen on the wall.
The three other figures enshrined in this spirit-hall:  Chil-seong, Munsu-bosal the Bodhisattva of Wisdom in front
of a painting of Amita Buddha flanked by Gwanse-eum and Jijang Bosals (curious!) and a Shinjung-taenghwa.
Details:  San-shin,
dongjas and Bukseong-shin