the Ancient "Grand Peace Temple" on Jiri's southwest
in the Central-Southwest (below Nogo-dan) Sector of Jiri-san
|The Shin-jung [Assembly of Guardian Spirits] painting in the Main Hall, with San-shin obscure on the far left.
|"Dongri-san Taean-sa" lies fairly far from Jiri's core-area, 21 km southwest of Nogo-dan Peak
and 10 km southwest of Gurye Town, in Gokseong County, but it is still considered part of the
Greater Jiri-san Area. The 753-m peak that it is located on the west slope of, called Dongri-san
by the temple itself, is labeled as Bongdu-san on my maps; it is highest of Jiri's foothills west and
south of the Seomjin-gang River. Taean-sa [Grand Peace Temple] was founded in 742, high-point
of the Unified Shilla Dynasty, by a team of three monks. Great Meditation-Master Hyecheol Jeogin-
seonsa reconstructed it much larger (said to have 132 rooms) in the early 800s, and died here in 861.
The great master-monk and geomancer Doseon-guksa studied under him here, reaching the highest
stage of enlightenment. Taean-sa remains famous as one of the Gusan-seonmun [Nine Mountains
Meditational Order Temples], as home of the "Dongri-san Order" since its foundation, and it joined
Hwaeom-sa, Cheoneun-sa and Yeongok-sa as the leading monasteries in Jiri's SW areas.
Taean-sa was badly damaged during the Korean War and reconstructed starting in the 1970s. It
is now one of the Jogye Order's major meditation-retreat temples, and due to that devotion to quiet-
contemplation-discipline and not public education or worship, it is not very welcoming to visitors or
interesting to visit -- most parts of it are closed off to outsiders, and it does not contain any Sam-
seong-gak or etc at all, no San-shin icon of any kind (that I could find) -- this makes it one of the few
Jogye temples that don't have one. One of the great treasures that it does contain and display is
the Gwangja-seonsa Pagoda (National Treasure #274) charmingly set on a round island in a square
pond (both man-made, and those shapes signify Heaven and Earth respectively) -- it is pictured
above, on the bright October 1998 day when I made my sole visit.
The Hyecheol-guksa Sari-tap (National Treasure #273),
a budo stone monument enshrining the cremains of
National Preceptor Hyecheol, teacher of the great
Master Doseon-guksa. Its formal name in Korean is
Typical old monument telling the history of
this temple -- ancient and excellent base
and capstone, new biseok body replacing
the one destroyed in the war.
Taean-sa's Ilju-mun (One-Pillar Gate
or front gate) with well-written sign-
board, is designated Provincial
Tangible Cultural Asset #83.