|The Remote-from-Ordinary Enlightenment Temple
-- Sogni-san Seongbul-sa --
|Korean folk culture symbols outside the temple entranceway.
Above: San-shin appears in the Assembly of Spirits
painting holding mushrooms of immortality.
Left: This funeral-altar contains a feature I've never
seen before, in 1100 temples -- instead of Jijang
bodhisattva in the upper-center, this gilded wood
carving features the famousTabo-tap Pagoda
(representing the Buddha of Many Treasures), a
great national treasure of 750 CE, from Bulguk-sa
Temple in Korea's ancient capital Gyeongju!
|The interior wall of that shrine features Buddhist immortals and angels.
September 4th 2004 was my second time to visit Seongbul-sa [Enlightenment Temple] up in a beautiful deep valley on the
remote eastern slope of Sogni-san [Remote-from-the-Mundane-World Mountains] National Park. This is a large monastery,
but still under construction (for a decade now!) -- no monks were seen during my visit, just a caretaker. It's near the site of an
ancient temple of the same name, of which few traces now remain. A standing statue of Buddha dominates the entranceway.
Above: a stunning view of the eastern face of Sogni-san as we drove up the valley.
Right: a traditional turtle-base dragon-cap stele commemorates the (re-)foundation of this
temple. However, the Lotus Flower on top of it is unique -- I've never seen that before!
Fresh water seems to 'miraculously' flow from this giant
rock next to the standing Buddha.
to view up to the Main Hall. This temple is built on a very
steep slope, visiting requires lots of climbing.
|The Three-Spirits Shrine is at the very top of the complex.
|The San-shin painting is excellent, depicting the Mountain-King sitting in a high-backed
chair draped with golden silk --- a very rare old Chinese motif indicating nobility.
|The Three-Spirits Shrine also includes these very fine
Chil-seong and Dok-seong [Lonely Saint] paintings.
|The exterior walls depict more Taoist sorts of immortals -- playing Baduk [Go] lower-right.