|Munsu-bong Peak of Taebaek-san
태백산 문수봉 1517 meters
where the San-shin is "the Mother of Manjusri"
Two Buddhist monks and a layman chant-praying on Munsu-bong.
Its name is due to the legend that Jajang-yulsa, one of Korean Buddhism's
founders (in the early 7th Century) climbed up here after establishing Jeongam-sa
Temple, and "found that the San-shin here is the Mother of Munsu-bosal"
[Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom]. This is a profound and characteristic
Korean use of native Shamanist ideas & symbols to legitimize "foreign" Buddhism
-- in standard Buddhism, the Bodhisattvas don't have "mothers"...
Photo by Peter Jan Haas
Munsu-bong is also highly sacred for
Shamanism. In early October 1989, I took
these good shots of that same altar at the
summit, and a female Mudang or Manshin
[Korean Shaman] chant-praying at it (they
are in my book, pages 15 & 144).
Below is a closeup of the old "Munsu-
bong" sign in Hangeul characters atop
that shrine -- it is no longer there.
Above: the trail-signs there as of
1989, and one of the old shrines.
Right: a nice landscape shot
towards the north on Munsu-bong.
In the lower right hand corner a
tube-tent made of plastic over
metal hoops can be seen. Manshin
live up on this peak for up to three
years at a time trying to "get" the
powerful spirit of this mountain for
their shamanic use, sleeping in
shelters like these but chanting /
praying during most of their waking
hours. supporters periodically
bring food and etc up to them.
|My June 2003 Hike up to Munsu-bong
|vivid Jangseung Guardian-poles at the trailhead,
with my friend and companion for the day,
Netherlands photo-journalist Peter Jan Haas
A Shamanic Ritual, using the Taebaek-san-shin for
spiritual healing, going on just above the trailhead
Above: the central of the three main stone towers on
Munsu-bong. A female Mudang or Manshin [Korean
Shaman] is seen near the altar, preparing to chant-pray.
Right: Peter and a bird, with the new trail-sign.
Below: the view to the southwest, with tower.
Myself up near one of the three main stone towers on Munsu-bong [Bodhisattva-of-Wisdom Peak],
1517 meters high, the 3rd-highest place on Taebaek-san, in 10/99. There are 9 smaller towers.
(Manggyeong-sa can be see on the distant slope of Cheonje-dan),