|As it was in 1989 -- much simpler than it is today;
it's still a favored stopover for every hiker and pilgrim.
|Inside Manggyeong-sa's San-shin-gak, a typical portrait of Dan-gun
is enshrined next to the Taebaek-san-shin, also fairly "standard".
Pairs of flying white cranes adorn the wallpaper.
The ghost of King Danjong on his way to reside at
Taebaek-san as San-shin, with the Yeongwol Governor
offering sacred herbs to him.
According to legend, Master Jajang-yulsa (590-658, one of the great early progenitors of Korean Buddhism) was living at
Hambaek-san's Jeongam-sa (which he had founded, just a day's walk from this site) in his later years, when he heard that a
stone statue of Munsu-bosal [Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom] had appeared on this site -- at the Yong-jeong Spring
where the Nakdong River originates, just below the Shilla Kingdom's royal Heaven-worshipping Shrine on Cheonje-dan Peak.
He hiked over here and founded Manggyeong-sa, constructing a building to enshrine that statue (which is no longer extant;
believers say it's buried under the Main Hall). It was probably on this same trip that he discovered "the Mother of Munsu-bosal"
living as San-shin at the peak since known as Munsu-bong a few kilometers' hike away. There are not any historical stories
about this temple after that, although many Shamans and others visiting these holy peaks have stayed here over the past 1400
years. The buildings were all burned in 1950 during the struggles against communist guerrillas during the Korean War, and
they were rebuilt and expanded in the 1960s-90s.
Manggyeong-sa certainly lives up to the meaning of its name "All-encompassing-view Temple", offering a stunning scenic view
over the upper Dan-gol Valley over towards Munsu-bong. The name, however, also refers to the all-encompassing view of
reality (enlightenment) that a Buddhist meditation-practitioner can attain from the wisdom of Munsu-bosal.