Monday, May 1, 2017

Wawoojeongsa, Yongin

Wawoojongsa Temple was established in 1970 by Kim Hae-Geun, a monk displaced by the Korean War. The temple is not only a reflection of the monk’s sincere hope for the reunification of the North and South, but is also the birthplace of the Korean Buddhist Nirvana Order.
Korea Buddhist Nirvana Order is a religious order established by the highest priest Bodeuk around A.D. 623~650 in the time of Kokuryo dynasty from now on approximately 1400 years ago. In the dynasty of Shilla, a great priest, Saint Wonhyo, Saint Uisang, Saint Kyungheung, and saint Daehyun also pursued knowledge in Korea Buddhist Nirvana Order are the initial religious order in our nation. 
There were 5(five) orders in the dynasty of the United Shilla such as Nirvana order of the highest priest Bodeuk, Yul Order of Jajangyulsa, Bubseong order of Saint Wonhyo, Hwaeum Order of Saint Uisang, Bubsang Order of Jinpyoyulsa, etc. Since then, priests practiced Zen Meditation in temples of 9(nine) mountains which is called "a literature practiced Zen in hill and mountain" : and, being in a dynasty of Korea, the Most Reverend Priest attained a divine enlightenment created Cheonta Order ; Saint Bowoo created Chokye Order ; and, in the end of the Dynastry of Korea, there were 12(twelve) religious orders. 
But coming into the dynastry of Chosun, the number of religious orders was reduced to 7(seven) orders by a King of Taejong and nirvana order as a representative one continued to exist. In the times of a King Seajong, the titles of religious orders were instructed to be eliminated, and Chosun Buddhist Missionary Yang Order without the names of religious order was instructed to be called. Therefore, religious orders without the title of order came into existence. 
From then on, religious orders were forced to be disappeared through suppression and religious order were called : Zen Order and Kyo Order. In 1910, Japan invaded Korea and all the more they were suppressed. The era without religious orders continued on and on. After the Korean War June 25. due to the disputs in Buddhism on Feb. 14, 1962 the integrated religious order as Chokye Order was created. In 1970, Korea Buddhist Taego Order and since then various religious orders were created and in evidence of the greatest priest as a representative one in our nation on Sept. 1, 1970, Korea Buddhist Nirvana Order has been again restored since Chosun Dynasty by Haeam Haegok, TRI-PITAKA MASTER.
Korea Buddhist Nirvana Order is the traditional buddhist order of learning the Scripture with the Scripture of a large dinner-table Nirvana Order preached the buddhist sermons finally when Sakyamuni, Buddha practiced nirvana and at buddhist sermons finally when Sakyamuni, Buddha practiced nirvana and at present there are a number of temples of Nirvana Order founded starting from the Dynasty of Korea across the country. Kyungpok temple, the general head temple of Buddhist of Nirvana Order founded in the dynasty of Paikjae is being restored of the buddhist temple, In 1970, the Korea Buddhist Nirvana Order founded the buddhist temple of Wawoo Temple of the general head temple of buddhist since its restoration. At present, preaching and accomplishments of the religious founder are being performed in purity in buddhist temple of Nirvana Order across the country. Like this Korea Buddhist Nirvana Order makes a great contribution to buddhistic development in the midst of difficulties of a long history which is a religious order with 1370 of history and tradition succeeded to in continuity. The Order has been ceaselessly developed as a representative order in our country in an exchange with religious orders in the nations all over the world. Nirvana Order is carrying out the education and pure mission of the founder for a number of priests. Namu Sukamuni bul.
There are over 3,000 Buddhist statues on the temple grounds, the most famous of which are the Buldu (Buddha heads) placed at the entrance and the Wabul (reclining Buddha statue) stationed in the middle of the mountain. The 8m-high Buldu is the largest of its kind and the Wabul, which is made from a juniper tree from Indonesia, is 3m in height and 12m in length. As the world’s biggest wooden Buddhist sculpture, the Buldu has been registered in the Guinness Book of Records.

The temple is also home to a 5-Dhyani Buddha made of 30 tons of brass (taking decades to complete) as well as the 12-ton Bell of Unification (struck during the Seoul Olympics in 1988). Other attractions include a bronze statue of Buddha sitting with his legs half-crossed (the largest of its kind in the nation) and the nation’s only Sakyamuni Bulgohangsang statue.

One of the other unique things about the temple is the Pagoda of Unification, located besides the stairs of the Hall of Nirvana. The pagoda is comprised of stones brought by visitors from various holy sites all over the world. Hence, the construction of the Pagoda is a never-ending progress. And in fact, several pagodas constructed from the stones from world holy sites have been erected, the first one in the line-up (pictured) is several meters in height and much wider in girth than the others.

As a symbol of the pervading hope for world peace, a wide range of Buddhist statues from many countries including India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, China and Thailand are on display around the temple, allowing visitors to glimpse Buddhist cultures from all over the world.

No expense has been spared in the construction of this relatively modern, eclectic temple of Buddhism. Artistic design and artists employed to render the collection of 3,000 Buddha images is quite impressive, as are the manicured inclines upon which they sit. And unlike other temples which have cheap "paper" lanterns strewn everywhere to celebrate the upcoming birthday of Buddha, the lanterns here are, for the most part, hung away from the edifices and Buddhas letting the blooming azaleas and other spring flowers decorate the holy relics and buildings.

Tourism is expected here. A very ancient monk in an unusual (Southeast Asian?) monk garb approached my friend and I and exchanged a few words, mostly telling us to post pictures and invite friends - LOL. Obviously, the temple caters to the foreign crowd and tourism as their website provides information in not only Korean but also English, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Russian.


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