"Awakening Enlightenment Temple"
with one of Korea's best Buddha Statues
Gyeongju Nam-san is listed as one of Korea's most
sacred places on Martin Gray's excellent Sacred
Sites of the World website, on this page about Korea.
For plenty of information and beautiful photos of the
world's holy pilgrimage destinations, get his excellent
new 275-page book:
Sacred Earth: Places of Peace and Power.
|the squat, simple, Old 3-story Stone Pagoda of Bori-sa, assumed to be from its beginings in the 8th Century
|The ma-ae-bul [relief-stonecarving of Buddha] discovered in the 1980s
on a brush-hidden boulder, up a steep trail on the dragon ridge just above Bori-sa to the south.
It probably represents Amita-bul (阿彌陀佛, Amitabha the Buddha of Western Paradise)
|The Shinjung-taenghwa [Assembly of Guardian-Spirits Altar-painting]
with Yong-wang and Sanshin paralleled in the center.
|The modern bell has the name of the temple in Chinese, beginning with
"Geom-o-san" [Gold Crow Mountain]; the cloud-gong is richly engraved.
|Dragons & etc in the Main Hall
|story of the first mok-tak on the outside of the Main Hall
Bori-sa is now a temple resided-in by a few bikkuni [female monks], in Baeban-dong Village at the
NE foot of Gyeongju Nam-san. The area is traditionally called Mireuk-gok [Maitreya Valley] for an
unknown reason -- there is no Mireuk carving here. There is a thick mature forest of large bamboo
trees in front of and in a gorge to the south of this temple -- worth visiting in-itself!
It is now believed that the famous Buddha statue and old pagoda were carved here sometime in the
8th Century CE. However, no temple is recorded to have been here below them until 886; founder
unknown. The auspicious name Bori-sa 菩提寺 means "Awakening Enlightenment" or "Bodhi" Temple,
and is thought to have been the original one; there are 3 other small temples in Korea with that name
(in Yeongju Sobaek-san, Gyeonggi-do Yangpyeong Yongmun-san and Gyeongnam Euiryeong-gun), and 2 temples
named Bori-am Hermitage (one very famous on Namhae-do Geum-san, the other in Jeolla-namdo Damyang).
|The Samseong-gak [Three Sages Shrine]
|The excellent modern Sanshin-taenghwa [Mountain-spirit Altar-painting]
|the excellent modern Chilseong-taenghwa altar-painting
|the Bukseong-shin [North Star Spirit] of Longevity
|auspicious dongja twin girls
|the Ilwol-bosal [Sun-Moon Bodhisattva] pair:
Ilgwang-bosal [Sun-radiance Bodhisattva] on right, Wolgwang-bosal [Moon-radiance Bodhisattva] on right.
|The excellent modern Dokseong-taenghwa [Lone-Saint Altar-painting]
|the beautiful, thick bamboo forest just south of Bori-sa