Choi Chiwon Biseok
of Heuiyang-san Bongam-sa
photo by Robert Koehler, 2013
This is one of the "Four Mountain Steles" [Sasan-biseok] written by great sage Go-un Choi Chi-won.

It was built to pay a tribute of the achievements of Great Master Jijeung, who founded Bongam-sa
Temple as one of the
Gusan-Seonmun -- known as the Heuiyang-san Order, one of the 9 original
sects of Seon [Zen] Buddhism in Korea.  This history-recording stone monument was erected in
the first year of Goryeo King Gyeongae (924 CE), by his order and support.

Jijeung-daesa was born in 824, and became a Buddhist Monk at 17 in
Taebaek-san Buseok-sa
temple.  When he attained Nirvana (died) in 882, Shilla King Heongang gave him the posthumous
title "Jijeung" and named his fancy
budo memorial-stupa "Jukjo".

The head of the stone tortoise base looks like a dragon, although with small horns, and the back of
the base has a prop to hold up the stele.  The cap-stone displays eight intertwined dragons, lively
and dynamic, with a lotus-blossom bottom.

The content of the inscription is a biography and listing of achievements of Master Jijeung, composed
by Go-un Choi Chiwon who was staying at Bongam-sa for awhile -- he often compiled and wrote
histories for the temples he visited, well employing his Confucian skills.  He is known as the best
writer of the entire Shilla era.  The monk Hyegang of Gyeongju's
Bunhwang-sa Temple, a master
calligrapher at the time, wrote the letters in a simple, elegant and graceful style.

This is considered to be 2nd-best representative of the steles dating from the Unified Silla period
(668-935) because of its exquisite carving, after only its brother at
Jiri-san Ssanggye-sa.
The stele is 2.73m high and 1.64m wide.
Treasure #171        Bongam-sa Jijeung-daesa Wontap
[Budo Stupa or Pagoda of Great Master Jijeung, of Bongamsa Temple]
National Treasure #315        Bongam-sa Jijeung-daesa Jeokjo Tapbi
[Stele monument accompanying the budo stupa of Great Master Jijeung, of Bongam-sa Temple]