Odae-san
Woljeong-sa  月精寺
"Moon Vitality/Essence Temple"
one of Korea's most important monasteries
in the Odae-san National Park
the holy Buddhist Five Platforms Mountains, Korean Home of Munsu the Bodhisattva of Wisdom
a key Sacred Site along the Baekdu-daegan
The great Korean Seon [Meditational Buddhism] Master Hyegeun Na-ong Hwasang
Wangsa
(1320-76) studied Seon under various masters in south China, and then
under the great Indian Master Dhyanabhadra
(the most important monk teaching in
China throughout the 14th century)
at Wutai-shan, where he met fellow student-monk
Jacho Muhak-daesa
(7 years younger).   Upon his return to Goryeo he became
abbot of Odae-san Woljeong-sa in 1360, and had a mystical experience of
Munsu-bosal.  In 1371 he became abbot of Yangju Hoeam-sa
(Muhak lived together
with him there)
, being simultaneously appointed Wangsa [Teacher of the King] and
head of the Jogye Seon Order.  In 1376 he created the
Munsu-hoe [Association
dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Wisdom]
together with Muhak, but died soon afterwards.
Woljeong-sa's famous pagoda in the Winter
The famous Nine-storey Octagonal Pagoda and Kneeling Bodhisattva Statue in front of it,
National Treasure #48.  This 15.15-meter-tall masterpiece was built in the early Goryeo
Dynasty (10th-11th Cen),
possibly according to the Bibo-pungsu-jiri instructions left by Master
Doseon-guksa, and is claimed to enshrine within it 37 sarira relics of Sakyamuni Buddha.
This is one of Korea's most famous and important monasteries, located on the eastern slopes of Odae-san,
within Pyeongchang-gun County.  It was founded in 643 by Master Jajang, after his return from Tang
China during the reign of Shilla Queen Seondeok, as a great scholastic monastery devoted to achieving
the wisdom of
Munsu-bosal [文殊菩薩, Mañjuśrī the Bodhisattva of Wisdom] and veneration of him,
according to the
Samguk Yusa [三國遺事, Legends and History of the Three Kingdoms, c. 1280].   The
name "
Woljeong" 月精 월정 can be translated as "Moon Vitality" or "Moon Essence", and the current
TempleStay program likes to say "Finding the Essence of Moonlight Within Yourself".

During the late Goryeo Dynasty and throughout the Joseon Dynasty periods this temple was destroyed
and rebuilt a number of times, and it was completely burnt down by the ROK Army during the 1950-53
Korean War as it was suspected of possibly becoming a base for communist guerrillas.  The present  
temple was reconstructed by Master Tanheo (呑虛) and other famous monks starting from 1964.

Woljeong-sa has by now regained its status as the leading monastery of its region, and serves as the
gyogu-bonsa [敎區本寺, district headquarters temple] of the 4th District of the Jogye Order, supervising
70 branch-temples and hermitages around the eastern Gangwon Province area including four of the
Jeokmyeol-bogung temples.  The precious treasures it houses include the Octagonal Nine-story Pagoda
[八角九層石塔] and kneeling statue of Munsu-bosal, designated as National Treasure #48, and the Yaksa-
yeorae-bul [藥師如來佛, Bhaisajyaguru the Medicinal or Healing Buddha] statue set as Treasure #139.
It offers a very popular Templestay program, and remains a favorite destination for pilgrims and tourists.