below Daecheong-bong Peak
the spirtual summit of Seorak-san
Bongjeong-am [Phoenix Bower Hermitage] was
founded by Jajang-yulsa in 642 CE to preserve and
worship relics of Sakyamuni Buddha, and remains
one of Korea's most-spectacularly-situated temples.
Many pilgrims hike up for 6 hours or so to perform
devotions and meditations at this "powerful" site.
"The Face of Buddha"
manifesting from the cliff just above
Bongjeong-am -- legend says that
Master Jajang followed a phoenix
up to this site, and when it landed
on this cliff he recognized the face
of Sakyamuni Buddha, realized that
the entire mountain is a manifesting
Buddha-spirit, and decided to build
a Jeokmyeol-bogung temple with
some of his relics enshrined here.
|The appropriately-magnificent San-shin painting of Bongjeong-am, representing
the Spirit of this remarkable location, considered to be a top-level hyeol site with
extremely-strong ji-gi earth-energy benevolent for human spiritual-development
|depicting a temple (with tall pagoda!) in the cloudy-mountain background is very rare -- almost unique!
Great Master Jajang-yulsa brought five claimed-authentic relics of Sakyamuni Buddha to
Korea from China's Wutai-shan, after being given them by Munsu-bosal [Manjusri the
Bodhisattva of Wisdom]. Under royal approval and support, he enshrined one of them in
this pagoda he built at Bongjeong-am, and the others at four other sacred-sites. This
Jeokmyul-bogung Ocheung-tap [Enlightenment-Relics Treasure-Palace Five-Story Pagoda] is
visited and venerated by many thousands of Buddhist and spiritual pilgrims every year.
The one time that I visited this remote sacred site,
there were heavy clouds & fog!
So most of the photos on this page were taken by my
research-partners and friends Roger Shepherd and
Andrew Douch in November 2007 while they were
pioneer-trekking the Baekdu-daegan Trail -- and also
some are from my anonymous contributor "Suan".
this photo from the Jogye Order's book "Korean Buddhism"
The soaring crags here are regarded as "natural pagodas" manifested by the enlightened
mountain itself, which serves as the base of Jajang's pagoda -- a rare / auspicious design.