Sacred and unique Buddhist Scriptures at HaeinsaBuddhist Temples | August 11, 2010
Haeinsa is a famous Buddhist temple which is located on the Gaya Mountain in the Gyeongsang province in South Korea. This temple literally means ‘reflections of a smooth sea’.
This temple was founded in the ninth century and it was then rebuilt again in the nineteenth century. This place is best known for its copy of the sacred Buddhist scripture, the Tripitaka Koreana.
The suneung and the Ljeong monks first settled here in Haeinsa in the year eight hundred and two. These monks came here from china. The name, ‘reflection of a smooth sea; was taken from the Buddhist sutra that compares Buddha’s wisdom to a calm sea. Hence when the mind is free from all the wants and worries of the world then you will be able to attain incomparable calmness. This is the ideal state in which the awareness of your existence is clearly reflected.
According to legend, the monks tied the tumor which the kings wife had, and tied the other end of the string to a tree. After reciting the verse s, the tumor has disappeared and the tree had withered and died.
After about one hundred years, Korea was at war with the thirteenth century Mongols. At this time, the government here in Korea was in exile on the Ganghwa Island. The government commissioned a copy of the Buddhist scripture so that Buddha could intervene and help them out during the war. The scripture was created and happens to be one the best copies of the Buddhist scriptures in all of Asia.
The wood blacks, on which the scriptures were written, were woodblocks which were made of white birch. These were soaked and boiled in sea water for about three years. They were later dried for another period of three years.
Haeinsa were caught in a devastating fire in the year eighteen hundred and seventeen. This nearly destroyed the wooden temple and its buildings. However the Tripitaka Library which was located at the read end of the complex which was built in fourteen eighty eight, was not damaged at all. The hall was rebuilt in the year eighteen hundred and eighteen. This happened to the late joseon dynasty. These were built on the foundation that was built by the Haeinsa’s monks almost one thousand years ago.
The library hall has had the sacred wooden blocks designated to the Korean national treasure in the years nineteen sixty two. This is now a UNESCO world heritage site. The site was listed by UNESCO in the year nineteen ninety five.
In the latter part of the twentieth century, the monks of Haeinsa got computers and entered the contents of the Tripitaka Koreana into an electronic form. This took about two years. This text is now stored on CD ROM. The monks now have plans to make a translation of the scriptures into different languages started with Korean.
When you come here to the Haeinsa temple, check out the Tripitaka , there are about fifty two million three hundred and eighty tow thousand and nine hundred and sixty Chinese characters which have been carved on eighty-one thousand double sided wooden blocks all in about six thousand eight hundred and two volumes. This apparently is supposed to be the oldest and most complete works of the Buddhist scriptures in the entire world. Also these scriptures have been beautifully made.
This building is known for being the oldest building built here which was originally made to store exhibits and artifacts from the fifteenth century solutions and discoveries. The people here along with UNESCO worked on ways to keep the preserved woodblocks from deteriorating.
Apart from all this, there is a main worship hall called Daejeokkwangjeon which was called the hall of great silence and light. The foundation for this was rebuilt in eighteen. . This place houses a big Buddha’s statue which was carved in the year seventeen sixty nine. A vairocana Buddha statue is placed here instead of the usual seokgamani statues. These are one of the five celestial Buddhas. Vairocana is known to be the center of the universe. Behind this statues are the wall paintings of Buddha’s entire life.