The true appearance of the world can’t be seen through the delusions and dreams that cloud the mind. When these dreams and illusions come to a stop, then the true face of the world can be seen for the first time. In a similar way, nothing can be reflected in water that is agitated, but everything is reflected, just as it is, in water that is still. The ancients expressed this state of mind which has left all delusion behind as being like still water reflecting anything in front of it. This can be one origin of the name Haeinsa, which implies a seal or impression (In) on the sea water (Hae), as if the temple is pointing towards this original tranquil mind with its name. Haeinsa was founded during the reign of Shilla King Aejang (802 C.E.) by Ven. Suneung and Ven. Ijeong, who were carrying on the teaching of Ven. Uisang (625-702 C.E.) After that, when Ven. Heerang rejected Gyeonhweon and assisted Goyreo King Taejo, the king repaid him by designating Haeinsa the Goryeo National Temple. During the Joseon Dynasty, a great set of sutra tablets from the Goryeo Dynasty were enshrined at Haeinsa, which is why the temple is known as the “Dharma Treasure Temple.” Since the number of wood blocks in this collection of sutra tablets totals 81,258, the entire set is known as the “Eighty Thousand Tripitaka Sutra” collection in Korean, but is often called simply the “Tripitaka Koreana” in English. The creation of the Tripitaka dates to the Goryeo Dynasty reign of King Gojong (1237 C.E.), when the ruling government created the collection over a period of 11 years in order to repel the invasion of the Mongol hordes, using the power of Buddhism. The building in which the collection is stored is called the Panjeon, and it has been designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, while the collection itself has been designated a World Cultural Record asset. After been repaired during the Joseon Dynasty reign of King Seongjong (1488 C.E.), it looks today as it once did in ancient times. The Panjeon Hall housing the tablets is famous itself for its natural design, which features different sized windows facing north and south to allow for air circulation, and an earthen floor made up of layers of ash, lime, salt and sand in order to control humidity. Haeinsa is also considered a “Chongnim Temple”, featuring a Seon (Jap: Zen) Room, Sutra School, and Precepts School, which are called together the “Haein Chongnim.” Haeinsa is also known for being the temple where the legendary Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order, Ven. Seongcheol (1912-1993) resided for many years, until he entered Nirvana.
Templestay ScheduleThe Templestay schedule differs from temple to temple. You can join with the following reservation.
Templestay Photo/VideoWhich temple’s program should you join? Take a look at the photos and images below.
Templestay Culture AssetsPlease make sure of which cultural assets there are.
- Daejanggyeongpan(Tripitaka Koreana at Haeinsa Temple(81,258 printing blocks))
- The project of Tripitaka Koreana was started in the 24th and finished in the 35th year of King Gojong of the Goryeo Kingdom (1237-1248). Since it was printed in the Goryeo Kingdom, it is widely known as Goryeo Daejanggyeong (Great Collection of Scriptures in Goryeo) or as Palman Daejanggyeong (Great Collection of Scriptures in Eighty Thousand Blocks) from the number of wood blocks of the scriptures, amounting over eighty thousand. It is the second Tripitaka Koreana, replacing the Old Tripitaka Koreana by Uicheon, which had been burnt down by Mongolian aggressors in the reign of King Hyeonjong.
Tripitaka Koreana has been housed in Beopbojeon Hall and Sudanijang Depository in Haeinsa Temple. According to a probe conducted under the Japanese Imperial Regime, the number of wood blocks reached up to 81258, including some re-carved blocks added in the Joseon Period.
Each wood block measures 70 cm wide, 24 cm long and the thickness of the wood blocks vary from 2.6 to 4 cm, weighing around 3 to 4 kilograms.
Tripitaka Koreana is consisted of 1496 titles, 6568 volumes. It is recognized as the best accurate Tripitaka, for Sugidaesa (a head monk in Gaetaesa Temple) who was in charge of the project, took extra care to correct errors after a thorough study of the Northern Sung Tripitaka, a Kitan Tripitaka and the Old Tripitaka Koreana.
This is the oldest surviving Tripitaka in the world in which the Northern Sung version and the Kitan version, both no longer exist, are well reflected. It is one of the most prized cultural treasures in Korea, and is designated as a World Culture Heritage by UNESCO.
- Janggyeongpanjeon(Storage halls for the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks at Haeinsa Temple)
- Haeinsa Temple, located in the middle of Mt. Gayasan, was built in the third year of King Aejang of Silla (802) to extend his gratitude to Buddha for healing the illness of his queen. Since it preserves the Tripitaka Koreana consisting of over 80,000 blocks, it is called the Temple of the Buddhist Law.
Janggyeongpanjeon Hall, keeping the Tripitaka of over 80,000 blocks made in the Goryeo period, is the oldest building in Haeinsa Temple. Although it is not clear when the building was first built, it was expanded and reconstructed in the third year of King Sejo (1457) of the Joseon Kingdom. It was recorded that Monk Hakjo called the building 'Boandang' after he rebuilt it with the support of the royal family in the 19th year of King Sungjong (1488). It was not damaged during the Japanese invasion of Joseon in 1592 since it was located deep in the mountain. Therefore, it was able to maintain its old form and shape. The building was repaired in the 14th year of Gwanghaegun (1622) and the second year of King Injo (1624).
Two buildings with 15 rooms in the front and 2 rooms in the side are placed side by side. The building in the south is called Sudarajang and the building in the north is called Beopbojeon. In the west and east, there is a small library of 2 rooms in the front and 1 room in the side. As a whole, it is arranged in rectangular shape. It avoids much of decorations so that it could function only as the storage to preserve the Tripitaka. For the ventilation, the sizes of northern and southern windows are different, and there is window in each room. Under the dirt floor, char core, calcium oxide, salt and sand are placed in order to adjust to the humidity. Location of the building and displaying of the internal light metal blocks are also in consideration of lighting and ventilation.
Its scientific and rational design with a due consideration of nature enables the Tripitaka Koreana to be well preserved and recognized. Janggyeongpanjeon, built during in the 15 century, is the only place to preserve Tripitaka in the world. It was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in December 1995.
- Goryeogakpan(Goryeo buddhist printing blocks at Haeinsa Temple)
- These are woodblocks carved during the Goryeo Kingdom and currently kept in Haeinsa Temple in Hapchon, Gyeosangnam-do. It contains Buddhist scriptures, works of prominent monks, and collection of poems and writings. Unlike the Tripitaka Koreana (National Treasure No. 32) produced by Daejangdogam, a central government agency, these woodblocks are carved either by local government or by individual temple. They are now sealed in the East and West Print Hall, the storages located between the places where the Tripitaka Koreana is kept.
Since the woodblocks are carved after dipping the boards of silver magnolia into salty water to remove fat and smooth down the grain, their original form was preserved intact. The woodblocks contain various scriptures of Mahayanist Buddhism, including The Book of Kumgang and the Avatamsaka Sutra as well as the collections of poems and other writings by prominent monks and individuals from the Silla and Goryeo Kingdom. Most of these scriptures include the account of publication, revealing the way they were circulated and other trends of the Buddhist faith during the Goryeo Kingdom. The collections of poems and writings, on the other hands, include no account about their publication and most of them are presented in incomplete sets. Nonetheless, these materials are of historical importance because of rareness.
They are considered as important materials in studying not only the woodblock print and the art of engraving in the Goryeo Kingdom but also the history of Buddhist philosophy and culture.
Templestay SightseeingThere is something to see in the vicinity of the temple.
- mountain Gayasan
- The mountain Gayasan is spread over the areas of Hapcheongun in South Gyeongsang Province and Seongjugun in North Gyeongsang Province, and is the mountain on which Haeinsa is located. The highest peak, called Sangwangbong, is 1430 m tall, but there are also a number of other peaks, such as Duribong and Danjibong that are close to 1000 m in height. During the end of the Shilla Period, the writer Chiwon Choi secluded himself in the mountain, never to appear in the world again. Later Gayasan became a source of inspiration for many poets and calligraphers. The Hongryudong River-valley, which runs along 4 kilometers of road leading up to the temple, is loved by many for its incredible scenery, especially the flowers in the spring and the fall foliage in the autumn. Gayasan was designated a National Park in 1972. For more detailed information concerning Gayasan, be sure to visit the National Park website at http://gaya.knps.or.kr For information related to the Hapcheongun area, where Haeinsa is located, consult the Hapcheon tourist site at http://culture.hc.go.kr
Templestay Map Service
Take subway lines No. 3, No. 7, or No. 9 to the Seoul Express Bus Terminal, and get a bus for Daegu (3 hours 30 minutes). After you arrive in Daegu, take subway line No. 1 from the Dongdaegu Station (next door) in the direction of Daegok, as far as Seongdangmot (about 20 minutes). Then take a bus from the Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal, located at this stop, to Haeinsa (about 1 hour, 40 minutes).
Take subway lines No. 1 or No. 4 to Seoul Station, and get a KTX Express Train to Dongdaegu Station. After you arrive in Dongdaegu, you can take subway line No. 1 to Seongdangmot, and then the bus to Haeinsa, as described above.