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까 봐 "Worrying" | Live Class Abridged

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This past Sunday's live stream we covered the grammar form ~까 봐.

This is an intermediate level grammar form, and is intended for people who've already mastered verb conjugation (action and descriptive) and also the regular 까(요) grammar form.

The form 까 봐 can be used to express that you're "worried" about something, but we explore exactly how that's so and what other situations it can also be used in.

The post 까 봐 "Worrying" | Live Class Abridged appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


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Jong-ru – The Bell Pavilion: 종루

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The Bell Pavilion at Songgwangsa Temple in Wanju, Jeollabuk-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

One of the most universally found structures at a Korean Buddhist temple, outside the main hall, is the bell pavilion. In Korean, the bell pavilion is known as the Jong-ru – 종루. Typically, a Korean temple’s bell pavilion is open in design, and it’s usually found at the entry of a temple. A temple’s bell pavilion can range in size and height. Sometimes, they are simple one story structures; and other times, they are two stories in height. With that being said, a standard Korean Buddhist bell pavilion has four different percussion instruments. Together, these four percussion instruments are known as the Buljeon Samul, in Korean. This literally means, in English, “The four items belonging to the Buddha Hall.” These four percussion instruments are:

1. Beomjong – Brahma Bell: 범종
2. Beopgo – Dharma Drum: 법고
3. Mokeo – Wooden Fish Drum: 목어
4. Unpan – Cloud Plate Drum: 운판

While there are four percussion instruments in total, they all have different meanings and designs. So what exactly do each of the four look like, and what is the meaning behind each of their designs?

The Bell of King Seongdeok at the National Museum of Gyeongju, which is National Treasure #29.

1. Beomjong – Brahma Bell: 범종

The large Brahma Bell inside a Jong-ru Pavilion is known as a Beomjong, in Korean, and it’s made from bronze. In English, this bell is known as the Brahma Bell. Another name this bell sometimes is called is the “Whale Bell,” in reference to the myth of Poroe the Dragon. The top of the bell is crowned with a bronze sculpture of Poroe the Dragon. The body of the bell can be adorned with various Bicheon (Flying Heavenly Deities), Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Buddhist teachings, or poems.

Poroe the Dragon adorning the top of the Brahma Bell at Seokbulsa Temple in Buk-gu, Busan.

The Brahma Bell is typically used during the day preceding morning and evening services. Typically, it is struck thirty-three times in the morning and twenty-eight times in the evening. The number thirty-three is meant to represent how the dharma will spread throughout all the heavens and touch each of the celestial beings there. And the number twenty-eight comes from the twenty-eight constellations in the East, which are similar to the twelve zodiac signs in the West. Thus, the striking of the bell throughout the day is meant to bring the dharma to all those in the universe. More specifically, the Brahma bell is meant to awaken all sentient beings to the truth of the dharma and to rescue those who are suffering.

Great examples of these bells can be found at Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do and Samgwangsa Temple in Busanjin-gu, Busan.

The Brahma Bell at Samgwangsa Temple in Busanjin-gu, Busan.
The Brahma Bell at Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

2. Beopgo – The Dharma Drum: 법고

The second percussion instrument that you can find housed inside the Jong-ru Pavilion is the Dharma Drum, which is known as Beopgo – 법고, in Korean. The reason that it’s called a Dharma Drum is that they are said to make the same sounds as the Buddha’s voice. Like a lion’s roar, the Buddha’s voice is deafening like the Dharma Drum. Initially, the Dharma Drum was built when bronze bells were hard to make during the repression of Buddhism during the Confucian-first religious ideology of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

The Dharma Drum at Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju.
Heungguksa Temple in Yeosu, Jeollanam-do with a haetae base.

The Dharma Drum is typically made of wood with each end made from rawhide. The leather on one side of the drum is made from a cow, while the other side’s leather is made from a bull. This is meant to symbolize the idea of Yin and Yang and how the universe must be in harmony. It’s through this harmony that the Dharma Drum can produce the perfect sound. The sound of the Dharma Drum is meant to be a metaphor for the spreading of the Buddha’s teachings throughout the world. It’s also struck during various Buddhist rituals and lectures. The striking of the Dharma Drum symbolizes the saving of all sentient beings. And it’s also meant to relieve all sentient beings of their anguish.

A great example of the Dharma Drum can be found at Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju, and Heungguksa Temple in Yeosu, Jeollanam-do.

3. Mokeo – The Wooden Fish Drum: 목어

The third percussion instrument found inside the Jong-ru Pavilion is the Wooden Fish Drum. In Korean, This drum is known as the Mokeo – 목어. The Wooden Fish Drum is carved from a hollowed out log.

The design of the drum is meant to resemble a carp. Interestingly, there are a few reasons as to why the Wooden Fish Drum is meant to look like a carp. The first reason is that a fish never closes its eyes. And much like the wind chime that adorns temples, the sound of the drum is meant to remind monks and nuns to never relax in their self-cultivating practices.

The Fish Gong at Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.
Haeinsa Temple in Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Another reason is that a fish can swim through water unimpeded. Furthermore, in the past, large bodies of water were seen as obstacles that kept people apart. So people used the ocean as a symbol for going to the Western Paradise because the water was hard to traverse. So instead of the sky, people looked to water.

Another story about the design of the Wooden Fish Drum relates to a novice monk that didn’t follow the instructions of his famous monk master. After the novice monk died, he was reborn as a fish with a log stuck in its back as punishment for his errant ways. In rough seas, the waves that rocked the log back and forth in the fish’s back would cause it a lot of pain. One day, the master monk was crossing the sea in a boat. He spotted the fish and recognized it as his former disciple. As an act of mercy and compassion, the master monk performed the “rite of water and land,” which freed the fish from its physical pain. At that moment, the fish (novice monk) repented for his past transgressions. The log that was taken from the back of the fish was then carved into a wooden fish by the monk. It was then used as a moktak (a hand-held wooden bell) to warn others to remain vigilant in their practice of the dharma.

Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju.

While the Wooden Fish Drum started off as a fish in its design, more recently, its head has slowly morphed into that of a dragon-like creature with a pearl in its mouth. This transformation is said to symbolize freedom from all restraints and obstacles. Additionally, the Wooden Fish Drum is used for saving all sea creatures. One more use for the Wooden Fish Drum is that it’s struck to gather members of a temple or hermitage for a meal.

A great example of this can be found at Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju, Haeinsa Temple in Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do, and Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

The Cloud Plate Gong at Haeinsa Temple in Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do.

4. Unpan – The Cloud Plate Gong: 운판

The fourth, and final, percussion instrument that can be found inside a Jong-ru Pavilion at a Korean Buddhist temple is the Cloud Plate Gong, which is known as an Unpan – 운판, in Korean. A Cloud Plate Gong is made from copper or iron, and it’s shaped like a cloud. The images that adorns the face of the gong are the sun and the moon; however, it’s the clouds that are dominant on the gong. Originally, the Cloud Plate Gong was simply used to announce meals for the temple’s monks or nuns. Now, however, the Cloud Plate Gong is used as an instrument to announce morning and evening worship. Another meaning for the Cloud Plate Gong is to deliver a message of love and compassion to all creatures of the sky. It’s also meant to lead all wandering souls back towards the correct path.

In Korea, there is only one bell pavilion that’s a Korean Treasure. It’s the bell pavilion at Songgwangsa Temple in Wanju, Jeollabuk-do. It’s Korean Treasure #1244. And there are four bells that are National Treasures and thrity-five that are Korean Treasures.

The Fish Gong and the Cloud Plate Gong at Girimsa Temple in Gyeongju.
The Jong-ru Pavilion at Tongdosa Temple.

Jeongamsa Temple – 정암사 (Gohan, Gangwon-do)

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The Sumano-tap Pagoda at Jeongamsa Temple in Gohan, Gangwon-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Jeongamsa Temple is one of the temples that’s considered a Jeokmyeol-bogung, which is a temple established by Jajang-yulsa (590-658 A.D.) to house the sari (crystallized remains) of the Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). Jeokmyeol-bogung means “Silent Nirvana Treasure Palace,” in English. In total, there are four other temples that still exist to this day that are also considered Jeokmyeol-bogung. They are Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do; Beopheungsa Temple in Yeongwol, Gangwon-do; Sajaam Hermitage in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do; and Bongjeongam Hermitage in Inje, Gangwon-do. There is an additional Jeokmyeol-bogung that once existed at Hwangnyongsa-ji Temple in Gyeongju, but it was destroyed during the Mongol invasion of 1238. Of the six Jeokmyeol-bogung, Jeongamsa Temple is perhaps the least well known.

Jeongamsa Temple was first built by Jajang-yulsa in 645 A.D. Jeongamsa Temple is located on Mt. Hambaeksan (1572.1 m), which is apart of the Mt. Taebaeksan mountain range. According to temple records, Jeongamsa Temple was reconstructed in 1713. And more recently, it has been rebuilt and reconstructed an additional three times.

Jeongamsa Temple has a couple of very interesting creation myths surrounding it, so I’m going to tell them at some length (hope you don’t mind). As for the origin of the temple, Jajang-yulsa realized that his life would soon come to an end, so he built Sudasa Temple in Gangneung, Gangwon-do. He stayed there wishing to meet Munsu-bosal, once again, like he had met Munsu-bosal in China when he first received the sari (crystallized remains) of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). One night, he had a dream of a monk from China, who was leading people to enlightenment. Jajang-yulsa said to the Chinese monk in his dream,”Monk, what brought you here at night. It’s dark out. Come in.” The Chinese monk answered, “Let’s meet at Daesong-jeong [the pavilion now called Hansong-jeong in Gangneung].” Jajang-yulsa was so surprised by this dream that he suddenly woke up. And as soon as the sun was up, Jajang-yulsa headed off towards Daesong-jeong Pavilion, where he wished to meet Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom).

When Jajang-yulsa arrived in Gangeung, a person said, “Jajang, you came.”

Jajang-yulsa answered, “I came here to tell you Munsu-bosal’s word.”

“What is that?”

“He said to meet in Galbanji on Mt. Taebaeksan.”

“When could that be?”

“Please start to do Seonjeong then you will know.” [Seonjeong is one of the ways to practice the Buddha’s teachings through the Heart Sutra. It literally means ‘resting your thoughts;’ or, to not focus on useless thoughts].

The next day, after speaking to a local villager, Jajang-yulsa then gathered more villagers around him and said, “The Buddhist precepts are like a lamp’s light, so continue to study the Buddha’s teachings.”

After saying these words, Jajang-yulsa headed off to Mt. Taebaeksan. When he arrived, he asked the locals where he could find Galbanji, but no one knew where to find Galbanji. So he continued to wander and wonder what the word might mean. Galbanji, in Korean, is a compound word. “Gal” means arrowroot, while “ban” means a small dining table.

Jajang-yulsa then asked his students to help him find the spot where the arrowroot vines grow. Together, they looked for the spot for four days, when they finally found it. However, there were ten large snakes that lived in that spot. His students were so shocked that they simply walked away. Jajang-yulsa then said to his students,” Oh! This is Galbanji. Our job is redeeming them. Let’s start to recite the Avatamsaka Sutra (Hwaeom-gyeong, in Korean).

The sounds of the Buddhist prayers started to echo off the mountain, so the large snakes started to uncoil their bodies. That night, those ten large snakes appeared to Jajang-yulsa in his dreams crying. The snakes said, “Monk, we were monks studying the Buddha’s teachings in our past lives. But we were too lazy to study, wasting the temple’s alms, and we weren’t thankful enough for them. So we’ve received our punishments and became snakes. We’ve been repentant and hoping to meet the great monk that will redeem us. Please read aloud the Buddha’s teachings to us. Now we will fast. There is treasure under this ground, so use it to build a temple.”

Seven days after Jajang-yulsa read the Buddha’s teachings, the ten large snakes reached nirvana and died. Afterwards, Jajang-yulsa built a temple that he named Seoknamwon in 645 A.D. This temple would become Jeongamsa Temple.

When Jajang-yulsa finally did build the temple, he attempted to build a pagoda on the mountaintop. But for whatever reason, it continuously collapsed. Because of this, he started to pray for one hundred days. On the last night of the one hundred days of prayer, Jajang-yulsa saw three arrowroot. These three spots would become the place where the Jeokmyeol-bogung, main hall, and Sumano-tap Pagoda were built.

The first thing to greet you, as you approach the temple grounds, are the monks’ dorms and a jovial statue of Podae-hwasang (The Hempen Bag). Off in the distance, and up one of the cauldron-like mountains that surround Jeongamsa Temple, is the seven-story brick pagoda that stands over top of the entire temple grounds like a sentry (but more on this amazing pagoda later).

As you draw closer to the main temple courtyard at Jeongamsa Temple, you’ll next notice the Jong-ru Pavilion, or temple bell pavilion, in English. This bell pavilion is uniquely perched alongside the neighbouring stream to the west of the temple grounds. Across the temple bridge, and to the right, you’ll see the Jeokmyeol-bogung main shrine hall at Jeongamsa Temple. This rather understated shrine hall is weather-worn with brown exterior walls. As for the interior, it has no altar statues, which is reminiscent of the Jeokmyeol-bogung at Beopheungsa Temple and the Daeung-jeon Hall at Tongdosa Temple. Instead of altar statues, there’s simply a window that looks out onto a neighbouring embankment that houses the sari (crystallized remains) of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) in its earthy soil. While plain in appearance, this holy site is one of the most venerated and sacred of sites in Korea. Interestingly, and out in front of the Jeokmyeol-bogung, is a tree that was purportedly grown from the walking stick of Jajang-yulsa. If true, this would make the tree almost 1,400 years old.

Back at the entrance of the temple grounds, and across the bridge to the left, you’ll find a handful of temple shrine halls. The first of these shrine halls, which almost looks like another monks’ dorms, is in fact the temple’s Gwaneum-jeon Hall. Inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall sits a solitary statue of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) on the main altar.

Up a set of stairs, and past the temple’s kitchen, are two additional shrine halls. The first of the two, and smaller in size, is the Josa-jeon Hall, which enshrines a mural dedicated to the founding monk of Jeongamsa Temple: Jajang-yulsa. The second hall is the Samseong-gak Hall. This shaman shrine hall houses a triad of murals. First, there’s the rather emaciated mural dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). Another mural, and the one that hangs in the centre, is a plain mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). The last mural in the Samseong-gak Hall is dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). Rather interestingly, Sanshin is wearing a turban-like headdress.

The final structure that visitors can explore at Jeongamsa Temple, and was mentioned previously, is the seven-story brick pagoda on the side of Mt. Hambaeksan. This uniquely designed brick pagoda is one of only a handful in Korea alongside the brick pagodas at Silleuksa Temple in Yeoju, Gyeonggi-do; the brick pagoda at Songnimsa Temple in Chilgok, Gyeongsangbuk-do; and Bunhwangsa Temple in Gyeongju. This pagoda, which is known as Sumano-tap Pagoda, was first built during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). The pagoda is situated ten minutes up the mountain to the rear of the Jeokmyeol-bogung. The bricks that make up the pagoda were made from grey-green limestone that were then cut into bricks. And the pagoda is crowned with a finial made from bronze. There is also a stone placed in front of the pagoda that has stone lotus relief designs on it, as well as a pair of elephant relief eyes on it. In 1972, Sumano-tap Pagoda was dismantled. Five plates containing a record of the construction of the pagoda were found, as was a sari reliquary that was made from gold, silver, and bronze. It was revealed at this time that the pagoda underwent several repairs during the late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The Sumano-tap Pagoda at Jeongamsa Temple is Korean Treasure #440. Rather surprisingly, it’s not a National Treasure. As for the name of the pagoda, Sumano-tap Pagoda, it’s a compound word. “Su,” in the name means water because the western Yongwang (Dragon King) moved the pagoda over the ocean to its present location. And it’s called “mano” because of the agate that it’s made from.

Out in front of the pagoda is a place where devotees can pray. It’s also from this side of the pagoda that you get an amazing view of the neighbouring countryside down below, as well as a beautiful view of the entire temple complex. And on a windy day, you can enjoy the sounds from the wind chimes that adorn the seven-story stone pagoda. The view and the pagoda are really something special.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Gohan Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to take the bus that says “Manhang” on it. This bus leaves four times a day at 6:40 a.m., 9:50 a.m., 2:10 p.m., and 7 p.m. The bus ride to Jeongamsa Temple from the Gohan Intercity Bus Terminal takes ten minutes, and you’ll need to get off at the Jeongamsa stop.

OVERALL RATING: 8/10. While smaller in size than the other Jeokmyeol-bogung temples, Jeongamsa Temple is just as special and just as charming. Because it’s a historic site for the home of the Seokgamoni-bul’s remains, it rates as highly as it does. Adding to the temple’s overall beauty is the amazing seven-story brick pagoda on the mountainside, as well as the interesting shaman murals housed inside the Samseong-gak Hall. While rather remote, Jeongamsa Temple makes for a nice little visit, if you’re up for the adventure.

Podae-hwasang (The Hempen Bag) at the entrance of Jeongamsa Temple.
The Josa-jeon Hall (front) and Samseong-gak Hall (back).
The painting of an emaciated Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) inside the Samseong-gak Hall.
The rather fashionable Sanshin (Mountain Spirit).
The Jeokmyeol-bogung at Jeongamsa Temple.
A better look at the Jeokmyeol-bogung embankment that houses the sari (crystallized remains) of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha).
The Sumano-tap Pagoda.
A better look at the amazing brick pagoda.
And the view from the Sumano-tap Pagoda.

Learn Korean Ep. 118: How to Say "My"

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Keykat offered to make lunch for me. How nice of her! I wonder what she'll make. Probably something delicious... right?

In this lesson you'll learn all of the ways to say "my," including 저의, 제, 나의, 내, 우리, 우리 집, 우리 학교, and 저희.

Watch the full lesson here! And make sure to get the free PDF for this lesson by clicking the link below the video.

Click here to download a free PDF of this lesson!

The post Learn Korean Ep. 118: How to Say "My" appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


Cheonbul-jeon – The One Thousand Buddhas Hall: 천불전

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Inside the Cheonbul-jeon Hall at Daeheungsa Temple in Haenam, Jeollanam-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

One of the more obscure shrine halls that you might find at a Korean Buddhist temple is the Cheonbul-jeon, which means “One Thousand Buddhas Hall,” in English. Because of just how well-populated this shrine hall is, it’s one of the easier shrine halls to identify at a Korean Buddhist temple.

With that being said, why are there, in fact, one thousand Buddha statues in this type of shrine hall? And why is the the Cheonbul-jeon Hall at a Korean Buddhist temple.

Inside the Cheonbul-jeon Hall at Jikjisa Temple.
Inside the Cheonbul-jeon Hall at Munsuam Hermitage in Goseong, Gyeongsangnam-do.

The practice of worshiping one thousand incarnations of the Buddha is based upon Mahayana Buddhism, which Korean Buddhism largely ascribes to. The one thousand Buddhas are prayed to for the power of protection and perfection. It’s also believed that the large number of Buddhas in the hall, which are also there to pay tribute to all the Buddhas in the world (that have been and will be), appear to help sentient beings towards liberation; and ultimately, Buddhahood. These Buddhas appear in a countless amount of incarnations, which allows for liberation to take place in people. And while there are one thousand incarnations of the Buddha inside the Cheonbul-jeon Hall, the Buddha can manifest himself an infinite amount of times. The reason that this is possible is that humans have unending needs. More specifically, these one thousand Buddhas refer to the total amount of Buddhas that will appear, or have appeared, during each of the Three Kalpas. A Kalpa is a Sanskrit word for an unfathomable amount of time in both Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) is said to be the fourth incarnation of the present Kalpa.

Inside the Cheonbul-jeon Hall at Boriam Hermitage in Namhae, Gyeongsangnam-do.
An up-close of some of the Buddhas inside the Cheonbul-jeon Hall at Munsuam Hermitage in Goseong, Gyeongsangnam-do.

When you first walk inside a Cheonbul-jeon Hall, you’ll instantly notice the sheer number of Buddhas inside this shrine hall. These statues of the Buddha are typically smaller in size. And they can be made from jade, granite, wood, or anything else for that matter. As for the statues themselves, they almost always appear to be serenely seated in the Touching the Earth mudra (ritualized hand gesture). Interestingly, and so I’ve been told, if you pick a Buddha and count out your age in any direction, you’ll find a Buddha that looks like you.

Great examples of the Cheonbul-jeon Hall are usually found at larger temples like Jikjisa Temple in Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do; Boriam Hermitage in Namhae, Gyeongsangnam-do; Girimsa Temple, Gyeongju; and the Cheonbul-jeon Hall at Munsuam Hermitage in Goseong, Gyeongsangnam-do. In total, there’s only one Korean Treasure that’s a Cheonbul-jeon Hall. It’s the Cheonbul-jeon Hall at Daeheungsa Temple, in Haenam, Jeollanam-do, which is Korean Treasure #1807.

The Cheonbul-jeon Hall at Daeheungsa Temple in Haenam, Jeollanam-do. This Cheonbul-jeon Hall is the only Cheonbul-jeon Hall in Korea that’s a Treasure. It’s Korean Treasure #1807.

Billy Go’s Beginner Korean Course | #64: Time and Date

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In this lesson we'll learn how to tell the time and the date, using concepts from our last three lessons about numbers.

Also remember that all of these videos go in order, so start from the beginning if this is your first time watching one of these episodes. There will be a total of 100 episodes in this series, all going in order.

The post Billy Go’s Beginner Korean Course | #64: Time and Date appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


Guryongsa Temple – 구룡사 (Wonju, Gangwon-do)

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Guryongsa Temple’s Daeung-jeon Hall in Wonju, Gangwon-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Guryongsa Temple is located in Chiaksan National Park in Wonju, Gangwon-do. Guryongsa Temple is specifically located to the north of the highest peak in the park, Biro-bong (1288m), in a long valley. Guryongsa Temple was first founded by the famed monk, and temple builder, Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.) in 668 A.D.

The name of the temple, Guryongsa Temple, originally meant “Nine Dragons Temple,” in English. And this name comes from the creation myth that surrounds the temple. Uisang-daesa, after walking several kilometres, found a location for a new temple in the folds of Mt. Chiaksan. However, this location was already occupied by a pond, which potentially prevented Uisang-daesa from fulfilling his wish to build a new Buddhist temple. Additionally, there were nine dragons living in this pond. These dragons heard about Uisang-daesa’s plan to build a temple on their pond. To thwart this, the cunning dragons offered Uisang-daesa a bet. The bet was that if Uisang-daesa won, they would leave their pond; however, if the dragons won, Uisang-daesa would have to abandon his hopes of building a Buddhist temple on their pond. With both parties agreeing upon these terms, the dragons then attempted to drown Uisang-daesa. Torrential rain fell from the skies and flooded the mountain and the valley. Confident that they had killed Uisang-daesa, they went in search of his body. Instead of finding the deceased monk, the dragons were surprised to find Uisang-daesa peacefully sleeping in a boat. Awoken by these dragons, Uisang-daesa said to them, “Is that all the tricks you have? Now watch my trick with your eyes wide open.” Drawing a talisman, Uisang-daesa threw it into the pond, where the pond proceeded to bubble and boil. The dragons fled towards the East Sea. During their escape, one dragon was blinded by the boiling pond water. The other eight dragons, on the other hand, left so quickly and violently that they formed eight new valleys behind them in their wake.

In addition to a fantastical creation story, Guryongsa Temple has also been home to such venerated monks as Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.), Muhak-daesa (1327-1405), and Seosan-daesa (1520-1604). Also, the meaning behind the temple name, Guryongsa Temple, has changed from its original meaning. Even though the temple is still called Guryongsa Temple, the meaning is no longer “Nine Dragons Temple;” instead, Guryongsa Temple now means “Turtle Dragon Temple,” in English. The reason that it’s now known as this is due to a different myth related to the turtle-shaped rock at the temple entrance.

Guryongsa Temple was rebuilt in 1706, and it continues to be expanded to the present day. Guryongsa Temple is home to one Korean Treasure, and it also participates in the popular Temple Stay program.

Guryongsa Temple is located up a beautiful winding road that’s lined with mature pine trees and a meandering stream. The hike up to the temple grounds is about 900 metres. Along the way, you’ll encounter the Iljumun Gate, which is supported by two twisting stone dragon pillars. A little further up the road, and you’ll come to a Budo-won, which is home to a handful of ancient budo, or “stupa,” in English.

Just a little further up the road, and you’ll finally come to the elevated temple grounds. The impressive two-story Cheonwangmun Gate is the first structure to greet you at Guryongsa Temple. To the right of the Cheonwangmun Gate is a three-story stone pagoda. And to the left stands a statue of Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha) with his hands displaying the mudra (ritualized hand gesture) of the Gesture of Fearlessness.

Passing through the Cheonwangmun Gate, and past the Four Heavenly Kings inside this entry gate, you’ll next have to mount a steep set of stairs. To gain entry to the main temple courtyard at Guryongsa Temple, you’ll first have to pass under the low-lying Bogwang-ru Pavilion. The Bogwang-ru Pavilion is meant to symbolize the absolute truth that transcends relative and partial truth. The first floor of this pavilion is used as an entry gate, while the second floor is used as a lecture hall for larger gatherings.

Once you’ve entered the main temple courtyard at Guryongsa Temple, and with the Bogwang-ru Pavilion at your back, you’ll notice the Daeung-jeon Hall straight ahead of you. Surrounding the exterior walls to the main hall are the Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals). As for the interior, and seated on the main altar, is a triad centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This statue is joined on either side by Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) and Yaksayeorae-bul (The Medicine Buddha, and the Buddha of the Eastern Paradise). This triad is meant to represent the Buddhist idea of Samsara. Hanging on the right wall is the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). And hanging on the left wall is the Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural), which is used in ceremonies for the dead.

To the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the newly built octagonal Mireuk-jeon Hall, which houses Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha). This shrine hall is joined by the Myeongbu-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to the Myeongbu-jeon Hall are adorned with murals of the Underworld, as well as a Dragon Ship of Wisdom mural. As for the interior, and resting on the main altar, is a golden-capped, green-haired, statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). Behind the Myeongbu-jeon Hall is the Samseong-gak Hall. This shaman shrine hall houses murals dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars), Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), and Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). Rather uniquely, there are two images of Sanshin, a male and female Mountain Spirit), in the mural.

To the right front of the Daeung-jeon Hall, and standing in the main temple courtyard, is another three-story stone pagoda. And standing to the right of the Bogwang-ru Pavilion is the temple’s bell pavilion, the Jong-ru Pavilion.

To the right rear of the Daeung-jeon Hall, and up the embankment, are the two remaining shrine halls at Guryongsa Temple. The first is the Gwaneum-jeon Hall. This shrine hall houses a golden statue of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) inside it. This statue is backed by a beautiful mural of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who is joined in the mural by Yongwang (The Dragon King). And just to the rear of the Gwaneum-jeon Hall is the Eungjin-jeon Hall. This Eungjin-jeon Hall has a seated statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) on the main altar. This statue is joined by individual cubby-holes filled with Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha). In total, there are five hundred statuettes dedicated to the Nahan inside the Eungjin-jeon Hall. Additionally, there are sixteen larger-sized statues dedicated to the original sixteen Nahan on the main altar.

Admission to Guryongsa Temple is 2,500 won.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Wonju Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to take either Bus #3 or Bus #3-1 to Wonju Station. The ride should take about fifteen minutes, or six stops. From the Wonju Station, you’ll then need to board Bus #41 to Guryongsa Temple. In total, the bus ride should last about one hour and ten minutes.

OVERALL RATING: 8/10. Guryongsa Temple is located in one of the most beautiful parks in Korea: Chiaksan National Park. In addition, the two entry gates, the Cheonwangmun Gate and the Bogwang-ru Pavilion, are nice introductions to the temple. On top of that, you can also enjoy the male and female Sanshin mural inside the Samseong-gak Hall, and the uniquely designed Eungjin-jeon Hall.

The Budo-won at the entry of Guryongsa Temple.
The two-story Cheonwangmun Gate at the entry to Guryongsa Temple.
The Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha) that stands to the left of the Cheonwangmun Gate.
The Bogwang-ru Pavilion.
The Daeung-jeon Hall (right) and Myeongbu-jeon Hall (left).
Inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The golden Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall.
The male and female Sanshin (Mountain Spirit) mural inside the Samseong-gak Hall.
Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) from inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.
The unique Eungjin-jeon Hall at Guryongsa Temple.

Billy Go’s Beginner Korean Course | #63: Counting Everything

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Lessons 61, 62, and 63 are all about numbers and counting. This lesson will be about "counters," what they are, and what some of the most commonly used ones are.

Remember that this series goes in order, so I recommend starting from the beginning if it's your first time seeing one of them in order to not miss any essential vocabulary or grammar.

The post Billy Go’s Beginner Korean Course | #63: Counting Everything appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


데다가 "Not only" | Live Class Abridged

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This past Sunday in my live Korean class we learned about a few grammar forms.

Mainly I explained how to use the grammar form 데다가. This form is quite simple to conjugate, but I gave some tips for how to use it correctly and naturally.

We also talked about the form 에다가, as well as the word 게다가.

The post 데다가 "Not only" | Live Class Abridged appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


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