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Haein-sa, the Dharma Jewel Temple (해인사)

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Writer Jogye Date22 Jul 2015 Read12,951 Comment0


Three Jewel Temples, ​

Haein-sa, the Dharma Jewel Temple
법보사찰 해인사 


As Haein-sa Temple enshrines the entirety of the Buddhist canon, which contains the teachings of the Buddha, Haein-sa is referred to as the “Dharma Jewel” Temple. All known Sutras, recording the teachings of the Buddha, along with scriptural commentaries and other Buddhist texts, were collected to form the Tripitaka Koreana or “Palman Daejangyeong.” In total, the Tripitaka Koreana contains 1,514 separate titles made up of 6,803 individual scrolls. If the 81,258 printing woodblocks containing the Tripitaka Koreana were stacked one on top of the other, their height would reach 3,200m, a height greater than that of Mt. Baekdusan, the tallest mountain in Korea. If they were laid side by side horizontally, their length would extend 60km.

The original woodblocks containing the Tripitaka Koreana were carved during Goryeo Dynasty as a spiritual defense against the oncoming Mongol invasion. Thus the Goryeo royal court and the common people united together to produce the Tripitaka. Each craftsman worked with the utmost sincerity and devotion as, after carving each character, the craftsman would offer a prostration to the Buddha before engraving the next. Upon finishing each woodblock, the craftsmen engraved their names at the end. Such devotion was also maintained during the construction of the repositories which contain the woodblocks.

These repositories are called “Janggyeong Panjeon” or “Panjeon” for short, and are located behind Haein-sa's “Hall of Great Tranquility and Light” (Daejeokgwang-jeon). Both the Tripitaka Koreana and the Panjeon are Korean national treasures and in 1995 the Panjeon was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Then, in 2007 the Tripitaka Koreana was included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register of historically significant ancient documents.

- excerpt from Buddhist English (Intermediate 1) published in 2014 by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism

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