Walk in Beomeosa Buddhist Temple – Busan, South Korea
Beomeosa (Korean: 범어사, Chinese: 梵魚寺; name: Temple of the Nirvana Fish) is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism in Cheongnyong-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan, South Korea. Built on the slopes of Geumjeongsan, it is one of the country’s best known urban temples.
The mountain where Beomeosa is found is said to have huge rock at the summit where there is a golden well which never, ever dries up. The water of this well is believed to have very special magical properties as one day a golden fish came from heaven and has lived there ever since.
Beom(범;梵) = Nirvāṇa – eo(어;魚) = fish – sa(사;寺) = temple. Thus the name of the temple came to be ＂Heavenly Fish.＂ It is also claimed that the fish came from Nirvana, the Buddhist state of non-suffering. Therefore, the temple also became known as ＂The temple where fish from Nirvana Play.”
According to the Sinjeung dongguk yeoji seungnam (新增東國輿地勝覽; Revised Academic Geography for the Eastern Country), a golden fish descended from heaven and frolicked in a well on this mountaintop. Thus, the mountain was named “Geumjeongsan (金井山; literally ‘Golden Well Mountain’),” and the temple built on it was named “Beomeosa (梵魚寺; literally ‘Spiritual Fish Temple’).”
Beomeosa Temple was established in 678 as one of the ten major temples of the Avatamsaka School.
The temple is considered one of the three major temples in southeast Korea, along with Haeinsa Temple and Tongdosa Temple. Its strong Seon Buddhist spirit has earned it the title “Great Headquarters Temple of Seon Buddhism.”
On December 26, 2011, the Los Angeles Times printed a story of the fighting monks at this temple. South Korean Buddhist monk Ando demonstrates Sunmudo martial arts techniques. Monks from Beomeosa Temple are famed for defeating Japanese invaders during the late 16th century and again during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the early 20th century.
Eminent monks who have lived at the temple include Great Masters Uisang, Pyohun, Nangbaek, Myeonghak, Gyeongheo, Yongseong, Manhae and Dongsan. Even today, Beomeosa Temple teaches serious Buddhist practice.
In 2012, the temple was designated a Geumjeong Chongnim, one of eight comprehensive monastic training complexes for the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, and its first spiritual patriarch is Master Jiyu.