Woljeongsa Buddhist Temple in the Winter – South Korea

Woljeongsa is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, located on the eastern slopes of Odaesan in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province, South Korea. Woljeongsa was founded in 643 by the Silla monk Jajang.

Woljeongsa (Korean: 월정사, Chinese: 月精寺), a celebrated Vinaya Master of the Silla Dynasty. Jajang went to China to study and had an audience with the manifestation of Manjusri Bodhisattva at Taihe Lake in Shanxi Province. Manjusri then gave Jajang some of the Buddha’s cremains, his robe and alms bowl and told him to return to Silla. The bodhisattva said he would meet Jajang again on Mt. Odaesan (五臺山), located northeast of Gyeongju. Upon his return to Korea, Jajang went to (current) Odaesan and built a temporary hut. He prayed in this hut to meet the manifestation of Manjusri again but was not successful because inclement weather lasted for three days.

Later, Sinhyo Geosa, a layman known to be the reincarnation of Learned-Youth Bodhisattva, resided there and cultivated his Buddhist practice. Ven. Sinui, a disciple of National Preceptor Beomil Guksa, built a small hut on the site where Jajang Yulsa had built his and also resided there. After Sinui died, the hut fell into ruin. When Ven. Yuyeon of Sudasa Temple built a hermitage on this site, it finally gained stature as a proper temple. In 1377, the hermitage burnt to the ground, and Ven. I-il rebuilt it. In 1833 it burnt down again, and in 1844 it was reconstructed by two monks, Yeongdam and Jeongam. During the Korean War, over ten of the temple’s buildings, including Chilbul-bojeon, were torched by friendly forces for strategic purposes. It was only in 1964 that reconstruction was begun again by Ven. Tanheo, beginning with the Jeokgwangjeon Hall.

Video Source: Snowflakes, winter wonderlands, Woljeongsa temple(눈꽃, 겨울 동화의 나라, 월정사) from OW Alpaca on Youtube CC BY