Coordinates: Beomeosa (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 most known urban temples.
Beomeosa was constructed in 678 during the reign of Silla king Munmu, by the monk Uisang. It became known as one of the ten great temples of the Hwaeom sect, although like most Korean temples it was later assimilated into the Jogye Order. At its largest, during the Goryeo dynasty, it was much larger than it is today - with over 360 rooms and more than a thousand monks in residence. The temple was burned to the ground in 1592 during the Japanese invasion. It was reconstructed in 1602, but was burned again by an accidental fire. In 1613 it was rebuilt again. The main hall (Daeungjeon) and the front gate (Iljumun) date to this reconstruction.
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) = nirvana - 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.＂
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.
The temple complex has several buildings and other objects which are designated as official treasures:
- Treasure 250 - Three Story Stone Pagoda. This pagoda dates back to the Unified Shilla era probably erected as part of the original temple that was destroyed by fire in 1592. Only the top three-stories are from the Shilla where the base and fence are later additions.
- Treasure 434 - Daeungjeon, the main temple hall, was built in 1614 after the temple was burned down during the Japanese invasion of 1592. Major renovations of Daeungjeon were undertaken in 1713, 1814 and 1871.
- Tangible Cultural Asset 2 - Iljumun. The first gate to the temple, called the "One Pillar Gate" because when viewed from the side the gate appears to be supported by a single pillar, symbolizing the one true path of enlightenment, supporting the world.
- Tangible Cultural Assets 11 and 12 - Wonhyoam Eastern Pagoda and Wonhyoam Western Pagoda. Wonhyoam (hermitage) is located to the south of Beomeosa and is the site of these two pagodas. This the site of the former residence of the famous Shilla monk, Wonhyo.
- Tangible Cultural Asset 15 - Flag Pole Holder. These two very old stone structures, called a jiju, were used to support a flagpole between them. The stones are found on the path up to Beomeosa's main gate.
- Tangible Cultural Asset 16 - Stone Lamp. This lamp dates back to the Unified Shilla era and was part of the original temple that was destroyed by fire in 1592.
Gallery - Main Temple
Beomeosa's second gate, Beomeosa Cheonwangmun, or Gate of the Four Heavenly Kings was originally built in 1699 and houses the four kings or divas guarding the entrance to the temple.
Beomeosa's third gate, Beomeosa Burimun, or Gate of Non-Duality was originally built in 1699. This is the final gate before entering the main temple compound symbolizing the concept that the realm of the Buddha and this world are the same.
Steles along the pathway leading to the entrance to Beomeosa.
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- Chungryungam (Blue Lotus Hermitage)
- Naewonam (Buddha's Celestial Teaching Hall Hermitage)
- Kyemyongam (Rooster's Crow Hermitage)
- Daesongam (Great Saint Hermitage)
- Geumgangam (Diamond Hermitage)
- Anyangam (Peace Nurturing Hermitage)
- Mirukam (Maitreya Hermitage)
- Wonhyoam (Former hermitage residence of the famous monk, Wonhyo)
- Sajaam (Lion Hermitage)
- Mansongam (Great Teacher Hermitage)
- Chijangam (Ksitigarbha Hermitage)
Gallery - Chungryungam
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- Glionna, John M. (26 December 2011). "Fighting Monks' new master shares martial arts style with the world". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 February 2012.