Sunday Photo; Dharma Hall at Hanmaum

In contribution to this blog, I would like to share a photo each Sunday, focusing on interesting Buddhist sites, throughout South Korea.

I thought a good place to start would be the main Dharma Hall at Hanmaum Seonwon.

An interesting, detailed description of the Hall and it’s art work can be read here on the Hanmaum website. I especially like that the wood-carver has been designated as Korean Important Intangible Cultural Asset No.108. Is he actually the 108th, or did they just decide to give him that number??

14 thoughts on “Sunday Photo; Dharma Hall at Hanmaum”

  1. *****overwhelmingly beautiful*****

    thank you, Joseph, and now – p l e a s e – make that i can smell it…:)

    love, peace and bliss

    1. haha, thank you Evelyn, if only I could…

      There have been many times that I wished I could capture the smell of a place and email it to friends and family at home…

      Lots of Love, Peace, and Bliss to you, too. ^^


  2. Wonderful! Great photo, great idea for a Sunday-photo, great start to the project, and how amazing to hear that the carver is Intangible Cultural Asset No.108! Incredible! Thank you so much! (And I agree, to have the smell would be great too!)

    1. Thanks Marcus,
      Do you remember the time we all caught the bus together is Bundang? You, me, EunBong, and Joe…
      I took this just after the Heart Sutra that evening, as everyone else was gathering outside to circle the pagoda.

      One of my favorite smells is passing a booth full of jasmine loops in Bangkok. Although my friend told me if I smelled them, I would be reborn without a sense of smell, I couldn’t help breathing in as much as I could without being obvious! ^^

  3. Hi Barry,
    I think this is the answer…

    Short version:

    The left side represents the Hell realms and the right side represents the human realm.

    Long version:

    The realms of Hell are carved on the relief on the left side. In each corner of the relief, there are the four messengers from the underworld. And the middle, it shows the struggling people who fell into Hell.

    The relief on the right side shows the human realm. In many temples the human realm is represented as a painting called the Kam-no-taeng, which is used in services. However, this wooden relief is very different from other Kam-no-taeng. First of all, it is the first time a Kam-no-taeng has been carved from wood. Further, it explains the workings of mind in the human realm so clearly that everyone can understand them, which is somewhat different from ordinary Kam-no-taeng. Chungwon Sunim said, “Through this project, I realized that its possible to create Buddhist art without just following the traditionally used patterns.”

  4. Perhaps, this week, we could tempt Chong Go Sunim to post the story of the making of the Dharma Hall, I really enjoyed reading it. ^^

  5. Hi Joseph,
    Thank you for your beautiful picture, and I look forward to seeing one every Sunday. 🙂

    I too would like to hear the story of the making of the Dharma Hall, even though I have read it before. It seems that every story I read again and again still has something new for me.

    With Gratitude and Warmth,

    1. Hi Rachael,
      Thank you for your enthusiasm~ ^^

      It’s interesting, how even the same story can tell us different things at different times…

      I’ll try to come up with a good picture next week!

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