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The Tongdosa Temple is a very important Buddhist Temple. This temple holds the remains that are believed to be the man who invented Buddhism. I found that interesting because I had never heard anyone refer to a religion as being "Invented" but it was quickly pointed out that Buddhism is not a true religion to the believers .. it is a way of life.
The Tongdosa Temple is a working Monastery with over a hundred "monks" all of whom are men, although about 40% of the Buddhist Monks in Korea are women. There are no "Nuns" in Buddhism .. they are referred to as Female Monks or just Monks and are completely equal to their male counterparts .. there a real plus for this way of life!!!
This temple is from the Ming Dynasty and, although much of it has been re-created because some of the wooden structures have not withstood the elements, a greater part of it is intact. Some of the buildings, the ones that are less elaborate are from the Shinto period when they did not use as much paint as part of the decorations. When you pass through the Third gate to enter the grounds you catch your breath as the enormous gate guards greet you. They are to keep the evil spirits away from the Temple grounds and they do a great job believe me .. many evil spirits are trapped under their feet as evidence.
The Temple grounds consist of many buildings, each of which is a Temple to a particular Buddha. There are Temples to the Buddhas of Medicine, the Buddha of Philosophy, the Buddha of Knowledge, The only Female Buddha (with her 1000 arms to protect the world as a mother would) and many more. The Buddhists can distinguish which Buddha is for which by the way the hands are held. These are beautiful statues of painting and each Temple holds an altar. At many of the Temples, a Monk was presiding over prayers, sometimes for no worshipers, sometimes for one or as in the case of the Woman Buddha for a large number of females.
I am only going to identify a few of these pictures, for the rest rely on the
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|This is the first gate of the Tongdosa Temple.||The graveyard for Monks who died there.||The Main Gate of the
|The Tongdosa Temple||The Tongdosa Temple||The Temple Museum .. outside the Temple Grounds.|
|The Tongdosa Temple
a Buddhist Temple
|Along the Path to the second gate.||The Second Gate of the Temple .. the Lanterns are to celebrate something although we could not ascertain what since it was to do with something sacred to the Buddhists and they were all too busy for our guide to ask.|
|There is Dave taking a picture and Carol watching.||Did I get it ?||The Tongdosa Temple|
|A second Museum outside the Temple Grounds|
|Here is one of those Guards I mentioned||The Tongdosa Temple||This building held Musical Instruments and a Hollow Fish .. the Monks start the day playing each of the instruments to stress harmony.|
|The Shinto Period||The Gong|
|A Drum||A Peek inside at the Buddha of Medicine||A huge Bell at the temple|
|A large Bell at the temple||Buddhist Temple|
|Kathy taking a breather|
|The Pond for harmony|
|Right in the middle of this you will see an Urn .. that is believed to hold the "Relics" of the inventor of Buddhism a very famous Buddha.||Because his remains are here, there is a temple to him but it has no representation of the Buddha in it, but it does have representations of his disciples.|
|They are praying to the Female Buddha|
|A Monk performing a service|
|You do not enter a Temple wearing shoes.|
|The Guard caught an evil spirit.||This one did too !!!|
|He would scare me|