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The Tripitaka Koreana, the 1000 year truth

Do you know when and where was the Tripitaka Koreana was engraved? The truth has come to light in a special Buddhist service celebration that it has been around for 1000 years since the first Tripitaka Koreana was engraved. This special Buddhist service was held on Thursday, October 13th. Park Sang-guk, chief of Korean cultural heritage research, gave a lecture on the subject. He graduated from the department of Buddhism in Dongguk University.

The Tripitaka Koreana was engraved for squashing an invasion from the Kitan during King HyeonJong’s Reign. Also, this Tripitaka helped to overcome a national crisis unifying the national spirit through the power of the Buddha. The first Tripitaka Koreana was burnt due to an invasion from Mongolia in 1232. Thereafter, the Haeinsa Temple Janggyeong Panjeon was engraved. There are two questions concerning the Tripitaka Koreana.

The first is about what time the engraving took place. Many people misunderstand that this Tripitaka was engraved in the time from 1011 to 1087 and had taken 77 years to do the engraving. Park Sang-guk said, “Taking 77 years for the engraving of the Tripitaka Koreana does not make sense. It should normally take about 4 or 5 years to do the engraving.” 

The second question is about where engraving took place. It is wrongly understood that the engraving took place in a temple named ‘Seonwonsa’ located in Ganghwado. However, it turns out that the Tripitaka Koreana was engraved in Namhae, Gyeongsangnam-do. Namhae is a unique place to work safely because it is island. Most of all, Namhae was the place where funds were raised for the engraving.

Through this special Buddhist service, the truth about the time and place for the engraving was revealed. Also participants could think deeply about our history and cultural heritage of our nation’s people.

 

Sim Su-ji  suji306@dongguk.edu

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