Friday, February 19, 2010

Queen Seondeok TV and My visit to Yangsan, South Korea

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Queen Seon Deok is a koreanovela that premiered last January 4, 2010 on GMA 7. I love watching it and I wouldn't miss it for anything. Queen Seondeok reigned as Queen of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, from 632 to 647. She was Silla's twenty-seventh ruler, and its first reigning queen.

Watching Queen Seondok brought back memories of my visit to Yangsan, South Korea in May 2001. One of the places I visited was the Tongdosa Temple. Tongdosa located in YeongChuksan (Mt.). is a thousand year old temple which was built in 646 C.E., during the reign of Queen Seondok, and it was a major temple throughout the Unified Silla and Goryeo periods, when Buddhism was the state religion, and remained strong even in the Joseon Dynasty.

Tongdosa is Korea's largest temple and often called "The temple without a Buddha" because it contains no outdoor statues of the Buddha. A total of 65 buildings separately house a shrine for virtually every major Buddhist deity.

The first gate to the temple, Iljumun, is called the One Pillar Gate because when viewed from the side the gate appears to be supported by a single pillar, symbolizes the one true path of enlightenment, supporting the world. Iljumun is the boundary between the spiritual world and the secular world.

Approaching the entrance the first bridge one sees is Samseongbanwol - Three Arch Bridge - meaning three stars and a half moon, sometimes also called the One Mind Bridge.

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