Amithabha Buddha


National Treasure no. 45. Seated Amitabha, clay, 2.78 m. Buseok Temple.

Amithabha Buddha (아미타불; Amita-bul in Korean) is the Buddha of infinite light and governs the pure land, the Western Paradise. Because the faces of Amithabha and Sakyamuni are so similar and their symbolic hand gestures are the same, it is difficult to distinguish between them. One way to identify Amithabha Buddha is that he is associated with Avalokitesvara and Mahastamprapta (Taesaeji Bosal, in Korean), two important bodhisattvas.


http://pusoksa.buddhism.org

Buddhist painting by Venerable ManBong


honeydew buddhist wall painting 甘露幀

Goryeo’s pattern 高麗文樣

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva 金泥彩色觀音

Paradise picture 極樂圖

chrysograph Avalokitesvara;金泥觀音

chrysograph Avalokitesvara 金泥觀音

chrysograph Avalokitesvara 金泥觀音

chrysograph Avalokitesvara 金泥觀音

chrysograph Avalokitesvara 金泥觀音

Arhat pictures 羅漢圖

Bosal-Do 菩薩圖

Fenghuang Dancheong 鳳凰丹靑

Fenghuang picture 鳳凰圖

sangdan Tanghwa 上壇幀

a rabbit 十二支神像

a hen 十二支神像

Arhat;section drawing 羅漢部分圖

Arhat section drawing 羅漢部分圖

twin dragons 雙龍

twin dragons 雙龍

Yonglakdo 瓔珞圖

Yeongsanhoesang-do 靈山會相圖

Arhat;drawing 羅漢圖

Arhat;section drawing羅漢部分圖

Arhat;section drawing 羅漢部分圖


white porcelain 靑華白磁

white porcelain 靑華白磁

white porcelain 靑華白磁

7 stars buddhist wall painting 七星幀

Avalokitesvara sea 海上觀音

Avalokitesvara sea 海上觀音

Avalokitesvara sea 海上觀音

Avalokitesvara sea 海上觀音

Avalokitesvara sea 海上觀音

Avalokitesvara sea 海上觀音

Avalokitesvara sea 海上觀音

Avalokitesvara sea 海上觀音

Avalokitesvara sea 海上觀音

Avalokitesvara sea 海上觀音

Arhat 十六羅漢

Arhat 十六羅漢

Arhat 十六羅漢

Arhat 十六羅漢

Venerable ManBong

Korea takes pride in the preservation of its culture, and the government in recognition of its rich heritage officially designates certain people and places as national treasures. At 77, Lee Man Bong is Living Treasure of Korea No. 48 and one of his country’s masters of Buddhist art.

Lee, a Buddhist monk, whose home is Pomun Temple in Seoul, began his art career influenced by a fortune teller’s prophecy that he would be a Buddhist monk. In 1917, at the age of 7, he joined the T’aego order, one of the two major Korean Buddhist sects. At 16 years of age, he was apprenticed to the venerable Kim Ye Woon who taught him to become an expert in two forms of Korean Buddhist painting, Tanch’ong and T’aenghwa. Today, Lee’s works can be seen at more than 170 of Korea’s Buddhist temples and cultural landmarks throughout the country.

Whereas most painters acquire skills to express individualistic ideas, Lee pursues his art as an act of religious faith. He says, “Each time I pick up a brush, I paint with the heart of a Buddha.” Early this summer, fourteen of his Tanch’ong and T’aenghwa paintings were exhibited at the Korean Cultural Service gallery under the auspices of the Korea Society, the Korean Cultural Service and the Korean Artists Association of Southern California.

Lee, who, with his son, the venerable Lee Yong Woon, presented a slide and lecture presentation on Buddhist painting, says, ” Tanch’ong painting does not express the artist’s world. Rather the inspiration comes from one’s feeling toward the Buddha.”

Guardian Painting : Sinjungtaenghwa

Sinjung Tanghwa


Guardian Painting (Shinjung Taengwha, in Korean)


The Shinjung Taengwha, a painting featur-ing Tongjin Posal, is commonly found in Korean temples. Its frequent presence, however, in no way seems to make its meaning well-known. The only point on which most people agree, Buddhists in-cluded, is that they don’t know much about the Shinjung Taengwha.

There are twelve to twenty figures de-picted in the Shinjung Taengwha. The central image is of Tongjin Posal, who is easily identi-fied by his elaborate headdress which resembles a fan of feathers. One of a number of beings who guard the doctrine, Tongjin Posal is the Bodhi-sattva who protects the Saddharma-pundarika, the Lotus Sutra of the True Law, one of the most revered Mahayana texts which explains that the truth is conveyed by silence and gestures as well as words.

There are different interpretations of the Shinjung Taengwha. One is that the figures sur-rounding Tongjin represent beings who are well-acquainted with the Three Refuges: the Buddha, his teaching (Dharma), and the Buddhist community (Sangha). Another is that the figures are historical personages such as Confucius, or lesser deities like the Kitchen God. The four, or sometimes five, figures at the base of the paint-ing or to the sides of Tongjin Posal, are clearly guardians. One guardian often carries a rolled-up scroll, representing the doctrine which he protects.

Depending on the size of the temple, and consequently on the number of halls or shrines therein, the Shinjung Taengwha is found in any one of many buildings, but most often on the right wall of the Main Hall.

It is interesting to note that, as the gods are beings in the realm of pleasure, they cannot attain enlightenment. Therefore the monks and nuns turn to the Taenghwa when they chant the Heart Sutra in order to help the gods attain a human birth in their next life and so reach enlightenment. In addition, as humans need help from the gods, often people will bow towards the Taenghwa as a gesture of respect and humility in the understanding of the fact that it is difficult to reach attainment alone.  

Ten Judges


In the main hall, there is a painting of Ksitigarbha, the Bodhisattva who helps the suffering of the nether world. On each side of Ksitigarbha stand five imposing figures. These are the Ten Judges. Other popular Buddhist paintings in the main hall is the paintings featuring Bodhisattva of the Protection of Buddhist Doctrine(Shinjung Taenghwa). It is most often found on the right wall of the Main Hall.


 


제1 진광대왕


제2 초강대왕


제3 송제대왕


제4 오관대왕


제5 염라대왕


제6 변성대왕


제7 태산대왕


제8 평등대왕


제9 도시대왕


제10 전륜대왕

시왕(十王) Ten Judges


명부전(冥府殿)·지장전·시왕전 등에 봉안한다. 현존하는 우리나라의 시왕도를 살펴보면 고려시대에는 지장보살을 본존으로 그 하단부에 시왕·제석천·범천·사천왕 등이 있는 지장시왕도가 주류를 이루었던 것으로 보인다. 일본 도쿄[東京] 정가당문고(靜嘉堂文庫)에 있는 것과 오카야마[岡山] 닛코 사[日光寺]에 소장되어 있는 것 등은 이와 같은 형식을 충실하게 따르고 있으며, 제작시기는 대체로 14세기 후반으로 짐작된다. 조선시대에는 본존인 지장보살의 좌우를 둘러싼 형태로 구도상의 변화는 있지만 고려시대의 도상적 특징은 지속되었으며, 지장시왕도 제작이 매우 성행했다. 조선시대 작품은 가가와[香川] 미곡사(彌谷寺), 소장본(1546), 히로시마[廣島] 고묘 사[光明寺] 소장본(1562), 오카야마 단조 사[誕生寺] 소장본(1582) 등 거의 대부분 일본에 전하고 있으며, 조선 전기의 작품만도 수십 점이 알려져 있다. 한편 조선시대에는 고려시대에 볼 수 없었던 독립된 시왕도, 즉 1폭에 1명의 시왕을 그린 10폭의 시왕도가 많이 제작되었다. 이러한 시왕도는 화면의 윗부분 가운데에 왕을 그리고, 그 좌우에 사자(使者)·판관(判官)·천인(天人)·동자(童子) 등을 배치하고 그 아래 부분에는 온갖 고통을 받는 장면, 즉 지옥의 모습이 생생하게 묘사되는 것이 일반적이다. 시왕신앙은 민간신앙과 결합했기 때문에 사찰의 명부전·지장전·시왕전 가운데 어느 한 곳에는 반드시 시왕도가 봉안되어 있으며, 대개 조선 말기 이후의 것이지만 상당히 많은 수가 전하고 있다. 고성 옥천사(玉泉寺)에 소장되어 있는 〈시왕도〉(1744)와 통도사에 소장되어 있는 〈시왕도〉(1775) 등이 대표적인 예이다.

Eight Scenes of the Life of the Buddha

Eight Scenes of the Life of the Buddha  

Eight Scenes of the Life of the Buddha

Eight Scenes of the Life of the Buddha

Eight Scenes of the Life of the Buddha

Eight Scenes of the Life of the Buddha

Paintings of the eight scenes of the life of Buddha can be found in the Palsong-jon, the Eight Pictures Hall, or on the outside walls of the Main Hall of Buddhist Temples. When inside, they are skillfully artistic and colorful as well as quite complex. In addition to the specific episodes, associated ones are shown and the back-ground of the scene is elaborated. When on the outside walls, they are of simple design in a more naive style.
In either case, there are eight clues by which each can be identified: (1) elephant; (2) baby; (3) sick or dead man; (4) white horse over a wall; (5) starved figure; (6) tempters; (7) halo; (8) bier.

i) (Elephant)–Announcement of the imminent birth
A white elephant is a sacred, auspicious symbol in India, where the Buddha was born, and is depicted as the vehicle that brought to earth the Buddha-to-be. Between the right ribs he entered Maya’s womb.
In more detailed indoor paintings, the background is of the palace in which he was born with many people in the rooms and gardens. A whole host of heavenly beings surround the ele-phant and the Buddha-to-be in a cloud that trails to earth above Maya’s head.

ii) (Baby)–The birth
The well-developed babe emerged from the right side of a fully clothed mother and began walking immediately after birth. He was born into a royal family and bore the title of Prince. He was named Siddhartha; Gautama was his family name. Seven days after his birth his mother died. At sixteen he married and had a son. His life in the palace was one of comfort and luxury.
In compound pictures there are nine dragons washing the baby with many earthly attend-ants.

iii) (Sick/dead man)–The world outside the palace
Eventually Siddhartha began to see, out-side the sanctuary of the palace, sickness, old age and death. Then he saw a recluse and realized that the only way to overcome sickness, old age and death was to leave home and attain enlighten-ment. Siddhartha decided to leave his family and home for solitude and meditation.
In the simple pictures one emaciated body tells the story. In the complex ones, life goes on as usual in the palace, but outside the walls in the lower right can be seen illness and in the lower left, death.

iv) (White horse over wall)–Renunciation
His father, learning of Siddhartha췷 intentions to leave the palace, placed extra guards by the gates and others to watch over his son at all times.
But Siddhartha, with the aid of the four guardians and other spirits, was able to escape over the wall on his favorite white horse.
A white horse taking to the air, with his master astride it and the groom hanging on to the tail, represents renunciation.

v) (Starved figure)–Asceticism
For six years he studied and meditated. As was the custom in those days, he punished and disciplined the body until he was nearly dead. Finally realizing that this was not the right way, he began to live moderately and to maintain a healthy body in order to practice in his quest for understanding and enlightenment.

vi) (Tempters)–Temptations
The demon Mara sought to break the spirit of the meditating man and sent various lures away from the path Siddhartha had chosen. First he sent worldly pleasures. When these failed, he sent his army-cum-monsters but the power of the nearly enlightened Buddha was able to stop them and turn their weapons into lotus blossoms. Evil, in the guise of Mara and his tricks, was defeated and righteousness prevailed.
The three voluptuous women trying to seduce him leave no doubt that this is the tempta-tion scene!

vii) (Halo)–Enlightenment
After overcoming temptation, enlighten-ment is complete. Siddhartha had become the his-torical Buddha, Sakyamuni. For forty-five years, he wandered and taught anyone who was interested in his understanding of reality.
In addition to the halo there are disci-ples at his feet, but in the complex pictures this scene is subordinated by a confusing array of celestial and worldly beings and structures.

viii) (Bier)–Death
At the age of eighty the Buddha died. His disciples and many animals gathered around the bier to mourn his passing.
In elaborate paintings, there is a color-ful shower of relics from the burning casket. Around the body are crowds of both heavenly and earthly mourners.

Buddhist wall painting


Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting

Buddhist Painting


Buddhist Painting


Buddhist Painting is not meant to pursue mere beauty, but rather, is a holy and divine art of drawing the subjects and themes of Buddhist principles. Accordingly, good Buddhist paintings depend on how well Buddhist principles are depicted and delivered rather than on revolutionary techniques and skills applied in the paintings. For example, if the liberation from all the sufferings is the main purpose of Buddhism, the most successful Buddhist painting is the one which depicts the scene that helps one to be liberated from all these sufferings.


Buddhist paintings have various purposes; First of all, they are used for decoration. Also, they are used to create solemnity. Secondly, they have the educational purpose of delivering the teachings of the Buddha more easily. Thirdly, they are used for worship.
Korean; Taenghwa (탱화, 幀畫 ,Thangka )


 


Byukhwas (벽화, Temple Murals)
There are three types of temple ‘Byukhwas’ (벽화, temple murals), based on whether they are painted on clay, wood or stone. ; clay, stone and wooden board. Most of the historical temples before the Choseon Dynasty were made of wood and clay, and were decorated with murals.
However, a majority of the paintings disappeared over time due to the destruction or restoration of the temples and so they are now hard to find.
In the case of murals painted on the wood surface, the boards are put on the outside walls of a wooden temple to protect the walls and murals are painted on them. These murals do not last long and it is hard to find ones from long ago. Stone wall paintings are done on the walls of cave temples. In Korea, there are no remaining examples and only a record of that they existed. However, many cave murals have survived many centuries in other parts of the world, for example in Ajanta, India, in Donhuan, Ungang and Daedong in China and throughout Central Asia.


Gamro-dos (감로도)
‘Gamro’ means the sweet teachings of the Buddha and ‘do’ means paintings and pictures. Gamro-dos (감로도) are also called Taenghwas for the spirits of the dead, or Gamrowang-do (Paintings of King Gamro) since it mainly depicts the Sutra of ‘Bulseoluranbunkyung’.(불설우란분경) King Gamro represents the Amitabul(아미타불, Amitahba), the main Buddha of the Western Paradise.


The paintings depict the manner of worship to ancestors and other spirits. The upper portion illustrates the scene of the Amitabul and the heavenly beings appearing before sentient beings at the purgatory, and the scene of a Bodhisattva taking those beings to the Western Paradise (the Pure Land). The bottom portion depicts the many different forms of sufferings in Hell and in the realms of sentient beings.

Byunsang-do(변상도) 
Byunsang-do’ (변상도) are the paintings of the life of the Buddha Seokgamoni (Sakyamuni) and of various Buddhist stories. There are the main subjects; Bonsaeng-dos (본생도) which depict the former lives of the Buddha, Buljeon-dos(불전도), which show the panoramic depiction of his life and Jangeom-dos (장엄도), which feature the Western Paradise. Complicated sutras or profound doctrines are summarized in a painted form. These paintings are used as a means of edification for sentient beings by inspiring them to study the meanings of


Palsang-do (팔상도, Eight Scenes of the Buddha’s Life)


(1)  Scene of the Buddha’s descent from ‘Dosolcheon’ (도솔천, Tusita heaven).
This painting illustrates the Buhhda Seokamoni(Sakyamuni) waiting in Dosolcheon and then descending from heaven to earth as the son of King Shuddhodana Gautama and Queen Maya; Queen Maya dreams of Homyoung Bosal (Bodhisattva Homyoung, 호명보살) riding an elephant and entering her between the right ribs. The King and the Queen listen to the interpretation of the dream from a Brahmin who is an expert in physiognomy. He predicts “A great son will be born. If he renounces the world and embraces a religious life, he will attain perfect Enlightenment and become the Savior of the three realms(삼계, Samgye, San.: triloka).


(2) Scene of the Buddha’s Birth in Lumbini Park
This painting depicts the aspects of nature which are associated with the Buddha’s birth; On a warm spring day, Queen Maya walks up the Lumbini Park with royal ladies in waiting who leave the palace to accompany her. The prince emerges from the right side of his mother who is standing upright and holding a branch of an Ashoka tree. Jeseokcheon (제석천, King Sacra, King of devas) attends the prince’s birth and wraps him in silk brought from the Heaven and all the heavenly kings make offerings of treasures. The prince, immediately after birth, takes seven steps and at each step, a lotus grows out of the ground to receive the Buddha-to-be. He steps from blossom to blossom and stops. With one hand pointing to Heaven and the other pointing to the earth, he exclaims “Above heaven and below heaven (In the heavens and on earth), I alone am the Honored One. (San.: wnaggo ham asmi lokassa). Nine dragons wash the prince with the clean water from their mouth and take the prince on their backs. Asita, an old hermit sage is called in the palace in order to read the physiognomy of the prince.


(3) Scene of Gautama’s Observation outside Four Gates
This scene shows the prince observing all the sufferings



Meoktaenghwa 먹탱화[먹[[[

Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon

Goryeo Buddhist painting of Suwol-Gwaneum-Do
or literally Painting of Water Moon Avalokitevara Bodhisattva     Material : Ink and colors on silk

Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon 鏡神社 419.5 x 254.2cm 




Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon 大德寺 227.9×125.8㎝


Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon 53×86㎝  (Treasure #926)


Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon (Treasure #1426)


Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon


Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon  (Treasure #1286)


Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon  (Treasure #1204)
The paintings named Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon were very popular during the Goryeo Dynasty and the Joseon Dynasty. Though this painting was deeply influenced by the conventions of Goryeo paintings, it has considerable modifications from Joseon techniques and styles.
The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara who is well composed in the center of the painting sits on the auspicious grass above a rocky throne in the waves. He is endowed with one large halo behind his body and one small green halo around his head. He is wearing a splendid crown decorated with lotuses and beautiful jewels. Below is the boy Sudhana paying his respects to Avalokitesvara.
Differing from the Goryeo paintings, the significant characteristics of this painting are the frontal pose, the elongated figure, the small facial features, and the stylized and abstract lines used to depict the robes and the waves. 


Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon 鏡神社 419.5 x 254.2cm