Cheonwangmun Gate of Magoksa Temple

3. Cheonwangmun Gate of Magoksa Temple

[Man]
The Cheonwangmun Gate of Magoksa Temple is the second gate of Magoksa Temple and was designated as Chungcheongnam-do Cultural Heritage No. 62 on May 17, 1984. It is composed of 3 sections in the front space and 2 in the side space. The date of the construction of the Cheonwangmun Gate is unknown, but a record suggests that it was reconstructed in June of 1910.

[Woman]
In the Cheonwangmun Gate of Magoksa Temple are enshrined the statues of the Four Guardian Kings, the guardian deities that protect the four directions of east, west, north, and south. The Four Guardian Kings refer to the four guardian gods who protect the Buddhist Dharma. These statutes of the guardian kings feature scary looks with bulging eyes, fully raised black eyebrows, and a wide-open red mouth, and are depicted stepping on the devil with a large sword in their hands.

[Woman]
"This must be the Cheonwangmun Gate of Magoksa Temple."

[Man]
"I can feel a strong spirit.”

[Woman]
"Maybe more so because of the statues of the Four Guardian Kings."

[Man]
"Four Guardian Kings?

[Woman]
"Yes, they were originally the kings of ghosts that were revered in the ancient Indian religion, but they are known to have converted to Buddhism and become the guardians of the Buddha and Dharma. They are known to be gods guarding the four directions, east, west, north, and south, on the hillside of Sumisan Mountain.

[Man]
“Is that so? Which king guards the east?”

[Woman]
"The king who guards the East is called King Dhrtarastra. He is the god of the people and lives in a golden temple, east of the middle of Sumisan Mountain. King Dhrtarastra is said to reward good and punish evil. "His face is steel-gray and he holds a sword in his left hand and his waist with his right, or has a jewel placed on his left palm.

[Man]
"What about the West?"

[Woman]
"The west is guarded by King Virupaksa, who lives in a white-golden temple at the middle of Sumisan Mountain. His body is decorated in many colors, and he is a god with the ability to orally defeat all kinds of evil stories by opening his mouth wide. He is also called Wide-eyes because he defeats all evil things with his dignity by opening his eyes wide. "King Virupaksa is the one wearing a red crown and holding a spear-shaped trident with its point diverged into three in his right hand and a pagoda in his left hand.

[Man]
"What about the kings of the north and south?"

[Woman]
"King Virudhaka, who guards the South, lives in a glass temple, south of the middle of Sumisan Mountain. He is a god with the goal of doing good deeds for the rebirth of all creation by increasing his auspicious signs and virtue. He is depicted holding the dragon in his right hand, touching right below the chest, and to hold the dragon's cintamani in his left hand. A king called King Vaisravana guards the north. He is also called the "Voice Listening King" because he always listens to the Buddha's teachings while protecting the sacred place of the Buddha. King Vaisravana is believed to play a role in managing things in the dark world. He always holds a mandolin in his left hand. He lives in a crystal temple, north of Sumisan Mountain, and leads devils.

[Man]
"Oh, they all sound great. No wonder it felt so grand. Do all of the Four Guardian Kings live on the hillside?”

[Woman]
"That's for the Four Guardian Kings to encourage the seekers of truth to climb up to the top of Sumisan Mountain until they get tired and are tempted to give up. Wait!”

[Man]
“Why?”

[Woman]
"The objects held by the Four Guardian Kings are described slightly differently from one scripture to another, so they may all be different. They also vary by country, era, and region. Just keep that in mind.”

[Man]
“Okay!”

@Registered by : KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION

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