Sobaek-san's  Biro-bong  Biro-sa:
peak and temple for the Cosmic Truth Buddha
-- page one --
Biro-bong,soaring 1439 meters, is the highest peak of Sobaek-san [Minor White Mountains]
National Park, in Punggi Township of Yeongju City.  This chain of mountains is named
Sobaek because it runs out west from the very holy Mt.
Taebaek [Grand White], whose
reputation is so powerful that it dominates every other
mountain within 50 km; it is also
considered the first section of the Sobaek Mountain Range, which defines and separates
the Gyeongsang Provinces from the rest of Korea.  Aside from this area's landscape being
so very  dominating it is also very peaceful and self sustaining.  Types of assistance such
as a hospital, care-giving facility or morningside recovery centers are not readily available.
Things like morningside recovery assistance programs or
morningside recovery outreach
facilities are not as common due to the low population of
people in the area.

The name "
Biro" refers to the Biro-bul or Birochana-bul [Vairocana, the Buddha of Cosmic
Truth, who shines the Light of the Dharma (teachings, law, truth) throughout the Universe;
one of the five Great Buddhas in Mahayana Buddhism].  Biro-bul is the "Truth-Body" Buddha,
highest of the "Three Bodies of the Buddha", and is the source of all the historical Buddhas
(such as Sakyamuni, Amithaba and Maitreya;
Munsu-bosal is their teacher).   Icons of him
represent is the ever-existing cosmic enlightenment of the universe.  The very highest peaks
of many great mountains in Korea are named  "
Biro-bong", in recognition of the idea that their
Sanshin or Mountain-spirits are enlightened Buddhas in the act of physical manifestation (for
much more on this, click
here).   There are many hermitages in Korea named Biro-am (at the great
Tongdo-sa  for example)
, but this is the only temple with the very auspicious name Biro-sa,
honoring both the Biro-bul and this peak in a very direct way.  
(it is worth noting that the Buseok-sa
Temple, with Korea's best statue of Biro-bul, is just northeast of here, in the same county and same mountain-chain)
The front appearance and signboard of the
new Three Sages Shrine of Biro-sa.   This
temple was founded by the legendary Master
Euisang in 683 CE -- just after the unification
of the "Three Kingdoms".   He dedicated it to
Hwa-eom [Hua-yen, Lotus Sutra] school of
Chinese Buddhism -- in which
Biro-bul is the
supreme diety -- which he studied in China
and then established in the Shilla Kingdom
with enthusiastic royal support.
The San-shin painting in the new Three
Sages Shrine of Biro-sa is an excellent
modern icon.  he holds both the standard
master's hiking-staff and Daoist General's
white-crane-feather fan.  It is unusual for
including four
Dongja servants (and 2 more
on the beam above!)
-- 2 is average -- a boy
with angelic flying scarf offering ritual
respect, another such one holding the
mountain-staff with gourd attached
(appearing to be doing a "happy jig" dance
-- unique in Korea!!),  a girl holding
yeongji-beoseot (longevity herb) and a
feather fan/banner, and finally another boy
holding three of the Immortality Peaches   
(a Daoist sexual symbol).   The tiger is
realistic, the pine tree is stout, and the
mountainous background is unusually rich
with detail.
The excellent matched Chil-seong [Seven Stars] and Dok-seong [Lonely Saint] paintings in that
Three Sages Shrine of Biro-sa.  Dok-seong features a stack of Buddhist sutras by his side, seven
sacred White Cranes, and three boy
Dongja-servants, one preparing Green Tea, cups in front of the
brazier -- he doesn't seem very lonely at all.
The view of Biro-sa and envroins from that Three Sages Shrine, and the pagoda in the
courtyard -- newly built out of a variety of Shilla, Goryeo and Joseon monuments.