Doryang
Korean “Residences” or Especially Sacred Sites of Deities
도량,   道場,   dàochǎng,   bodhimanda
Korea's historic Seowon (Neo-Confucian Academies-with-Shrines) might be
considered doryang of the Sages they enshrine, such as An Hyang, Toegye Yi
Hwang, Yulgok Yi I and so-on, even though this concept is mostly a Buddhist one.
the Four Greatest Seowon
See my listing of Korea's 40 most sacred places on
Martin Gray's excellent Sacred Sites of the World
website, on
this page about Korea.
For plenty of information on and beautiful photos of the
world's holy pilgrimage destinations, get his excellent
new book:
Sacred Earth: Places of Peace and Power.
The most prominent sites for veneration of Mireuk-bul  [Maitreya the
Future Buddha] and his current-anticipatory form Mireuk-bosal  [Maitreya
the Bodhisattva of Future Salvation]  are concentrated in Korea's
southwest corner, and could be considered his doryang:
Iksan City Mireuk-san
Mireuk-saji
Gimje City Moak-san Geumsan-sa
Hwasun County Sumun-san Unju-sa
Daejo-sa's Huge Maitreya Statue
Nonsan Gwanchok-sa: Famously-Weird Mireuk
A doryang is a practice-site for Buddhist devotional or spiritual-development practices, such as a
building or courtyard, or an entire temple complex.  The deeper meaning that I am explicating here is a
site on the Korean Peninsula that is believed by Korean Buddhism to be especially sacred to a
particular deity that is venerated there.  This term is particularly used in Korean Buddhism to designate
the Korean “residence” or site especially-dedicated to a Buddha, Bodhisattva, Nahan (Arhat) or Master
(enlightend monk).  The greatest
doryang are entire mountain-areas (such as Odae-san as "Home" of
Munsu-bosal the Bodhisattva of Wisdom), but the term more-often refers to a single temple or shrine
especially dedicated to that figure (such as one of the 33 Korean temples especially dedicated to
Gwanse-eum-bosal the Bodhisattva of Compassion,

Usage of it can be confusing as it is also often used to refer to the courtyard, lecture-hall or meditation-
hall of a temple or other such sites where ceremonies, sacred practices or rituals take place.  For one
example, the Pre-dawn Temple Grounds Chanting Ritual for the purification of the temple compound
before the pre-dawn Service in the Main Hall is called
Doryang-seok (도량석  道場釋).


The Buddhist term in Sanskrit or Pali, derived from Hinduism, is
bodhi-manda, literally meaning the
site of awakening, as would refer to
Bodhgaya where Sakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment;
this concept is rooted in ancient Hinduism as the residence or site of manifestation on this earth of an
avatar of one of their Maha-deva deities.  The term
bodhimanda was translated into Chinese as 道場
dàochǎng, which came to be pronounced in Korean as 도량 doryang.    It therefore means a place
where enlightenment is achieved; a place where religious practice is carried out or where deities such
as Buddhas are venerated; a place where the precepts are given to monastics; a seat of wisdom or
wisdom-throne; platform or terrace of enlightenment or truth-realization.  It is also used in modern
China to indicate an unregistered place of Buddhist practice, not officially a temple.


By the Tang Dynasty it was established in China that while all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have
their primary residences in India and the mountains believed to be surrounding it, the four principal
Bodhisattvas also have residences at respective great Chinese mountains located according to the
four cardinal directions; this system complemented that established in the Han Dynasty of five
symbolic Daoist mountains in the five elemental directions, creating nine most-sacred mountains all
together --
for more on the Chinese System see here.  This was a very important step in the Buddhist
sacralization of Chinese territory, placing the Middle Kingdom on nearly equal religious terms with
India itself, necessary for the proud Chinese to accept this "foreign religion".   The Daoist holy
mountains are considered as
daochang for their mountain-spirits and other important Daoist deities,
a tradition that continued in Korea.  There are generally not daochang for the Buddhas, Arhats and
other such deities in China, or at least our knowledge of their locations and traditions have been lost.


The same process was carried out by early Korean Buddhist leaders, Shilla's Master Jajang-yulsa in
particular, for the same reasons -- to establish Korea as a Buddhist Holy Land ranking a close third
behind India and China -- see the listing of
Jeokmyeol-bogung Temples here; they can be considered
as doryang of Sakyamuni Buddha and therefore of "original Buddhism" in-general.  Certain mountains
and/or temples became designated as the
doryang of some of the important Buddhist deities, mainly
Bodhisattvas but also some of the Buddhas and some folk-buddhist deities such as Sanshin, Dokseong
and Yongwang.  This combined with Confucian and a Shamanic traditions of veneration of certain
figures, to create the complex system we still have traditions of today.  Some of these sites are very
famous as
doryang, and others known only to esoteric groups; the ways that they become doryang
sites are extremely varied, some from ancient legends and others from shrines having been built for the
figures in more recent times.  What they share in common is a significant number of believers making
pilgrimages to those sites in order to venerate the deities they are dedicated to, whether simply
respecting them or beseeching them for earthly favors.  


A
doryang is often designated by the mountain or temple bearing the name of its patron deity, such
as "Munsu-san"
(mountain) or "Munsu-am" (hermitage) indicating a special devotion to Munsu-bosal the
Bodhisattva of Wisdom.  However, such names are in many cases only just given names indicating a
general sacredness, but the site is not seriously considered as a
doryang of that deity -- for example
there are many lofty summits in Korean named "
Biro-bong" after Vairocana the Buddha of Infinite
Cosmic Light, following the Hwaeom Buddhist traditions, but none of them indicate that the peak itself
is a
doryang for that deity -- no particular worship-activity is carried out at that site.

In theory, this term could possibly also be used for deities or heroes of those other Korean religious
traditions such as Daoism, Shamanism or Neo-Confucianism, for example a Seowon Academy-Shrine
dedicated to a Confucian Sage -- but Koreans do not, generally use this term except for the specific
Buddhist meaning I explained above.

Altogether, this
doryang tradition ties strongly in with Korea's powerful sacred mountain and mountain-
spirit traditions -- generally as mutual enhancement, not competition.  The mountains with the strongest
Sanshin traditions also often became
doryang sites of Buddhist deities, or even figures of other
religions.  In some very real sense every mountain is a
doryang for its own spirit, and many of them
have shrines for it; but only the most powerful of them become famous for this religious aspect, or
known by the public as a
doryang for an additional deity or national hero.  This is also strongly related
to
Pungsu-jiri-seol -- Korea's version of Chinese Feng Shui.


On this page I will list the main
doryang traditions that I have so far identified as operative in Korea:
The Baekdu-daegan -- Korea's mountain energy-spine, the
mainstream national range -- can be considered as a gigantic nation-
spanning doryang for Munsu-bosal the Bodhisattva of Wisdom in itself.
Three mountain-areas along the Baekdu-Daegan mainline-range are
particularly sacred as doryang of
Munsu-bosal the Bodhisattva of Wisdom,
as indicated by their names and by special Temples located at them:
Geumgang-san,  Odae-san  and  Jiri-san  
(with Mt. Odae as most famous as the "official" doryang).  

There are several other smaller sites along the Baekdu-Daegan dedicated to
the same deity, which could be called
Munsu-doryang, such as Banya-sa.
There are said to be 33 Korean temples especially dedicated to Gwanse-eum-bosal
(관세음보살, 觀世音菩薩, Avalokitêśvara the Bodhisattva of Compassion), which could be
called
Gwaneum-doryang.   Most of them are found atop rocky crags overlooking the seas
surrounding Korea, a setting that follows the tradition of China’s Putuo-shan (
普陀山, Mt.
Potalaka), an island off the coast of Zhejiang Province.  The most famous of these 33 are:

Yangyang Naksan-sa

Namhae Bori-am

Ganghwa-do Bomun-sa

Yeosu Hyangil-am

Busan Haedong Yonggung-sa
Sobaek-san -- the Lesser White Mountains can be considered to be the
doryang of
Biro-bul  [Vairocana the Buddha of Infinite Cosmic Light]
-- although in official doctrine he has no "home", is everywhere in the
universe -- but this seems to be the area of most concentrated worship.
Other specially-holy sites for this deity are:
Jiri-san Hwaeom-sa -- Avatamsaka Monestary
Gaya-san  Haein-sa
Myohyang-san -- the Mysterious Fragrance Mountain can be
considered as the doryang of
Bohyeon-bosal  [Samantabhadra
the Bodhisattva of Benevolent Action / practice and meditation].
Master Jajang-yulsa established the Jeokmyeol-bogung Temples with relics
of Sakyamuni the original Buddha; they can be considered as his doryang.
Yeongchuk-san  Tongdo-sa