Supplementary Entries and Texts for the
by the Venerable Hyewon and Professor David A. Mason
Text that was cut from the end of an Entry:
Gaya-san  가야산  伽倻山                       pages 198-99
 Bodhgaya or Mahabodhi Mountain

Gaya-san was once a powerful though remote center of shamanistic practices, and it
may have been considered an important place by the early "Gaya" tribal-confederations
on Korea's southeast coast; however, it is now thought that its name does not come
from that "Gaya" proto-kingdom but rather is a Buddhist name representing Bodhgaya,
the place in northern India where Seokgamoni-bul (釋迦牟尼佛, Sakyamuni Buddha,
563-483 BCE) attained his enlightenment, known as the Mahabodhi site. It gained
renown after the Unified Silla Dynasty (統一新羅) monk Goseung Suneung (順應)
founded Haein-sa in its main valley in 802 CE. It was recorded that when Suneung was
studying doctrines in China in his younger years, the great Chinese Master Jigong told
him a prophecy that a great temple would be established at such a mountain. After the
precious woodblocks were moved here for protection in the 1400s, it became known as
one of the Joseon Dynasty (朝鮮)'s “Eight Spiritual Mountains.”

For much more information, and many photos,