i) The Bell Pavilion
On the way to the Main Hall, you may pass an open, two-storey structure,
within which were the four instruments that call all living things to hear
the words of the Buddha and which regulate the timetable of temple life
(see p. 96).
ii) The Main Hall
There is usually little doubt about which building is the Main Hall.
Location, contents and the attention it receives separate it from the other
buildings. The number of statues therein depends on the wishes and wealth
of the temple, so they can range from one to at least eleven as in the
Taejok-kwang-jon at Kumsan-sa in Kimje. There is generally a certain system
fol-lowed in the number, disposition and personalities chosen.
The Main Hall is usually called Teung-jon or Taeungbo-jon (Great Hero
Hall) and so the central figure is usually Sakyamuni, the Histori-cal
Buddha (Sokamoni-bul in Korean). However, if the Main Hall carries the name
of Kuknak-jon, then the image within is always Amitabha, Buddha of the
Western Paradise, (Amit'a-bul in Korean). These two Buddhas are the most
popular. However, as in Haein-sa, near Taegu, the main statue is Vairo-cana
(Pirojana-bul in Korean), the Cosmic Buddha.
iii) The Disciples' Hall
The Disciples' Hall is called the Nahan--jon. There statues representing
specific enlightened disciples of the Buddha are to be found. The statues
are usually made of wood and number between sixteen and 500 serious-looking
men, often brightly dressed, seated cross-legged or on stools with hands on
legs, or holding books, or gesturing, and one is always holding a resigned
tiger by the hind legs with his head and fore paws dangling. Each statue
represents a disciple of the Buddha who attained enlightenment and each one
has an individual story. If you look carefully, you can enjoy the humor
inherent in temple life!