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Korean Buddhist Art and Glossary Sees with the photograph

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SinJung buddhist wall painting  

SinJung buddhist wall painting  신중탱화 [神衆幀畫]

신중탱화[畫]

Guardian Painting (Shinjung Taengwha)

The Shinjung Taengwha, a painting featur-ing Tongjin Posal, is commonly found in Korean temples. Its frequent presence, however, in no way seems to make its meaning well-known. The only point on which most people agree, Buddhists in-cluded, is that they don't know much about the Shinjung Taengwha.

There are twelve to twenty figures de-picted in the Shinjung Taengwha. The central image is of Tongjin Posal, who is easily identi-fied by his elaborate headdress which resembles a fan of feathers. One of a number of beings who guard the doctrine, Tongjin Posal is the Bodhi-sattva who protects the Saddharma-pundarika, the Lotus Sutra of the True Law, one of the most revered Mahayana texts which explains that the truth is conveyed by silence and gestures as well as words.

There are different interpretations of the Shinjung Taengwha. One is that the figures sur-rounding Tongjin represent beings who are well-acquainted with the Three Refuges: the Buddha, his teaching (Dharma), and the Buddhist community (Sangha). Another is that the figures are historical personages such as Confucius, or lesser deities like the Kitchen God. The four, or sometimes five, figures at the base of the paint-ing or to the sides of Tongjin Posal, are clearly guardians. One guardian often carries a rolled-up scroll, representing the doctrine which he protects.

Depending on the size of the temple, and consequently on the number of halls or shrines therein, the Shinjung Taengwha is found in any one of many buildings, but most often on the right wall of the Main Hall.

It is interesting to note that, as the gods are beings in the realm of pleasure, they cannot attain enlightenment. Therefore the monks and nuns turn to the Taenghwa when they chant the Heart Sutra in order to help the gods attain a human birth in their next life and so reach enlightenment. In addition, as humans need help from the gods, often people will bow towards the Taenghwa as a gesture of respect and humility in the understanding of the fact that it is difficult to reach attainment alone.


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  Buddhist Video Gallery
  Avalokitesvara with Water and Moon
     Suwol-Gwaneum-Do
     Suwol-Gwaneum-Do
  Buddhist wall painting
     Eight Scenes of the Life of the Buddha
     Goseong Unheungsa Temlpe Buddhist Painting
     Ten Judges
     Guardian Painting : Sinjungtaenghwa
     SinJung buddhist wall painting
     Buddhist painting by Venerable ManBong
  Amithabha Buddha
  Glossary of Korean Buddhist stonework
  Overview of Korean Buddhism
  Anthology Teachings of Zen Buddhist Priests
  Temple Stay
  Major Temples
  Buddhist Festivals & Ceremonies
  Korean Buddhism and Art
  Arahat
     16 Arahat
     Arhan - Buddhist wall painting
  Sakyamuni Buddha
     stone Buddha Statues
  Vairocana Buddha
  Bodhisattva
     Earth Store Bodhisattva.
     Manjusuri
     Manjusuri, Bodhisattva of Wisdom
     Bronze Maitreya Bodhisattva Bangasayusang
     A wooden Maitreya Bodhisattva
     Ksitigarbha
     Ksitigarbha
     Avalokitesvara
         Sahasrabhuja
         Thirty-three forms of Avalokitesvara
  Bodhidharma
  Buddhism Glossary
  Korean English Dictionary of Buddhism
     Re..Korean English Dictionary of Buddhism


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