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Stone Avatamsaka Sutra (The Flower Garland Sutra) of Hwaeomsa Temple, Gurye
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Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Stone Avatamsaka Sutra (The Flower Garland Sutra) of Hwaeomsa Temple, Gurye
Quantity 8980
Designated Date 1990.05.21
Age Goryeo Period
Address Jeollanam-do Gurye-gun

Seokgyeong, or stone sutra, refers to a Buddhist scripture carved on a stone plate. This Avatamsaka Sutra is carved on light blue stone. In 677 (first year of the reign of King Munmu during the Unified Silla Period), great Buddhist Monk Uisang established Gakhwangjeon Hall in Hwaeomsa Temple at the king’s command in order to keep this stone sutra. At present, there is a painting hanging on the inner wall of Gakhwangjeon Hall; the Stone Avatamsaka Sutra is believed to have been placed originally along this wall. The square stone plates have a groove at the corner, suggesting that these plates were connected to each other. According to a record, this stone sutra was destroyed, and the color was changed into gray brown color due to fire during the Japanese invasion in the 16th century. Approximately 9,000 fragments of the stone sutra remain today. The sutra is written in regular script style, which shows close similarity to the inscription on the Stele for Master Jingam at Ssanggyesa Temple, written by Choe Chi-won in 887 (second year of King Jeonggang’s reign). This Stone Avatamsaka Sutra is regarded as a symbolic relic of the temple of Hwaeom Order and a valuable material for the research on Buddhist history starting from the late Silla Period.