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Iron Seated Vairocana Buddha of Dopiansa Temple, Cheorwon

철원 도피안사 철조비로자나불좌상 ( 鐵原 到彼岸寺 鐵造毘盧遮那佛坐像 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification National Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Iron Seated Vairocana Buddha of Dopiansa Temple, Cheorwon
Quantity 1 Item
Designated Date 1962.12.20
Age The 5th year of the reign of King Gyeongmun of Unified Silla (865)
Address 23, Dopidong-gil, Dongsong-eup, Cheorwon-gun, Gangwon-do

Located in Hwagaesan Mountain, Cheorwon-gun, Gangwon-do, Dopiansa Temple was founded in 865 by Doseon (827-898), a renowned Buddhist monk and a Feng Shui master of the Unified Silla. Legend has it that he commissioned this cast iron statue of Vairocana Buddha with the intention of enshrining it in Anyangsa Temple, Cheorwon. The statue disappeared on its way to the intended destination, however, only to be found at an unknown site in Hwagaesan Mountain. Doseon decided to respect the Buddha’s choice, built Dopiansa Temple at the site, and enshrined the statue in it. The Vairocana statue of Dopiansa Temple is one of the many cast iron statues produced extensively across Korea between the late Unified Silla and early Goryeo Periods. What makes it more special is that it is seated on a pedestal that is also cast iron. The Buddha features conch-shaped hair and pleasantly oval, benign face, wearing a robe covering both shoulders with folds expressed in a rather stylized manner. The symbolic hand gesture wherein the right hand envelops the index finger of the left hand also shows that he is Vairocana Buddha. The pedestal on which the statue is seated consists of three tiers, with the upper and lower tiers carved with lotus petals and the middle in octagonal form; thus exhibiting the most popular style for the Buddhist statue pedestals made during the period. On the back of the statue is an inscription showing that it was made in 865. With its date of production clearly known and excellent workmanship and proportional perfection, the Dopiansa’s Vairocana statue represents the cast iron Buddha statues produced during the late Unified Silla Period.