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Rock-carved Standing Buddha Triad in Seoak-dong, Gyeongju

경주 서악동 마애여래삼존입상 ( 慶州 西岳洞 磨崖如來三尊立像 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Rock-carved Standing Buddha Triad in Seoak-dong, Gyeongju
Quantity 3 Buddha statues
Designated Date 1963.01.21
Age Unified Silla
Address 80-100, Seoyak 4-gil, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

This Buddha triad, made during the mid-seventh century, consists of a huge standing statue of Amitabha Buddha carved on a seven-meter-high rock cliff near the top of Seondosan Mountain, flanked by a statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva on the left and one of the Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva on the right.
The standing Amitabha Buddha statue, which presides over the ‘Pure Land’ in the west of the universe, has been severely damaged. Part of the head is missing and the face is damaged around the eyes. However, the remaining features such as the cheeks, chin, and curled lips realistically express Buddha's mercy and willpower. The broad shoulders and majestic-looking body give an impression of inviolable power and dignity. The beobui (sacerdotal robe) looks rather heavy, exhibiting a simple "U" shaped pattern on its front.
The statue of Avalokitesvara, the Buddhist Goddess of mercy who saved the world, displays an elegant smile of religious exultation. Every single detail of the statue exhibits exquisite workmanship, and its delicately expressed body has more curves than the principal statue. The Mahasthamaprapta, who is supposed to eliminate mankind's foolishness, is identical to the Avalokitesvara statue, except for its square face with wide open eyes, which gives off a manly aura of strength, and its hands.
This Buddha triad is a masterpiece originating from the period of transition from the Three Kingdoms Period to the Unified Silla Period. The principal Amitabha Buddha statue is 7 meters tall, the Avalokitesvara statue, 4.55 meters tall, and the Mahasthamaprapta, 4.62 meters tall.