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Stele of Master Bojo at Borimsa Temple, Jangheung

장흥 보림사 보조선사탑비 ( 長興 寶林寺 普照禪師塔碑 )

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Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Stele of Master Bojo at Borimsa Temple, Jangheung
Quantity 1 stele
Designated Date 1963.01.21
Age Unified Silla
Address Borimsa Temple San 10-1, Bongdeok-ri, Yuchi-myeon, Jangheung-gun, Jeollanam-do

This stele was erected at Borimsa Temple in 884 (the 10th year of the reign of King Heonggang of the Unified Silla Period) to commemorate the life and achievements of Master Bojo. The stele has a usual form in that the main stone, on which the capstone is placed, is erected on a turtle-shaped pedestal. Master Bojo (804-880) became a Buddhist monk at a tender age and devoted himself to study of the Buddhist scriptures. In 827 (the second year of the reign of King Heungdeok of the Silla Dynasty) he received the religious precepts and devoted himself to their practice. In 837 (the 2nd year of King Huigang) he went to China and returned in 840 (the 2nd year of the reign of King Munseong) and preached Zen to many monks. He was appointed as the head monk of Borimsa Temple at the request of King Heonan in 859 (the 3rd year of the reign of King Heonan) and entered Nirvana at the age of 77 in 880. The king granted him the posthumous title of "Master Bojo" and named the stupa "Changseong". The turtle-shaped pedestal that supports the main stone has a dragon-like head with a ferocious look and clearly expressed facial features, and a back filled with hexagonal patterns. The base stone on which the main stone of the stele sits is engraved with cloud and lotus flower patterns at the center of the back. The stele bears an inscription about Master Bojo that was composed by Kim Yeong and written by Kim Won and Kim Eon-gyeong. The ornamental top of the stele is magnificently carved with cloud and dragon designs, while the title of the monument, "Master Bojo of Gajisan Mountain," is inscribed at the center. This masterful work displays all the artistry and characteristic style of steles built in the late 9th century.