dijous, de març 29, 2007

Haensa (II) - Tripitaka

The Tripitaka repository is a complex of four buildings: the Hall of Sudara, the Hall of Dhama Jewell, the House of Dong-sa-gan and the House of Seo-sa-gan. It was constructed in 1398 specially to hold a complete copy of the Tripitaka Koreana, the collected writings of Mahayana Buddhism, making Haeinsa one of the most important Buddhist Korean temples. Carved in the 13th century, the Tripitaka consists of 52,382,960 characters carved on 81,258 double-sided woodblocks in 6,802 volumes. Each block measures 70 centimeters wide and 24 centimeters long, weighing about 3,2 kilograms. It was commissioned by the government-in-exile on Ganghwa island, who undertook the carving in the midst of war with the Mongols as an act of faith intended to arouse the intervention of Buddha to Korea's cause.

The House of Tripitaka Koreana was constructed specially to keep this valuable pieces of wood. The low-decorated complex consists of four buildings of different sizes and the total number of pillars is 108, which is the Buddhist symbol of human agonies, showing us the essence of it’s religious use. Although the structure of the buildings seems simple and plain, the simplicity is calculated to preservation and to use technology harmonizing with nature perfectly. The fixed bar-windows and their distribution was studied: sizes of upper and lower windows are different, to make air circulate from bottom to upper inside the building, keeping air dry. The ground floor was digged and filled with soil mixed with charcoal, salt, clay, sand and plaster powder; then, when it rains, the ground absorbs moisture, while when it dries, moisture in the ground id emitted into air.

Although many critical moments happened since the construction of Janggyeong-gak – major fires, Japanese invasions in different periods, Korean Civil War -, it has been preserved with it’s inner treasure for more than seven hundred years.

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