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Ssangbongsa Temple Cheolgam Monk Tower Tombstone

Ssangbongsa Temple Cheolgam Monk Tower Tombstone
  • Designation No. : National Treasure No. 170(1963. 1. 21)
  • Size : Length of Guibu 1.4m
  • Production year : 8th year of King Gyeogmun, United Silla (868)
  • Management agent : Ssangbongsa Temple
  • Address
  • Ssangbongsa Temple, San 195-1, Zeung-ri, Yiyang-myeon, Hwasun-gun, Jeollanam-do

This Tower Tombstone only has Guibu and Yisu and its body is lost.
This tower tombstone is built up for recording the activities of Cheolgamsunsa, a Buddhist monk who died in the 8th year of King Gyeogmun, United Silla (868). According to oral tradition in the village, the body of this tombstone was lost by the Japanese in Japanese occupation era and it might have been buried in nearby underground. Likewise, we cannot know his activities without the body of tombstone but partial record of those activities remained in the Bointopbi (tower tombstone) of Jinghyodaesa (Jeoljung, 折中),825 ~900), great monk, who opened 'Jodangjip' or Sajasanmun. According to those records, Cheolgamsunsa was born in the 14th year of King Wonseong, Silla Dynasty, became a Buddhist monk at his age of 18, learned by reading Hwaumgyeong in Guishinsa Temple in Gimje and went to China in the 17th year of King Heonduk.
He succeeded Shimin of Namjeonbowon (748~834) and came to Silla Dynasty with Beomilsunsa who opened Gulsansa Temple in the 9th year of King Munseonngwang. Staying Jangdamsa Temple in Pungak, he made King Gyeongmunwang embrace Buddhism and made Jinghyodaesa succeed his idea of Buddhism, which made him respected as the person who opened Sajasanmun first in the region of Youngwol, Gangwondo.
In addition, he reconstructed Ssangbongsa Temple in his late years and died on April, 18, 868, the 8th year of King Gyeongmunwang. The King granted Cheolgam(澈鑒), as his posthumous epithet and Jingso(澄昭) as his Budo tower (塔名). This simple stories we are onlly able to know because we cannot see the record of his tombstone.
Guibu is placed on the square shaped Daejwa and its height is low but its shape is fully preserved. The head of Guibu is shaped like a head of dragon looking straight ahead with a round clutches in its mouth.
A horn grows on its head and there is a wing-like thing nearby its mouth. The turtle has well-arranged overlapped pattern of Bokgap style and on its back, the letters (甲紋)of Jungwakyukgakgu (重廓六角龜). In the outer line of turtle's back, clear lines are carved like a cutting the part half. And, in the center of its back, rectangular seats of tombstone are made and lotus pattern is carved around above which 3 layered Gakho ((角弧) is carved. Four legs of Guibu have three toes and only the toes of right front leg is upward, which shows vividness and gives us an impression that Guibu looks like moving.
As for Yisu, all the 5 sides of it except for the bottom is fully carved by Unrongmun (雲龍紋, pattern of cloud sand dragons). In front of it, three dragons wriggle in the left, right and top center and, in the rear, two dragons twist their bodies while flying on the air. On the top of Yisu, three flowers with Boju pattern rose but one in the side of left of incense was lost and there is a square shaped hole on that place. The remaining two flowers are carved in raw stone, while the lost one seems to habe been inserted after separately crafted.
In fron of Yisu, Wipae-shaped Aek is made and two-lined letter of "Ssangbongsangocheolgamsunsabymyeong (雙峰山故澈鑒禪師碑銘, Tombstone of Cheolgamsunsa in Mt. Ssangbongsan) is engraved as Seojong (書縱). This two lined words with 10 characters on the tombstone fortunately remains so that we can figure out the person for which this tower tombstone and Budo were made and it is estimated that the year of production is after 868 when Doyoon (道允), Cheolgamsunsa (澈鑒禪師) died (total height 170cm, width of Yisu 144cm, width of front 145cm)