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Belief in Ksitigarbhah in the Goryeo period

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2005, (80), pp.31-70
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Ra-jungsook 1

1숙명여자대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

The religious belief in Kṣitigarbhaḥ(地藏信仰) during the Goryeo period has the look of belief which is fundamentally based on the Buddhist canon, Ksitigarbha-pranidahāna-sūtra(地藏菩薩本願經) Consequently at that time the belief in Kṣitigarbhaḥ was noticeably combined with the belief in Amitabha. And the Jeomchal Buddhist Mass, a congregation which had originated from the Silla Period, was transformed into the association praying for the Western Paradise(the Amitabha's Pure Land, 西方極樂淨土). It also showed the interest in salvaging the souls of the dead and therefore, the idea of Afterlife was prevalent more apparently than former times. Meanwhile the Kṣitigarbhaḥ belief found another way : it mingled with the belief in Siwang, founded on the Bulseolyesoosiwang-sūtra(佛說預修十王經)which had been written at the end of Tang Dynasty in China. And it altered to the belief in Kṣitigarbhaḥ and ten Kings of hell(地藏十王信仰). The Kṣitigarbhaḥ(地藏菩薩) manifested its identity clearly as a supernatural being (King of hell) controlling over hell, enlightening and salvaging the dead. Especially the chances of salvation through offerings provided by the surviving families or relatives, gathered strength among people. So the belief in Kṣitigarbhaḥ during the Goryeo Period does not emphasize the existence of hell unlike China. During the Goryeo Period, the Kṣitigarbhaḥ belief partly took on the form of the belief in Jijang and Siwang. But it had more similarities with the belief in Amitabha, appreciating the value of Ksitigarbha‘s ritual practice(追善供養).

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