Songgwang-sa, ＂Spreading Pine Temple,＂ on Mount Chogye-san, is the third of the Three Jewels Temples, representing the Buddha's followers: monks and laity. Many famous monks have lived here. Therefore there is a formidable collection of stele and pagodas containing the ashes of some of these masters. The most famous resident monk was Master Chinul (1158-1210). He was responsible for building up the temple.
◇ Stream of Songgwang-sa
In 1190, Master Chinul realized his life-long wish to create a situation in which like-minded people could live and practice Buddhism together. His group was called the ＂Concentration and Wisdom Community.＂ For seven years they lived in a small temple but, as the community grew, Master Chinul looked for the ideal place to move to. In order to find the right place, he carved a crane out of wood and it flew away and finally landed in the place where Songgwang-sa is today. There he built a small hermitage on Mount Chogye-san which he expanded to accommodate his growing community and it became known as Kilsang-sa and eventually Songgwang-sa. The Masters' Portrait Hall was built where the bird actually landed and the temple came to represent the Sangha, the followers of the Buddha.