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Echoes Of The Great Pines:The Monks Of Songgwangsa by Monks Of Songgwangsa Temple

$39.99 $33.98

Format: Sacd

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SKU: 8809318430002 Categories: , , , Tag:


Echoes of the Great Pines Buddha, Dharma (Buddhist teachings), and Sangha (the Buddhist monastic community) are called the three jewels of Buddhism. The three most prominent monasteries in Korea — Tongdosa, Haeinsa, and Songgwangsa — represent each of these three jewels. Songgwangsa Temple is considered the Sangha-jewel monastery, and it's monks are renowned for their excellence in chant and recitation. This disc contains the prayer chanting and recitation of scriptures performed in the early morning by the Monks of Songgwangsa Temple. The title comes from the temple's name — 'Song-Gwang', which means 'big or many pine trees.' The Ritual of Sound Daily services in the morning and evening make up the most fundamental ritual in practicing Buddha's teachings. The morning service, performed at 3am every day at Songgwangsa Temple, is especially important as it is a ceremony conducted to open up a world filled with Buddha's ways. The morning ritual precisely follows the established order: Wake Up Sound, Morning Bell Chant, Four Instruments, Main Chant, Vow of Enlightenment, the Heart Sutra, and the Diamond Sutra. Wake Up Sound signals the beginning of a new day; it is a ritual undertaken to purify the temple grounds, in which the monks go around the temple premises before entering the Dharma Hall (the main hall). In Morning Bell Chant, the officiant monk prays for the salvation of all people and also for Enlightenment of all Buddhist disciples. Four Instruments is a ritual that involves the performance of four instruments (the Dharma drum, great bell, wooden fish drum, and cloud plate); the monks pray for the liberation of all living beings on the ground, in the sky, in the sea, and below the ground, while playing the instruments. Main Chant consists of Dagerye (tea offering) and Paljeongrye (eight sincere bows): Dagerye is the sequence of offering clean water to Buddha; Paljeongrye symbolizes devotion to the three jewels of Buddhism. Vow of Enlightenment is a prayer for devotion to the three jewels and Enlightenment. The recitation of the Heart Sutra and the Diamond Sutra is a ritual that aims to achieve a clear understanding of the Buddha's ways. The Heart Sutra, which is recited in it's entirety, is a brief scripture that teaches about wisdom and Gong (emptiness). The Diamond Sutra, the foundational scripture of the Korean Chogyejong order, is a written account of Buddha's teachings. Only a part of it is recited. As the morning service has been a core part of the daily routine of the monks for centuries, it's execution seems quite natural; at the same time, it does exude a deep sense of solemnity perhaps because it is performed in the quiet stillness before the morning dawn and belongs to an unbroken 1,300 year old tradition of practicing Buddha's ways in Korea. There is something unique about the services at Songgwangsa Temple: 'sound' itself holds a special importance in them. Each sequence in the liturgy can be identified by the distinctiveness of it's sound. In Wake Up Sound, you only hear the temple block; in Bell Chant, you hear the metal bell and chant of the officiant monk; in Four Instruments, you hear the sounds from the four grand objects– the Dharma drum made of broad leather, the great bell made of massive bronze, the fish drum made of a thick wooden log, and the cloud plate, made of an iron plate in the shape of a cloud. After Four Instruments, the ritual continues on with chanting, in which you encounter various musical styles. In Dagerye, the clear voice of the officiant monk's recitation is responded to by the massive chanting of 'won-soo-ae-nap-soo'(this can be translated as 'have mercy on us and accept') by the monks and community, which is grandiosely repeated several times. In Paljeongrye, the chanting becomes a massive chorus. In both Paljeongrye and Vow of Enlightenment, the chorus has strict formality. The chanting reaches it's climax with the Heart Sutra, where the completeness of the scripture and the musical tension of the recitation also come to the highest point. The Diamond Sutra appeals mo

Format: Sacd

Sku: 8809318430002



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