buried images

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at EARTHLINK.NET
Sun Apr 20 20:56:00 UTC 2008

In Korea, during the Unified Silla dynasty (668-935), Buddhism flourished in
a very messianic mode, with the aspiration that the future Buddha, Maitreya,
would take birth in Korea during that dynasty. All sorts of good works,
etc., to make Korea a fitting landing site for Maitreya were promoted. These
included burying statues (primarily of Maitreya) up to his waist, in the
hope of getting him to come down to earth. There were some Indic or Central
Asian antecedents to this (but not on this scale), but I don't have the
references on hand at the moment. In late Koryo and early Choson dynasties
other things, such as incense sticks were also buried for similar reasons.
Those sites are now considered national monument sites in Korea.

Dan Lusthaus

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