Bhikkuni(Buddhist Nun); Yeongheungsa; Bhikkunis’ Temple; Doyunarang(an official post of Buddhist); Lady Sa; 비구니; 永興寺; 尼寺; 都唯那娘; 史氏; Bhikkuni(Buddhist Nun); Yeongheungsa; Bhikkunis’ Temple; Doyunarang(an official post of Buddhist); Lady Sa
대구사학, v.99, pp.207 - 250
This article aims at finding out how women accepted Buddhism and what kind of activities they did based on Buddhism which was the center of religion, politics, culture and human relations in the Silla Period. Therefore, the first chapter focuses on Silla’s acceptance of Buddhism and women’s devotion to Buddhism, and traces how Buddhism was spreading out into women’s lives. next, it spotlights how women who had a religious life became Buddhist monks, and how they practised religious precepts. And then, it sheds a light on how temples and groups of Bhikkhuni, Buddhist nun were formed and managed. Finally, through the national Buddhism ranking system, Bhikkhuni’s position and activities were summarized.
The first female Buddhist, Bhikkhuni Sa appeared in Ilseongun. After she was devoted to Buddhism, she left her hometown and came in Gyeongju with Ado. He built Heungrunsa temple and Lady Sa built Yeongheungsa temple in order to promote Buddhism widely. Lady Sa was very active to spread Buddhism into people and she left clear mark in history so that the queen, wife of King Jinheung, was into Lady Sa’s Buddhism and entered the priesthood about seventy years later.
We could see many Bhikkunis, including Lady Sa and the Queens, wifes of King, wife of Kim Yu-sin, Jihye, a Buddhism nun who cured Great Buddhist priest Gyeongheung, wife of Kim Heun lived as Bhikkuni. Buddhism was absorbed into women’s daily lives for a 1000-year old Silla’s history. Accordingly, mother, wives and women who were devoted to Buddhism and lived with altruism appeared regardless of their social status throughout the period. Buddhism rooted in women's daily lives can be seen in mothers of Buddhist monk Jinjeong and Zen priest Hadae, wives of Nohilbudeuk and Daldalbakbak, and a lady whom Seonyul met in the other world.
They read Buddhist scriptures, Confucianism books and literary works. They took a test of same level for Bhiku. And they wrote down pronunciation and meanings in Buddhism scriptures and trained to learn by heart while reading repeatedly. And there were separate temples for Bhikkunis including Yeongheungsa and Yeongmyosa. Like Jihye Bhikkunis managed their temples by themselves. In addition, as Jihye held Buddhist lecture meetings on Jeomchalgyeong, Bhikkunis organized those meetings, too. The state established Bhikkuni Seunggwanje, the official post system of Buddhist, and put Doyunarang under Guktong. There are possibilities that wife of King Beopheung or wife of King Jinheung received Doyunarang after they entered the priesthood. Also. in Silla there were Isa (Bhikkuni’s temple) and Anijeon (Bhikkuni’s affairs department) and six ‘Mo’, female administrative managers, worked there.