Stupa of State Preceptor Hongbeop from Chungju
Period: King Hyeonjong of Goryeo Period
Location: Yongsan District, central Seoul
Status: National Treasure No. 102
This reliquary monument, set up to honor eminent Goryeo monk and State Preceptor Hongbeop, had originally been located at a Buddhist temple called Jeongtosa in Jungwon County (today’s Chungju), North Chungcheong, but was moved to Gyeongbok Palace in 1915 and, finally, to its current location in the National Museum of Korea in Seoul.
Hongbeop was an eminent spiritual leader for the Korean Buddhists in the 10th century, introducing them to Seon (or Zen) Buddhism that he had studied in Tang Dynasty China.
The stupa features a foundation consisting of a square slab supporting an octagonal base and a three-tier pedestal whose lower pedestal is shaped like a down-turned lotus blossom; the octagonal middle pedestal is elaborately carved with dragons flying between clouds, and the upper pedestal is shaped like an upturned lotus blossom.
On the pedestal is a spherical stone carved with ropes tying the stone sphere crisscross with floral motifs placed on the spots where the ropes intersect.