Uisang biography

Uisang

Deceased Person

0625 – 0702

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Who was Uisang?

Uisang was one of the most eminent early Silla Korean scholar-monks, a close friend of Wonhyo.

He traveled to China, studying at Mount Zhongnan as a student of the influential Huayan master Zhiyan and as a senior colleague of Fazang, with whom he established a lifelong correspondence. He became an expert in Huayan doctrine and was the founder of the Korean Hwaeom school. Most well-known among his writings is the Hwaeom ilseung peopkye to. This is a commentary on his mandala-like diagram haein do, which consists of 210 Chinese characters that express the essence of the Huayan doctrine. A full translation can be found in the appendix to Odin, 1982.

Little is known of his early life other than his father was named Hin-sin and his family name was Kim.

He is famous for his travel to Táng China with his friend, Wonhyo. At one point they were captured by border guards and held for ten days as suspected spies but were subsequently released and expelled. Late, Wonhyo left Uisang, after unknowingly drinking water from a skull in the dark. The shock of this brought about an enlightenment experience such that he felt it was unnecessary to continue to China in search of wisdom. Dismayed, but nonetheless determined, Uisang continued on his journey eventually reaching China by sea.

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Born
0625
Korea
Religion
  • Buddhism
Died
0702

Submitted
on July 23, 2013