『三國遺事』 수록 仙桃山 神母 전승의 분석An Analysis of the Tale of Godly Mother “Shinmo(神母) of Seondo-san(仙桃山),” documented in Samgukyusa(三國遺事)
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- An Analysis of the Tale of Godly Mother “Shinmo(神母) of Seondo-san(仙桃山),” documented in Samgukyusa(三國遺事)
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- Godly Mother(神母); ‘Holy Mother(聖母); Female Taoist Hermit(女仙); Seondo-san(仙桃山); the Five Mountain ranges (五岳); Saso(娑蘇); Seosul(西述); 神母; 聖母. 女仙; 仙桃山; 五岳; 娑蘇; 西述
- 사림, no.80, pp.1 - 35
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- Attempted in this article is an analysis of the tale of “Godly Mother ‘Shinmo’ of the Seondo-san Mountain(仙桃山 神母),” documented in Samgukyusa(三國遺事)’s ｢Seondo Seongmo Suhi Bulsa(仙桃聖母隨喜佛事)｣ chapter. My analysis is based upon two basic observations: (1) There was a fundamental difference between concepts of ‘Godly Mother(神母)’ and ‘Holy Mother(聖母)’ in terms of their very nature, and (2) A tale that has displayed multiple versions in the past should never be viewed as one with a single origin or narrative. In addition, it should be noted that a motif of a ‘Holy Mother’ (who should have given birth to a ‘Holy Son’[聖子]) has never appeared within the context of the tale.
This Godly Mother, who was also a mountain deity(Sanshin, 山神), was also once described as a Female Taoist Hermit(Yeoseon, 女仙) in the Myth of Faith that involved the Anheung-sa(安興寺) monastery. This shows that she was once viewed as a Taoist deity. The Buddhist event at Anheung-sa is recorded as an event that took place during Shilla king Jinpyeong’s reign, but the situation surrounding the event rather fits the reality of the ending years of Shilla (and beginning of Goryeo) more.
“Seo’ak”(西岳, the Seondo-san mountain) is a Chinese translation of “Seosul(西述),” which means ‘the Western peak.’ This particular concept does not need to be perceived as one of the Five Mountain ranges(O’ak, 五岳). The O’ak system was embraced and employed during the Shilla dynasty’s overhaul of its administrative institutions in the dynasty’s later days. They(the Five mountain ranges) were regarded as beings superior to the original Three Mountains(Samsan, 三山), only to switch superiority with them later on.
The Tale of Saso(娑蘇) follows the Chinese Imperial princess(“Saso”)’ visit to the East, and her settling down in Mt. Seondo. This was a tale based on a mountain with the name “Seoyeon(西鳶).” The region described as her destination, “Haedong(海東),” was the united realm of Shilla, so we can see the tale was formed after the 9th century.
Reference to Mt. Seondo being one of the Three Regions that received Dynastic services(Samsa, 三祀) since the dynasty’s beginning seems to have been made with the original Three mountains in mind. The fact that Mt. Seondo was only provided[封爵] with the status of ‘Grand King[Daewang, 大王]’ during the reign of King Gyeongmyeong shows us that before then there was no dynastic memorial service reserved for it, and that fact does seem to have something to do with Seosul(西述)’s being acknowledged and recorded accordingly[追錄] at the time as well. Another fact, of King Gyeongmyeong hailing from the Park line within the Shilla royal family, lets us know that Mt. Seondo did not really have any connection to the so-called First Ancestral Mother(Shijomo, 始祖母) till the very end of the Shilla dynasty.
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