When the Korean EBS shared the recent “The Mountain Temple In The Winter” episode of Korea Travel on its YouTube channel and decided to pick this as the thumbnail for the video…
… well, it was bound to become an internet sensation. This clip, not-so-subtly popping up everywhere on YouTube users’ recommended videos, quickly gained 560K views since its upload on February 13, 2020. This number, when considering that it is an educational documentary, is exponentially higher than the average views of similar clips on the channel.
How exactly has it captivated the viewers — aside from the eye-catching thumbnail? That would be thanks to Bori the Labrador Retriever who lives with Monk Sambo of Bubheung Temple, set in the deepest valley of Mount Saja in Gangwon Province of Korea.
This five-year-old dog has grown up all his life in the mountain, after Monk Sambo brought him to the temple as a puppy. Since then, Monk Sambo and Bori have been inseparable.
Bori is now the temple’s mascot and Monk Sambo’s best friend. When the two go on a walk — to contemplate and search for the meaning of life and all, being Buddhists — Bori will keep by the monk’s side and guide him.
When the monk sits by the stream to take a break and grab a sip of water, Bori will step up to do his duty, which is to keep Monk Sambo squeaky clean.
It has become a routine for the monk and his dog to get this done, here, everyday, for the past five years and more to come:
I don’t mind it. Why would I mind it? It would not be right for me to mind it. People have told me before, ‘Bori is getting his spit all over you.’ But Bori is only trying his best to help me. He is only an animal yet here he is, doing what he can. I couldn’t mind that.
— Monk Sambo
And from this relationship with Bori, Monk Sambo admits that he learns what he cannot learn from meditating. He refers to Bori as his “partner in life” and believes the two will always be together, until time.
He is my partner. I call him that. A partner in life is someone who walks in the same direction with you throughout your life. Well, he and I have been walking in the same direction always. Sometimes I walk in front of him, sometimes he walks in front of me. And this is how we’ll keep walking until we pass. That’s all you need in a partner. What else would you need?
— Monk Sambo
Many viewers, who initially clicked on the video intrigued by the thumbnail, have ended up becoming deeply inspired by the unconditional love between monk and his dog!
Watch the full clip here: