Venerable Master Hsing Yun
Master Hsing Yun was born in Chiangtu, Chiangsu province, China, in 1927.
Tonsured under Ven. Master Chih Kai at age twelve, he became a novice monk
at Chi-hsia Shan, a mountain monastery in Nanjing, China.
After arriving in Taiwan
in the spring of 1949, the Ven. Master became the chief editor of Life
Journal, Awakening The World, Buddhism Today, and a host of other
publications. In 1952, while staying at Lei-yin Temple of Ilan, he
initiated chanting groups, student and youth organizations, children's
Sunday school, and various Dharma teams that eventually laid the
foundation for his future efforts in Buddhist propagation.
In 1957, the Ven. Master
established a Buddhist cultural center that became today's Foguang
Cultural Enterprise Co., Ltd. in which a variety of Buddhist books are
being published with training tools such as audio and visual aids.
Subsequently, the founding of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order in 1967
actualizes the Ven. Master's vision of Humanistic Buddhism via education,
cultural activities, charity, and religious practices that "foster talent,
propagate the Dharma, provide relief aid, and cultivate morality in
people." Since then, over one hundred and fifty branch temples have been
established worldwide. Among them are Hsi Lai Temple, Nan Tien Temple, and
Nan Hua Temple, the biggest temples ever built in North America,
Australia, and Africa, respectively. In addition to art museums,
libraries, publishing houses, and bookstores, the Ven. Master also
established a free medical clinic, a Buddhist research institute, two high
schools (Chih-kuang and Pu-men High Schools), the Hsi Lai University in
the United States, as well as Fo Guang University and Nan Hua University
in Taiwan. In 1970, 1975, and 1987 respectively, the "Ta Tzu Children's
Home," "Fo Guang Light Lodge," and "Compassion Foundation" were formed to
provide for orphans, abandoned children, senior citizens, as well as the
poor and needy in Taiwan. Fo Guang Tripitaka Editing Committee was also
formed in 1977, and has continued to work diligently toward the
publication and advancement of the "Fo Guang Buddhist Canon" and "Fo Guang
Encyclopedia." In 1997, "Excerpts of Chinese Buddhism Tripitaka in Modern
Texts" was successfully completed with the "Fo Guang Encyclopedia" on CD,
followed by the formation of Buddha's Light TV Station and Buddha's Light
Internet Network as BLIA advanced in line with modern technology. Books
authored by the Ven. Master that are widely distributed include The Life
of Sakyamuni Buddha, The Buddha's Ten Great Disciples, Hsing Yun's Ch'an
Talk, The Buddhism Volumes, Ven. Master Hsing Yun's Lectures Series, The
Buddhism Textbooks, Beads of Pearl - Prayers for Engaged Living, etc.
Today, more than one
thousand monastic disciples have been tonsured under Ven. Master Hsing Yun
who has over a million followers worldwide. Throughout his life, the Ven.
Master has dedicated himself to propagating the ideals of "Humanistic
Buddhism" and being "a global person" in which the spirits of joy and
harmony, integration and coexistence, respect and magnanimity, equality
and peace are widely disseminated. Upon the inception of Buddha's Light
International Association on February 3, 1991, Ven. Master Hsing Yun was
elected to assume its presidency. As of 1997, over one hundred
international chapters of BLIA have been established to carry out the Ven.
Master's ideal of "letting the Buddha's Light shine over the three
thousand realms and the Dharma's current flow throughout the five
Over the years, the Ven.
Master has been recognized with numerous awards. In addition to the highly
acclaimed honors received in his home country, the Republic of China, the
Ven. Master has also gained international prestige for his selfless
dedication and contributions. For example, he is the first person from the
ROC to be granted an honorary Ph.D. by the University of Oriental Studies
in 1978, and was awarded the "Buddhist Gem Award" by the Indian National
Buddhist Assembly in 1995. In May of 1997, the Ministry for Internal and
Foreign Affairs honored him "the top award" in recognition of his
extraordinary contribution to society, his country, and Buddhism at large.
In February of 1998, the Ven. Master hosted the Triple Platform Full
Ordination Ceremony along with the Five and Bodhisattva Precepts
Ceremonies in Bodhgaya, India so as to restore the Theravada bhiksunis
precepts, which had been lost for over a millenium. On April 8, 1998, he
was bestowed the Buddha's tooth relic which he personally escorted from
India to Taiwan where it would remain. The Ven. Master's contribution
toward Buddhism is truly phenomenal, and has helped Buddhism gain a better
understanding from society amidst current trends of institutionalization,
modernization, humanism, and globalization.
Update : 01-04-2003