About the Founder​

Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Venerable Master Hsing Yun was born in Jiangsu Province, China in 1927. At age 12, he was tonsured by Venerable Master Zhi Kai in Qixia Temple, Nanjing, with Dajue Temple in Yixing, Jiangsu, as his ancestral temple. He has studied at various renowned Buddhist institutions such as Qixia Vinaya College and Jiaoshan Buddhist College, and later on became the 48th generation lineage holder of the Linchi Chan school. The Venerable Master has also served as the principal of Baita (White Pagoda) Elementary School, the chief editor of Raging Billows Monthly, and the Abbot of Huazhang Monastery, in Nanjing.

Venerable Master Hsing Yun arrived in Taiwan in 1949. In 1953, he founded organizations such as the Buddhist Chanting Association of Yilan at Leiyin Temple, in Yilan, and the Dharma Promotion Team. His efforts established the foundation for his subsequent endeavors in the promotion of the Dharma. He founded Fo Guang Shan Monastery in 1967, with the primary goal of promoting Humanistic Buddhism through Buddhist education, culture, charity, and propagation of the Dharma. In order to foster Buddhist professionals, the Venerable Master founded 16 Buddhist Colleges, namely Shou Shan Buddhist College, Chinese Buddhist Research Institute, and Fo Guang Shan Tsung Lin University, as well as Buddhist Colleges in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Africa, to name a few. Moreover, the Venerable Master has founded Chih-Kwang Vocational School, Pu-Men High School, Jiun Tou Elementary and Junior High School, the Institute of Indian Cultural Studies at the Chinese Cultural University, University of the West in the United States, Fo Guang University in Yilan, Nanhua University in Chiayi, Nan Tien Institute in Australia, and Guang Ming College in the Philippines. Furthermore, 300 branch temples have been established worldwide, with Hsi Lai Temple, Nan Tien Temple and Nan Hua Temple as continental headquarters for North America, Oceania, and Africa respectively.

Venerable Master’s writing career has culminated in a colossal published total word count of nearly 30 million words, with the most quintessential works being: The Biography of Sakyamuni Buddha, Hundred Saying Series, Humanistic Buddhism Series, Buddhist Affinities Across 100 years, Hear Me Out: Messages from a Humble Monk, Humanistic Buddhism: Holding True to the Original Intents of Buddha, and the 365-volume Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun published on May 16, 2017.  Venerable Master’s pioneering broadcasting career began in 1957, with the airing of “The Voice of Buddhism” through Yilan Peoples’ Broadcasting Station, and continued with the first television program “Nectar” being aired in 1979 through Chinese Television Station. Later on, the “Hsing Yun’s Ch’an Talk” program was aired through North American satellite television. In 1998, Fo Guang Shan’s own television station, Beautiful Life Television, was founded and in 2000, the Merit Times newspaper began circulation.  After retiring from the post of Head Abbot of Fo Guang Shan in 1985, the Venerable Master continued promoting the Dharma worldwide. In 1995, he founded the Chunghua Fo Guang Buddhist Association, and on May 16, 1992, he inaugurated the Buddha’s Light International Association World Headquarters in Los Angeles, taking the helm as its inaugural president. By 1995, over 100 association chapters had been established across the five continents, realizing Humanistic Buddhism’s ideal of “letting the Buddha’s light shining throughout the three thousand realms, and the Dharma water flowing across the five continents.” Over the course of his illustrious life, Venerable Master has received numerous awards and recognitions, namely 33 Honorary Doctorates from prestigious institutions worldwide, such as Hong Kong University. In 1992, he was acclaimed as the Permanent Honorary President of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, and in 1995, he was awarded India’s national Buddha Ratna Award. As evidenced by his accomplishments, Venerable Master’s dedication to the systemization, modernization, humanization, futurization, and internationalization of Buddhism can be considered astounding!