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 Ch’an 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, 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, Yilan, and the Dharma Promotion Team. His efforts had 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 had founded 16 Buddhist Colleges, namely Shoushan 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 had founded Chih-Kwang Vocational School, Pu-Men High School, Jiun Tou Elementary and Junior High School, the Insitute 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 Jiayi, 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.
In 1957, the Buddhist Cultural Service Centre (later renamed Fo Guang Publishing House) was founded. It published various Buddhist collections and audio-visual educational material. In 1977, the Fo Guang Tripitaka Editorial Committee was formed to compile the Fo Guang Dictionary of Buddhism and the Fo Guang Buddhist Canon. To date, the Āgamas Canon, Chán Canon, Prajñā Canon, Pure Land Canon, Avataṃsaka Canon and Consciousness-only Canon, have already been published, while the Jātaka Canon is to be released in October this year (2016). The Universal Gate Magazine (later renamed Universal Gate Buddhist Journal in 2001) was founded in 1979, and in 1995 the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery and Water Drop Teahouse were founded, heralding the fusion of art, culture and leisure. The inaugural establishments were the prelude to the establishment of an additional 24 art galleries worldwide.
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, and Humanistic Buddhism: Holding True to the Original Intents of the Buddha.
Fo Guang Shan Five-in-One University Consortium
Publisher: Fo Guang Shan Board of Directors