Grand Master Venerable Hsing Yun
Venerable Master Hsing Yun was born in 1927, in Jiangdu, Jiangsu Province,
China. At the age of twelve, he became ordained under the eminent Master Zhi
Kai in Nanjing. He had undertaken studies at various monasteries and had the
privilege to encounter numerous grand masters.

He arrived in Taiwan in 1949 and undertook the role of chief editor of the
publications 'Human Life', 'Buddhism Today', 'Awakening the World' and other
magazines. In 1952, he established the Ilan Buddhist Chanting Group, Youth
Group, Sunday School and the Dharma Propagation Group; hence grounding a
strong foundation for his subsequent endeavours in the promotion of the Dharma.

In 1957, he established the Buddhist Literature Center, which later became known
as Fo Guang Publishing House. Venerable Master Hsing Yun founded Fo Guang
Shan Monastery in 1967, with the vision to promote Humanistic Buddhism and
instil the practice of 'propagating Buddhism through culture; fostering talent
through education; benefiting society through charitable programs and purifying
the human mind through Buddhist practice'. In order to take Buddhism on the
journey to modernization, he has established guidelines that embrace both
tradition and modern day practices.

He has since expanded the Fo Guang Shan Monastery to now consist of over two
hundred branch temples in major cities around the world. In particular, Hsi Lai
Temple near Los Angeles, Nan Tien Temple in Sydney and Nan Hua Temple in
South Africa are renowned as the largest Buddhist temples in North America,
Australia and Africa respectively. In addition, nine art galleries, twenty-six libraries,
more than three publishing houses, twelve bookstores, the Cloud and Water
Mobile Clinic, over fifty Chinese language schools, sixteen Buddhist colleges,
three Secondary Schools and three Universities have been established. In 2002,
Hsi Lai University was awarded affiliated membership to the WASC, it being the
very first Chinese based and run university in USA to be honoured in such a
manner. A Children's Home, Fo Guang Nursing Home and Fo Guang Shan Charity
Trust were also established in 1970, 1975 and 1987 respectively to nurture the
young, care for the old, support the weak and provide financial assistance to the
needy.
Venerable Master's other accomplishments include instigating the publication of
the 'Fo Guang Academic Journal' in 1976. In subsequent years, 'Fo Guang
Tripitaka', 'Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary', 'Universal Gate Buddhist Journal', 'A
Collection of Contemporary Buddhist Thesis' and other works were published. In
addition, the Buddha's Light Television network was established in 1997, and the
first Buddhist daily newspaper 'Merit Times' was launched in 2000.

Venerable Master Hsing Yun is an accomplished author, having written a number
of works, such as 'Being Good', 'Lotus in a Stream', 'Buddhism: Core Ideas',
'Only a Great Rain', 'Where is Your Buddha Nature?', 'The Lion's Roar', 'Wise
Thoughts, Modern Mentality', 'Hsing Yun's Ch'an Talk', 'Between Ignorance and
Enlightenment' and many other titles. They have been translated into over ten
foreign languages, including English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish,
Korean, Thai and Portuguese; and have enjoyed extensive circulation worldwide.

Venerable Master's propagation of the Dharma has been widespread, having
ordained over one thousand monastics and attracted millions of lay Buddhist
devotees around the globe. He has dedicated his life to the propagation of
Humanistic Buddhism and has advocated the ideal of 'caring for the earth and
pertaining to the universe'. 'Joy and Harmony', 'Oneness and Coexistence',
'Respect and Magnanimity' and 'Peace and Equality' are the concepts that he
has been actively promoting. They form the guidelines for members of the
Buddha's Light International Association, which was established in 1991. The
association is present in over one hundred and seventy-three countries
worldwide, making it the largest Chinese association in the world and as such,
fully realizing the ideal of the 'Buddha's Light illuminating the three thousand
realms and Dharma water flowing across the five continents'. In 2003, BLIA was
formally recognized and esteemed by the United Nations, hence gaining inclusion
into the NGO.

Venerable Master's achievements have been recognized by the government of
Taiwan, and international communities. He has been awarded Honorary Ph.D.
titles by Universities in USA, Thailand and Korea. In 2000, Venerable Master
Hsing Yun was presented with the National Social Welfare Award in affirmation of
Venerable Master's contribution to the nation, society and Buddhism. Venerable Master has also convened with His Holiness Pope John Paul II
and the Dalai Lama in 1997 to exchange ideas in the quest to realise world peace.

In order to revive the Theravada tradition of taking Bikhsuni Precepts, which has been forgotten for more than a thousand years, in 1998
Venerable Master held the Full Ordination Ceremony in Bodhgaya, India. In November 2004, the Full Ordination Ceremony to transmit the
precepts of the Mahayana tradition will be held at Nan Tien Temple in Australia. Other significant events that have arisen through Venerable
Master Hsing Yun's effort include the enshrinement of one of the three Buddha's tooth relics remaining at Fo Guang Shan, and the sole Buddha's
finger relic tour to Taiwan, which was made possible through his successful negotiation with China's Chairman Jiang Ze-Min. This significant event
marked a new page in the history of religious exchange between China and Taiwan, bringing closer peaceful interactions between the two
shores. Later on, he led the Choir of Fo Guang Shan Monastic Order on a performance tour to Beijing and Shanghai. In February 2004, Buddhist
orders across the straits collaboratively formed the 'Buddhist Hymn Performance Troupe', which toured countries including Taiwan, Hong Kong,
Australia, USA and Canada, hence turning a new leaf in the propagation of Buddhism in the quest to promote world peace.

Venerable Master has indeed made tremendous contributions to Buddhism, in regulating its practice and propagating its teachings, in making it
relevant to modern day society and applicable to daily life, and in spreading its teachings worldwide