Venerable Master Hsing Yun


My mind embodies the compassionate vows to liberate all sentient beings;
My body is like the Dharma Ocean without any attachments;
What are my merits in this lifetime?
It is embodied within the illumination of Buddha’s Light on all Five Continents.


Venerable Master Hsing Yun was born in Chiangsu Province, China in 1927 and entered a monastery near Nanjing, China at the age of twelve. He was fully ordained in 1941, and is the 48th patriarch of the Linchi (Rinzai) Ch’an school. In 1949, in the midst of the civil war uproar, he went to Taiwan.

In Taiwan, he began fulfilling his long-held vow of promoting Humanistic Buddhism, which takes to heart spiritual practice in daily life. With an emphasis on not having to “go somewhere else” to find enlightenment, we can realize our true nature at this place and at this moment, within this precious human birth and this universe. When we actualize unselfishness, joyfulness, and universality, we are practicing the fundamental concepts of Humanistic Buddhism. When we offer faith, hope, joy, and services, we are helping others, as well as ourselves. For nearly half a century, Venerable Master Hsing Yun has devoted his efforts to transforming this world through the practice of Humanistic Buddhism.

To achieve this goal, he founded the Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Association which is headquartered in Taiwan. The association emphasizes on educations and services, and maintains public universities, Buddhist colleges, libraries, publishing houses, Buddhist art galleries and tearooms, free mobile medical clinics, children’s home, retirement home, high school, and television station.

Venerable Master Hsing Yun is a candid advocate of equality among religious beliefs. The association has the largest number of female monastic of any Buddhist order today. By providing and supporting educational and leadership opportunities, he has worked to improve the status of women in Taiwan. He has held full ordination ceremonies for women of the Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana traditions. In addition, Master Hsing Yun annually organizes conferences to bring together the various Buddhist schools and to encourage exchange of ideas between Buddhists and other religious groups.

Master Hsing Yun is a prolific writer and has authored over one hundred books in Chinese. His writings have been translated into English and many other languages. His books of the Life of Sakyamuni Buddha and the Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary, which consists of 16 volumes, have both won Taiwan’s highest humanitarian awards. His excellence can also be seen from the lectures he had given and all the books that had been published by both Chinese and English publishers, such as Being Good: A Guide to Buddhist Ethics, Only a Great Rain, Lotus in a Stream, Where is Your Buddha Nature: Stories to Instruct and Inspire were published by American publishers whereas Handing Down the Light, Hsing Yun’s Ch’an Talks, The Lion’s Roar, The Hundred Sayings Series, and The Humanistic Buddhism Series were published in Taiwan and are available in both Chinese and English. His numerous lectures also continue to be translated into English.

Based in Taiwan, Venerable Master Hsing Yun travels extensively to spread Buddha’s teachings. His insightful, engaging, and witty lectures attract a lot of audiences from every aspect. He reminds us that to transform our world, we must be actively engaged in it. “Community transcends the individual, and in doing so, fulfills the individual in the most comprehensive way possible.” Wherever he goes, he encourages people to unite both the local and global community into a world of complete equality, joyfulness, and perfect peace.

In 1992, Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) was established when the Master was elected as the first International President of BLIA. This association acts as the umbrella for all local chapters located throughout one hundred and seventy-three countries across five continents, making it the largest Chinese association in the world, in an effort to realize his dream of shining the Buddha light around the world and spreading the Dharma throughout the five continents.

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