About Fo Guang Shan
Located in Dashu District of Kaohsiung City, the Fo Guang Shan Monastery is made up of five hills laid out in the form of orchid petals. With modern facilities and traditional palace-styled buildings, it is a temple that embodies culture, education, Dharma propagation, charity, pilgrimage and tourism. At the same time, it is a center for the practice of the Bodhisattva path that features educational, mass-oriented, international, artistic and cultural characteristics. Founded on the altruistic and compassionate aspirations of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, Fo Guang Shan is a key Buddhist monastery in Taiwan and an important hub for the practice of Humanistic Buddhism.
Venerable Master Hsing Yun was born in Yangzhou of Jiangsu in 1927. Tonsured under Venerable Master Zhi Kai in 1938, he became a novice monk at Qi Xia temple in Nanjing, China. He graduated from Jiaoshan Buddhist College in 1947, and took on various posts. After arriving in Taiwan in 1949, he taught at the Buddhist Chanting Association in Yilan in 1953. In 1962, he established the Kaohsiung Shou Shan Monastery, and founded the Shou Shan Buddhist College. Fo Guang Shan was founded in 1967 in Dashu, Kaohsiung, with the missions to promote the Dharma through culture, to foster talent through education, to benefit society through charity and to purify people’s minds through cultivation. He has devoted his life to the propagation of Humanistic Buddhism and has personally established a system of regulations as laid out in the Fo Guang Shan Pure Rules Handbook.
In 1976, the Fo Guang Journal began its publication, and in the following year, the Fo Guang Tripitaka Editing Committee was formed to oversee the publication of the Fo Guang Buddhist Canon and Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary. In 1997, selected Chinese Buddhist texts in modern writing was published in 132 volumes, the Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary was produced in a CD-ROM format, and the Buddha’s Light Television Station was founded. In 2000, the Merit Times newspaper was founded, and in 2001, the Universal Gate Magazine, which has been in publication for over 20 years, became the bi-monthly Universal Gate Journal. In the same period, a collection of Contemporary Buddhist works was established to collect MA and PhD theses from the cross-Straits, as well as academic research published in Chinese from around the world. These were compiled into the 100-volume "A collection of Contemporary Buddhist Works: Chinese Buddhist Academic Series".
To date, Venerable Master Hsing Yun has tonsured over one thousand monastics from around the world, and has over one million lay followers worldwide. In 1991, the Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) was established in the United States, and Venerable Master was elected as President of the BLIA World Headquarters. In 2003, BLIA was officially recognized as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) by the United Nations. Throughout his life, Venerable Master Hsing Yun has tirelessly travelled across the five continents and has shuttled between China and Taiwan in his efforts to propagate Buddhism. The phrase “Let the Buddha’s light shine upon three thousand realms; and the Dharma’s water flow throughout the five continents” has indeed been fulfilled by Venerable Master.