Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the 48th patriarch of the Linchi (Rinzai) Ch'an school, was born in Jiangsu Province, China in 1927. He entered a monastery near Nanjing when he was twelve years old and was fully ordained in 1941. In 1949, amid the turbulence of civil war, he went to Taiwan where he began fulfilling his long-held vow of promoting Humanistic Buddhism.
Venerable Master Hsing Yun founded Fo Guang Shan in 1967. In the last 5 decades, he has devoted his efforts to transforming this world through the practice of Humanistic Buddhism. His vision and untiring efforts have influenced Buddhist studies and practices in Taiwan and throughout all five continents. The establishment of more than 200 temples around the world, such as Hsi Lai Temple in the USA, Fo Guang Shan Toronto in Canada, Nan Tien Temple in Australia, IBPS London in Europe, Nan Hua Temple in South Africa, IBPS Do Brazil, Motosu Temple in Japan, Dong Zen Temple in Malaysia, are all important temples for the propagation of Dharma in their respective countries.
Venerable Master Hsing Yun is also the founder of the Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Order, which is headquartered in Taiwan. The Order emphasizes education and service and maintains public universities, Buddhist colleges, libraries, publishing houses, Buddhist art galleries and tearooms, free mobile medical clinics, children's home, retirement home and television station. The Order's lay service organization, Buddha's Light International Association, also has active chapters worldwide.
Venerable Master Hsing Yun is an outspoken proponent of equality among all people and religious traditions. The Order has the largest number of female monastics of any Buddhist order today. He has held full ordination ceremonies for women of the Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana traditions. In addition, Venerable Master Hsing Yun annually organizes conferences to bring together the various Buddhist schools and to promote dialogue between Buddhists and other major religious groups.
As an accomplished writer, Venerable Master Hsing Yun is the author of over 100 books in Chinese. His writings have been translated into English and many other languages. Many of his lectures are also translated into English.
Venerable Master's achievements have been recognised by the government of Taiwan and international communities. He has been awarded Honorary PhD 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 promote world peace.
Based in Taiwan, Venerable Master Hsing Yun travels extensively. His insightful, engaging, and witty lectures unfailingly endear him to audiences. Wherever he goes, he encourages people to unite both the local and global community into a world of complete equality, joyfulness, and peace.