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Our Founder



Grand Master Hsing Yun was born in Jiangsu Province, China in 1927. At the age of 12 he entered into a Buddhist monastery in Nanjing. He completed his ordination in 1941, and received the formal announcement as the 48th patriarch of the Lin-Chi Ch’an School of Mahayana Buddhism.


Grand Master Hsing Yun is the founder of the Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Order, where he fulfilled his long-held vow of promoting Humanistic Buddhism. For nearly half a century, Grand Master Hsing Yun has devoted his efforts to transform our world through the practice of Humanistic Buddhism. He also founded Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) in 1992. It has active chapters worldwide.


星雲大師素描 by Terry Comic

Illustration by Terry Comic 林鉅晴

He 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. By providing and supporting educational and leadership opportunities, he has worked to improve the status of women in Asia. He has held full ordination ceremonies for women of the Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana Buddhist traditions. In addition, Grand Master Hsing Yun annually organizes conferences to bring together the various Buddhist schools and to promote dialogue between Buddhists and other major religious groups.


He travels and lectures widely. His insightful, engaging, and witty lectures unfailingly endear him to audiences. He reminds us that to transform our world, we must be actively engaged in it. “Community transcends the individual,” he says, “and in doing so, fulfills the individual in the most complete 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.


Grand 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.


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