Founder – Master Hsing Yun
Venerable Master Hsing Yun was born in Jiangsu Province, China in 1927. He studied at various renowned Buddhist institutions such as Qixia Vinaya College and Jiaoshan Buddhist College.
The Founding of Fo Guang Shan - Promoting Buddhism through Culture, Education, Charitable Programs and Buddhist Practice
He arrived in Taiwan in 1949 and his efforts in establishing the Buddhist Chanting Association and Buddhist Youth Choir at Lei Yin Temple in Ilan ensured a strong foundation for his subsequent endeavors in the promotion of Dharma. In 1967, the Fo Guang Shan Monastery was established, whose main goals are; to promote Buddhism through culture, education, charitable programs and Buddhist practice. He established over three hundred branch temples around the world such as the Hsi Lai Temple, the Nan Tien Temple, and the Nan Hua Temple, each having become the biggest Buddhist temple in North America, Australia and Africa respectively.
In addition, to nurture Buddhist talents, Venerable Master Hsing Yun has founded sixteen Buddhist colleges, such as Shou Shan Buddhist college, Chinese Buddhist Research Institute, Fo Guang Shan Tsung Lin University, and set up schools like Chi-Kuang High School, Pumen High School and Juntou High School. Furthermore, the founding of Nan Hua University, Fo Guang University, Hsi Lai University, Nan Tien Institute, Guang Ming College led to Taiwan's first international collaborative system for universities.
Promoting Buddhism through Different Media
Since then, close to three hundred branch temples have been established in major cities around the world. He has also set up art galleries, libraries, publishing houses, bookstores, mobile clinics, Buddhist colleges, and universities including: University of the West,
Fo Guang University, Nanhua University, Nan Tien Institute, and Guang Ming College. In 1977, the Fo Guang Tripitaka Editorial Board was formed to compile the Fo Guang Buddhist Canon and the Fo Guang Dictionary of Buddhism. Many other works on Buddhism have also been published. Venerable Master Hsing Yun has dedicated his life to propagating Humanistic Buddhism.
The Buddha's Light Shining over Three Thousand Realms, and the Dharma Water Flowing Continuously through the Five Continents
After resigning from the position of Head Abbot of Fo Guang Shan in 1985, Venerable Master Hsing Yun traveled around the globe to propagate the Dharma. On May16th in 1992, the World Headquarters of the Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA) was established in Los Angeles, of which he became the president. To this day, over 170 chapters have been established in the five continents, allowing “the Buddha’s Light to shine over three thousand realms, and the Dharma water to flow continuously through the five continents.”
The Venerable Master has received numerous awards, such as honorary PH.D.s from universities all over the world. He was also given the Buddha Ratna Award from the members of the All India Buddhist Conference in 1995. Throughout his lifetime, propagating Humanistic Buddhism, Venerable Master Hsing Yun has indeed contributed tremendously to the systematization, modernization, humanization, and internationalization of Buddhism!
Establishing the Buddha Museum for the Buddha's Tooth Relic
In 1998, Kunga Dorje Rinpoche entrusted Master Hsing Yun with the Buddha's tooth relic, and a certificate signed by twelve other Rinpoches to authenticate the relic. To enshrine the tooth relic, the construction of the Buddha Museum began in 2003. After nine years, the museum was opened to the public, with the tooth relic shining as the very heart of it.