2019 3rd International Conference on Sustainable Development and Green Technology 

November 1-3, 2019, Fo Kuan Shan Monastery, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
• English    • 中文版     • 繁体版

Brief Introduction of Fo Kuan Shan Monastery

 

Fo Guang Shan is an international Chinese Buddhist monastic order based in Taiwan that practices humanistic buddhism. The headquarters of Fo Guang Shan, located in Dashu District, Kaohsiung, is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. The organization is also one of the largest charity organizations in Taiwan. The organization's counterpart for laypeople is known as the Buddha's Light International Association.

Founded in 1967 by Hsing Yun, the order promotes Humanistic Buddhism and is known for its efforts in the modernization of Chinese Buddhism. The order is famous for its use of technology and its temples are often furnished with the latest equipment. Hsing Yun's stated position for Fo Guang Shan is that it is an "amalgam of all Eight Schools of Chinese Buddhism".

In Taiwan, Hsing Yun is popularly referred to as one of the "Four Heavenly Kings" and Fo Guang Shan is considered one of the "Four Great Mountains" or four major Buddhist organizations of Taiwanese Buddhism, along with Dharma Drum Mountain, Tzu Chi, and Chung Tai Shan.

In 1967, Hsing Yun purchased more than 30 hectares in Dashu Township, Kaohsiung County as the site for the construction of a monastery. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on 16 May 1967.

Fo Guang Shan embarked on many construction projects, including university buildings, shrines, and a cemetery. In 1975, Fo Guang Shan's 36-metre tall statue of Amitabha Buddha was consecrated. In 1981, 15 years after its establishment, the Great Hero Hall was built. During these times, many other Fo Guang Shan temples outside the order's mother monastery were also built.

In May 1997, Hsing Yun announced that he would close the mountain gate of Fo Guang Shan to the general public. His reason in closing the monastery was to give monastics the cloistered atmosphere they need for their Buddhist practice. In practice, many Chinese monasteries have also closed their mountain gates to give a cloistered atmosphere to the temple residents.

At the end of 2000, then President Chen Shui-bian of the Republic of China and government officials from Kaohsiung visited Fo Guang Shan, bringing with them the wish from their constituents that Fo Guang Shan reopen its mountain gate. After due consideration, Fo Guang Shan decided to reopen the monastery to some extent, thereby providing the public a place to practice Pure Land Buddhism. On top of its headquarters being the largest monastery in Taiwan, it has a network of over 300 branches throughout Taiwan.

Fo Guang Shan entered mainland China in the early 21st century, focusing more on charity and Chinese cultural revival rather than Buddhist propagation in order to avoid conflict with the Chinese Communist Party, which opposes religion. Fo Guang Shan's presence in China increased under the premiership of General Secretary Xi Jingping after he started a program to revive traditional Chinese faiths. As of 2017, the order had over 1,000 monks and nuns, and over 1 million followers worldwide, with branches in fifty countries.

2019 3rd International Conference on Sustainable Development and Green Technology
Conference Secretary: Emma     Email: sdgt@cbees.net
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