Fo Guang Shan Monastery - Taiwan
Monday 2 May 2016
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Fo Guang Shan is an international Chinese Mahayana Buddhist monastic order based in the Republic of China (Taiwan), and one of the largest Buddhist organizations. The headquarters of Fo Guang Shan, located in Kaohsiung, is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. The organization itself is also one of the largest charity organizations in Taiwan. The order also calls itself the International Buddhist Progress Society.
Fo Guang Shan today has been extraordinarily successful; in the past several decades, temples and organizations have been established on five continents in 173 countries, and now encompasses more than 3,500 monastics. Fo Guang Shan emphasizes education and service, maintaining universities, Buddhist colleges, libraries, publishing houses, translation centres, Buddhist art galleries, teahouses, and mobile medical clinics worldwide.
Social and medical programs
The social and medical programs of Fo Guang Shan include a free medical clinic with mobile units that serve remote villages, an annual winter relief program organized to distribute warm clothing and food supplies to the needy, a children’s and seniors’ home, wildlife conservation areas to protect living creatures, and a cemetery for the care of the deceased.
The educational programs of Fo Guang Shan include four Buddhist colleges, three regular college, and various community colleges. The Fo Guang University was established in 2000. It focuses mainly on the humanities and social sciences. The Chinese Buddhist research institute is subdivided into four separate departments; a women’s and men’s college, and an international and English Buddhist studies department. Tuition fees and lodging are provided by Fo Guang Shan, free of charge.
With the many colleges and universities, Fo Guang Shan also operates Pu-Men High School in Taipei, Jiun Tou Elementary and Junior High School, Humanities Primary and Junior High School, which provides regular curriculum for students. Fo Guang Shan also has nursery schools, kindergartens, and Sunday schools for children.
Religious Affairs Committee
In 1972, Master Hsing Yun established a nine member council, known as the Fo Guang Shan Religious Affairs Committee. These nine members govern the monastery and the order. The members are elected prior to the resignation, death, or the ending of a term of an abbot. Once elected by members of Fo Guang Shan, the votes are openly counted. The nine members then nominate their next abbot.
Objectives of Fo Guang Shan
- To propagate Buddhist teachings through cultural activities
- To foster talent through education
- To benefit society through charitable programs
- To purify human hearts and minds through Buddhist practice
- Offer others confidence
- Offer others joy
- Offer others hope
- Offer others convenience