Fo Guang Shan Is The Fastest Growing Buddhist Organization In Taiwan Today
Fo Guang Shan –What is it? Why is it growing so fast? The purpose of the article is to simply let the reader know what Fo Guang Shan is about. I give no opinion of my own. Fo Guang Shan is the fastest growing Buddhist Organization in the World today. Its moderate approach appeals to the masses. Fo Guang Shan was founded in 1967 by Hsing Yun. The International Headquarters of this new movement is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in the Dashu District. It is known as Buddha’s Light Mountain. It is widely believed that from this mountain goes out light to each of the 5 continents of the world. The order is known world-wide as the International Buddhist Progress Society. The society promotes a more humanistic form of Buddhism than other Buddhist Orders. This order has a major emphasis on humanism and charity. It is also better known in the world, as a whole. This is due to its teachings, lectures, and workshops world-wide. They also give many lectures within the many correctional facilities worldwide. They are also extremely active in the large Asian factories. They have large-scale lectures on both television and radio within Taiwan. They are world-wide. Devotees are encouraged to make yearly pilgrimages to Buddha’s Light Mountain.
There are four major objectives in Fo Guang Shan.
(1) To spread Buddhist teachings through cultural activities throughout the world. They are active on every continent.
(2) To encourage talent through education. They run many colleges and Universities.
(3) To benefit society through charitable programs. They are best known for their programs for children in need and the elderly who are destitute.
(4) To purify human hearts and minds through Buddhist practice and pilgrimage.
The official motto of the Fo Guang Shan is: “May the Buddha’s Light shine upon the ten directions. May the Dharma stream continuously flow towards the five great continents.”
The following four major beliefs or goals are set forth. They are a guide to each believer in Fo Guang Shan.
(1) May kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity pervade all Dharma realms;
(2) May all beings benefit from our friendship and kindness;
(3) May our ethical practices of Ch’an and Pureland help us to realize patience and equality;
(4) May we undertake the Great Vows with humility and gratitude.”
There are four major working principles set forth for members.
(1) Give others confidence.
(2) Give others joy.
(3) Give others hope.
(4) Render service to others.
The emphasis is on giving, not only money, but of yourself.
The Fo Guang Shan Order has many free medical and social programs that serve the remote villages and the poorest of the poor. They also have many annual food and warm clothing drives. In Asia they have Children’s homes and homes for senior citizens. They are active in wildlife conservation.
Throughout Asia you will see many Temples and monasteries belonging to different Buddhist Orders. Like Christianity and Judaism, they have many denominations and sects. As we admire the many architectural delights in Asia, it is good to remember that these are places of worship. While we do not dwell on how they serve their gods, it is good to understand what they stand for. Knowledge helps us to have understanding. Understanding breeds respect. Respect is good among people.
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