|Doctrines|| ||Fo Kuang Shan is a Buddhist organization in modern Taiwan, and as such espouses no particular doctrines of its own. It has, however, emphasized some Buddhist practices over others as more suited to the modern world.|
Fo Kuang Shan espouses the idea of "Buddhism for the Human Realm" [ren jian jingtu], an idea developed by the Taiwan Buddhist thinker Yinshun. This means that, rather than directing practices only towards the welfare of the dead or to placating and saving suffering spirits in the other world, Fo Kuang Buddhists are to pay attention to the suffering of living beings in this world and seek to aid them through concrete social welfare activities and by promoting Buddhist values and education. Fo Kuang Buddhism also emphasizes improving oneself in the present life rather than working to create the karma to improve future lives.
Finally, Fo Kuang Shan has created a lay-monastic alliance that is worldwide in scope, eschews privatism in any form, from the taking of personal disciples to the accumulation of personal property, and that fosters allegiance to the goals and values of the organization and its ideals.
|History|| ||Fo Kuang Shan and its related organizations were founded by the Ven. Hsing-yun (Xingyun, 1927- ), an energetic and educated monk from mainland China who migrated to Taiwan following the Communist victory in 1949. Through his zeal for propagating Buddhism in every possible venue, he attracted large numbers of followers and eventually collected enough in donations and royalties from his publications to purchase some land in southern Taiwan to found a temple.|
This temple, named Fo Kuang Shan ("Mountain of Buddha's Light"), opened in 1967 and immediately began growing at an astonishing rate. It quickly came to cover the entire mountain upon which it is situated, and Hsing-yun readily honored requests to found branch temples all around Taiwan and overseas. In 1989, when the Nationalist Government removed restrictions on the founding of civic organizations, Fo Kuang Shan immediately established the Buddha's Light International Association. Today, Fo Kuang Shan is involved worldwide in every aspect of Buddhist practice, from social welfare work to Buddhism education and ascetic practice. It has branches in Japan, Holland, Thailand, Singapore, Guam, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the United States, among other places. (Fo Kuang Shan Religious Affairs Committee 1991:46-48)
|Symbols|| ||The primary symbol of Fo Kuang Shan is the colossal Buddha image that sits atop the mountain at the main temple and dominates the view from the valley below. This image appears on all FKS logos and literature. Secondarily, the founder, Hsing-yun epitomizes the spirit of Fo Kuang Shan for his many followers.|
|Adherents|| ||Estimates of membership are unavailable, partly because Fo Kuang Shan is a very fluid and multifaceted organization. However, the Buddha's Light International Association had over 100 chapters around the world as of 1991.(Fo Kuang Shan Religious Affairs Committee 1991:4)|
| ||Fo Kuang Shen Temple. No. 153 Hsing-t'ien Road, Ta Shu District, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan, Republic of China.|