Introducing the Eminent Bhiksu


--By Bhiksu Heng Kuan

The Venerable Dharma Master Pai Sheng was born in 1905 in Yin Cheng in Hopei Province, China. When he was eighteen he left the home life at Chih Yuan Temple at Chiu Hua Mountain, the Bodhimandala of Earth Store Bodhisattva, and went on to Fa Tsang Buddhist College at Fa Tsang Temple in Shanghai where he made an intensive study of the Buddhist canon.

A Bhiksu in the Mahayana tradition, he immediately put his knowledge and talents to work for the benefit of living beings as a teacher and educator. He has served as superintendent of Chiu Fang Li College in Wu-chang. Director of the Lankavatara Buddhist College in Shanghai, and principal of Ching An Budddhist School and Nan Hsiang Agricultural High School. He has also served as the Supervisor of the Chinese Buddhist Association of Shanghai and Chekiang Province.

      In 1948 he left the China mainland and settled in Taiwan where he became Abbot of Shih Pu Temple. Aware of a lack of organization among Chinese Buddhists on Taiwan, he reformed the Chinese Buddhist Association. By 1957 he had founded Tripitaka Buddhist College, and by 1959 had set up a Buddhist Institute at Lin Ch'i Temple in Taipei, so that Buddhists might have the opportunity to receive instruction in Buddhist Studies.

The Venerable Dharma
Master Pai Sheng

      He is currently the Director of the Chinese Buddhist Association, the Secretary General for Chinese Bhiksus to the World Buddhist League, and concurrently serves as Abbot of Shih Pu and Lin Chi Temples on Taiwan, and Paradise Temple in Penang.

      Active in world Buddhism, he also serves as Deputy Director of the Buddhist Association of Thailand, Vietnam and Korea, and often travels to lecture in foreign countries. The Sino-American Buddhist Association welcomed the opportunity to receive Dharma Master Pai Sheng as a guest last fall when he stopped at Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery on the way to the opening of Mahayana Temple in New York.

      During the past eighteen years the Venerable Dharma Master has been an Elder at more than twenty precept platforms for the transmission of the Complete Precepts of the Thousand Buddhas. At transmission ceremonies held at Hau Hui Temple, Keelung, in 1969, and at Tz'u Shan Temple, Taichung, in 1971, he was the Karmadana and the Precept Master respectively to the first American Bhiksus and Bhiksunis to be ordained in the orthodox Buddhist tradition. The American Sangins are now dwelling at Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco and working to establish the proper Dharma in the West.