The Bodhi Lectern



      Fayen S.K. Koo was born in Chekiang, China on March 6, 1917. He studied in the Mechanical Engineering Department of National Central University. After the Second World War broke out he became a major in the Air Force of the Republic of China. He remained in the service for eight years, until l949, during which time he left mainland China with the ROC forces and went to Taiwan.

After retiring from the Air Force he took a position as engineer with the Chin Bien Corporation, but in the following year joined the Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction. He worked with the Joint Commission variously as a translator, administrative assistant, program officer, and administration officer from 1951 until 1972.

      Although he has no formal training as a scholar, his experience as a translator, his broad knowledge of English and Chinese, his wide reading, and his study of Buddhism made him particularly suited to take on the position of Deputy Dean of the new Institute for the Translation of the Chinese Tripitaka located at Hsinchu, Taiwan. He joined the Institute in 1972, and has worked there ever since.

His translations include The Lighthouse in the Ocean of Ch’an, the first section (five chapters) of Madhyamika A Modern Re-statement, and the Maharatnakutasutra which is still in progress. The latter is being undertaken at the Translation Institute in Hsinchou under the auspices of the Buddhist Association of the United States. He has also translated What the Buddha Taught and Buddhism in Translation from English into Chinese.

Mr. Koo currently lives with his wife and two children in Taipei.

The stories of the Buddha’s great disciples will be continued in next issue’s installment of The Amitabha Sutra.