Hsing Yun is a Chinese Buddhist monk and the founder of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order as well as the affiliated Buddha’s Light International Association, one of the largest international Buddhist organizations in Taiwan and in the Buddhist world. Hsing Yun is a forty-eighth generation lineage holder of the Linji Chan (Rinzai Zen) school through Master Zhi Kai, his teacher. He served as the first, second and third term director and abbot of the order before voluntarily resigning his position in 1985 in favor of his disciple, Hsin Ping.
Hsing Yun is known for his “Humanistic Buddhism” philosophy employed by the Fo Guang Shan order, which utilizes Buddhism to fit the needs of a modern world. He is credited by Buddhist scholars as one of the forefront leaders in modern reformation of Buddhism by opening monasteries, universities and schools around the world, as well as engaging in religious dialogue amongst other Buddhist sects and religious faiths.
In Taiwan, Hsing Yun is notable for his activity in political affairs, particularly on the One China Policy as well as government legislation supported by the Kuomintang, and is often criticized for his views by those in favor of Taiwanese independence and religious figures.