Profile of Venerable Master Chin Kung
Yae-hong Hsu, better known by his Buddhist name Chin Kung Shr, was born in Luchiang County, Anhui Province of China, on February 15, 1927. He grew up in Cheino, Fukien and studied at The National Third Kuichou High School during World War II, and then at Nanking First Municipal High School after the War ended. In 1949, he came to Taiwan and served in the Shihchien Institution. For thirteen years thereafter, Master Chin Kung spent his leisure hours studying Buddhism and Philosophy under the guidance of Professor Dongmei Fang, the Zhangjia Hutukutu, and Teacher Bingnan Lee. Here he established a strong foundation for his future career.
In 1959, Master Chin Kung became a monk at Lintzi Temple of Yuanshan, Taipei. He was given the name Chin Kung and received full ordination. Afterwards, he began to lecture extensively on the Buddha¡¦s teachings in Taiwan and abroad. For more than forty years, he has continuously given lectures on the Five Sutras of the Pure Land School as well as the Flower Adornment Sutra, Lotus Sutra, Surangama Sutra, Complete Enlightenment Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Earth Treasure Sutra, Brahma Net Sutra, "Awakening of Faith Treatise" and many more. Fortunately, these teachings have been recorded on thousands of audio and videotapes. To this day, he is still happily and tirelessly lecturing daily.
During his extensive teaching career, Master Chin Kung has held positions as: an instructor at the Tripitaka Institute at Shipu Temple in 1960, a committee member of the Propagating Teachings Committee in 1961, a member of the Planning Committee of the Buddhist Association of Taiwan in 1965, head instructor at the Buddhist Seminar for University Students at the Buddhist Association of Taiwan in 1972, a Buddhist research fellow at the Chinese Academia Institute, professor and editor on the Association of Buddhist Sutras, Commentaries and Translations of Taiwan in 1973, a professor in the Philosophy Department at the Chinese Culture University, professor of the Spiritual Living Course for East Asian Catholics at Fu Ren Catholic University in 1975, the president of the Chinese Buddhist College in 1977 and the president of the Chinese Pure Land Practice Research Institute in 1979. All of the above institutions are in Taiwan.
He also founded the Hwa Dzan Dharma Giving Association, the Hwa Dzan Buddhist Audio-Visual Library, the Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation, the Hwa Dzan Pure Land Learning Centre as well as many Buddhist and Pure Land Learning Centres.
Master Chin Kung helped pioneer the use of radio and TV broadcasting, satellites, the Internet and other forms of modern media in propagating Buddhism in Taiwan. He has also sponsored the printing and free worldwide distribution of the Great Buddhist Canon, the Four Books, the Five Classics of Confucius, as well as books and tapes on Buddhism, morality and ethics, and Chinese culture, in addition to millions of prints of various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
In 1977, Master Chin Kung began to accept invitations to lecture abroad. He emphasized the principles of Mahayana Buddhism as the way to eliminate superstition, enable people to clearly differentiate right from wrong and proper from deviated, and to perfectly solve all problems. In the effort to make this possible, he has helped establish over ninety Pure Land Learning Centres and Amitabha Buddhist Societies in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, North America, Australia, Spain, and England. Over several decades, he has advised numerous Buddhist and social organizations.
Master Chin Kung has extensively promoted the idea to people of Chinese descent worldwide that they establish ancestral memorial halls to teach people to be sincere and honourable. He also encourages the practice of filial piety and the remembrance of the great kindness of past generations, and advocates teachings of ethics and morality to improve traditional values, help the nation to grow and prosper, and to create a peaceful world. Each of us needs to preserve, honour, and pass on to future generations our individual traditions of excellence.
In 1985, Master Chin Kung immigrated to the United States. During the time he lived there, his remarkable achievements in human relations, and his work in promoting morality and peace won him awards in 1995 from both the city of Dallas and the state of Texas as an Honorary Citizen.
In recent years, he has lectured at numerous universities including the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University of Singapore; University of Minnesota, University of Texas, and University of Hawaii in the U.S.; Melbourne University, Bond University, Curtin Technology University, and Monash University in Australia; Fu Ren Catholic University, Chinese Culture University, Cheng Gong University, and Chong Shan University in Taiwan, and other institutions of higher learning. He has also given talks to radio and TV audiences in several countries.
In May of 1995, Master Chin Kung began instructing training classes for lecturers, which were sponsored by the Singapore Buddhist Lodge and the Amitabha Buddhist Society of Singapore. He also served as their Director of Education.
In May of 1998, Master Chin Kung began a lecture series on the Flower Adornment Sutra, Infinite Life Sutra, and Earth Treasure Sutra in Singapore.
In November of 1998, Master Chin Kung took the initiative to visit organizations of major faiths in Singapore, including Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, Taoism, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism. In that same year, he supported the project of Multi-Faith Centre of Griffith University.
In the year 2000, Master Chin Kung helped organize a delegation of leaders from nine religions in Singapore to visit religious organizations in China for two weeks. This trip was very successful.
In June of 2001, Master Chin Kung established the Pure Land Learning College Association, Inc. in Australia to nurture and train successors to continue the propagation of Buddhism. He supported the Buddhist Educational Foundation for Buddhist courses in Sydney University and helped sponsor the Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in the University of Queensland.
In March and April of 2002, Master Chin Kung visited Buddhist organizations in Korea and Japan, to foster mutual understanding.
In June of 2002, Master was awarded as an Adjunct Professor of the University of Queensland. In the same month, he was awarded with an honorary degree of Doctor of University of Griffith University. Currently he is residing in Australia to continue his lecture series on the highest teaching of Mahayana Buddhism, the Flower Adornment Sutra.
In December 2003, Master was awarded the Honorary Founding Patron of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia.
In April 2004, Master was awarded the Honorary Doctor Degree of Univeristy of Southern Queenland. He was then further granted the Honorary Doctor Degree of Syarif Hidayatullan State Islamic University, Jakarta Indonesia in June. In August, he was invited to present a paper at the 2004 Okayama Topia for International Contribution NGO Network Conference on the United Nations.
In June 2005, Master was appointed as a member in the General Division of the Order of Australia by Her Majesty The Queen. Master Chin Kung AM was recognised for service to the Buddhist community in Queensland, particularly through the promotion of Buddhism and the fostering interfaith activiites between diverse ethnic groups, and to the community through support for educational and health institutions.