Venerable Master Hsuan Hua Preaching Buddhism to the West

The Reason why Hsuan Hua Preached to the West


Venerable Master Hsuan Hua has a kind heart, and he is willing to teach and transform all beings regardless to their birth, country, ethnic, religion, and so forth. Although the majority of his disciples are Chinese, history will remember him as the pioneer of bringing Buddhism and Dharma to the Western countries.

The story starts at his mother's grave site in rural China. The Master, in his early twenties, was observing the Chinese filial practice of three year's mourning. He built a meditation hut and meditated there constantly. One day, he saw the Sixth Patriarch of the Chan (Zen) Lineage walking into his hut. They communicated and the Master remembered Sixth Patriarch saying:

"The five schools will divide into ten to teach and transform living beings:
a hundred and then a thousand, until they are endless . . .
countless like the sands of the Ganges . . .
the genuine beginning of Buddhism in the West."

The Sixth Patriarch was telling Hsuan Hua that he should leave China and propagate Buddhism to the West. However, the Master had little contact with Westerners until he moved to Hong Kong in 1949.


After his Dharma predecessor, Venerable Master Hsu Yun, entered into Nirvana at 1959, Hsuan Hua attended to his ceremonies, and he began to travel to the West afterward. Several of his lay disciples from Hong Kong had already gone to the United States to study.

In 1962, the Master decided to go to San Francisco. At the small Chinatown temple, he lectured on the Amitabha Sutra and hosted meditation session. Hsuan Hua spent the rest of his life in spreading Buddhism in the Western countries since 1962 to 1995. He performed multiple Ordination Ceremonies, built monasteries, established Buddhism text translation society, and Buddhism university.

At 1995, Venerable Master Hsuan Hua entered into Nirvana.


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宣化上人把佛法傳到西方

宣化上人的生平有如一座大橋,將佛法從亞洲傳到西方。

宣化上人,俗姓白,名玉書,又名玉禧。19歲,母親逝世,結廬於母親墓旁,期間禮請三緣寺上常下智老和尚為剃度師,法名安慈,遂披緇守於母墓旁。守孝期間,發十八大願,拜華嚴、禮淨懺、修禪定、習教觀、日一食、夜不臥。

一日打坐,見六祖大師至茅棚,告曰:「將來你會到西方,所遇之人無量無邊,教化眾生如恆河沙,不可悉數,此是西方佛法崛起之徵象。」

1946年,禮虛雲老和尚,遂為溈仰宗第九代接法人,摩訶迦葉初祖傳承之第四十五代。


1949年,赴香港弘法,闡揚禪、教、律、密、淨五宗並重,打破門戶之見。並重建古剎、印經造像,成立西樂園寺、慈興禪寺、佛教講堂。

1958年,師觀察西方機緣成熟,為將佛教之真實義理傳播至世界各地,遂令弟子在美成立中美佛教總會(法界佛教總會前身)。從1962到1995,宣化上人遷居到美國,致力於弘法、譯經、教育等事業,廣建道場,培植人才,訂立宗旨。上人教導弟子天天參禪打坐、念佛、拜懺、研究經典、嚴持戒律、日中一食、衣不離體。在西方建立行持正法之僧團,以圖匡扶正教,令正法久住。

宣化上人將佛經翻譯成世界各國文字,至今有百餘本譯為英文,中英文雙語佛書也陸續在出版中;另有西班牙文、越南文、法文、德文、日文等譯本。

在教育方面,萬佛聖城設有育良小學、培德中學、法界佛教大學、僧伽居士訓練班等教育機構,融入「孝、悌、忠、信、禮、義、廉、恥」八德為做人的基礎;以「大公無私」、「慈悲喜捨」為究竟目標。

1995年,宣化上人在美國加州洛杉磯圓寂。