Dharma Master Sheng Yen cremated in Miaoli County

Taiwan News, Feb 10, 2009

Taipei, Taiwan -- Buddhist Dharma Master Sheng Yen was cremated in Miaoli County yesterday as thousands of followers lined the streets to bid him farewell.

Sheng-yen died of kidney failure Feb. 3 at the age of 80. He had served as abbott of the Nung Chan Monastery before establishing a Buddhist sanctuary in Dharma Drum Mountain in Chinshan in suburban Taipei in 1989.

Monks and nuns in black and brown robes accompanied the hearse and followers knelt by the side of the road in the rain as he left the headquarters of his Dharma Drum Foundation in the hills of Jinshan in Taipei County.

At the Chuanhua Hall in Shihtoushan, the site for his cremation, cable stations estimated the audience as between 10,000 and 20,000 people.

Ceremonies earlier in the week attracted dozens of politicians, business leaders, and prominent cultural figures such as choreographer Lin Huai-min and Chinese movie star Jet Li. Taipei County chief Chou Hsi-wei and Quanta Computer chairman Barry Lam were present yesterday morning.

His body was cremated Sunday after monks sounded a gigantic bell inscribed with Buddhist scriptures at the Dharma Drum Mountain. Eight monks then carried Sheng-yen's body — covered by golden sheets in a hearse_ down a winding mountain road lined with followers, solemnly clapping their hands.

Sheng-yen was venerated for his teachings of mercy, simple life and fulfillment of one's duties. "Face up with the difficult situation, overcome it and then put it aside to have a peace of mind," he had said.

In keeping with such philosophy, the Dharma Drum Mountain sanctuary has banned practices deemed superstitious but commonly adopted by other Taiwanese temples, such as the burning of incense sticks and paper money dedicated to ghosts.

Since his death, followers in black suits or ceremonial gowns have streamed in and out of the sanctuary with offerings of flowers in mass prayers, and many others were doing simple prayers at home.

The master's ashes will be scattered in the woods next to the sanctuary on Fdeb 15, following his wish to replace elaborate burials, followers said.

Master Sheng Yen was born in China's Jiangsu Province, and first became a monk at the age of 13. He was later drafted into the armies of Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, and followed him to Taiwan as defeat by the Communists loomed.

He later rejoined Buddhist monkhood and established his foundation in 1989. He paid numerous visits overseas, and established centers in New York State and Singapore.

He developed a malignant tumor a couple of years ago, leading to the removal of his left kidney. In 2006, he lost the function of his right kidney, necessitating dialysis three times a week. He recently turned down an offer from hospital to undergo a kidney transplant, saying it wasn't worth wasting effort on an old man like him, reports said.

Master Sheng Yen entered National Taiwan University Hospital on Jan. 5 to receive treatment for urinary tract cancer, but returned to Jinshan the day before he died.
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv