Centenarian Buddhist Master dies

CNA, June 4, 2005

Taipei, Taiwan -- Respected Buddhist Master Yin Shun died at the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation's Jing Si Abode in the eastern county of Hualien Saturday at the age of 100. Yin Shun, known as the pioneer of humanistic Buddhism, celebrated his 100th birthday in April. He was found dead early this morning.

His widely known disciple Master Cheng Yen said Yin Shun had inspired her to dedicate herself to glorifying Buddhism by serving the people. Cheng Yen, founder of the Tzu Chi foundation which is Taiwan's largest charity organization, said it was a great blessing for her to be able to meet Yin Shun in her pursuit of Buddhist enlightenment.

With Yin Shun's inspiration, Cheng Yen said, the Tzu Chi foundation has managed to accomplish many projects in four major fields -- charity, medical service and health care, education and cultural development -- over the past four decades. She said she is more than grateful for her mentor's teaching. The Tzu Chi foundation will organize a memorial service for Yin Shun later this month, a spokesman said.

Yin shun was born in Haining, Zhejiang province in China in 1906. He was determined to pursue Buddhahood in his adolescence after reading a Buddhist book. He became a monk at the age of 25. After the Chinese Communists took control of the mainland, Yin Shun came to Taiwan to continue promoting humanistic Buddhism.

He was one of the most prolific Buddhist monks of the modern world. He had written many books introducing Buddhist scriptures and teachings. Throughout his life he had also inspired numerous Buddhist followers.