Manchester Fo Guang Shan Temple is a branch of Fo Guang Shan in Taiwan. It is run by members of the Sangha who are part of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order dedicated to the propagation of Humanistic Buddhism.
The Temple itself consists of three shrine rooms, a library, a dining hall, a reception hall and a number of function rooms for meetings, classes and leisure activities. The main shrine is dedicated to Sakyamuni Buddha, who lived in India two and a half thousand years ago and attended enlightenment, realising the path to nirvana. Another shrine is dedicated to Avalokitesvara Bodisattva (Guan Yin), who embodies great compassion. The other shrine is dedicated to Ksitigarbha Bodisattva, who embodies great vows, having vowed to deliver all beings from suffering, especially those in the lower paths of transmigration, before he himself attains buddhahood.
The temple is one of the few Buddhist monasteries in England. It provides a home to the Manchester Chapter of BLIA and supports its activities. In addition, it holds religious services on a regular basis.
Who is Venerable Master Hsing Yun?
Venerable Master Hsing Yun is the founder of Fo Guang Shan. He was born in China in 1927 and became a novice monk at the age of twelve. He was fully ordained in 1941 and had undertaken further monastic education. He went to Taiwan in 1949, by which time he was already committed to the promotion of Buddhist education. In 1967, he established Fo Guang Shan, which is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan till this day, to actualise his vision of Humanistic Buddhism.
Buddhism is relevant to people’s daily lives. Its aim is to enable the development of people to their full potentials. Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s commitment to spread Buddhist teaching later led him to establish hundreds of temples around the world. These include the His Lai Temple in Los Angeles, USA, which is the largest Buddhist monastery in the western hemisphere, the Nan Tien Tmeple in Australia, which is the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere, and the Nan Hua Temple in South Africa, which is the largest Buddhist temple in Africa.
What is BLIA?
Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) is an organisation founded in 1992 for lay Buddhists by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. He established the headquarters of BLIA in Los Angeles, California, USA. The main aim of BLIA is to purity societies through education, cultural activities, charity and religious practices.
The Manchester Chapter of BLIA was founded in 1993, but the official inauguration of the BLIA Manchester was held on the 20th of August 1994 in the Manchester Central Library by Venerable Master Hsing Yun during his first visit to Manchester. BLIA Manchester works in close co-operation with the Manchester Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple to promote the objectives of the BLIA.
Activities of BLIA Manchester
BLIA Manchester is currently operating a number of classes in Manchester Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple for those who wish to learn more about the languages and culture of Chinese people. In the unique setting of a functioning Buddhist temple, classes are run to teach Mandarin, Cantonese, Buddhist scriptures, Buddhist meditation, Chinese knots and knitting.
In addition, BLIA Manchester occasionally organises exhibitions, charitable performances, New Year gatherings, vegetarian food fairs, visits to hospices, counselling and psychotherapy, etc. For more information about these activities, please kindly contact BLIA Manchester.