Venerable Master Hsing Yun founded Fo Guang Shan in 1967. Since then it has evolved from a mountaintop bamboo forest to the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. Master Hsing Yun has inspired the selfless devotion of over 1,000 monastics as well as the ardent support of many lay devotees to assist him in bringing confidence, joy, hopes, and providing service to countless others. Presently Fo Guang Shan has over 200 branch temples throughout the world carrying out the goals of propagating Humanistic Buddhism and establishing a Pure Land on earth.
In May 1997 Fo Guang Shan decided to close its doors to the general public to give monastics the cloistered atmosphere they need for their Buddhist practice. At the end of 2000 President Chen Shui-bian and government officials from Kaohsiung visited Fo Guang Shan bringing with them the wish from their constituents that Fo Guang Shan re-open its mountain gate. After due consideration, Fo Guang Shan decided to re-open the monastery to some extent thereby providing the public with a Pure Land environment in which to practice Buddhism.