Zhiguang 智光

From DMCB Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Zhìguāng 智光 (1889-1963)
  • Dharma name 法名: Mǐxìng 彌性 , Wénjué 文覺
  • Style name 號: Zhìguāng 智光
  • Born 1889 (5/25 Guāngxù 光緒 15) in Tài County 泰縣, Jiāngsū 江蘇
  • Died March 14, 1963 in Táiběi 台北, Táiwān 台灣
Notable Associates:
  • Article editor: Erik Hammerstrom

Zhìguāng 智光 (1889-1963) was an important educator and abbot in Jiāngsū and Táiwān.



Zhìguāng was tonsured at age 13 suì 歲 under Dàorú 道如 at Hóngkāi Temple 宏開寺 in his home area of in Tài County 泰縣. Four years later he received full ordination at Lóngchāng Temple 隆昌寺 on Mt. Bǎohuá 寶華山. Over the next three years Zhìguāng sought to raise his level of education, but each time the school at which he enrolled was forced to close after a year or two of operation. The year after his ordination, he enrolled at the Universal Saṇgha Study Hall 普通僧學堂 at Tiānníng Temple 天寧寺 in Yángzhōu 揚州. When the Study Hall closed, Zhìguāng went to Nánjīng 南京 where he began studying at the nascent Jetavana Monastery 祇洹精舍. After the hermitage closed in 1910, he once again changed schools, this time to the Jiāngsū Saṇgha Normal Study Hall 江蘇僧師範學堂.

After the founding of the Republic in 1911, Zhìguāng returned to Hóngkāi Temple where he was the principal of the Confucian-Buddhist Primary School 儒釋初高小學. This school closed after only three terms. The following year (1914), Zhìguāng and his student Ǎitíng 靄亭 went to Shànghǎi 上海 to enroll at Huáyán University 華嚴大學, which was headed by Yuèxiá 月霞. The two monks moved with the university when circumstances forced its relocation later the year to Hǎicháo Temple 海潮寺 in Hángzhōu 杭州. Zhìguāng graduated in 1916 and began to follow Yuèxiá as he traveled and lectured. During this time, Zhìguāng continued his studies of Huáyán 華嚴 thought.

From the winter of 1917 to 1921, Zhìguāng studied under Yěkāi 冶開 at Tiānníng Temple 天寧寺 in Chángzhōu 常州. From 1921 to 1923, Zhìguāng practiced in sealed confinement at Běishān Temple 北山寺 in Tài County. In 1923, he accepted a post at Dìnghuì Temple 定慧寺 on Mt. Jiāo 焦山 in Zhènjiāng 鎮江. It was at this time that he formally took the style Zhìguāng and the name Wénjué 文覺.

In 1929 and 1930, Zhìguāng accepted invitations from laymen in Hong Kong 香港 and went there twice to lecture. In 1930 he also wrote Fùnǚ xuéfó yúanqǐ 婦女學佛緣起 (Ladies' Guide to Giving Rise to the Karma for Studying Buddhism).

In 1934, Zhìguāng became abbot of Dìnghuì Temple and transformed the temple from a private temple into a public monastery 十方叢林. He also immediately arranged for the opening of the Jiāoshān Buddhist Seminary 焦山佛學院, where he lectured. The school was closed for several years when, after the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japanese soldiers discovered Chinese soldiers hiding at the temple and put it to the torch. The school reopened in 1940.

After the War, Zhìguāng's classmate from the Jetavana Monastery, Tàixū 太虛, came to Zhènjiāng 鎮江 to work on a new organization he was starting. He was hosted by Zhìguāng at the Jiāoshān Buddhist Seminary.

In the winter of 1948 Zhìguāng fled to strife of the Civil War by going to Shànghǎi. In May of the following year, he fled to Táiběi 台北, Táiwān 台灣. In 1952 he became abbot of the Huáyán Lotus Society 華嚴蓮社, which had been built by his disciple Nántíng 南亭 on Jì'nán Street 濟南路 in Táiběi.

In 1953 he and Tàicāng 太滄 oversaw ordinations at Dàxiān Temple 大仙寺 in Táinán 台南.

Zhìguāng died March 14, 1963 in Táiběi.

Important Works

  • 華嚴大綱 (written during the late 1910s, all copies of this work were destroyed in the Second Sino-Japanese War)
  • Fùnǚ xuéfó yúanqǐ 婦女學佛緣起 (Ladies' Guide to Giving Rise to the Karma for Studying Buddhism) (1930)

Notable Students



  • Shì Dōngchū 釋東初. Zhōngguó Fójiào jìndài shǐ 中國佛教近代史 (A History of Early Contemporary Chinese Buddhism), in Dōngchū lǎorén quánjí 東初老人全集 (Complete Collection of Old Man Dongchu), vols. 1-2. Taipei: Dongchu, 1974 Pp. 2.848-850.
  • Yú Língbō 于凌波, ed. Xiàndài Fójiào rénwù cídiǎn 現代佛教人物辭典 (A Dictionary of Modern Buddhist Persons), 2 vols. Taipei: Foguang, 2004. Pp. 2.1152a-1155a.
Personal tools