Lu in 2004
|Religion||True Buddha lineage|
|Other names||Living Buddha Lian Sheng
Huaguang Zizai Fo
(Bright Flower Sovereign Buddha)
June 27, 1945 |
(5th month, 18th day Lunar Calendar)
Chiayi County, Republic of China
|Based in||Seattle Washington, DC|
|Reincarnation||white lotus padmakumara|
|Spouse||Lu Li-hsiang (Lian Hsiang)|
Lu Sheng-Yen (Chinese: 盧勝彥; pinyin: Lú Shèngyàn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lô Sèng-gān, born 27 June 1945), commonly referred to by followers as Grand Master Lu (師尊) is the founder and spiritual leader of the True Buddha School, a new Buddhist sect with teachings taken from Sutrayana and Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism), as well as Taoism. Lu is known by the sect as Living Buddha Lian Sheng (蓮生活佛, Liansheng Huófó) and is revered by his disciples as a Living Buddha.
Over five million students have taken refuge under Lu. There are also more than four hundred local chapters of the True Buddha School over the world. The majority of his disciples hail from Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong. He has dual American and Taiwanese citizenship, and often travels between the two countries.
Lu was born in Chiayi County, Taiwan in 1945. Lu was raised a Christian and attended a Protestant school. He graduated from Chung Cheng Institute of Technology with a degree in Survey Engineering. In his early twenties he was both a survey engineer and a Sunday school Bible teacher.
In a biography, Lu wrote that he acquired invisible vision in 1969, and had a mystical experience, leading him to seek out a total of twenty-one human gurus in Taoism, Sutra, and Tantra. In 1982, Lu and a small following of his disciples moved to the United States, and lived in the state of Washington.
To date, Lu has written more than 232 books in Chinese on various topics, including Feng Shui, spirituality, and profound dharma teachings. Approximately 10-15 these books have been completely translated to both English, Thai, French and Spanish. He went into retreat for six years starting late 2000, spending most of his time in Taihiti, as well as some in Taiwan. Today he predominantly lives in Taiwan, while spending a few months in Redmond, Washington.
Lu teaches the Mahamudra method of attaining Buddhahood. His teachings follow the traditional stages of the practice of the Four Preliminaries, followed by Guru Yoga, Deity Yoga, the Vajra Practices, and finally Highest Yoga Tantra. Lu claims that his spiritual gurus included the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, Dezhung Rinpoche, and Tai Situ Rinpoche among others.
He describes the state of enlightenment using the allegory of Padmakumara, which is a transformation body of Amitabha Buddha and his own enlightened self. In other words, Grand Master Lu is the incarnation of Amitabha Buddha.
Lu's teachings do not prohibit the consumption of meat for the disciples. For the monks and nuns, alcohol consumption is prohibited, while meat requires bardo deliverance of the soul prior to consumption.
Hsuan Hua warned his disciples about Lu Sheng-yen's claims, lamenting that many modern people lack wisdom, and dismissing Lu by saying, "I don't know what this person is. I call him a demon runt." Lu was criticized for allegedly eating meat, drinking alcohol, and "playing around with women."
The True Buddha School has been criticized in 2007 by six Buddhist organizations in Malaysia. The True Buddha School has attempted to counter the criticisms made by the organizations. The Tzu Chi Foundation also backed out from the group of seven organizations making such claims.
Lu made headlines during an investigation by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission into his cash donations to then-Governor Gary Locke, who Lu had hoped would run for the White House. Locke was cleared of any wrongdoing by the commission in 1998. Further, this did not affect Locke in his pursuit for confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Locke is currently the U.S. Ambassador to China.
He was also sued, albeit unsuccessfully, in civil court by a former Malaysian immigrant disciple over allegations of sexual misconduct, while the King County, Washington prosecutor declined to file charges for lack of evidence. The case was dismissed by King County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Learned citing constitutional issues. In the case S.H.C. v. Sheng-Yen Lu, the Superior Court of King County granted the Temple's motion for summary judgment, and the Court of Appeals later "affirm[ed] the trial court's grant of summary judgment dismissing all claims against the Temple." The School has recently re-addressed this matter in the hopes of closing the case.
- Lu Sheng-yen. "Who is Sheng-Yen Lu".
- Rev. Pi Yan (2006). "Grand Master and Grand Madam visited LSCT Temple Chicago Chapter on Nov 11, 2006". True Buddha School Net.
- "Grand Master Lu's Book". True Buddha School Net.
- True Buddha News (Edition 609), p. 2
- Lu Sheng-yen. "02: Mahamudra is the Method of Attaining Buddhahood". "Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra".
- Lu Sheng-yen. "Preface: My writings on the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra". "Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra".
- Lu Sheng-yen (November 15–30, 1996). "The Emergence of Padmakumara". True Buddha News (True Buddha School Net) (118): 2.
- Chen, Yo-Bin. "A Discussion of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua's Contributions to Buddhism". Vajra Bodhi Sea. Dharma Realm Buddhist Association.
- "六佛團舉證". Sin Chew Daily. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
- "總會提8論據澄清 "真佛宗是正信佛教"". Sin Chew Daily. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- Rick, Anderson (September 5, 2001). "Sex and the buddha". Seattle Weekly.
- S.H.C. v. Sheng-Yen Lu[dead link]
- Lu, Sheng-yen (1995). A Complete and Detailed Exposition on the True Buddha Tantric Dharma. San Bruno, CA: Purple Lotus Society. ISBN 1-881493-04-0
- True Buddha School Net (Official site)
- Unofficial True Buddha School Blog
- The Legend of Living Buddha Lian Shen on YouTube
- True Buddha School English Facebook Page