Ven. Hai Tao
“I do not seek comfort for myself but only wish sentient beings would be away from sufferings.”
It’s a motto that Ven. Hai Tao truthfully abides by. Holding very dear the welfare of the country,
Buddhism and the sentient beings, Ven. Hai Tao has chosen to walk into the people,
engaging himself in the altruistic events and propagating Buddha’s teachings at home
and abroad from time to time. Though a Dharma successor of the T’ien-T’ai School,
yet Ven. Hai Tao views all traditions-Chinese, Tibetan or Southern Buddhism-equally,
because the liberating teaching is always where Ven. Hai Tao yearns for and where he
pleasingly gives his support.
graduated from the Department of Tourism at University of Chinese Culture in 1982.
Although born in a family with folk religious tradition, Ven. Hai Tao dipped into Christianity
while at high school and had been devoted to it from then on to his college years.
After getting married, he made contact with Taoism while clawing out his own business
in the entangling human relationships.
In 1991, by some chance, Ven. Hai Tao visited Huei Jih Hall, a monastery. Moved by
the serenity and benignity radiated from the face of the image of the Buddha, and
impressed by the easy manner of the monks and the profundity of Buddhist doctrines,
he thus took refuge there under the supervision of Ven. Fa Jen. Later, inspired by
Preceptor Yin Suen’s lofty ideal of Humanistic Buddhism, he vowed to become a monk in the future.
In 1992, Ven. Hai Tao took Bodhisattva Precepts in Tsyr Yun Temple, Nantzu,
Kaohsiung. And in June 1993, he was substitutively tonsured by Ven. the Elder Chen Hua,
his grandteacher, and submitted himself to the guidance of Ven. Ju Hsu. He then received
full ordination from Ven. the Elder Chieh Te in Miao T’ung Temple, Liuguei, Kaohsiung,
in 1994, and had been shuttling between Huei Jih Hall and Wu Gung Temple in
Hengchun in the following two years.
For ten years since his tonsure, Ven. Hai Tao had endeavored to advance
the recognition of the orthodox Buddhism among the public by means of TV,
broadcasting, lectures, pilgrimage, the Eight Precepts, life protection and release, and so on.
In November 2002, under the sanction of Ven. the Elder Chueh Guang of Guan Tsung Temple,
Hong Kong, Ven. Hai Tao was bestowed the 47th Dharma successor of T’ien T’ai School, with
the mission to pass on the light of the Dharma and to relay Buddha’s teachings.
In March 2005, Ven. Hai Tao left for Mainland China to present himself before
Great Monk Wu Dao of Huei Jih Zen Temple, Chanch’i, Ningpo, where he was given
the Dharma name “Chih Hai” (sea of wisdom). Praised as “Compassion King,”
Great Monk Wu Dao is a pillar of the Buddhist Order, who is versed in both Zen Buddhism
and Scriptural Buddhism and whose achievement in Zen, Pure Land, Tantric and Vinaya
(Discipline) School is surpassing. Having received the Dharma lineage from the two
great figures of T’ien T’ai School, Ven. Hai Tao now shoulders the promulgation of T’ien T’ai School.
T’ien T’ai School is complete in both the doctrine and meditation, finely integrating
theory with practice, without fancy talk or futile practice. The T’ien T’ai thinking:
“For myself, emptiness is where I abide; for others, I shall be where the need is,
” not only epitomizes the Mahayana practice of benefiting self and others, liberating
self and others, but also reflects the spirit of integrating theory and practice of Buddhism,
which Ven. Hai Tao has endeavored to achieve.
For the last few years, Ven. Hai Tao has been engaging in advocating the various
schools of Buddhism. Regardless of their different traditions, Ven. Hai Tao will always
give his earnest support to where the liberating teaching is being propagated.
Buddha doesn’t seek comfort for himself but only wishes that all sentient beings
would be safe from sufferings, and Ven. Hai Tao follows suit: keeping the welfare
of the country, Buddhism and the living beings in mind, he actively plunges himself into
the altruistic work, bustling in and out of the various organizations, schools, prisons, jails
and the overseas all the year round to fulfill his mission to promote life education.
In the interests of spreading Buddhism more extensively, Ven. Hai Tao established
Center for Buddha’s Education, Chung Hua Sutra Printing Association, Chung Hua Love
for Life Association and Life TV, in the hope that through all the various channels of
Dharma propagation, the world harmony will be boosted, the society be instilled into
more pure thoughts, and the human mind be purified-the ways how Ven. Hai Tao
repays the society and benefits the living beings.
Ven. Hai Tao currently assumes the following positions: