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Hsuan Hua also known as An Tzu and Tu Lun, was a monk of Chan Buddhism and a contributing figure in bringing Chinese Buddhism to the United States in the 20th century.
Hsuan Hua, a native of Shuangcheng County of Jilin, was born on April 16, 1918. His parents were devout Buddhists. At an early age, Hua became a vegetarian like his mother, and decided to become a Buddhist monk.
At the age of 15, he took refuge in the Three Jewels under the Venerable Chang Zhi. That same year he began to attend school and studied texts of various Chinese schools of thought, and the fields of medicine, divination, astrology, and physiology. At 19 years of age, Hua became a monastic, under the Dharma name An Tzu. In 1959, Hsuan Hua sought to bring Chinese Buddhism to the west.
Hsuan Hua founded several institutions in the US. The Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA) is a Buddhist organization with chapters in North America, Australia and Asia. The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, California is one of the first Chan Buddhist monasteries in America. The Dharma Realm Buddhist University is a Buddhist college, and the Buddhist Text Translation Society works on the phonetics and translation of Buddhist scriptures from Chinese into English, Vietnamese, Spanish, and many other languages.
Hsuan Hua traveled to Australia in 1961 and taught there for one year, returning to Hong Kong in 1962. That same year, at the invitation of American Buddhists, he travelled to the United States, his intent was to "come to America to create Patriarchs, to create Buddhas, to create Bodhisattvas".
During his long career he emphasized the primacy of the monastic tradition, the essential role of moral education, the need for Buddhists to ground themselves in traditional Spiritual practice and authentic scripture, and the importance of respect and understanding among religions.
To attain these goals, he focused on clarifying the essential principles of the Buddha’s original teachings, on establishing a properly ordained monastic community, on organising and supporting the translation of the Buddhist canon into English and other languages, and on the establishment of schools, religious training programs, and programs of academic research and teaching. On June 7, 1995, Hsuan Hua died in Los Angeles at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His sudden passing came as a shock to most of his disciples.