Buddhist Master Wuguang's (1918–2000) Taiwanese Web of the Colonial, Exilic and Han
The Mantra School Bright Lineage 真言宗光明流 is a modern Taiwanese Buddhist movement whose orthopraxy was formed by an intermingling of Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese and Western elements. These elements converged as a result of Japanese Colonialism and the Chinese Civil War, and first coalesced within the crisis of faith of the movement's founder, the Chan monk Master Wuguang 悟光上師. Finding his practice unfulfilling, Wuguang began first exploring Tibetan Buddhism but then turned his attention to Shingon. In 1971 he travelled to Japan, where he was initiated as a Shingon priest. He established the Bright Lineage the following year in Taiwan based on the various traditions he had studied. This article explores the sect's roots by first tracing the intersection of these elements with Wuguang's monastic career and then offering examples of their combination. I also highlight and analyze Wuguang's impact on the evolution of modern Taiwanese Buddhism. Data has been gathered through field-work conducted since 2011, and historical and textual research.
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