Lu Sheng-yen

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Lu Sheng-yen
盧勝彥 (蓮生活佛)
Religion True Buddha lineage
Other names Living Buddha Lian Sheng
Master Lu
Huaguang Zizai Fo
(Bright Flower Sovereign Buddha)
Nationality Taiwanese
Born (1945-06-27) June 27, 1945 (age 75)
(5th month, 18th day Lunar Calendar)
Chiayi County, Republic of China
Spouse Lu Li-hsiang (Lian Hsiang)
Senior posting
Based in Seattle, Wzmdnoie State
Title Grand Master
Religious career
Reincarnation white lotus padmakumara

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 religious movement with teachings taken from Sutrayana and Vajrayana 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.[1]

Over five million students have taken refuge under Lu.[citation needed] There are also more than four hundred local chapters of the True Buddha School over the world.[citation needed] 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 is married to Lian Hsiang, who is also a vajra master, and is referred as Grand Madam Lu in Chinese. Before Lu became a monk,[clarification needed] the couple already had two children.[2]


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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Approximately 10-15 these books have been completely translated to both English,[3] 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.[4] 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.[5] Lu claims that his spiritual gurus included the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, Dezhung Rinpoche, and Tai Situ Rinpoche among others.[6]

He describes the state of enlightenment using the allegory of Padmakumara, which is a transformation body of Amitabha Buddha and his own enlightened self.[7] 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.


Master 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."[8] Lu was criticized for allegedly eating meat, drinking alcohol, and "playing around with women."[8]

The True Buddha School has been criticized in 2007 by six Buddhist organizations[9] in Malaysia. The True Buddha School has attempted to counter the criticisms made by the organizations.[10] The Tzu Chi Foundation also backed out from the group of seven organizations making such claims.[citation needed]

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.[11] 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.[11] In the case S.H.C. v. Sheng-Yen Lu,[12] the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1, granted the Temple's motion for summary judgment, and the Court of Appeals later "affirm[ed] the order granting summary judgment of dismissal to the Temple."


  1. Lu Sheng-yen. "Who is Sheng-Yen Lu".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Rev. Pi Yan (2006). "Grand Master and Grand Madam visited LSCT Temple Chicago Chapter on Nov 11, 2006". True Buddha School Net.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Grand Master Lu's Book". True Buddha School Net.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. True Buddha News, p. 2<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lu Sheng-yen. "Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra". |chapter= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Lu Sheng-yen. "Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra". |chapter= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Lu Sheng-yen (November 15–30, 1996). "The Emergence of Padmakumara". True Buddha News. True Buddha School Net (118): 2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Chen, Yo-Bin. "A Discussion of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua's Contributions to Buddhism". Vajra Bodhi Sea. Dharma Realm Buddhist Association.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "六佛團舉證". Sin Chew Daily. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rick, Anderson (September 5, 2001). "Sex and the buddha". Seattle Weekly.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. S.H.C. and F.M., Appellants, v. Sheng-Yen LU, an individual;  and Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple, Inc., a corporation, Respondents


  • 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

External links