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Ma-Tsu /Taiwan

 

Biography of Ma-Tsu

Her name was Moniang Lin, born in May Zhou, Fuquian province in China, in the year of 960 A.D. Her father, Wayuan, was a government official who had one son and five daughters and wished to have one more son. Wayuan and his wife devotedly prayed to Buddha for one more son. Soon thereafter, his wife had a dream in which Quan Yin Pusa gave her a pill. After taking it, she became pregnant and later gave birth to a girl. During the delivery, the whole room was filled with a bright red illumination and fragrance. For the first month of her life, Moniang never shed a tear. This behavior led to her name that can be literally translated as stoic. Symbolically, this indicated her divine destiny; she is not faltered by human emotions and she exists in a higher spiritual plain. Moniang was very gifted. She could memorize everything, read well, and had exceptional perception. At the age of thirteen, she thoroughly understood all Zen teachings. She also possessed healing powers, metaphysical ability to cleanse evil influences, control the weather, save troubled ships at sea etc. In the year of 987 A.D., at the age of 27 years, she pronounced her ascendancy and entered into Nirvana. After becoming a celestial deity, she often revealed her presence and saved mortals from danger. The Kanxi Emperor of the Ching dynasty entitled her as Tiensang Sunmu (Celestial Sacred Mother).

Ma-Tsu Temple of San Francisco

In 1986, two Chinese immigrants, Kuhda (Yih-Sheng) Gau and Zhen You Sing founded the Ma-Tsu Temple of San Francisco. Kuhda Gau is originally from Pei-Kang, Yun-Lin County in Taiwan, and Zen You Shing is a Qi-Kong and fitness expert. On the auspicious day of March 12, 1986, after a ceremonial procedure of divination and blessing, the sacred figure of Ma-Tsu was brought overseas to San Francisco arriving on March 14, 1986. The ceremony was conducted at the Pei-Kang Choutin Temple, located in Pei-Kang, Taiwan, and is considered the holy mecca of Ma-Tsu. On September 13, 1986, Ma-Tsu Temple of San Francisco officially opened its doors to the public. The original Ma-Tsu Temple of San Francisco was located on 554 Vienna Street, where Ma-Tsu was respectfully placed and worshipped. On November 22, 1986, Ma-Tsu Temple was moved to a leased space on the 2nd floor of 562 Grant Avenue. Six months later, the temple was moved to the 3rd floor of the same building. On January 12, 1996, Ma-Tsu Temple of San Francisco relocated to its current location in the heart of Chinatown at 30 Beckett Street, San Francisco, California 94133 in a 3-story building owned by Ma-Tsu Temple of San Francisco. The temple is registered as a non-profit religious and benevolent organization in California. Its mission is to promote Ma-Tsu’s spirit, which is compassion to all sentient beings incorporating the Buddhist principles in their daily lives. Ma-Tsu teaches the philosophy of compassion amongst people, thus improving the quality of society. Philanthropy is an important function of the temple in serving the local community. The temple is operated by a group of dedicated volunteers who are members of the Ma-Tsu Temple. The Board of Directors, elected by the members, follows the by-laws of the temple in the operation of the organization and all temple events. Annual events include: mid-year celebration of celestial deities, Ma-Tsu’s routine prayers, Buddhist lectures, sutra study groups, community services, members recreational events, support groups, ceremonial teams, and sutra research programs.