釋淨空老教授，多元文化教育家。俗名徐業鴻，一九二七年生於安徽省廬江縣金牛鎮。一九四九年旅居台灣。一九五二年起， 先後追隨一代大哲方東美教授（時任台灣大學哲學系主任）、內蒙古地區藏傳佛教領袖章嘉呼圖克圖活佛（清朝最後一位國 師）及儒佛大家李炳南老居士（孔門繼承人、最後一代衍聖公、大成至聖先師奉祀官孔德成之主任祕書），學習哲學、佛法等傳統文化十三年。一九五九年於台灣臨濟寺剃度，法名覺淨，字淨空。出家即開始講經教學，未曾間斷，至二〇一四年， 已歷五十六年。
Professor Shi Chin Kung is a multicultural educator. He was born Hsu Yae Hong, in 1927 in Jinniu Town, Lujiang County, Anhui Province, China. He left for Taiwan in 1949. From 1952, he studied philosophy, Buddhism, and other traditional cultures for 13 years under professor Fang Tung Mei (then director of the Department of Philosophy of Taiwan University), living Buddha Changkya Khutukhtu (the last state teacher of the Qing Dynasty and Tibetan Buddhist leader of Inner Mongolia), and Master Lee Bing Nan (Chief Secretary to the last generation of Confucius, and he himself a descendant). In 1959 he was ordained and started teaching the Scriptures unceasingly. By 2014, he had been teaching the Scriptures for 56 years.
Venerable Master Chin Kung took the lead in using the Internet, satellite television and other modern media to spread his teaching. He sponsored the printing and free distribution of a large number of CDs. Contents include 《qián long dà zàng jīng》、《sì kù quán shū》、《sì kù Huì yào》、《Qún shū zhì yào》、《guó xué zhì yào》and other books and audio-visual products related to promoting morality, societal values and traditional culture.
Besides teaching, Venerable Master Chin Kung is committed to social charity, reviving traditional culture, and promoting multi-faith equality and solidarity. He has made his mark in five continents advocating 《Di Zi Gui》、《tài shàng gǎn yìng piān》、《Shí shàn yè dào jīng》as the foundation of the learning process, promoting the use of Chinese characters as a common language of the world. He has met with dignitaries from various countries and attended international peace conferences promoting ethics, morals, cause and effect advocating that the world religion is one family’ and proposes to unite groups, political parties, and nations through unity of religion.
Venerable Master Chin Kung exhorts his followers to put traditional cultural theory into practice. The Lujiang Cultural Education Center was established in Tangchi Town, Lujiang County, Anhui Province in 2005 to promote this concept via the teaching and implementation of “Di Zi Gui” (referred to as Disciples Regulations or Standards for being a good student). The Center was the first to promote traditional culture in the country, influencing the township residents to improve their folk customs and social harmony. This achievement was displayed at the UNESCO headquarters in 2006; it deeply impressed the ambassadors of 192 countries and regions around the world.
Since 1998 he has brought together nine major religions in Singapore and has promoted religious unity in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia with outstanding results. In 2012 the Prime Minister of Malaysia supported his cause by gracing the ground breaking ceremony of the Malaysian Academy of Hans Studies at Ayer Keroh, Melaka, Malaysia. The Academy aims to cultivate traditional cultural teachers to promote the peaceful teachings to the world to benefit humanity.
The venerable Master, with his broad mind, great vision and wisdom is resolute in promoting the uniting of religions, loving kindness and compassion throughout the world.