Ms. Han Yin was born near the mouth of the Sa River, Dalian City, Liaoning Province on March 13, 1922. Her Dharma name is Ciben, which means to have compassion within. Therefore, helping others with compassion became her lifetime motivation in her interactions with others.
Her father, Mr. Han Ziming, was a patriotic businessman who was also a great supporter of Buddhism. He constantly did charitable work and made donations to help people in need. The Sungshan Temple at Dalian was supported by him. Ms. Han’s mother, whose maiden name was Kao, was born into a rich and powerful family. Madam Kao was both capable and virtuous as well as kindhearted and gentle. She was always ready to help others, and also a lifetime vegetarian.
Ms. Han was the first child born in her family. She had one younger brother, Mr. Han Qun, who passed away in 2007, and one younger sister, Ms. Han Xiuyin who lives in Dalian City, Liaoning Province.
During World War II, Ms. Han studied at Tianjin and graduated from the Housekeeping Department of Nankai University of Tianjin. While she was at the university, she took courses on Japanese etiquette for four years. Later, she married Mr. Kao Shizhen, the second son of Mr. Kao Baozhen who was a bank president in Andong province. The newly-married couple had a very harmonious and affectionate relationship. They had a daughter, Wansheng, and two sons, Guiming and Guiyu.
In 1946, Mr. and Mrs. Kao family moved to Hong Kong. Three years later, taking into consideration the children’s education and future lives, Mr. Kao Shizhen and his family migrated to Taiwan in 1951 where they lived for forty-six years. Thus, Taiwan became the second homeland of Ms. Han.
Ms. Han Yin had an honest and amiable appearance. She was straight forward, lively, and loved to be neat and tidy. She was gifted in many ways and imbued with creativity. She also had a wonderful voice. She was very good in managing her career, her family, and the children’s education, and paid special attention to her children’s manner of interacting with people as well as their conduct and their ability to appreciate literature. All her children completed their higher education and became highly respected and successful.
In the summer of 1966, Ms. Han and her husband Mr. Kao listened to Master Chin Kung’s lectures on the Surangama Sutra at the Dharmakara Lotus Society. She felt the lectures were wonderful and found the answers to questions that for her had been unanswered. Thereafter, she started to study and practice Buddhism, and was determined to support and help in the propagation of the teachings.
In 1967, after learning about Master Chin Kung’s not having a place to lecture or live, she became determined to try to help him. With the consent of her husband and children, she sincerely invited him to stay with her family. She told him, “You can study here. We will do everything possible to find a place so that you can continue to give lectures.” Master Chin Kung then went back to Taizhong to report to Mr. Li Bingnan. After getting Mr. Li’s permission to live with Ms. Han and her family, Master returned to Taipei. He then made another visit to Mr. Li in Taizhung, this time with Ms. Han. After this, Master moved to the home of the Kao family. Soon, the whole family was learning Buddhism. Mr. Kao Shizhen joined the effort of supporting Buddhism. He wrote lecture notes for the Sutra of the Benevolent King Protecting the Nation.
Master Chin Kung lived in her residence in Muzha, Taipei for seventeen years. During this time, Ms. Han’s whole family whole-heartedly looked after Master's life. In order to find a place for him to give lectures, she made great efforts to make connections with the Buddhist societies, find a venue to hold the lectures, and to find an audience. With her help, Master started to give lectures two to three times a week. Gradually, this increased to seven times a week. Ms. Han did her best to support Master so that his lectures could continue uninterrupted week after week. This was the beginning of many opportunities to come in the propagation of Buddhism.
At the time of her passing from this world, Ms. Han’s unwavering support for Master Chin Kung’s propagation of Buddhism had been sustained for thirty years. During those years, Ms. Han traveled with Master Chin Kung to Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the United States, Singapore, and many other places to propagate the teachings. She also returned to her motherland, China, to donate books and fund scholarships. Her willpower far surpassed that of an ordinary person. She was a great Dharma supporter and protector, one who is rarely seen in a hundred years.
In 1979, the Hwa Zang Buddhist Library was established. This enabled Master Chin Kung to continue to give lectures at a regular venue. It was no longer necessary to keep finding other places for lecturing. When the library was set up, Master gave lectures on the Avatamsaka Sutra (Hua Yen Jing), Therefore, to propagate Buddhism, Master named the center Hwa Zang Jing Shr, and its subsidiary organization the Hwa Zang Library. Ms. Han became the Director of the library.
The Hwa Zang Library was painstakingly managed solely by Ms. Han. During those years, the library attracted many practitioners who were ordained as monks or nuns. At the library, they continued their cultivation and were trained as lecturers to propagate Pure Land Buddhism. Ms. Han’s merits and virtues accrued from all her efforts are boundless!
After the establishment of the Hwa Dzan Library, many Pure Land centers were established in Taiwan and the rest of the world. Several millions of copies of the Infinite Life Sutra were freely distributed around the world. Today, the Pure Land school and the Pure Land Learning Centers have a great impact on the world. We need to remember the center’s source, for it was Ms. Han’s unwavering support of the Dharma that made them possible. Anyone who has received the books from the Pure Land Learning Centers or listened to Master’s teachings has accepted her kindness in supporting and sustaining the Dharma.
Throughout Ms. Han’s life, though she set high standards for her subordinates, she was also kind and cared for them as a parent cares for his or her children. She never had a single thought of taking advantage of others, but thought only of helping everyone achieve their best. She wrote two books: A Simple Explanation of the Amitabha Sutra and A Drop of the Dharma Sea.
When she was ill, she told Master Chin Kung that it was very important to nurture and train talented individuals to propagate Buddhism. The teachings must be continued and never lost. She appealed to Master to deliver a complete lecture series on the Avatamsaka Sutra and to record the lectures on audio and video tapes as reference for future practitioners. Master Chin Kung has now been lecturing for ten years on the Avatamsaka Sutra.
Ms. Han went to the Pure Land on March 5, 1997. Before she was reborn in the Pure Land, she saw Buddha Amitabha several times and also saw the vast assembly of the lotus pond.
When she passed away, there were rare auspicious signs. Before placing her body into a coffin, her attendants washed her body, changed her clothes, and found that her body was still soft and supple. Before her coffin was covered, her complexion still looked as it did when she was alive—glowing with health, serene, comfortable, and deeply asleep.
She demonstrated through her rebirth into the Pure Land that her practice of mindfully chanting “Amituofo” was successful. She proved that her sincere support for and propagation of the Buddha’s teachings has enabled the Buddha’s wisdom to continue for future generations. Her achievement matches that of Mr. Yang Renshan, who late in the Qing dynasty, supported and rescued Buddhism.
In our present era, Ms. Han saved the Pure Land school and honored the proper teachings of Buddhism. She is the contemporary role model for protecting and supporting Buddhism.
Ms. Han is a role model for all.
"Always be mindful
of the kindness