Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wang Hao De

Wang Hao De is the founder of the Maitreya Great Tao religion , which is based in Hsin Chu, Taiwan. This sect according to Taiwan's survey in 2004 has 100,000 members and 2000 temples. Wang was born in 1921, the 28th day of the 7th lunar month in a small village called Zhang Gu in Shandong province. He moved to Taiwan as a businessman. He was introduced and initiated to the I-Kuan Tao sect in 1948. He appeared to be a talented businessman and he was entrusted to take care of Sun Su Zhen or "Shi Mu" 師母, the great mistress of I-Kuan Tao. According to his believer Wang served as aide to ''Shi Mu'' for 11 years until her death in 1975.

This begin the tension between Wang and I Kuan Tao. Wang claimed to be appointed as the leader or inheritant of the I Kuan Tao lineage by Shi Mu . As there are many factions or groups within I Kuan Tao, Wang demanded that all the I Kuan Tao factions to be under his leadership. Moreover Wang claimed that he was given the right to bestow 'Mandate of Heaven' or 天命''Tian Ming'' by Shi Mu. According to I Kuan Tao belief, the celestial mandate allows one to become an initiator ''Dian Chuan Shi'' 點傳師 with the right to transmit the Tao and its three treasures 三寶 . This mandate is passed along in succession. It is believed that only the last patriarch Zhang Tian Ran and Sun Su Zhen had superior mandate from the venerable mother ''Lao Mu''. They were allowed to bestow this "celestial mandate" to their disciples. It is believed that Shi Mu left a certain number of celestial mandate in Hong Kong. So in order to become a valid initiator, they have to be empowered by the 'true' mandate left by Shi Mu.
Thus Wang claimed to be the only one with the power to bestow the legitimate celestial mandate.
Conflict arose between Wang and the other factions. Wang set up his own sect first called Maitreya Great Tao. It appears that some factions followed his 'lineage', this includes ''Bao Guang'' 寶光組 . In 1987 Wang set up the Providence Maitreya Buddha Institute in Hsin Chu, Taiwan. Maitreya Great Tao has a large number of follower in Indonesia, where it is registered as a Buddhist religion. Wang died in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 1999. His group remained to have a large number of followers. Maitreya Great Tao's latest project is to built a bronze statue of Maitreya in Hsin Chu, with a height of 72 m.

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