DDM Global News

The Complete Works of Master Sheng Yen: The 2020 Memorial Edition

A comprehensive collection of Master Sheng Yen's Dharma talks, teachings, and thoughts, as a guide for seeking peace in daily life and learning Buddhist practice.

In October, Dharma Drum Corporation published the 2020 memorial edition of The Complete Works of Master Sheng Yen. After undergoing additional proofreading and reorganization, this revised edition of the Complete Works, which embodies the essence of the Master's lifelong learning, has finally been released. Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Master Sheng Yen's passing, this edition has a special significance both to Dharma Drum Mountain's monastic and lay practitioners, and to the development of contemporary Buddhist philosophy and culture.
The publication of this new edition was prompted by the Master's instruction for the previous version to be re-edited, amended, and supplemented with related articles and sources, for the benefit and convenience of future readers and researchers. The Complete Works has undergone four revisions since it was first published in 1994. The first edition included 41 books in seven volumes; in 2000, with a modified structure, the collection expanded to 70 books in nine volumes. In 2005, it expanded to 102 books; and, finally, in 2020, the memorial edition contains 108 books.
Given that Master Sheng Yen has authored more than 100 books -
spanning a period of over 50 years and ranging from Buddhist to worldly learning, academic to popular audiences, Buddhist practitioners to general readers- the question arose as to what should be adjusted, revised, and re-organized. As Venerable Guo Yi, the DDM editing team's coordinator, remarked, to make the Complete Works most comprehensive and user-friendly, the team had conducted numerous discussions throughout the process and followed the Master's past instructions on editing principles, particularly when deciding upon the style and what to include or exclude from the new edition.
This memorial edition has nine volumes consisting of nine different respective sections: 1). Buddhist Teachings and Doctrine; 2) Buddhist History; 3)Essays; 4) Chan Practice; 5) Introduction to Buddhism; 6) Autobiography and Travels; 7) Commentaries on Buddhist Sutras; 8) Buddhist Teachings in Daily Life; 9) Ideals and Visions. In the older edition, Volume 9 was reserved for the category of“Writings in Foreign Languages”. However, in the new edition, this section is left out and replaced with“Ideas and Visions”, which includes the Master's articles on the promotion of Chan Buddhism and the ideal of building a Pure Land on Earth. This memorial edition will also serve as a model for the paperback version of the books to be printed in the future.

As a prolific author, Master Sheng Yen had vowed from an early age to make the Buddhist teachings more accessible and relevant to modern daily life. The Complete Works can be said to present the Master's fulfillment of his vow. Not only does it convey the wisdom of the Dharma, but it also provides a guide to modern people for settling their body and mind in daily activities, as well as for learning Buddhist practice. Moreover, it signifies both the process and result of the Master's goals of promoting DDM's vision and spreading Chan Buddhist teachings.
Considered as a spiritual relic of the Master's Dharma-body, the Complete Works comprehensively records Master Sheng Yen's thought, reflecting how he learned, realized, and shared the Dharma. Professor Du Zheng-Min, the late Vice-President of Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, hailed the Complete Works as a small version of the Tripitaka, further remarking that“to read the Works is to read the Tripitaka itself.”
According to Ven. Guo Yi, this 2020 Memorial Edition- the culmination of ten years of revising and renewed proofreading--marks the first decade in which the Master's second-generation disciples started to take up the responsibility to pass down  Buddhist wisdom. Master Sheng Yen's monastic and lay disciples have once again learned and grown during the process of this historic task. The newly revised Complete Works also marks an innovative direction arising from the disciples’strong foundation in spreading Buddhism.

Text: Dharma Drum Monthly
Photos: Lee, Dong-Yang (李東陽)
Translation: Hsiao, Chen-An
Editing: Chang, Chia-Cheng (張家誠); Keith Brown