BLIA-YAD is the abbreviated form of the Buddha’s Light International Association – Young Adult Division, and we are part of a greater global Buddhist organization called Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA).
BLIA-YAD is a group of youth who are not necessarily Buddhists, but have an interest in learning more about Buddhism and life. Through organizing various activities and events, BLIA-YAD is actively involved in both promoting the teachings of Buddha and the fellowship among young people of today.
During March 22nd to March 24th of 1996, BLIA World Headquarters & Hsi Lai Temple jointly organized the First American & Canadian Buddhist youth Camp at Hsi Lai Temple in California, USA. About 100 participants from 23 universities of Canada (Vancouver and Edmonton) and USA (Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arizona and California) attended. Coincidentally, Grand Master Hsing Yun was on his Dharma promotion tour in the United States at the time, and as Grand Master Hsing Yun has always highly valued and cherished the youth, he agreed to the invitation from the organizers to give a speech for the participants.
During the speech, Grand Master Hsing Yun pointed out that to understand a nation’s future, we look at the youth of the nation; similarly, to know the future of Buddhism, we can look at the efforts of Buddhist youth. He then mentioned many of the world’s famous leaders of past and present, who had been very dedicated in their youth and went through many difficulties in order to succeed in their career. Furthermore, Grand Master Hsing Yun pointed out that, during the history of Buddhism, Sakyamuni Buddha and Grand Master Xuen Zhuan from China devoted their youth to Buddhism, and only by their enduring many hardships and overcoming many obstacles, do we have today’s accomplishments. Therefore, youth is Buddhism’s future hope. Grand Master Hsing Yun’s words inspired the participants to contribute to the promotion of Dharma. They sincerely requested Grand Master Hsing Yun to form a Buddhist youth group to allow more youths to work together to promote Buddhism. This proposal immediately received Grand Master Hsing Yun’s support, and was approved with immense applause at the “BLIA First Meeting of the Second Board of Directors” held in Malaysia on April 23rd of the same year. Hence an internationally based youth group affiliated with BLIA was born.