"Universally regarded as the most outstanding Buddhist of the Chinese order in the modern era." (Richard Hunn)

"Dharma successor of all five Chan schools; main reformer in the Chinese Buddhist Revival(1900-50). Born Chuan Chou(Quan Zhou), Fukien(Fujian) province. Left home at 19. At 20 took precepts with master Miao Lien and received Dharma name Ku Yen. In 56th year achieved final awakening at Kao Min Ssu in Yang Chou(Yang Zhou). Thereafter began revival and teaching work. Eventually invited to take charge of the Sixth Patriach's temple(Tsao-Chi/Chao Xi), then very rundown; restored it along with temples and monasteries; also founded many schools and hospitals. Died in his 120th year. Had also traveled in Malaysia and Thailand, and taught the King of Thailand. Autobiography: Empty Cloud(translated by Charles Luk)."

(From The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism)