Piyasilo ("Piya") Tan was an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk for over 20 years. During his first year of monkhood, he co-founded the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (Vice-President). He also founded the Friends of Buddhism Malaysia and the Friends of Buddhism Singapore. During the latter half of this period he founded the Dharmafarers, a community of full-time lay Buddhist workers. In his layman years before ordination, while Principal of the Seck Kia Eenh Dharma School (Malacca Buddhist Association, Malaysia), he prepared and implemented the Integrated Syllabus of Buddhist Studies, the most comprehensive Buddhist syllabus in Malaysia and Singapore then.
He was regular consultant and lecturer to the Buddhist Studies Team (Buddhist Studies for Secondary Schools in Singapore, Ministry of Education) in the 1980s. After that he was Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, USA. He has written numerous educational books on Buddhism (such as "Total Buddhist Work") and spoken at various international and inter-religious forums. He is well-known for his futuristic visions of Buddhism, especially in terms of the full-time lay Buddhist ministry. He is best known for his national Dharma courses in Malaysia and Singapore and has been advisor or consultant to various tertiary Buddhist societies.
Since 2000, Piya has been living with his family in Singapore, where he is an interdenominational full-time Buddhist worker. He is consultant and Dharma teacher to various organizations, institutions and projects. He regards himself as an ongoing student of Buddhism.
Piyasilo's Higher Ordination (upasampada) under H.H. Somdet Phra Vanarat, the 17th Supreme Patriarch of the Thai Buddhist Order (24 June 1972, Wat Srakes Rajavaramahavihara, Bangkok, Thailand). This picture shows the ordination candidate offering the monk's bowl to the Preceptor and the lay sponsor, Khun Banchong Sowaprux, bearing traditional offerings.