I/. Introduction to caodai religion 3 ii/. Meaning of word "tao" in caodai religion 4



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3/ SALVATION


As we have just mentioned the salvation above, it is expression to save the living beings. The word “salvation” makes us think about missionary tactic, about the propagation technology to induce the ideology to enter the common people’s heart, so that thought controls each individual’s action and community. That is a very active attitude to reach the final purpose as salvation for human beings to quit their imperfect present. We should think that we need to prove the basic relation in Caodai disciple’s thought to their existence on this earth before we continuously study the meaning of word “salvation”.

The first paragraph in the Divine Messages Collection of second book tells:

What is the philistine world?

Who is the traveler?

Why is it called “traveler”?

The philistine world is the miserable site at where ranks of Saints and Fairies are banished with crimes. It is the grievous site to pay all consequence of karma or return to old position, or cannot pay then must lose the spirit then get the samsara. Hence, the spirits who are banished are called worldly travelers”

Consequently, the people’s real homeland is not on this earth, but this is the guest-house for travelers to take a rest on the evolution path, where the divine beings come to study the living experiences on the earthly life with a physical body of human. By that way, we are a guest as a temporary resident, not an eternal master. Consequently, the people’s private right toward properties on this earth is meaningless because of the impermanence of those properties. Every life value is built from the spread of permanence, which is the general of many stages. The mistake between the permanence’s value and short value of stages is to distort the Caodai doctrine. For example, the discussion is that a human’s life contains many miseries and we just end everything by killing him. That is a solution, but it is based on dialectic against the permanent spirit which is a life of individual proceeded via many generations of samsara or at least, after physical body, the miracle part of individual still exists in activities. The salvation must be also built due to that viewpoint and the people must apply whole ability to help humankind evolve of true, good, beauty on the spread of eternal life. That view is different from another view of people who think that the happiness just exists on this earth with the current life and just exists in physical body that the trend gathers all values of life of some tens of years on the earth. The permanence will become illusive if it is not based on stages and the stages will become extreme if they are not based on the permanence. Consequently, the close correlate between two senses limitation and absolute is the equability in decision to action method when we carry out the salvation to the human beings. If the missionaries realize this correlate or mutual mitigation, they will be often attracted to winds pitifully and instead of keeping the umpire position to balance the life of human beings, we use the power of faith to create the acceleration to mutual collision among contrary trends in society. Although the spirit of thought does not have power in detail like gun or bullet, the life change possibility is not low. Consequently, the fights happening nowadays contain the mechanical aspect animatedly, but the fights of thought come from the doctrines of ancestors. In order to save the human beings, we must base on the source causing the disagreement in society and we should solve the thought issue as a basic issue of all solutions. The thought will be unavailable if it is revealed in detail by action. Thus, the salvation takes two meanings:

The first: change the thought.

The second: affect the action.

The thought built is based on the sense of permanence life while the action is tied in situation and stage. If two those fields are completely separated that it means that the human beings are still aware of value of divine path to eternal life, but they have secular actions which are completely contrary to thoughts mentioned above; the responsible persons in Third Period will not fulfill the salvation.

The salvation is the display, which is visible with its appearance that it naturally displays the visibleness, invisibleness, exteriority, the cover of things, thus they are the falsity while the salvation result is an issue belonging to the internal worlds. Consequently, if the persons carrying on the missionary work, who cannot save them by themselves, they just know the cover of religion, but they do not know the internal essence. In the extended way of explanation, what exists on this world that can see them by our physical eyes and hear by our physical ears, related to the dogma propagation tactic only belongs to temporary scale and its nature depends on the environment and stage. People must bring the eternal life for human beings in order to reap final result of salvation. If the Third Period [Caodai religion] just carries out the dogma propagation but it impossible to bring to the eternal life for human beings, the exposed issue is that it has not solved the final target of human’s life yet.


IV LEGISLATIVE STANDARD


Now, we continue to consider the second point as the conception of Three Religions and Five Religious Branches in Caodai ideology. If the general tendency just shows the connection within Three great religions of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, it only gets the value within the Oriental area. That is the form selection expressing the original identity meaning of religions, which is easiest understandable towards the Eastern people and it becomes unintelligible towards Europeans, Americans because this religious thought may be strange towards their daily life. When mentioning the list of religious heads mentioned most in salvation periods, I thought that we needed many unfinished points put behind the list and those points is the wish to express in our thought, the listed names is the language limitation belonging to the explanation ability. Although the statement of name of Three Religions as three religious identity forms with three Religious heads is enough, the beginning of Caodai religion contains “Great” in “Great Way”. Consequently, we need to understand that “Three Religions returned to origin” is a way to express the thought of all religions returned to the origin. By another way, when looking at the Divine Image of Lao-Tzu, Sakyamuni, Confucius arranged in peer on the altar, that image is to express that all religious forms on the world get the same value, which is to save all living beings by some propagation tactic that is suitable for each situation. People who often to acknowledge issues of world by the dualistic eyes and always compare and search the differences to arrange and group or separate this person with other one will query why the Caodai religion rudely admits that all salvation forms towards human beings of Religious heads or people doing the same work without name of specific religious head, have the equal value. Don’t we know that there are religions with most disciples having stronger influence compared with other religions, and thus, people on the earth do not irresolutely criticize that this religion is more important than other one? Don’t we know that many adopt a religions with a straight viewpoint that what belonging to him is the true doctrine and things, which are different from him are the superstition? If we come back the teaching:

“You are Master, Master are you”

“You are Buddhas, Buddhas are you”

That comparison will become meaningless because there is no difference between us and Jesus or Mohamed, between us and Sakyamuni, Confucius or Tao-Tzu. All those persons are the change of appearance coming from one immense origin of life running along the time current that each person has mission to fulfill in order to express his life most fully in the environment at which he is present. The eternality is found via the meaning that all doctrines comes from the God and have same mission of saving in third period that they have appeared until now. The nature of short stage depends on the period and the situation is the propagation tactic of all doctrines varying along the time and space. In the repeat, the tendency including and amalgamating the Caodai ideology is opened along the adored image when we observe the image from the Divine Eye and we may see the following arrangement:

1. Divine eye

2. Image of Sakyamuni

3. Image of Ly-Tai-Pei

4. Image of Jesus

5. Image of Khương Thái Công

6. Seven Thrones for seven biggest Dignitaries of Nine Divine Planes Palace [Cửu Trùng Đài] of Caodai Council.

By separating the Divine Eye as the image of unique or incomparable absoluteness, we find that the remains are five images: Buddha, Immortal, Saint, Deity, Human continuously arranged into the unique represented by the Divine Eye. At this time, we find that the activity tactics appear on over the world along the time that each image or tablet represents one tendency. Five activity fields represent are called as Five Religious Branches of Great Way calculated from below side up to the upper:

1. Way of Human

2. Way of Deity

3. Way of Saint

4. Way of Immortal

5. Way of Buddha

The “Way” in Five Religious Branches contains the meaning directing to the way and action much more than the display form of a religion. Consequently, in the East, the phrase “way of human” is same to the settling policy towards human’s issues of Confucius, Mencius,…In the West, they are the ways of Socrate, Esope, Platon,…The image of Human Way is seven thrones put at the end of altar according to along direction, looked from the Divine Eye while the image of Confucius is arranged horizontally to represent one religion. The horizontal direction represents the religious arrangement forms with a same value in their mission extended unlimited in the meaning and limitation of three great religions in the Orient under the display to express that meaning. By that way, we may imagine that besides the images of religious heads such as Sakyamuni, Lao-Tzu, Confucius, there are another religious heads arranged horizontally and each person must look at the world direct to solve the following issues at the same time:

1. The individual life and family in society

2. The national life in international community

3. The saintizeness towards humankind

4. Human and activities in the invisible world

5. Awaking all human beings

No less or many religious doctrines face on the issues mentioned above and they also have specific solution. One solution may concentrate manpower to some region only and because of close connection among regions, it solves all issues belonging to five fields. For example, the Confucius set up the basis of humanity. When people develop up the peak of humanity, they will obtain the uprightness, decorum, wisdom, faithfulness, will understand other people, understand the devil and the God. The action, which is suitable for the humanity, is a suitable action towards God will and they solved issues belonging to five fields just mentioned above. The self-improvement to become a good human is the issue of individual life, but the individual is a member of national community and the individual is also a member of politics society affecting it. Consequently, the self-improvement observed under another viewpoint is a solution solving the life of national life. The individual is also a member of humankind society, thus under another viewpoint, the self-improvement of individual is also the issue to sanitize the humankind. The individual also shoulders the God’s mission, thus the self-improvement is also a solution to solve the human’s life in relation between the visible world and invisible world. With a larger viewpoint, we will find that human individual is a living being like all other living beings existing together, thus the self-improvement is also a solution to awake all living beings. The humanity is not only limited in the correlate between a person and another person, but also enlarges to another living beings. Haven’t we ever heard that the sentence for people who maltreat animals, is the sentence for inhuman kind?

The MAP of DIVINE ALTAR with Divine Eye, Three Religions, Three Governors, Five Religious Branches in New Religious Code and Religious Constitutional Law of Caodaism at the annotation mentioned the power of Female Cardinal, the Supreme Being taught the arrangement for Five Religious Branches as the following:

The Holy See turns to the West as the main Đoài
. That is the spiritual palace [cung đạo]. On your Master’s left, it is Càn
☰. On your Master’s right, it is the Khôn
☷. I should have put seven thrones of mankind on the left of my throne. However, since you must be on behalf of Human Way to be enough for Five Religious Branches, I had to put them in the Spiritual Palace to be enough”.

In general, the individual activity affects on the community of all living beings and to the life of all living beings, controls the individual life while the life of all living beings is a part of Supreme Being’s life or by another explanation, the life of all living beings is the way displaying the Supreme Being’s life within the world appearance. Consequently, the Confucianism began its solution by the self-improvement as the use in order to apply the key to open the chain containing many links connected together.

By the activity concentration on one of five fields mentioned above, the Religious Heads really solved all issues of human’s life because of the mutual line influences among activities of life of all living beings. By that way, the operation solution of Religious Heads was built due to the eternality as the eternal human’s life but it varies due to the time and space. Consequently, the Deity, Saint, Immortal, Buddha are names of successful persons according to way in the religious life displayed by Religious Heads. With different explanation, such action led that such name. For example, people raise the Confucius as a Saint as “Khổng Thánh Tiên Sư” and He taught the Way of human, which means how to live as a human being, how to act as a king or mandarin, citizen with good natures: kindness, decorum, uprightness, wisdom, faithfulness, industry, appearance, speech, behaviour,….The person accepting the Confucius’s doctrine and getting successful in his life is the person who has fulfilled the Way of human. The Five Religious Branches unified in one are five ways of Religious Heads and they meet together in third amnesty period as the Caodai doctrine. All those solutions always guide the humankind to live correspondingly to the Universe’s life, which is happening incessantly. The return to origin or union with the supreme being or result of unifying or being saved or being returned to the God or obtaining the real nature are only are nouns or phrases explaining the different meanings under the life of Creator. Such consideration avoids the mistake that the Caodai doctrine contains the monolatry not to admit another doctrines. In general, kindly differentiate the difference about the meaning between Three Religions and Five Religious Branches as the following:

- Way of human: is the style-life due to the doctrine of Confucius, Socrate, Platon, Esope,…

- Way of deity: is the style-life due to the doctrine of Khương Thái Công, persons described in canonized Greek, canonized Egypt.

- Way of saint: is the style-life due to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, Mohamed.

- Way of immortal: is the style-life due to the doctrine of Lao-Tzu, Dương Châu, Mặc Địch, the persons called witchcraft of heresy.

- Way of buddha: is the style-life due to the Sakyamuni, Pythapore.

Those are not five religions with names of “Human Religion”, “Deity Religion”, “Saint Religion”, “Immortal Religion”, “Bhuddha Religion” like Caodai Religion, Hoà Hảo Religion, Bahai Religion,…but are five solutions of solving the human issue of many religions. Consequently, the noun “Buddhism” in Three Religions (Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism) is different from the “Buddhism” in Five Religious Branches (Human Way, Deity Way, Saint Way, Immortal Way, Buddhism). It is same to that the Wisdom Boat is different from the Boat of Wisdom. “Wisdom Boat” is a boat made wood, carved with dragon and used to carry coffin to bury while “Boat of Wisdom” is to refer the religion to save the living beings from suffer and to lead them to the delivery. One is the appearance while another one is the content. Consequently, the speech towards the Three Religions returned to origin is to want to collect all religious forms to have an unique form. About the Five Religious Branches, it is to want to collect all contents of doctrines to have an unique content.

We kindly extract a paragraph of Divine Teaching in the Collection of Divine Message of Caodai Religion:

I essentially founded out Five Religious Branches of Great Way as following: Way of human, Saint Way, Immortal Way, Immortal Way, Buddhism. Depending on mankind’s manners to build Principal Religion because formerly Humankind did not know Heaven and Earth, mankind just practiced their religion in their ranges only. But nowadays, mankind cooperates together. Mankind knows the universe deeply, but by many religions, mankind is contrary each other, so I decide to unify and make the return to the origin”

Consequently, the Caodai doctrine contains a special point that is the nature of union and concord. Since the medium mission for thoughts of humankind unified, it must open the gate widely to admit all thoughts, studies based on the theistic basis, which means that there is one God always exists in our mind for support, so that the propagation tactic becomes suitable for every epoch. His Holiness Hộ Pháp Phạm Công Tắc as the Governor of Divine Alliance Palace or Perisprit of Caodai religion-a visible key body of visible creating the Caodai’s thought, has confirmed that:

The Caodaism is a religion coming from the Conscience controls it, applying all doctrines of world as the basis in order to be the medium means for thought unified to lead the human beings to good way”

We understand that the thought always humours situation to support the intellectuality of human beings in order to change the situation. Consequently, nowadays, the humankind has unified and known the universe. Thus, that doctrine does not permit it encloses the thought along the time current because it’s nature contains no separation against others as one unit is opposite to another unit. Denying the concord aspect just contains the “name” without “use”. It has the “name” because it is belonging to the doctrine that it is “great” by itself but it does not use that nature to make it larger about quantity and quality, thus it will miss the “use”. By another way, it is not correct that if many people become disciples of a religion and accept the religious law, it will naturally become a Great Way. But in contrary, from the thought field of followers, it displays the external appearance, action, speech and all things has not contained trace of separation. It no longer contains thought that it is bigger and no longer contains no queries coming the contrary of dualistic world. In that case, it will be called as Great Way. That is the spirit state and action mode of real followers who obtained the peak of Way although they had followed some different forms.




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