CaoDai, a way to peace on earth

by Hum D. Bui, M.D.

Humanity enters the new millennium with the hope that people will love each other as sisters and brothers to create peace on earth. Although there is yet daily conflict and spiritual degeneration among the young, humanity still holds out hope for the future, due in part to the formation of such diverse interfaith organizations as International Interfaith Centre, Temple of Understanding, United Religions Initiative, A Centre of the World's Religions, Unity and Diversity Council, and many others. Most recently, in September, 2000, the United Nations organized many summit meetings in New York City between leaders of nations, religions, organizations, private parties etc., in order to find a solution for humanity. People call for ending of religious conflicts, economic globalization, protection of environment, etc. However, conflicts between religions continue: each religion keeps considering itself as the only and best which could save humanity, and wars in the name of religions continue. In this situation of the world, what can a CaoDai disciple do? Every CaoDaist knows by heart the Holy message of Cao Dai: ""Formerly, people lacked transportation and therefore did not know each other, I then founded at different epochs and in different areas, five branches of the Great Way: Confucianism, Geniism, Christianity, Taoism and Buddhism, each based on the customs of the race. In present days, transportation has been improved, and people have come to know each other better. But people do not always live in harmony because of the very multiplicity of those religions. That is why I have decided to unite all those religions into one to bring them to the primordial unity. Moreover, the Holy Doctrine has become, through centuries, more and more denatured by the people responsible for spreading it, so that I have now firmly resolved to come Myself to show you The Way."

(Thanh Ngon Hiep Tuyen p. 16)

CaoDaists also believe that they have a special mission of bringing religions together in order to end conflicts. They believe that although being created under diverse forms, and at different times and places, religions all have one identical principle, and one identical origin--in other words, religions are but different manifestations of the same truth. Being from the same origin means that religions are created by the same Supreme Being, the Creator, God. The one principle that all religions share is Love and Justice. As an illustration of the unity of religious concepts of the Supreme Being, the following are synopses of the concepts of God of the different religions:


The Lord is One without a second. Within man he dwells, and within all other beings. (Svetasvatara) (2 p. 42)


There is an unborn, not become, not made, uncompounded... (Samyutta-Nikaya of Theravada Buddhism) (2p. 39)

TAO TE CHING (Chapter 1):

From What-Is all the world of things was born,

But What-Is sprang from What-Is-Not.

Nameless indeed is the source of creation,

But things have a mother and she has a name.


Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is One. (Deut. 6:4 )


There is one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in you all. (Eph. 4:6)


There is no God but God. (Koran 2:109)


Does Heaven ever speak? The four seasons come and go, and all creatures thrive and grow. Does Heaven ever speak?

In Cao Dai, the Supreme Being taught: 

Nhien Dang Co Phat thi nga,

Thich Ca Mau Ni thi nga,

Thai Thuong Nguon Thi thi nga,

Kiem Viet CaoDai.

    Nhien Dang (Dipankara) Buddha is Me,

    Sakya Muni (Gautama Buddha) is Me,

    Thai Thuong Nguon Thi (Lao Tse) is Me,

    Who is CaoDai. (Thanh Ngon Hiep Tuyen p. 12)

Chin Troi muoi Phat cung la Ta,

Truyen Dao chia ra nhanh nhoc ba.

Hiep mot chu quyen tay nam giu,

Thanh Tien Phat Dao von nhu nha.

Nine heavens or ten Buddhic dimensions are from Me,

In creating the Tao for humanity, I divided it in three branches

Which are all in My hand,

The way of Saints (Christianity), the way of Immortals (Taoism), the way of Buddhas (Buddhism)  are just in one same family.

(Thanh Ngon Hiep Tuyen p. 210)

As an illustration of the unity of religious concepts of love, the following are synopses of the concepts of God of the different religions:


When asked about humanity, Confucius said: "Love mankind"


"The ninth perfection is Loving kindness. As water quenches the thirst of the good and the bad alike, and cleanses them of dust and impurity, so also shall you treat your friend and your foe alike with loving kindness."  (Sutra-Pitaka) (2 p.9)


"The excellence of friendship is measured by love."  (Tao Te Ching) (2 p. 9)


"God is love; and he who dwells in love dwells in God."  (1 John4:16)


"I was not sent to curse the infidels but to have mercy on mankind."  (Hadith 325)


In a spiritual message given in 1926, CaoDai said: "I am the father of love. Love has created the universe and given birth to all of you. You come from love and are the body (physical manifestation) of love. Love is the cause of the existence of the universe. With love, all living beings can be at peace and the universe calm. Peace would eliminate mutual hatred and destruction, and subsequently life would continue and develop. Evil is against life and development. I am life and Evil is like death. Evil wants to harm you by inducing you into hatred, because hatred would lead to mutual destruction and death. Therefore, if you can't love each other, then at minimum I forbid you to hate each other."  (Thanh Ngon Hiep Tuyen p.176)

Regarding Justice, following are the concepts of different religions:


Do not to others what you do not wish done to yourself; and wish for others too what you desire and long for, for yourself--this is the whole of Dharma, heed it well. (Mahabharata) (2 p. 74)


All men shrink from suffering, and all love life; remember that you too are like them; make your own self the measure of the others, and so abstain from causing hurt to them. (Dhammapada)  (2 p.74 )


Pity the misfortunes of others; rejoice in the well-being of others; help those who are in want; save men in danger; rejoice at the success of others; and sympathize with their reverse, even as though you were in their place. (2 p. 74)

JUDAISM: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Leviticus 19:18)  (2 p. 75)

CHRISTIANITY: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.


Do to all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves. (Hadith)  (2 p. 75)


Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.  (2 p. 74)


That which is good for all and any one--for whomsoever--that is good for me. What I hold good for self, I should for all. Only Law Universal is true Law.  (2 p.75)


Lay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid upon you and desire not for anyone the thing you would not desire for yourself.

If one were to study the many concepts of different religions on the Supreme Being, Love, and Justice, then one would realize that all religions are but one or just different manifestations of the same truth. However, if one does not spend time studying the religions, then how could one realize the reality that "all religions are one," understand that similar concepts of other religions are simply different forms, tolerate the differences, and love each other according to one's own religious teachings? The only way to lead people to love is to spend time studying others' religions, which would create understanding between people of different religious backgrounds.

Additionally, religions agree on what it means to be human: humanity has inherited God's spirit which is called under different names: Zoroastrianism calls it microcosm, Hinduism true self, Buddhism Buddha's heart, Taoism God's heart, Christianity spirit, Shintoism rei, Islam Naf-e-mutannanah. Finally, all religions agree as a consequence that the ultimate goal for humanity is to reach enlightenment, or the oneness with the Supreme Being. Religions have their own way to reach enlightenment such as prayers, meditation, supplication, purification, and pilgrimage, among others .

Even this short synopsis of various world religions amply demonstrates that all religions come from one common divine source, all ethics are essentially contained in the golden rule and love, all humanity is one common family, and divinity can be experienced and realized through spiritual practice from all paths. To make these common spiritual ideals a reality and bring peace to the world, representatives from all religions should confer and organize religious discussion sessions studying diverse cultures of human races so that people would have opportunity to understand each other more, would not use differences between religions as weapons and tools of division, and subsequently could love each other more. People can not admire love and peace while dying of hunger, cold, and disease. Religious organizations, governments, private parties cooperate in organizing charitable projects to help people have a comfortable physical life along with encouraging a spiritual one. Cooperating in charitable projects, people would feel closer and closer to each other, understanding and loving each other more and more.

That would definitely lead to peace on earth. 

                                                                                 Dr. Bui Dac Hum


1- Thanh Ngon Hiep Tuyen 1985 published by CaoDai Temple of Los Angeles.

2- Everyone Is Right. A New Look at Comparative Religion and its Relation to Science. Roland Peterson. Devorss Publications. 1992.