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."
Ngon Hiep Tuyen p. 16)
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:
is One without a second. Within man he dwells, and within all other
beings. (Svetasvatara) (2 p. 42)
an unborn, not become, not made, uncompounded... (Samyutta-Nikaya of
Theravada Buddhism) (2p. 39)
CHING (Chapter 1):
What-Is all the world of things was born,
What-Is sprang from What-Is-Not.
indeed is the source of creation,
things have a mother and she has a name.
O Israel; The Lord our God is One. (Deut. 6:4 )
is one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in you
all. (Eph. 4:6)
is no God but God. (Koran 2:109)
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.
Dang (Dipankara) Buddha is Me,
Muni (Gautama Buddha) is Me,
Thuong Nguon Thi (Lao Tse) is Me,
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.
Ngon Hiep Tuyen p. 210)
illustration of the unity of religious concepts of love, the following are
synopses of the concepts of God of the different religions:
asked about humanity, Confucius said: "Love mankind"
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)
excellence of friendship is measured by love."
(Tao Te Ching) (2 p. 9)
is love; and he who dwells in love dwells in God."
was not sent to curse the infidels but to have mercy on mankind."
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)
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)
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
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
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Leviticus 19:18)
(2 p. 75)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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 .
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.
would definitely lead to peace on earth.
Dr. Bui Dac Hum
Ngon Hiep Tuyen 1985 published by CaoDai Temple of Los Angeles.
Everyone Is Right. A New Look at Comparative Religion and its Relation to
Science. Roland Peterson. Devorss Publications. 1992.