History and philosophy of Caodaism Part 3

Updated 2012-05-07 10:11:35


Those simple words might sum up the essential tendency of Caodaism.
The practical applications that come from it concern:
1) Human brotherhood
2) Kindness toward animals.
“For we entrusted with duties of fraternity toward men who are our brothers in the universal family, we also have duties of goodness toward animals who also are our brethren behind us in the way of evolution.We must then take care of those destined to our service, treat them with gentleness and avoid making them suffer needlessly.All animal life must be respected as much as possible for in harming it, we delay the evolution of the victim.So all Caodaists conscious of their duties will submit to a vegetarian diet to avoid being party to multiple crimes daily committed to the prejudice of his inferior brethren.
“Between pity toward beast and kindness of soul”, said Schopenhauer, “there is a close link: we may say without hesitating, that when an individual is cruel toward beasts, he will not be a just man.
3) Goodness toward plants:
“Nobody is ignorant of the services rendered us by all kinds of trees.Silent benefactors of man, not blaming either his ungratefulness, or his cruelty, they shelter, with their shade, all who come and sit at their feet, a tired traveler as well as a wicked wood-pharmacy cutter.The sandal-wood, it is said, perfumes the axe that strikes it.
“Plans constitute a true natural pharmacy from whence is drawn all proper panacea to heal every disease.How many lessons of goodness and sacrifice can we drawn from it for our profit!
“The recent scientific experiments of Sir Bose, a scholar of India, have shown that plants live much like man, that some particularly sensitive ones, possesses a nervous system more sensitive than ours to physical impressions.What do we think then of him who amuses himself by chopping a branch from a tree or uprooting a plant?If the necessities of material life oblige us to use vegetables, the goodness we owe these “candidates for animality” recommends us never to mutilate, nor needlessly destroy them.
4) Service to one’s neighbor (that completes the duty of the human fraternity).
“What sweetness, what charm, nature in its solitude, offers him who lives the quiet, secluded life.Apart from the world whose temptations attract him no more in the quietness of his seclusion, he purifies his life, calms his passions and raises his thoughts toward the Supreme Being.Then, in the rapture of contemplation, where is revealed the feeling of Divinity, he feels at last his heavenly origin.
“Such is the inner life led by Superior Men endowed with great faculties when, their terrestrial mission fulfilled, they aspire to spiritual well-being.Nonetheless, before reaching that high stage of human pilgrimage, the traveler of the long road, while seeking to progress, must help those who feel their way behind him.
“So the caodaist, anxious to act according to his principles of humanity, must, in every circumstance, devote himself to the service of his neighbor.Impelled by a desire to help his fellowmen, he holds himself in readiness to bring, either by his words, or by his acts, a balm to moral and social miseries.Moreover, in his aspiration toward merciful love, he always holds out the same helpful hand to those who stand in need.Bearing all affronts, from whatever source, he remains without hatred among them who hate him, ever faithful to the Great Way, dignitary or simple believer, he must impose upon himself the difficult task of working for souls, to instill into them the teachings of Cao-Đài, based on the love of good and the worship of truth.If by dint of proclaiming truth, he does not succeed in convincing unbelievers, at least he will shake them a little.Until doubts subsided in their souls, time will accomplish the rest.
“It is in setting himself to the help and salvation of others that he works for his own, for the acts of love and charity, by a just return, constitute his only viaticum in his wanderings toward supreme happiness.Since the service of one’s neighbor is one of the indispensable conditions of his own salvation, it is in his interest to apply himself to it with as much zeal as his religious earnestness and his moral advancement enable him.Without pretending to place himself as a preacher, he must, however, particularly incite his coreligionists to the practise of good and virtue.He can reach it, not by vain speeches, but by practicing what he preaches and conforming his life to the doctrine, he professes.If at times he fails in that task by slipping from the way that was traced for him by the Great Master, it is but just that we blame his weakness or his backsliding and not the teachings which he is charged to spread which constitute –may we repeat? – an ideal of peace by fraternal love.
There may be, in Caodaism as well as in all other existing religions, hypocrites and believers whose faith is not strong enough to resist the temptations of the Spirit of Evil.These are the unhealthy elements that dishonor the religion to which they belong, and of which the body must be purged.
  • Caodaism comes to unveil truth and confirm the goal of the creation of man.
  • Caodaism gives to its followers a consciousness of his power when the spirit is united with the Spirit.
  • Cao-Đài comes toward man hindered in his walk toward the light and shows him that human reason will triumph over all obstacles, all misunderstandings.
  • Cao-Đài delivers from hinderances.
  • Caodaism is then in harmony with the free man who freely believes that the human spirit will one day be conscious of its own power.
  • However, Cao-Đài guards the free man from the spirit of pride, for he says that all inner light comes from the superior light.
  • Light comes only from light.
  • The Light here below proceeds from the light above.
  • Human light proceeds from divine light.
Caodaism is predestined to become not only in the Far East but also in all the universe, a synthesis of religions, and a supertheosophy freed from artificial theosophy.Caodaism does not seek for religious transcendence, but hopes for and tends toward a harmony of beliefs and philosophies.None of its principles may be refused by any even somewhat advanced mind.
As in all epochs, there was a way opened toward the Light from above, just as in every place is found erected a mystic or material temple to invite the blessing of the Cause of causes and to try to elevate microcosmic man toward the macrocosmic all.
Religions everywhere, in all times, the living religions of today: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islamism are adapted and adapt one another to the time and place of their formation and development.Aquatic environment gives a fish its form.It is the attraction of Heaven that makes man walk erect.
Caodaism, born in Indochina, is destined for the universe, since the message it brings is found already in all religions.
The multiplicity of religions is not an obstacle to harmony if a subtile but real bond forms a point of contact for them, that link, Caodaism brings to him who will listen without prejudice, with all sincerity, fraternity, to its message: Life, Love, and Truth.
Caodaism is a valuable religion that unites its members one with another that unites the incarnate of this time, in all places, with the disincarnate of the past and that prepares for future reincarnations.Caodaism makes its own the Comtist formula:“The dead necessarily and more and more govern the living.”But, for it, the deads are really and always living.
The caodaist doctrine is a valuable philosophy that is set forth, demonstrated, discussed and affirmed with sincerity, with rationalism as well as in mysticism.Rationalism is not necessarily a systematic atheism.”
There is only one God, first Cause, principle of all that exists.There is one God worshipped, venerated, and prayed to under diverse names at every point of the globe.There is one God.
Cao-Đài, such is the name that the one and total God has taken to manifest himself in Vietnam and to indicate to the world the new religion in which men are certain to find Him.
Cao-Đài, such is the name of the unique God who is in all the present and past names man gave to God or under which God manifested himself to man.
Cao-Đài, such is the name.
Cao-Đài is the most high Palace.It is the manifestation of the Ensoph in Kether.
Cao-Đài is a roofless tower on the platform of which is written “He that man cannot name” by any human words.Ensoph of the Cabalists, Iod, He, Van, He of the Israelites.
Cao-Đài serves as the name of God.It is one of numerous names of the One-God whose name can only be one of the aspects, while the Being is infinite.
By the triple-sign, the tri-um God is always shown on the summits.God is higher than any summit, broader than any space, more enduring than all time.
TAM = Let us worship three times God-One in Cao-Đài.
KỲ = God is eternal in all time and at all time.The present moment is always His time, the epoch of God.
Cao-Đài manifests Himself in the three periods of the past, present and future.
PHỔ = sacrifice, fast, anticipation, prefiguration of that which is to come, of that which is come.The fast is an expectation of celestial food, the divine Word.All holy men and wise feed on the Word.Thus the sage, as the monk, expects through fasting and abstinence from what is terrestrial to feed on what is celestial.
In the fast thou shalt find Cao-Đài
ĐỘ = Thus cometh deliverance as shall come the resurrection.Thus cometh judgment and pardon.So is manifested Cao-Đài to pardon and to love.
Tam-Kỳ Phổ-Độ
Secret feminity of a mysterious Godless who gives strength to God.
God is One and the Godless contains Him.
She is One, and all God is manifested in Her.
Quan-Âm Bồ-Tát.
SECRET DIVINITY, tabernacle of God and God-Thyself in thy feminine expression.
Quan-Âm Bồ-Tát manifests herself in Cao-Đài as Mary at Golgotha.
Golgotha = bald mount = roofless tower.On the heights, God is manifested.
1) Not to kill living beings (because of the spark of life, the center of consciousness that is in them).
2) Not to covet (in order to avoid the fall into materialism through the needs of possession and domination).Such is the case of existing society in which everything seems bound to stir up pride and the craving for riches.
3) Not to practice high living:
- Don’t eat the bodies of beasts (vegetarianism);
- Don't drink alcohol (because of its noxious effects on the physical body and the spirit).
Noxious effects of alcohol on the perispirit:
“ The perispirit, said we, interpenetrates the physical body and envelopes it in its fluids.Its vital center is in the brain and its astral center, on the fontanelle.(It is on the latter center that the Spiritual Protector (Hộ-Pháp) remains posted to watch over the Ego of an ascete until the day when he reaches complete initiation).
“Now, the exciting effect of alcohol, which spreads to the brain, congesting it, provoking troubles in perispirit, troubles which, to the great prejudice of the ascetic life, destroy the mystic harmony that is established in the believer.Moreover, during those perispiritual afflictions, he leaves the door open (the astral center) to perverse Spirits who, taking possession of his body and exercising their control over him, impel him to reprehensible acts that may lead him to perdition.
“Therefore our Great Master has expressly forbidden us to drink alcohol.”
4) No to be tempted by luxury(which attracts a cruel karma);
5) Not to sin by word:
“Revelation teaches us that God appoints a guardian-angel to the care of each human life.That spirit, with a rigid impartiality, is, by virtue of his mission, ceaselessly in relation with the perfect Beings of Superior Hierarchies to render, before the Counsel of Lords of Karma (Tòa Phán-Xét) an account as full as possible of all our good or ill deeds.Therefore, the account of all human acts, constituted in merits and demerits, is unavoidably settled by the Great Karmic Law. Further, that Spirit appointed to our care also has a mission to teach us from his inspirations.Men, in their poor and insufficient language, call him conscience.Now, before we seek to deceive others by our lies, we must already have deceived our conscience, that is to say our guardian-angel.He records notonly all our actions, but also our words, though they are not yet expressed in acts.For, to the eyes of the Lords of Karma, the sins of the tongue, as sins, are as punishable as those arising from an overt fact.
“So must we observe the greatest circumspection in our speech as in our acts.”
The creation of the world is always real and this religious truth is propagated from century to century according to the times, in harmony or against opposition.The creation of the human spirit is always actual and its elevation is constant.He, who does not evolve, involutes and falls again into matter.
The spirit is materialized, incarnate to live among us, but returns to the Spirit, training and purifying us by him.Many messengers of the Spirit have come: Krishna, Shakyamuni, and Confucius.Elsewhere:Hermes and Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato.
All the messengers have had their disciples: The Essenes, the Gnostics, the Templars, the Rosecrucians and a great many others in the Occident and in the Orient.Nowadays, in the Far East: the Caodaists.
Those who are received most frequently by the Caodaist mediums emanate, it is said, from Allan Kardec, Léon Denis, Camille Flammarion, Descartes, Joan of Arc, Chateaubriand, etc ... and especially Victor Hugo and the Hugo family.Several leaders of Caodaism, the Vietnamese pretend, are but the reincarnation of several Hugos.Several curious facts seem to make it believable.In certain temples, is placed the portrait of Victor Hugo.
Being connected with Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and I think I may affirm without fear of successful contradiction: with Kardecism (Allan Kardec being considered as a religious genius), Caodaism believes in Karma, and Samara, its consequence.The caodaists frankly declare to bring nothing new on that point.
All volition (thought, word, or act) is a cause that bears in it its effect:
"The cause is rigorously bound to its effects, which is somehow its transformation, its material interpretation.That interpretation is so exact that the scrutiny of the present incarnation of an entity should be sufficient to inform us at the same time of its past and future.The present incarnation of the entity with that alternation of joys and annoyances was determined by the actions that it had fulfilled itself in the course of its anterior lives.Likewise, from now on, its deeds determine the conditions of its future reincarnation.
"The effect is separated from the cause by a time that may be long or short.If that interval is short, the effect is immediate and the sinner sees the expiation accomplished before his eyes.If it is long, it is because the sinner is benefiting for a time from the happy effect of good deeds accomplished at some time in the past, and that still lasts.However, as soon as that metapsychic immunization is ended, the karmic law will have full play.In many cases, the fall incident to it is sudden, thus explaining the quick decadence of such and such a family, a dynasty of a race" (Revue Caodaiste, March 1933).
The free-will of man is limited by the karmic effects of the anterior lives, man being the real artisan of his own destiny, affirm the Caodaists.The practise of good enables the entity to get rid progressively of its karma."To know himself, said Ngô Văn Chiêu, the first Caodaist, lately disincarnated, the believer must wish himself unhappiness."
Caodaism also believes in the apparition of a new man, thus uniting either with Professor Pietro Ubaldi (Zeitschrift fur metapsychische Forschung), April 29th, 1933), who believes that man in the future will be a natural medium, a new type of sensitive being, or with our friends the theosophists, who already perceive the new type of man in formation.
"Experience has shown that at each coming the Messiah, whether He bears the name of Lao-Tze, Buddha, or Christ, humanity is as it were awakened from its torpor.A stream of occult forces circulating everywhere helps him to understand mysteries hereto fore incomprehensible; a sudden and marvellous development of such faculties as intuition, memory, intelligence, clairvoyance, empowers the believers to accede to the way that is now open.Touched by the universal fluid, which comes near the Earth only after thousands of centuries, the faithful easily understands the divine teachings and, blazing the trail, some day he will succeed in being absorbed in God.
"Since the appearance of Caodaism, whose founder is the Supreme Being, phenomena of that kind were noticed somewhat everywhere in Cochinchina.The most surprising is the integral vegetarianism practiced without trouble by the members of all sexes and ages.We have seen many children of four or five, who could not bear a dish of fish or meat.We have seen many 13 or 14 years, renounce a meat diet to eat vegetables and rice once a day.We have seen others who ate only fruits.These facts of a new order astonished the bonzes themselves, which confessed that even among them very few practice a true vegetarianism.
"Then comes the unexpected expansion of certain faculties such as memory, intelligence, intuition among persons who have received no instruction."
Since its creation, the "Revue Caodaiste" has drawn our attention to some cases of reincarnation in Vietnam.We should be very happy to see our Caodaist brethren adopt for their inquiries and control the scientific precision necessary to the Occident, which wants proof more than witness of a moral nature should.They would render us an immense service on that point: One case of minutely controlled reincarnation would subdue at a stroke the objections current and a hundred times heard against reincarnation.The "Revue Caodaiste" has already undertaken such and we congratulate them upon it.
Each of us, says Caodaism, before being reincarnated, takes a little cháo-lú (soup of forgetting).If he takes much (when he has many sins and he has much to forget), he does not remember his previous life.If he takes a little (when he reaches one of his last reincarnations and he needs no longer blush at grievious faults), he is able by introspection, intuition, and illumination, to remember incidents of preceding incarnations.Nevertheless, it is the privilege of an elite of humble and silent meditative men and sages whom the world ignores.
* * *
Our era of failure, chaos, hate, thirst for riches, speaks readily of tax reform, treaty revision, frontier changes, revision of customs duties, etc ...But it forgets a reform which is little spoken of, but which is the key to reform of all reforms.
Are we beginning to reform our conscience?
It is because Caodaism understood this necessity and attempted that reform of conscience that so many black forces in Asia are raised against it.Powerful synthesis of the Asiatic religions; a link with the Christianity of Christ; a rallying of psychic and spiritualistic fact, basis of modern occidental spiritualism; a cry of love toward the Unknown, the Infinite, the Universal Peace and the Fraternity of peoples; greetings to thee, Cao-Đài, greetings to you, caodaists, distant brethren of Vietnam, which we now receive and bless in precept and example.Does at last old Europe dare overthrow those values that necessitate the advent of a new day?We believe so, and therefore we say thanks to our caodaist brethren of Indochina.
Religio, the Rivista di Studi Religiosi under the direction of Ernest Buonainti, in Rome, has also consecrated an article to Caodaism.Mr. G. Mingiano writes (p. 478):
Victor Hugo and the Caodaists:- One of my friends who is travelling in the Far East, writes me from Saigon:"Do you know that Victor Hugo has been deified?It is by a sect of Cochinchina, called Đại-Đạo Tam-Kỳ Phổ-Độ, that has had the strange idea to attribute to the great French poet divine honors.What do you think about it?While in France a referendum was called to find the worthiest manner of celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Victor Hugo, with ceremonies proceeding at the Pantheon, at the Sorbonne, at Guernesey, all kept in the strict banality of official honors, here is a religious sect of Cochinchina which confers on the Poet divine honors and inscribes his name in the Legion of the Genii.So a man was called to honors of the altar (or almost), that, in his famous will, denied all value and religious content to constituted churches and accepted only the prayer of the humble.
Let us give to the gesture of the Caodaists its true proportion: the glorification of human genius understood as an expression of the divine light; the glorification of Poetry, understood as a human expression of the divine harmony.A form of glorification that is naturally framed in the fundamental conceptions of that new religious confession which, in less than ten years of life, has been able to gather nearly a million adherents.
I knew in Paris, toward the end of 1931, a student from Phnom-Penh, who attended at the Sorbonne.He was a caodaist.I learned from him that the Đại-Đạo Tam-Kỳ Phổ-Độ -- which means precisely Caodaism -- was founded in November 1925 and represents a synthesis of the three great Oriental religions: Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, which united with Christianity and the worship of Genii, represent the five great ways that Cao-Đài (the Supreme Being) opened to humanity for their development and spiritual evolution.As we see, Islam does not find place among the ways that lead to the Most-High.Christ on the contrary, is considered by the caodaists as an Envoy of the Lord to a part of humanity, to guide them along the way to perfection, a way adequate to their capacity for understanding spiritual values.
The sense of profound veneration with which the young Indochinese student pronounced the name of Christ; the respect with which he told me Christian rites of which he knew the occult signification, were for me, I confess, the highest, the most efficacious lesson of tolerance, at the same time an example of true fraternity in a Superior Being, who, in spite of the diversity of names with which men invoke him, changes not at all His face of shining love.
"What does it matter, really, whether a spirit he actually is that of Fénelon or not?If he speaks nothing but good, and talks like Fénelon himself, he is a good Spirit; the name by which he is made known is of minor importance, and often is only a means of fixing our ideas."
Allan Kardec
Cited by René Sudre
"Know that all have known His law, His end, His way; that stars and distances all hear Him; that all is conscious in creation; and that the ear can have His vision; for things and beings have their dialogue."
What the Shadow's Mouth said
Victor Hugo, Jersey, 1855
Victor Hugo was during his lifetime a practicing spiritualist; he communicated by means of a table and automatic writing.His desire while living was that he might appear to his friends after death.Therefore, the Hugo messages are easily "authenticated" than those of a Fénelon (to cite the example of Allan Kardec) or of any others.
Moreover, the solemnity of the message that I am going to reproduce here, the eminent quality of the interpellator, postulate in favor of authenticity.
Here is then the spiritualistic message attributed to the Spirit of Victor Hugo or Nguyệt-Tâm Chơn-Nhơn, in the seance of April 20, 1930, at 1 o'clock in the morning.
Hộ-Pháp:I wish to be instructed regarding the origin of our Master and his Power.
It is not easy to know this mystery,
The eternal searching of the question is not clear.
It is possible there are, in my opinion,
Other universes than ours in the infinite.
They would be more or less enormous,
But life and their beings would have the same form.
One of these would be more advanced.
From the point of view of spirits and humanity.
At one stage, they should much resemble ours,
With progress, they could become apostles.
In all the heavens, Beauty reigns.
Its beings possess much of divinity.
Peace and harmony rule these earths,
Their creatures know not the word "War".
Nothing is relative, all is absolute;
Great souls vie with each other in virtue.
All production is science and wisdom.
Soul-power is master of human weakness.
These latter worlds live without law,
Union is made under faith divine.
Death will be vanquished by uplifted conscience.
There is no difference between living and dead.
The love of all beings is published everywhere,
Souls and men are all in holiness.
There is, here, a certain world of ours,
Where this kind of life is fruitful.
You may, one day, appreciate its value,
Then our world has passed to the higher degree.
Hộ-Pháp:When will the earth have these benefits:
In order that you may be conscious of your merit,
I will make use of a spirit expression.
Through purgatories, beginning at the rank of the blessed,
The land will be long becoming the land of the gods.
If one would know the origin of our Master,
He must be with him to penetrate it.
No spirit has a clear opinion,
Buddha himself only suppositions.
Do not take my instructions as important.
I only repeat what the spirits think.
Let us suppose that the creator, in his beginnings,
In reality lived in one of these universes,
His spirit also had to make a long ascent;
From matter, He became man, then a sage,
He passed through the grades of the spirit class;
And entered at last into the mystery of Creation.
Through his successive lives,He possesses a power,
That has made Him Master of Wisdom and Science;
He surrounds Himself with the spirits;
Which make up His court of servants and friends.
As soon as His heaven had power enough,
He rode with His train through infinity.
Hộ-Pháp:He has, then, a heaven of his own?
Yes, each of us has a domain set apart.
That He makes with his spiritual force.
Souls and spirits that proceed from our karmic state,
Thus form our heaven and make our republic.
Those who people it are scarcely faithful,
Many among us come from our original sin.
To the extent that one neglects the secrets of purification
He opens the heavens to these terrible demons,
From which comes our Satan, the great devil.
If we search for the truth and not fables,
He surely comes form the cortege divine
Which our Creator was unable to make perfectly holy,
It is the rule that our nearest betray us,
Through jealousy, envy, or pure caprice.
You have, Hộ-Pháp, a cramp in your hand,
Let us put off our talk till tomorrow.
I continue my discussion of Genesis,
Respecting that which will please you.
Once on a time in a shadowy place,
Still, stagnant, peaceful, unmoving,
In a gas neither vapor nor liquid,
Slept sommolent germs and lethargic;
Enveloped at last in a frightful cold,
No creature lived, no matter germinated.
Hộ-Pháp:Is this the nature of the water spoken of in the Christian Genesis?
Yes, it is this form of gas which is called hydrogen,
More or less dense, which makes the purest part.
Say that the Spirit of God swam above the waters.
It is in a sense that the word must be understood.
With its star made up of light,
It animates by its heat inert matter.
A layer of oxygen is produced, goes into action.
The contact of gases makes an explosion;
Divine fire is born, and holy water is formed,
Under the effect of the two elements, all is transformed.
From burned matter was formed gas, from burned gas
Were produced fluids, pure fluids are vitality.
Such vitality has a power
Of giving the spirits both death and life.
What marvels are already shown us?
What mysteries are further reserved for us?
All that comes from the hand of our Master,
It is difficult for us to know.
This divinely fed fire, expanded,
Casts its nebuli afar to the infinite.
In the entire universe, this fire is sown.
It is renewed as quickly as decomposed.
These nebuli grow in the form of suns;
Creating worlds in all their details,
Which the consciousness of God and His light animate,
And the weakest of beings have penetrated all.
The spirit divine is everywhere spread.
All that have life proceed from this All.
Of the fluids emanating from the light divine,
The most impure are changed into stone,
Into earth, into vegetables, animals and flesh.
The most dense into air, and the pure to ether.
Intellect is thus given to all creatures.
According to their state, a dose more or less pure.
Soul is thus created, as for the body
' Tis vitality that determines its lot.
The rest you have understood
I stop here.
Hộ-Pháp:Pardon. If all comes from our Master, all must be perfect.
Why then do we observe imperfection in nature?
What are these imperfections?
May I give you some explanations?
Hộ-Pháp:The wickedness and uselessness of beings, as well as men, animals, and vegetables.Their morals cannot reasonably appreciated.
Nothing is wicked or useless in nature.
To be preserved, there must be nourishment.
The Good Lord ardently loves His children,
In His great love, He finds them the means.
For their progress, He creates for them suffering.
They must also have means of defense.
Have you seen in this world a man truly pious?
Though they be wicked to us, they are useful to them!
How did our great sages become so?
What do the pages of human history contain?
A fierce struggle between the weak and the strong,
The strongest are often the greatest.
The opposition of the two gives the upward march
Of ideas and wise realizations.
Our dear world is purely relative;
Wicked and useless are only qualifications.
On the globe, each of us has a place;
The worlds of other heavens are but classes.
The universe is therefore a school for the spirits.
Who attend it for erudite study.
Those who fail in their efforts,
Must repeat the same classes, and study their lessons again.
All spirits hope to read the eternal book
That holds the secret that can make them immortal.
The goal is achieving our red career;
Which takes time, conditions, and manners.
From the material world to divinity pure
Is eternity's road to be taken.
The result is learning self-knowing.
Then knowing, through conscience, the man that should be.
The difference in characters is right;
' Tis an aid in making comparisons.
Make room for great tolerance in your studies.
Class the spirits according to their aptitude.
Simply separate those who are human
From those already a little divine.
Give to the leaders the best example.
Teach by all methods the unfaithful,
Do not detest them for their infamy
And think only of the salvation of their souls!
Love always in order to give to humanity
These two verities: Love and Eternity.
Hộ-Pháp:The Father and the Master are different.Why does our Father take also the title of Master.
He is at the same time Father and Master,
For from Him comes all of our being.
He nourishes our bodies with that which is good
And makes up our spirit of what is divine.
In Him all is science and wisdom;
Progress of soul is his unceasing work,
Vile materials are jewels in His eyes
Vile spirits, He makes into Gods.
His law is love, His power is justice.
He knows but the virtue, and none of the vice.
Father:He gives to His children vitality.
Master:He bestows on them His own divinity.
In Religio, la Ravista di Studi Religiosi, Mr.G.Mingiano writes:
“The caodaists are divided into two categories”.The first one comprises all the Ecclesiastes, from the “pontife maximum” to the last novice, all bound to a severe diet of chastity, poverty and frugality.(they live exclusively on vegetables and fruits) rigorously observed.The hierarchy is on an initiatic basis and comprises seven grades of initiation: The highest, that of “eldest brethren”, has the exclusive privilege to communicate with the ”messengers of God”, high spirits of light from whom they receive energy, teaching and counsel.
“In the second category, is all the mass of the faithful, which, besides Buddhist duties, must observe humility, honesty, respect of authority, wherever found, and at last, obedience to religious authorities.Worship consists only in common prayers to which the faithful are convoked before an altar, on which is placed a great transparent sphere containing the sacred fire.On the sphere , a triangle, symbol of perfection and composition of divine energies in the triangle, the earnest eye of the Eternal.
“In this religion, two aspects are, it seems to me, most original:
"The first is this:To become a Caodaist, one needs make no profession of faith, he need not be bound to any sacrament:freedom of conscience is sovereign.The institution lives and prospers, not of the forced will of its adherents, but of their free consent, their spontaneous and voluntary adhesion.As a result, no anathema greets or follows him who decides to try another way.The prayer of all , on the contrary, renders his new effort easier.And that, because the caodaists not only recognize, but feel that the terrestrial life, the life in time and space, is a trial, a test, an experiment, that each one must realize in order to make a step forward on the way of Cao-Đài, the Most-High.And each one has the right to choose his way.The search for riches, the conquest and extension of material power, are condemned by the Caodaists, because for them too, the "kingdom of God is not of this world".But it is at the same time a duty and a tight to gain economic solidarity and to be able to give moral and material assistance.This is the source of the second original aspect of Caodaism: From the civil point of view or rather for its social action, Caodaism has special institutions in crafts, teaching, agriculture, etc . . . to intensify its work of social welfare, coordinated and efficacious."
The review Religio follows this article of Mr. G. Mingiano with these lines:"Oriental wisdom, that marvelously shields it".
"Pai-Te-Tien was a Chinese poet.Being governor of a district, he paid a visit toa sage, a great disciple of the ZEN sect, who had chosen his dwelling in the branches of the tree.Pai seeing him, cried:"What a perilous dwelling is this tree!"To which the sage replied:"Yours is much more perilous than mine".Then follows this dialogue:
"I am governor of the district.I don't see what risk I am running!"
"Then, you don't know yourself! What peril greater than the passions that burn you and your troubled spirit?"
What is the teaching of Buddhism?"
"Don't do evil; practise good!But that, a child of three years knows.Yes, a child of three years knows it, but an old man of 80 years such asI succeeds with difficulty in applying it."
"Han-Shan, a poet, was a pure fool, who came to the monastery Kuoch'ing togather the left-overs of meals and feed on them.The monks laughed at him as a poor, innocent and harmless fool.One day, in his hermitage, Han Shan exclaimed:"I think at all those past years during which I quietly came to Kuoch'ing where everybody seeing me said:"Han-Shan is a fool." At present, I think: Am I foolish? I don't succeed in solving the problem, not knowing myself.And then, how can others understand me better than myself?"
"Be man not fond of talk, in order to find God in the silence.Pray, the heart full of desire, but without uttering a word.God shall provide thee with thy needs and hear thy voice, and welcome thy offering.As well as in a desert the water ofwhich is so sweet to him who burns with thirst, divinity is shut to him who speaks, open to him who keeps silence."
You kill one another, disputing the hills, the rivers, the lands, and the seas.You kill each other for possession of that which was createdby the One in Three, the Three in One, thought you are His children, and He is Creator of all.
Ambitious, selfish, wicked, you close your purses, and in them shut up your hearts.How will you love one another, for the love of the One in Three, the Three in One?
To preach peace, there must be love for all men.
To practise concord, pardon of all to all.
What is the highest nobleness?
What is the highest superiority?
What is the highest origin?
All men are sons of God.So God was called: the Son of Man.
You knock at the door of wisdom.A voice demands:Who is there?
You answer:It is I.And the door opens not.
You knock at the door of wisdom, a voice demands:Who is there?
And you answer again:I.Do not be astonished if the door does not open.
You knock at the door of wisdom, a voice demands:Who is there?
You hesitate but answer:Thou.At last, the door opens, and you enter into wisdom.
We were charged by the Holy See of Tây-Ninh (South Vietnam) to represent Caodaism at various International Congresses:
1. International Spiritualistic Congress of Barcelona (1934)
We read in the Revue Spirite d' Octobre 1934 (p. 505), in the series of resolutions adopted unanimously.
"Eighth Caodaist Movement--On the motion of Mr. Gabriel Gobron, instructor in France ofCaodaism (or Reformed Buddhism, or Vietnamese spiritism), the 5th International Spiritualistic Congress held at Barcelona (1st to 10th of September, 1934) very respectfully begs the French Government to be willing - remembering the solemn promises made in March 1933 in the French Parliament by President Sarraut, then Minister for the Colonies - to establish on behalf of the Caodaists a statute as liberal as that enjoyed by the Vietnamese converted to Christianity or those remaining faithful to other Buddhist sects in the countries of the Indochina Union."
2. World Congress of Religions, London (1936).Le Cygne (September 20, 1936) published this echo:
"At the last International Congress of Religions help in London, to which Mr. Gabriel Gobron, Instructor of Caodaism in France, participated on invitation of the Holy See of Tây-Ninh, Caodaism is recognized as the most tolerant religion in the world.Before a large attendance composed of representatives of all the Great World Religions and members of the International Press, the French Caodaist delegate declared:"Caodaism is the very experience of the reconciliation of races and peoples for which you are gathered in this place.Caodaism or Reformed Buddhism is certainly a living experience of union and religious unity.Wild applause greeted the peroration."
3. International Spiritualistic Congress of Glasgow (1937).L'Annam Nouveau (November 14, 1937) published this echo:
"At the proposal of Mr. Gabriel Gobron, Instructor in France of Caodaism or Vietnamese Spiritualism, the 6th International Spiritualistic Congress meeting in Glasgow (September 3, 1937), after the fifth Spiritualistic Congress of Barcelona, hopes thatthe Vietnamese Spiritualists may enjoy in all the countries of the Indochinese Union the same liberties of conscience and worship as Protestant and Catholic Vietnamese, be they subjects, protégés, Eurasians or foreigners.
"The wish expressed by the International Spiritualistic Congress of Barcelona has already inaugurated a more liberal period for the Caodaists or Vietnamese Spiritualists."
That wish presented and discussed on the Philosophical Section of the Congress, was then adopted by acclamation at the popular meeting held at Mc Lellan Galleries of the 9th of September 1937.
4. World Congress of Beliefs in Paris (1939).
Let us extract this testimony from the Revue Spirite (Paris September, 8):"The "World Congress of Faiths"which was formerly held in London, Oxford, Cambridge, took place this year in Paris, our colleague Gabriel Gobron was delegated by the Caodaists or Reformed Buddhists of Indochina to attend it.The rebukes he invoked on the Congress of London may be related here and even enlarged: The organizers, almost all English, address themselves to the historic Religions, which by their long history proved their fecundity (the very words of Mr. Lacombe,Sept. 10, 1939) and then exclude new religions, new doctrines, and still more, syncretic religions such as Caodaism: a close fusion of Buddhist, Christian, Taoist, Confucianist and Mohammedan beliefs, etc...It is useless to say that spiritism, theosophy, anthroposophy, etc ...are banished from that Congress which only seeks the collaboration of the respectable great religions, and never their close fusion or their synthesis.No comparison of superiority of religions was tolerated.The Catholic Church, though officially absent, was in fact well represented (Professor Maritain, Mr. Lacombeetc ... )and it constantly received homage.A hundred persons, many of them Anglo-saxons, officers, administrators, professors, aristocrats, high-bourgeoisie, attended the "days", Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Protestant, Mohammedan, Hindu, even interrupting the discussions sometimes outside of the agenda:"How to make the fraternal spirit reign over the world through the concourse of religions?"
The official support given to the Congress (Messrs.Champetier de Ribes and Georges Mandel), its reception in the Sorbonne by the Rector Roussy, with participation of French colonials (one General of the House of the Bey of Tunis, one Syrian Administrator,etc...), of a somewhat gaudy "French Committee", added to the prestige of those solemn sessions at the Richelieu amphitheatre on the 2nd of July, 1939.
"The best of the Congress - in spite of narrow limitations fixed by itself and legitimate reserve - was its will to claim the rights of the individual, now so mocked in all the totalitarian regimes.A resolution recalling the dictators to greater humanity was moreover adopted at the end of the Congress, and the question of refugees seems bound to be inscribed in the order of the day at the next Congress which will be held in Holland.
"A call was issued to all the official Churches.Visits to Versailles, the Paris museums, to intellectual centres, and the mosque where the very Parisian personality, Kadour Bern Ghabrit, courteously welcomed the delegates, etc ... followed the daily sittings.They talked too much, certainly, but they also acted:such a congress is an act, and bears a date.It should be proclaimed more important than the League of Nations, after one of those teas that gathered the members on certain days and revived the flame of the proselytes of the religious idea."
La Vérité, of Phnom-Penh, seat of the Foreign Mission ofCaodaism, expresses it in almost the same language (July 26, 1939):Caodaism at the Congress of Religions in Paris (pp. 1 and 5).
"Caodaism or Reformed Buddhism was represented this year at the Congress of Religions in Paris (July 3-11) by Mr. Gabriel Gobron, Instructor in France of Caodaism, who again found the leading personalities he had known in London in1936; Sir Francis Younghusband, president, and Mr. Arthur Jackman, secretary.
"The French Government had decided to give its support to the Congress of Religions, in the person of Mr. Georges Mandel, Minister of Colonies, Mr. Champetier de Ribes, Minister of Pensions, the Rector of the University of Paris, Dr. Roussy, who offered the broad Richelieu amphitheatre, in Sorbonne, for the sessions of the Congress.A French Committee, under the chairmanship of Professor Louis Massignon, and composed of various personalities:Mme de Coral-Rémusat, Mr. Jean Herbert, Mme de Margerie, the Princess A. Murat, R. de Traz, Mr. O. Lacombe, Professor Daniel Rops, etc.. . led the debates, which dwelt on the fundamental theme:How to develop the spirit of fraternal cooperation in the world by religion?
"Round this problem thus posed,we nevertheless notice Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Mohammedan, Buddhism, Jewish "days", according to the body to which the main speaker belonged.So, Tuesday, July 4thwas a "Catholic Day".The Catholic Church officially abstained from participation in the work of the Congress, but, actually, Professor Jacques Maritain, Mr. O. Lacombe, and otherCatholics played a part of first importance in the Congress week.The church was invisible, but present.
"True, the scope of the Congress was not so great, so universal as one might wish.This was due to certain limitations imposed upon the delegates.
a. No religion must make proselytes by showing its superiority over other beliefs:
b. It was not to be a matter of union, a fusion of religions, but only of collaboration with different religions while remaining separate; a religion of union, of synthesis, such as Caodaism, is thus not at ease in such a Congress.So, our Instructor in France could declare to Mr. Oliver Lacombe, vice-president of the French Committee, that he was the only "heretic" present;
c. Access to the Congress, theorically, was reserved to the great historic Religions having proved their fecundity by their long past" (speech of Mr. O. Lacombe, July 1st , 1939).
"Sir Francis Younghusband decided, however, to welcome Mr. Gabriel Gobron, according him full liberty of speech and discussion, after his presentation of official papers from Caodaist authorities at the secretariat in the Sorbonne.
"Mr. Georges Mandel, Minister for the Colonies, had assured the participation of elements of the French Empire in the work and debates.It was thus that General Hasan Husny Abdelwahab, of the House of the Bey of Tunis, an attaché of the High Commissioner for Syria, for instance, represented Islam.On the contrary, our instructor in France does not seem to have met representatives of the French elements of Asia, Hinduism and Buddhism being represented only by English elements:Bhik Khu Thittila (monastery of Rangoon), Professor Dasgupta (Calcutta) etc...
"Each day, in Paris as in London, in 1936, was composed of an exposé in the morning, then a discussion in the afternoon, followed by visits to places of interest (Versailles, Museums, etc...)and to the Intellectual circles of Paris (Institut de Civilisation Indienne, Mosquée, Association France-Grande-Bretagne, etc ... ).Our Instructor in France having criticized the organization, of the Congress of London where isolated intellectuals, representing only themselves (and sometimes their little vanities) he now held the floor for an hour or two, insisting that preference be granted in Paris to representatives of the communities, according to the very terms of the rules of the Congress at the Sorbonne. So dilettanti and amateurs found themselves set aside to the advantage of great names like Professor Jacqes Martiani (Catholic Institute of Paris).Professor Dasgupta (Hinduism), Doctor Sié (University of Nankin), General Hasan Husny Abdelwahab (House of the Bey), Viscount Samuel (ex High Commissioner for Palestine), Bhik Khu Thittila (Monastery of Rangoon), Professor Hauter (Protestant Faculty of Strasbourg), etc ...
"Tuesday the 11th marked an end to the most fraternal and curteous of work and debates.The delegates separated with pain, with a certain wrench after having passed motions, resolutions, examined projects, improvements, fixed the place of the next Congress in Holland, etc ...
"Let us note, among numerous interesting things, a resolution asking dictators to rule their peoples with greater humanity; congratulations to Chamberlain for his work of peace; thanks to French Authorities whose friendliness to all religions needs no further demonstration:the possibility was considered of Strasbourg, Jerusalem, Geneva, etc ...welcoming the next congress; and invitation to all churches to give the widest publicity to the work of the Congress, of which one orator said that it might henceforth replace the League of Nations torpedoed by politicians and their manipulators.The question of refugees was proposed for the following year.
"The French Committee decided to continue in Paris the work of rapprochement and mutual understanding between the great beliefs... Several inter-religious associations were noted in the capital and offered themselves to delegates desirous of attending their meetings and joining their efforts.
We think that the time is not far off when Caodaism will have to play an important role, by its living example, in these world Congress of Religions".
5. In 1948
As we have seen, Caodaism is a religion, a body of doctrine, a living tradition, a philosophy, in a word,a spirituality.
Bother Gago was a good prophet, the International Congresses will answer the call of higher entities, but not without difficulty.
Mr. Henry Regnault presented the first edition of the present work to the delegates to the 3rd Congress of the Worldwide Spiritual Counsel, gathered at Lausanne (Switzerland) in August, 1948.
"None of the delegates knew Caodaism.All were interested to learn that Caodaism has for its ideal the uniting of all religions and bringing of peace here below, which we also pursue."
Mr. Henry Regnault was charged by the Congress to enter into relations with the Chiefs of Caodaism asking them to join to the Worldwide Spiritual Counsel.
The answer was favorable and no doubt in 1949, in Italy, Caodaism will be represented to its credit.
The spiritual impulse of His Holiness Phạm-Công-Tắc, Superior of Caodaism, is considerable and his radiance oversteps the already broad frontiers of the Far-East to show itself real and growing even in Europe and the two Americas.


Le Populaire (Saigon, November 18th, 1935) published this news: At Tây-Ninh, Mr. Phạm-Công-Tắc succeeds Mr. Lê-Văn-Trung as Caodaist Pope.
"On the occasion of the anniversary of the death of Mr. Lê-Văn-Trung,Caodaist Pope, grandiose ceremonies took place at the Tây-Ninh Temple, on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of last November, in which more than five thousand faithful participated.
A Great Council composed of Hội-Nhơn-Sanh (Popular Council) and Hội-Thánh (Sacerdotal Council) was held on the 11th and 12th of November at the end of the festivals to resolve the thorny question of the succession of Mr. Lê-Văn-Trung.
Unanimously, the Hội-Nhơn-Sanh and the Hội-Thánh entrusted this difficult task to the Hộ-Pháp Phạm-Công-Tắc.All motions of confidence also obtained a unanimous vote of the Great Council.So was settled a question that has so many times attracted the attention of public opinion.
Let us hope that under the protection of the new chief, Caodaism may quietly go its way.
The newspaper noted the ceremonies:"On the occasion of the anniversary of the death of Mr. Lê-Văn-Trung, Caodaist Pope, important ceremonies will take place on the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th of November at the Caodaist Temple at Tây-Ninh.
Here is the program of the ceremonies:
November 8th -- 2 p.m.Great ceremonies marking the end of mourning at the Giáo-Tông-Đường.
November 9th-- 7 p.m.Transfer of the Linh-Vị to the Temple; 8 p.m.Ceremonies at the Temple.
November 10th-- 7 p.m.Transfer of the Linh-Vị to the Place of Universal Brotherhood.
November 11th-- 6 p.m.Ceremonies before the Cửu-Trùng-Thiên.Funeral orations pronounced by High Dignitaries.
"On the occasion of the 10th anniversary, La Presse Indochinoise (Sept. 3rd, 1936) reminded the Indochinese public of what Caodaism or Reformed Buddhism is.
"The Caodaism, new religion born in Indochina in 1926, lavished upon the first initiates, by the voice of the Supreme Master, Cao-Đài, its teachings under the form of occult messages that mediums have scrupulously selected totransmit to them for posterity.
"The interpreter of spiritism enables numerous messages emanation from Great Sages of Antiquity, to come regularly from the Beyond to the Holy See of Tây-Ninh (Cochinchina).
The adherents of Caodaism, ever more and more numerous learn that the basis of dogmas is the Law of the Three Saints: Buddha, Lao-Tze, Confucius.The general precepts of Buddhism are not to kill, not to steal, not to desire a neighbor's wife, not to bear false witness, not to be drunken.Buddhism goes far in the search for perfection when it teaches love toward one's enemy, a precept that our Occident, which has given the most afflicting spectacle of hatred cruelty, and revenge that history records, looks upon with derision.
Taoism, of which the doctrine entirely derives from the Revered Book of Supreme Reason and Virtue, develops parallel to its philosophy eminently Christian thoughts though it be nearly six hundred years anterior to Christianity.It prescribes the worship of truth and discipline of character.This shows that we may meet in the nations considered as barbarous by our ancient Europe, the practise ofmaxims of gentleness and altruism tending to the maintenance of union and benevolence among men.
Confucianism whose precepts are in no way contrary to our modern scientific spirit, shows a constant anxiety to lift humanity above bestiality by developping qualities, creating a moral and intellectual elite to guide toward happiness the incapable and ignorant who lack the primordial elements of Intelligence, Reason and Knowledge.
To the dogmas of the Three Saints are added the religion of love and kindness of Christ, the respect of the dead and the worship of the family.
In short, Caodaism gives proof of a great tolerance toward all the existing religions for it includes all, devotes itself to combat heresy; sows among the peoples a love of good and of God's creatures, the practise of virtue; love of justice and resignation; reveals to human beings the posthumous consequence of their acts, at the same time cleansing their souls.
Numerous papers announced the manifestations:"Great Caodaist Festival to the memory of Pope Lê-Văn-Trung":
"The Caodaist Temple of Tây-Ninh is very animated these days.Thousands of faithful feverishly work to finish preparations destined worthily to celebrate the memory of the dead.
"The ceremonies that begin on Thursday November 26, at 7 p.m., will last three days.It will celebrate, on the same occasion, the freedom of worship which the liberality of the French Government has granted it.All the Caodaists parishes of Indochina are called upon to participate in the grand program which includes: torchlight parade, and fireworks.
"A Great Festival in view".
We have been assured that this will be the greatest festival since the foundation of Caodaism.
La Vérité (November 20, 1936) gave an account of the joyful events in these terms:"At the Caodaist Holy See twenty thousand faithful celebrated the 10th anniversary of that religion.Mourning for Pope Lê-Văn-Trung is ended”.
(From our special correspondent, November 28th)
From all corners of Cochinchina,Cambodia and even certain Moi tribes, thousands of faithful come to the Caodaist Holy See at Tây-Ninh these days to celebrate the "Đại-Tường", after which, mourning forPope Lê-Văn-Trung will be ended.
Exactly two years ago the Caodaist Pope --to use an expression of honour here--passed away.The Caodaist schism is going to be definitely consummated on the occasion of the nomination of his successor.When in the Holy Land the leadership prudently called Monseigneur Phạm-Công-Tắc to the functions of a temporary Chief without giving him the official title of the Religion, at Mỹ-Tho, Mr. Nguyễn-Ngọc-Tương got himself granted the title Giáo-Tông (Caodaist Pope) by a few hundred followers.The new Pope so named, accompanied by a crowd of partisans, presented himself at the Temple of Tây-Ninh to take up his duties and also assisted at the funeral of the Great Departed.Entrance to the Holy See of the new Religion was forbidden to the Chief of the Mỹtho sect, for it is only on "Holy Land" that the true divine speech may come to superiors of the religion by a medium interpreter.Cao-Đài has not named His Eminence Phạm-Công-Tắc to the dignity of Supreme Chief of the Religion.
It is understandable that the Caodaist leaders are giving to the Festival of Đại-Tường an unaccustomed splendor.Flowerdecked floats would have paraded in the town of Tây-Ninh except for the refusal of the Chief of the province.We feel this refusal to be unjustified since all was carried on calmly enough.Flowery floats, torchlight procession, fireworks during three days of festival increased the popular joy.Electric lights in plenty gave to the Holy Land the aspect of an agitated little city.
We met the high Chieftains.The real Chief of the Religion, whom we had met elsewhere, before his Caodaist conversion, had worked in the customs; while our childhood friend, Lê-Thế-Vinh, chief of protocol, has been militant in the "Young Vietnam" movement for the betterment of the lot of the Vietnamese people.
This evening, mourning for Pope Lê-Văn-Trung will be lifted, speeches read, which will inform us of the movement, its tendencies, its possibilities, its future.We know that Caodaism was born only in 1926, under the impulse of turning tables, imported from France. But what the public does not know is that a half-castle Frenchman, faithful reader of Léon Denis and Allan Kardec, has paid with his own money for the propaganda of spiritualistic ideas in the colony, which has contributed much to the extraordinary development of the new religion which puts on the same rank: Confucius, Lao-Tze, Shakyamuni and Jesus Christ.That strange syncretism furthermore explains the rapid success of the movement among Vietnamese and even Cambodians.
The Government might fear for a moment this tardy birth of religion in the very middle of the 20th century; but since, our leaders have authorized its propaganda in Tonkin; Caodaist Missions have spread even to France and China.
May not the present manifestation at Tây-Ninh be used as a point of departure for the consolidation and extension of the movement, which has slackened in recent years?
The Caodaist Chiefs are ambitious to becomespiritual Chiefs of a part of the Far-East thanks to Caodaist development.
The near future will furnish us with the key of these enigmas.
Srok Sarou
* * *
More and more, Caodaism tends to unity.Unity between other religions and itself, internal unity, magnificent harmony around His Holiness Phạm-Công-Tắc who is one of the first followers chosen and named by the Divine Master Cao-Đài and one of the founders of the religion.His Holiness Phạm-Công-Tắc is the Chief, appointed inspirer of the Hiệp-Thiên-Đài, Superior Assembly of Mediums.This is a kind of Holy-Office for the proclamation and conservation of the pure doctrine and also cares for the legislative organization of the Religion.
His Holiness Phạm-Công-Tắc was proclaimed Superior of Caodaism by the Popular Council and by the Sacerdotal Council to replace the late temporary Pope, Mr. Lê-Văn-Trung disincarnated in 1934.
His Holiness Phạm-Công-Tắc is an inspired man, highly mystic, and as generally is true of mystics, a great administrator and organizer.He is a remarkable builder, for it is he who drew the plans of the Caodaist Temple of the Holy See of which the present work gives several photographic reproductions.He drew up the plans and personally saw to, point by point, all the details of the building and decoration, which is magnificent.
* * *
His Holiness Phạm-Công-Tắc's right hand is His Excellency Trần-Quang-Vinh, Secretary of State for National Defense in the provisional Central Government of Vietnam, since the first of June 1948.
His Eminence Trần-Quang-Vinh has been a Caodaist dignitary since 1927.He has ascended the hierarchic echelons:Lễ-Sanh, Giáo-Hữu, Giáo-Sư, then Phối-Sư.He was Chief of the ForeignMission of Caodaism.With that title, he resided in Cambodia from 1927 to 1941.From 1942 to 1948, he was a representative of the Superior of Caodaism, residing in Saigon.
Founder, organizerand Commander-in-Chief of the Caodaist Troops.

In 1931, he was sent to France and it was at that time that he created a cell of French Dignitaries and followers among which Gabriel Gobron, brother Gago and his wife, Mrs. Marguerite G. Gobron who may be addressed for information regarding the Caodaist religion in France.

History and philosophy of Caodaism Part 4