13.- Delivered in the Tây Ninh Holy See at the Mouse Hour
(between 11PM and 1AM) on the 13th December 1948
(Lunar Calendar 13th Day of the 11th month, year of the Mouse)

The Governing Power of the Ngọc Hư Cung
The Teaching Dimensions of the Paradise of Extreme Joy.

Today Bần Đạo continues to explain the true struggles at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa regarding faith.

 

There are many complicated questions relating to the authority of defending souls in the universe against the rights of ruling the earthly world from the  Ngọc Hư Cung, and the rights of teaching of the  Cực Lạc Thế Giới. In terms of philosophy, there are many philosophies which cause heated debate amongst the various religions and their believers.

 

In terms of faith we can see, the majority of the higher classes and intellectuals today, mostly the writers of the East who are Confucian, and in Europe those individuals who exercise freedom of speech and of thinking but who discard religion. There are also those who go beyond this point, they are anarchists - people who have no aims, no worship, and are much worse that those who simply have no faith. These people, when they return to the spiritual realm must kneel in front of the Divine Law for moral examination. They would like to avoid this, but they cannot avoid the indefinite power of the universe, they want to avoid the Divine Law, but how can they do this? These people who are very talkative strongly oppose (the Divine Law) with so many eccentric theories that we could not even imagine their responses. For example at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa  they argue that, "…the philosophers, the lofty, enlightened ones descend to the earth and form the religions for teaching the Dao (Tao)  to human beings. They have formed their ownership, that is the truth but the right of ownership to the way of living life which there is no power at all, on the contrary which cause the problems for the struggle of progress. However the divine power, which people said is indefinite, the power that is without boundaries, that power is normally in the mouth of human beings which is called the power of the creation of the universe. Those given us the faith, using the authority than create the faith for us which appears in front of us. Or that power can protect the lives of humanity, if so then who does not want to practise the Way? But that philosophy is still very dreamy, so from what can we borrow to create faith and so follow the religion? The founders of the religions teach us to do the good deeds, avoid bad deeds. Seeing the suffering in front of us, we would like to do a good deeds but the people do not want good deeds occurring, they pressure and cajole us to become cruel. If we surrender, then we are damaged by the cruelty. Wanting to be insulted because of that love by which we give up our life in order to create life for others, but humanity does not work like this. Instead of respect for the sublime  people simply do not want to accept it, in fact we don’t worry very much about our life.

 

Your excellencies, you can see that on this planet earth there are many virtuous people who humble themselves under the power of violence and undertake to suffer losses and beg for food and become nomadic and now you ask us to depend on them to build up our faith. The faith of those who live virtuously we have never clearly seen this, Your Excellencies, please describe them for us to see." What theories are used by Perfect Beings in the spiritual realm in order to respond to these sorts of arguments? They respond by saying, "…you are too academic, trying to find a way to protect yourself but the Truth is not how you have said it is. The Truth is that you do not know how to believe in yourself, and if you do not believe in yourself then who else can you believe? The Supreme Being sent the religious founders to form the religions, if you do not believe in yourself, then how can you believe in the philosophy of religion. The Supreme Being sent the religious founders to form the religions of the Earth not to ask humanity to worship Him, but He came or sent others in order to build the Lofty Church for worshipping the faith of humanity. That is, to build this Lofty Church so that humanity could worship humanity, not worship Him at all. Now, you object and say that using virtuous religion as a means to protect one's life, both solidly and durably, needs to be shown to you. No! It cannot be! You yourself still depend upon the philosophy of religion in order to create your life. If there is no religion, then humanity belongs to the level of animals, elephants, panthers, tigers and monkeys in the dark forest. You have depended on religion in order to protect yourself.

 

"What theory have you used to understand that you are noble, better than other beings, knowing you are the most spiritual, and knowing you are the sacred of the beings of this planet, and knowing that you are the divine spark of the Supreme Being? How can you know with self-respect that you are the noblest on this planet? More spiritual than other beings. You would like to refuse your noble positions in order to offer your life and spirit to ignoble pursuits. So upon what thing should your spirit depend? You do not believe in yourself, then who can you believe in?"

 

No, the religious founders did not deceive anyone! You said the philosophy of religions deceive the psychological essence of humanity but that philosophy is a mirror hung in front of humanity for them to follow, if you do not follow it, because you are afraid and avoid it, where can you build up the faith? How does the comedy of living pressures humanity to destroy each other? The human intellectual, seeking the happiness in the material world that is the life of an animal. The human intellectual thinking up schemes that lead to happiness is this really achievable? Or still seeking, struggling, and when will that struggle finish? That is still indefinite in the method of destroying which creates suffering for the lives of humanity and with no benefit at all. You are complaining that the Divine Power does not put any authority in our hands and so we are unable to built faith for humanity. Surely even the Supreme Being manifests and asks humanity too follow him, the animal ask them to follow the happiness of the animal, they are not following because He appears and then they follow.

 

The faith within us must firstly be directed to ourselves, knowing ourselves will allow us to know the rest of humanity. In knowing others we can then know the Supreme Being who is the Master Creator of the Universe, knowing that Being is knowing yourself clearly. If you do not know this Being however then you cannot expect to know yourself. Not knowing oneself, no one else can know you. Living without faith this is the act of not knowing the self, it is no different from existing as flora or fauna. That is, a life with no meaning at all, a life with no value.

 

And now I ask if we enter that examination and the examiner asks about the four books and the five classics and other canonical works that constitutes the doctrine of Confucianism, which we have studied, when we enter that exam we carry nothing with us, but we are able to answer the questions correctly and we can pass the exam. That is the same for all religions. The religions are displayed on this earth for us to practise but because some do not believe then they do not practise. How can you ask the divine beings in the spiritual realm to be generous and respect and value you.

 

Indeed, who ever plays with spinning tops, if you spin them correctly then they keep spinning and everyone can win. If we turn the "bowl" up side down then everybody can answer correctly.

 

The faith in a person who knows oneself, self-respecting, and worships oneself, one can worship oneself so that others can worship themselves, the faith is to believe oneself, one can believe in oneself, then others can believe in us, but if we cannot yet believe in ourselves how can we ask others to believe in us? If one cannot believe oneself how can you ask humanity to believe in the Supreme Being who is the creator of the universe and our souls? If one does not have enough faith as evidence of the incomparable, one is then not worthy of being a member of His body, that is, the Sacerdotal Council (Hội Thánh).    

 

 

Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa - Palace of Divine Beings who hold the power to control all human beings in a universe of many planets. The Palace (or department) of the Divine Alliance for preaching (the Way).

 

Cực-Lạc Thế Giới - a paradise of extreme joy.

 

Hội Thánh - the Sacerdotal Council .

 

Ngọc Hư Cung - Heavenly Council of Eternal Law , The Court of God, The Council of

God , Divine Jade Palace.

 


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 14.- Delivered in the Tây Ninh Holy See on the 15th December 1948
(Lunar Calendar 15th Day of the 11th month, year of the Mouse)

The Method of Cultivating the Way
though each of the Five Branches are Different,
they all have the same Aim: that is to free Humanity from Suffering

Today Bần Đạo continues to explain the struggles at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa between the Perfect Beings and those intellectual souls who do not accept any true belief, but retain an irreligious attitude regarding matters of "faith."

 

These intellectuals question their belief in religions. They tell the Perfect Beings; "If you obligate us to have a belief in order to practise the Way, then we must have belief in order to cultivate ourselves and progress along this limitless Divine Path to Eternal Life. As we moving amongst the ranks of the Divine beings - those souls of the Universe - then please allow us to ask this:

 

On this planet there are many founders have formed many different religions. They teach humanity in this world; now we are not saying that we attack these religions, but all they do is fill the spirit of humanity with dreams. This is why humanity is relinquishing its belief in religion. Neither are we attacking the founders of religions, but they have left behind them various philosophies of religion that are no longer useful to the spirit of humanity. Indeed, we are sure, for we have seen, that the various philosophies of each religion stand contrary to each other. Because the spirit of philosophy and belief are not equal, this results in the spirit at an intellectual level of humanity becoming confused. Therefore humanity does not know where to put their belief.

 

In this time, the Way of Humanity or Nhơn Đạo, shows us that when we fall into the misfortune of being born as a human on this planet, we automatically realise that we have come to a realm of suffering and our lives are lives of suffering. Indeed we understand the four sufferings as highlighted by Sakyamuni Buddha. These are not unreasonable; for the spirit of humanity realises that when a human is alive the whole circle of his life knows the suffering which cannot be avoided. Each religion has its own method for practising the Way in order to make spiritual progress on the Divine Path to Eternal Life, such as:

 

-          The Way of Humanity (Nhơn Đạo) that guides humanity to abide with suffering.

-          The Way of Geniism (Thần Đạo), to guide humanity to overcome suffering,

-          The Way of the Saints (Thánh Đạo) to endure suffering,

-          The Way of the Immortals (Tiên Đạo) to guide humanity to escape  from suffering

-          The Way of the Buddha (Phật Đạo) to guide humanity and found the path to annihilate suffering.    

 

As a result, there is one True Doctrine and it wants to see the destruction of suffering. Yet each religion points out various ways and philosophies that achieve this end.

 

We recognise that these philosophies are true and useful. We do not oppose this truth but we do see that because all religions have a "right way" then they all work to make the spirit of humanity so confused that they do not know what spiritual gate to enter. There are many people that have a wide knowledge and can think and to observe these philosophies. So clearly it can be shown that these philosophies are dreamy. And you come to discover that the dreamy nature of faith is true, but they are dream-like for many reasons.

 

Let us say that there is a philosophy you can not understand completely. Or you are afraid that if it is too easy for you to believe, that if you do in fact believe in it that people will laugh at you, criticise you and so you will loose faith. So you pretend that you don’t have a faith. The majority of the educated, the philosophers, on this planet think in this way.

 

You know but you are afraid, you know that believing is correct but you cannot overcome your behaviour and the behaviour of others in order to decide for belief. You are worried that people will laugh or accuse you of giving yourself airs. Not believing! - the majority of educated people behave in this way.

 

So, what do they Perfect Beings reply to this? They say: you have full knowledge, a complete education in order to structure your own behaviour, but you do not have the courage to decide to do the right thing. You have seen a person with a noble spirit. If that person knows that is a noble thing to do then they will sacrifice their lives to achieve it. From the beginning of time until now there have been many sages who have sacrificed their life in order to do the right thing. We ask you, "…is there any religion on this planet which teaches people to do the wrong thing?" There is no religion that would, not even the False Doctrine would be they dare to teach. They would not dare to teach the wrong thing. They would only teach people to do the right thing. And because of this right attitude there is no religion which is called “religion” that dares to teach people to do the wrong thing; they must teach people to act correctly. So intellectuals, like you, see the right thing to do, but you dare not do it and that shows that you have a very weak spirit.

 

Another thing, with belief as a foundation you must see that belief is both the intermediary and the direction for humanity's survival. How can you refute this? If the religions of this world cause the Spirit of Humanity to not know where to place its belief, then, to give an example, this is like the preparing of a meal with many dishes. Dishes such as meat, salt, bean sauce, vegetable, preserved bean curd, then you say there are so many dishes! Yet holding up your chopsticks you just play with the food and do not eat. If you don’t eat you will become hungry. So eat!

 

The religions that are left on this world are fashioned to the behaviours of humanity, the behave in a manner that directs the Spirit of Humanity.

 

Now if we see a house here with many rooms for people to live in, are we going to say there is no space for any one else to come? People are offering many dishes but you do not know what to select, what to eat. Does that mean that none of these dishes are any good to eat, that they will not help us survive? Because we are unable to select a meal, that we give ourselves airs and so death is preferable to eating, so pretentious that you don’t want to corrupt your body with something so common as food.

 

These religions are just like a family. Individuals compete-with and criticise each other. It is not strange that if a family has grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts then they also have children, nephews, nieces… To those young people if we teach them that your brothers have to obey your mother. Your mother must obey your father, and your father must obey your grandfather and your grandfather must obey your great grandfather and so on… To distribute the rights and power in the family that is not a false story nor a story that is not true. But when the child grows to become a complete person, we do not need to say these things. Instead we say it like this, in your family there are grandparents, a father, mother and siblings, and you are a member of this family. And so you are a member of this family who must live in this family. The religions of the world depend on the intelligence and virtue of humanity to make progress up to certain levels. Religions are formed to reach the particular level of humanity.

 

All religions teach us how to enlighten and improve our virtue. All of those religions are worthy of contributing to the true physiognomy of virtue. But it is not that too many religions have been created to criticise and destroy each other. There is no way that one religion could destroy the others, even if they hated and competed with each other. But one religion can never kill the another because there is no power and capacity with which one can destroy another. Because the there is only one Truth. The truth is living the life of belief. Living the Path of Eternal Life, and making that life eternal and limitless, boundless; making your spirit realise the source of religion. That is, seeking only the eternal life, even if you travel the hundred roads, you only need to know one way. That, for us, is enough, even if we travel a thousand ways. At the end we will arrive at same point. That is the realm of the Divine Eternal Life. That is the truest realm. The one we need to find. Yet it is not this earthly realm. For here we are carrying this animal/physical body. Undertaking all the suffering that comes with it. We are seeking the truth of religions therefore, there is no religion which does not show us the way. The more ways that a religions points out, the surer you will be able to arrive. If a religion is unable to show you this Path to Eternal Life, then it is no longer a religion. Thus we do not need to listen nor follow, even if we are enticed by its superstitions. This is not the true physiognomy of the Divine Eternal Life, but if human beings wish to discover these faults, then they leave immediately. For false religions are never be able to deceive us to the end, if they could they would destroy all the wishes of their spirit of humanity.

 

 

Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa - Palace of Divine Beings who hold the power to control all human beings in a universe of many planets. The Palace (or department) of the Divine Alliance for preaching (the Way).

 

Nhơn Đạo -  The Way of Humanity .

 

Phật Đạo -  The Way of the Buddha.

 

Thánh Đạo - The Way of the Saints.

 

Thần Đạo -  The Way of Geniism.

 

Tiên Đạo - The Way of the Immortals.

 


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 15.- Delivered in the Tây Ninh Holy See 19th of December 1948
(Lunar Calendar 19th Day of the 11th month, year of the Mouse)

The Secret Dharma that develops an Altruistic Life
where Selfishness is Destroyed.
For a Public life against Private Aims

Today Bần Đạo will continue to explain more of the "essential philosophy." For this reason this sermon might be a little bit longer. All of you please sit if you are tired, and please try not to be restless.

 

Each time we attend these midnight ceremonies, we are attempting to explain a philosophy so complex we could write a book. Instead [I am] summarising it so it becomes a short essay… This requires much spirit and is not an easy task, it is, in fact, extremely hard.

 

Tonight Bần Đạo continue to explain the contention at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa regarding the mysterious secrets of the united organization. This regards the philosophy of an "Altruistic-Selfishness-Destroying" life or "A public life against private aims," this is also called the Bí Pháp or "Secret Dharma." If one can practise this doctrine on the earth, with the aim of saving various incompatible human systems so that humanity can break out of the circle of fighting and killing.

 

Furthermore, in the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa the Divine Beings use the  theory of constant evolution as the foundation. Even in terms of this philosophy,  religious freedom remains in the hands of the Divine Beings. These Divine Beings are influenced by Confucianism; in which one elevates the public, and diminishes the private. Also, this belief enables you to understand the glories of what seems a mysterious system of rewards and punishments, including the power and hold both the visible and invisible power of the Supreme Being, the Lord of all beings. What a pity! In the philosophy of Confucianism belief takes the spirit of humanity, which then influences itself. That is the method in the freedom of thought and the religious freedom of humanity. Humanity is influenced by it, but they are unable to attain the right to control it. Thus, the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa objects and says: "We are seeing on this planet that all beings are protecting their lives using many unjust devices. Society is in chaos, the strong are winning, the weak are loosing, the stupid are being destroyed, and whoever is intelligent is powerful, strong, although it is the same with humanity. We are see clearly on this planet this drama will continue to play itself out, it will never finish. Those humans who are becoming enlightened, try to discover the solution to harmonise the situation. The systems of humanity have pushed  humanity towards perdition. In the future, if there is an invisible power that decides the destiny and the basics for humanity, will it be this power to have the capacity to protect and prevent injustice, refusing to let the injustice continue?

 

If the question is put to us in this way, it seems a very hard issue to resolve. But it is lucky that in the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa the Perfect Beings, who have not surrendered in the face of this question reply: "Because of the original foundation of keeping the private and destroying the public, of elevating selfishness and destroying the altruistic," whenever this drama still takes place, then the relative law that decides the destiny of the activities of beings is still operating. Whenever the whole of humanity, knowing that they must keep to the public and destroy the private, elevate the altruistic and destroying selfishness - then this is like a time of liberation for humanity.

 

We see that the school of life is not very different from the Divine Realm? There is one thing from which all the systems of humanity are formed, and done so from the keeping of the private realm, that is selfishness. Whenever you keep the private and remain selfish there will be competition and comparison, so when there is competition and fighting, then there is killing and destruction, is this not a strange thing?

 

All beings are affected by the law of nature. This law decides the right of dĩ công, diệt tư (diminish the private, elevate the public) whether in society or in the family. In our family, if we think of it as a philosophy, let us call it "familyism." If the children elevate their own aims in such a system, then chaos and poverty will reign. Nationally, a people must be for their country, thus the nation will be strong. But if the people act egotistically and work only realise their own happiness, if they do not make sacrifices for their community then the country will slide towards chaos. The nations of the world, if they only know how to take care of themselves, only struggle to make their country better than the rest. This is also an egoistic attitude. When one country wants to be better than the others, there is objection and struggle. Struggle means humanity destroying and killing each other. This is not strange. It is the natural law of progress. But what reason do they progress? Is it in order to move towards the path of union, that is the path of altruistic behaviour that will lead to the destruction of the egoistic. It is a great pity that humanity does not yet have this sort of spirit. This egoistic path you should not call it just or true. We must in fact consider these egotists as abject as rustic, backward and unjust. Now wonder that this world is upside down and in chaos.     

 

Friends, can you hide?  You are invited to get out of the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa and go down to the earth and look at the situation of its evolution then decide from what power?  Standing in front of the door of the Diêu Trì Cung under the banner to invoke the spirits of Đức Diêu Trì / The Universal Mother Goddess. We see a map on display for us to examine. We see an area of land close to the sea, some small areas are muddy, and other parts are hilly, the land going up and down, with a sign for sale "300 francs." This piece of land is the town of New York, the scenes are very sparsely populated and the land is cheap, say, only 300 Francs. Then we ask how can its forms be changed? It becomes a little town, it looks like a small harbour town, and the merchants come to trade. Then we see it change, becoming a big town, people moving about, many of them trading in gold, the situation develops, things become better, and change follows change. The town has now become big, there are many people bustling about, this is the time of La Fayette. At this time, the people of New York City were trying to find a way of liberating themselves from the yoke of the English. Then we see more changes as the buildings increase. The harbour is full of ships. The people are even busier, the buildings rise to one hundred stories. They are magnificent. The situation is not like it was. The muddy areas have become part of a vast harbour teaming with wealth, incomparable. If we can imagine this, because with the elevator of the private from the beginning it makes the city of New York develops the situation as we see it now, asking which one would humanity like to keep, whether the muddy piece of land or the noble metropolis?

 

The Divine Beings said, "…it’s not finished yet, it is still changing, it is not only New York City but the whole world that will, up to its limit, change and change again.

 

Vietnamese friends, let us look at the map of Saigon City. We can see on this map along either bank of the big river, sedge growing wild. Next to that, on the little river, are a few fishing boats. That is Bến-Nghé along the two banks of this river we see that it is muddy and dirty up to the paddy fields and again, overrun with sedge. Now and then we see the form of the landscape changing, the two banks of the river now have less sedge and people are hurrying with each other to build houses - stilt houses. The river becomes full of trading boats. Now we see even more change, we see near the banks, people gathering to build houses, making a bigger village. The scene is now full of houses and boats. In the next scene we see dry paddy fields and everywhere houses with dirt floors. Then houses with tiles and more thatched cottages. More changes, and we see that each bank of the little river now is the Charner Avenue (Nguyễn Huệ street in Sài Gòn). The people are very busy now, the city is bustling. Then after more change, the little river disappears. On both sides of the big river, there are no more stilt houses as there were before. There are many ships busily coming and going, full of merchants. Yet more change, and we see the town trading prosperously, still more change and we see churches rising, government offices being built, and still after more change, we see the town as it is now.

 

The Divine Beings asked, "Do we want to keep Saigon City as it was previously, with the mud of the paddy fields, or want to keep what we see today?" Then they said, it is, of course, not finished yet, there is still more change to come.

 

Now, as someone said, there is the Caodaist Religion we just wait and see, become a witness to this. We see our Holy See, the map with jungle, trees, tigers, panthers, monkeys and all sorts of other wild animals. Then we see it change and have a few thatched cottages in the forest. The after some time people cut the grass with their scythes and open up the land. On this land they build a temple with a few thatched cottages for accommodation. After more change we see thatched huts built everywhere. At each place there are now thatched houses sitting next to each other in the forest where there is cleared land. Then we see people entering the temple, looking clean and honourable. Then we see a few members of the hierarchy enter the temple whilst outside there are a number of people who are scolding and abusing them. After yet more change, we see crowds of poor people coming to fell the trees and level the undulations of the land. Then we see stone towers and the building of a temple with a tiled roof, after still more change we see the old temple disappear and the current temple and other buildings rising up everywhere.

 

We, the Caodaist Religion, would we like to keep the desolate forest, or the current temple or to keep it as a private domain?

 

Those Divine Beings said all this change comes because of the need to elevate the public, whether that is New York City or Saigon City, they all change their forms depending on public need, not private whim. The houses we build are only really the achievement of the union of the public, not for the private or egotistic.

 

How can we see that the current secrets of the Divine Mystery will spread from the Bát Quái Đài to here? We see trees then we walk past these buildings and we must know that our hands have sculpted these things. All the things each of us see on our way are also made by our own hands, that is they are public, not private. This is true even up to Phật Mẫu (Buddha Mother, The Universal Mother Goddess). On earth we see and recognise that Phật Mẫu is also our mother here. She Herself gives birth to our physical being. Phật Mẫu is thus a public being, she cannot be private. And the Supreme Being, who we will see next, we will see that He is a father to each of us. When we see Him we know that we must be public beings, and so, we can no longer act as private agents. These Divine Secrets hold heaven and earth to form a stable power. This occurs because the organization is for public matters not for those which are private.

 

On this earth, whenever humanity dedicates their life to the public purpose, whenever they refuse to take a piece of land for private means, it is then that people are able to enjoy happiness.   

 

 

Bát Quái Đài - the Council of the Great Spirits which heads the Eight States of Soul, the Eight-sided Palace of God's presence, the Eight Trigrams Palace.

 

Bí Pháp - Secret Dharma, esoteric teaching, esoteric doctrine.

 

Cung Diêu Trì  - the Heaven of the Creation under the Mother Goddess.

 

Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa- Palace of Divine Beings who hold the power to control all human beings in a universe of many planets. The Palace (or department) of the Divine Alliance for preaching (the Way).

 

Diêu Trì  Cung - the Heaven of the Creation under the Mother Goddess.

 

Đức Diêu Trì  -  The Universal Mother Goddess.

 

Phật Mẫu  - the Buddha Mother, The Universal Mother Goddess.


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 16.- Delivered in the Tây Ninh Holy See 22nd of December 1948
(Lunar Calendar 22nd Day of the 11th month, year of the Mouse)

The Law of Love and the Right of Justice
How to Lead Humanity to Union through Belief

Today we come to the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa where we examine the (spiritual) struggle and discover what if anything is set against us.

 

Up until now Bần Đạo has explained numerous questions concerning liberated souls. But because of their lack of virtue, trying to find all sorts of philosophies that will allow them to deny their guilt, we have seen that the Divine Beings at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa will not yet let them get away with it.

 

Tonight, for the last time, we will imagine ourselves at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa this time is the most essential of all, because of these questions about the power of faith.

 

The Law of love and justice from all the religious founders left on our planet, - if we pay close attention we will feel myriad questions come at us fiercely. So you should pay attention - especially the male and female dignitaries who have been appointed by divine decree.

 

Tonight Bần Đạo’s speech will be most essential to questions of our faith.

 

Last time Bần Đạo explained to you that because there are many religions, the human heart has become inconsistent. They attack the Law, they ask, "if religion has a visible form and doctrine, certainly it must struggle with the Divine form and doctrine. Why have religious founders formed religions that are different from each other? Some religious founders explain it this way, others that way… it is clear that they are contrary to each other, so how can humanity not be divided, how can it be united?

 

"The religious founders should examine their Dharmas and their religious laws, methods that are unkind and often against each other. They are not in accord, especially regarding ideals and the spirit of virtue, so how can humanity avoid disunity? If humanity is not united then it is in trouble."

 

The temporal life is always contradictory, troubled, lacking unity. And the Divine Beings at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa can only sit and laugh, they tell us that there is an unjust law of the races on this planet. Because of the many psychologies, and heartfelt virtues and spirits, so do not say there is one race or nation, just as it cannot be said that there are ten thousand nations. The virtues of humanity are so different. For example, if you ask the Buddha (Siddartha) to form the religion in India then that, in today's terms, becomes Buddhism. And he can have the same heart and nature with the people who are so different in nationality from him. But how can he control the psychology of humanity? According to the law of Love and Justice these are the methods of the religious founders, even this law has formed religions which are disharmonious to each other. But they all open the Way and show humanity the path of the Dao, that is; having faith to worship both humanity and God. Regarding the law of the Buddha, he said "…if I am not both Love and Justice then this religion can not be about Love and Justice." From the first day of creation until this very moment, what foundation is used by the Divine Beings to form a religion? Is this Love and Justice? If it is not then we shall never find that sublime philosophy for the psychological needs of humanity. The door before us is marked "benevolence."

 

Against this, the Divine Beings dispute and force themselves in the debate. If human beings do not have the same spirit as they do, and if they do not have Justice, good attitude, spirit, and a vast love, if they are not one, then the Divine Beings will not  humble themselves to descend amongst us. Nor will they suffer to lift up the spirit of humanity and act like that. 

 

Lao Zi saw that humanity did not know its rank. Nor did they know their true identity, so they did not know their rank. Against this, Lao Zi was born in China at a time when the psychology of humanity had been devastated. The Chinese did not know of the dignity of humanity. The psychology of humanity at this time was confused, there was no true human conduct, no self-respect. They did not know their rank and so they did not believe in humanity, that was the nature of the animal. If without the philanthropy and kindness that awakened humanity at this time, there would have been no knowledge of the highest and most noble ranks. And so, humanity were no longer animals. If there was no Love or Justice then he would never have been able to form a religion like he did (Dạoism). Now we can see that from China, he not only speaks profoundly to East Asia but also to Europe. He speaks about the true and sublime philosophy of the Dạo. The people who follow his way are countless, they talk about truth. We protect the spirit that they found, they looked back and saw only this spirit. Whatever the religious law, it will be formed by Love and Justice. The method (these religious leaders) created in order to forge an identity able to lead the spirit of humanity, move them towards the noblest levels is Love and Justice. This Love and Justice is the Way of human morals. Confucianism was formed by Confucius in China because he saw that human morals at that time had been turned on their head, ruined, thus he formed Confucianism, and so he protected human morality.

 

Lao Zi also saw that human dignity had degenerated. No longer did it have a psychological value, for human beings had completely lost the values of humanity. Therefore this great soul humbled himself in order to come down to the earth and set a law, a law that took the way of human morals as its fundamental basis. If one knows how to respect oneself and knows one’s position, then that is the Divine Path. Knowing the heavenly way is knowing the Divine Law, knowing the Divine Law is knowing the Supreme Being who has created the Way. Therefore one must keep the Way. If not, he could not hold onto the name of the Supreme Being as an internal treasure.

 

Lao Zi said the Dạo is the highest and most respected of Ways. He said so in order to show the Law of Love and the Dharma of Justice. If the life of the universe was thus created, then life for humanity should be so determined - life for all the races on this planet.

 

His law is the opposite of the morals of this earth, the spirit of virtue of the religion is an intermediary that today all nations are searching for.

 

Therefore in the Caodaist Faith, the Supreme Being has predicted that, "The Caodaist religion is a banner signalling to all nations that they must realise in advance that the period of world-changing (world-improving)-Confucianism has come."

 

The virtue of Jesus Christ, (that is, Christianity) is that if he had no philanthropic desires he would not have offered his physical body for sacrifice to the Supreme Being. He was begging for forgiveness for the sins of humanity. So, he deserves to be loved. If we show this as the model for people to follow, then Christianity gains the love of our planet.

 

If you intellectuals still deny, and object and debate, I then say, "…although there are a thousand ways, you must select one! If you refuse to lead the psychological needs of humanity along the Way of belief and lead the spirit of humanity towards the law of Love and the Dharma of Justice, there will be some records for you to use when you appear in front of the three-religion-tribunal where you must beseech the court for mercy. I am sure you have no way to deny that you are guilty, no matter how much you argue, you cannot deny this guilt. If you deny your guilt then I would like to show clear proof that you are wrong:

 

The Caodaist religion has been made manifest. The Supreme Being has opened the Way now for 24 years. He has come to sign the Third Alliance with humanity because humanity betrayed the Second Alliance. They did not keep their faith, and so they were against the Way. Humanity is walking on the way to perdition. We compete with and try to destroy each other. But because of Love and kindness the Supreme Being has come and signed the Third Alliance. He has left it as a law to guide us.

 

The Divine Beings point directly to the Caodaist Religion as the Way to believe with a kindness that suits ones dharma. "Dieu et Humanité" therefore know that God and Humanity relate in terms of the Law of Love and Dharma of Justice. Although the law has myriad forms, those forms still remain inside this law of Love and these rules of Justice.  

 

The Sacerdotal Council of Caodaism depends upon the highest form of this invisible law, the laws of Love and Justice. To lead them to the invisible realm, the highest and most venerable form is from this law of the Caodaist religion.

 

Besides the law of Love and Justice, all the rest are simply methods.

 

At the next sermon Bần Đạo will preach about the powers which are the co-efficient of this law of Love and Justice.

 

Bần Đạo -  His Holiness Hộ Pháp Phạm Công Tắc refers to himself throughout as 'Bần Đạo' or 'poor monk'.

 

Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa- Palace of Divine Beings who hold the power to control all human beings in a universe of many planets. The Palace (or department) of the Divine Alliance for preaching (the Way).

 


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 17.- Delivered in the Tây Ninh Holy See 26th of December 1948
(Lunar Calendar 26th Day of the 11th month, year of the Mouse)

The Power of the Law of Love
The Dharma of Justice
And the Agreement between the Supreme Being and Humanity

Last time Bần Đạo preached about the true struggle at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa about those laws which religions have left on this earth. I also cursorily explained the law and dharma of the Supreme Being which he preserved for His holy body in order to implement his Third Covenant.

 

Bần Đạo has made you a promise, thus I will preach now of the Law of Love and the Dharma of Justice. Bần Đạo has spoken briefly of the power of the law granted by the Supreme Being at that time. At that time the law of punishment granted by the Supreme Being to humanity was not governed by an agreement. His Grace Chưởng Đạo did briefly explain in order that we may understand how the Supreme Being has obliged His holy body and all humanity to follow the law of love and the secret of way of justice. At that time Bần Đạo asked him and he stated: “Your master is like your father, and this father is the father of all, so why is it that the Supreme Being called himself ‘master’?” Then His Grace  Chưởng Đạo replied, “A father is worthy of being called ‘father’ and a master is worthy of being called ‘master.’” So now Bần Đạo would like to briefly explain the poem “Of the law of love and the rule of justice.”

 

          His Law is Love His power is Justice

He knows only of virtue and nothing of Earthly machinations,

          As Father I look after my children with care and diligence

          As Master He welcomes them into His Divinity.

 

That is, He lets us understand the Third Covenant with heaven and He will oblige humanity, especially his holy body, to implement the law of love and the rule of justice.

 

And now Bần Đạo would like to explain to you the capacity of this Law of Love and the Dharma of Justice. We all have seen in front of us the tangible organization of creation - so we do not need to deeply analyse this. We can understand how, due to the law of love,  this produces those animal beings that all have levels of loving affection. If they do not have this they cannot continue to multiply. If human beings cannot have love for each other or develop grace and feeling for each other then they cannot become wife and husband. If they do not have this ability they cannot have children to see their family perpetuated; to bequeath children and grandchildren for humanity.

 

From the time of creation right through to today the Law of Love has applied to all beings including humanity. If we would like to make the law of love more sublime, more noble, more respectable then this law has to be forged at the Ngọc Hư Cung and the Tây Phương Cực Lạc (Western Pure-Land, Sukhàvati), that is the Paradise of Extreme Joy. With the full explanation regarding the essence of the Law of Love, excepting the organization of creation of all beings in the universe, is the Cung Diêu Trì , the palace of the Universal Mother Goddess.

 

Indeed, to tell the truth, if the Supreme Being does not have love then he would not begat His second body; He is a friend, he is the tangible instrument of the creation of the heaven and earth. If we are afraid of this instrument of creation, we are afraid of the creation of our own life. If the male side and the female side are afraid of their wife and husband respectively then no life can be created. They must have an intense love  in order to become wife or husband. The wife and the husband should not only just love each other, but the must also look to even higher love. If we know the conscience of the race of a nation and the race of humanity, then we know we must create life. This is why a wife and a husband should not simply love each other but allow the Law of Love to take them higher – beyond themselves.

 

In this way Confucius established Confucianism to focus attention on human morals which were the foundation of his doctrine; a very resilient and stable foundation. And so his Confucianism has lasted over 2000 years and still has this original strength. Of course now it still has enough strength to effect change in the world while also acting as a stable philosophy. The fundamental source of human morals comes from love. This law of love the Supreme Being obliged us to follow. We must follow it if we are to sign the covenant with Him and then we must implement this law.

 

This agreement, which we signed with him, must be efficacious. He required us to sign with Him and implement this law so that we will not break faith with Him, already twice before we have signed such agreements and we have failed Him twice. Now did we observe if on these last two occasions He obliged you? Why not? Well, He did! But because He did not tell humanity, so, He did not oblige them. As He did not oblige them, so, you did not implement it. There was a law, but we were not obliged to follow it, as we were not obliged, so it was not followed.

 

This time the Supreme Being has not said so, but He certainly does oblige us, and as we are required this time we must implement the rights of justice. We do not need to seek out heaven and earth or whatever, for this earthly organization, if there is no justice in terms of psychology, if there is no pattern of justice on this planet then  Bần Đạo  can be sure that the entire current organization cannot survive.

 

There is one imperfection we notice, because of a series of troubles, we are at each other’s throats, because we would like to implement justice so we return to that which is fundamentally just as the pattern or model for the organization and operation of the world. Humanity abides in chaos, therefore, in terms of justice we have seen how this works, so we can not deny it, justice is only a matter of talk amongst people. It is a method of deception all countries use to pervert the psychology of humanity.

 

The scale of justice the people call “justice” but the world doesn't have justice yet. Of those who are strong, their idea of justice is different. If they are rich, their sense of justice is different. If they are noble their sense of justice is different. If they are honourable, their sense of justice is different. If they are poor then their sense of justice is also different.

 

The justice of humanity as we see it now is a false justice, because it is false it creates a series of troubles and so humans kill each other if they use this justice with a decisive spirit in order to bring all the races of the planet into equality, if this scale of justice can operate with true essence intact then today humans will not kill each other and our blood and our bones will be like the rivers and mountains; as they use words and money to implement a mere display which is the meaning of their justice. Humanity has not achieved real justice yet and so humanity has not yet seen real justice and love on this planet. Therefore the Supreme Being obliges all His children, especially His holy body (or Sacerdotal Council) must implement a sense of justice that reveals its true essence.

 

This is why one sentence of the Supreme Being’s divine messages says “whenever you see one act of injustice on this planet it is a sign that the Dao has not yet been achieved.” 

 

Chưởng Đạo – the head of the Society of Foreign Missions. This is His Holiness Nguyệt Tâm Chơn Nhơn (Victor Hugo). He was appointed to this position by the Supreme Being.

 

Cung Diêu Trì  - The Heaven of the Creation under the Mother Goddess. It is a palace located beside The Precious Jewel Lake.

 

Ngọc Hư Cung - Heavenly Council of Eternal Law , The Court of God, The Council of

God , Divine Jade Palace.

 

Tây Phương Cực Lạc  - a paradise of extreme joy.


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 18.- Delivered in the Tây Ninh Holy See 6th of January 1949
(Lunar Calendar 8th Day of the 12th month, year of the Mouse)

The True Happiness of Humanity

Today Bần Đạo will continue to explain where the true happiness of humanity resides. What Bần Đạo has been describing to you are the very real and present struggles of the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa. Those who are souls, made sublime through knowledge, may nevertheless lack concepts of virtue (at this place). They tend to argue that only noble and respectable souls have the spirit, power and where-with-all to recognise the four noble truths, and know that the four sufferings as they pervade ones life might allow them to claim their spiritual positions. The majority of other souls are unable to undertake let alone resolve or conquer the four noble truths and thus try to seek a way to liberate themselves from suffering even though they do not know how to liberate themselves from suffering. Furthermore, because humanity bears the weight of so much suffering it is no wonder that we look for transitory happiness. They look for any kind of happiness that may help them liberate themselves from suffering, but there is only one way to seek happiness and that is through suffering itself. And so they generate sin from such wrong deeds. This only adds to their karmic account. Therefore Bần Đạo has brought you together so that we may find out the source of true happiness in our lifetime.

 

By the way Bần Đạo has let His Holy body and all the children of the Supreme Being use their knowledge to find out (in this talk) how the Divine beings at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa give answers to souls that are reincarnating. So tonight Bần Đạo will preach a little longer. Please try to sit, wait patiently and listen as attentively as you can. 

 

Whenever we want to preach the truth, we use the common dharma, but this dharma is especially difficult, because it is the dharma summarised in an extremely concise way. After each ceremony of ours everyone is tired, therefore Bần Đạo does not want you friends, brothers and sisters to be tired. It is very difficult. Preaching is not easy, it is extremely arduous, it is not like when our sisters go up to the stage and say a few things, two or three sentences and then finish, the conclusion of our sister is like that. Similarly today I will just make a summary. Remember just as there was a bishop went up to the pulpit, but stood there with stage-fright, we all find that it is not easy tp preach because we do not have time to research our topics. Each time Bần Đạo preaches, Bần Đạo keeps a separate space for the spirit of all the children of the Supreme Being and His holy body to add more. In this way I try to ennoble these words with a more profound knowledge.

 

Bần Đạo is trying to pass to you a key, one that you can hold, one that will open the gate to, and guide you through, the all-encompassing conscience of the Supreme.

 

Therefore we can discover where the source of ones true happiness lies in this lifetime. Bần Đạo often offers the advice that if you want to discover the truth within the Truth or discover an imperceptible philosophy then you have to set for yourself a difficult task; we must understand right to the end that we can easily find the answer in our conscience- for it is from the little things that you discover the lager truths. If we would like to find a way to resolve the suffering of this planet the answers are lying in the invisible realm were we can find happiness for humanity.

 

Alas, there are many pit-falls along the way to happiness. What a pity it is for this humanity who is trying to find it. These humans are longing for a happiness and a love through which they can live. Whoever initiates the creation of happiness for them then they will follow that person, thus they followed Hitler because they thought that he could create happiness for them. Another example – look at how the Italians followed Mussolini just because they thought he could bring them happiness.

 

At the present time the human race is beguiled by appearances, because of this, we have a happiness that ultimately makes humanity confused and inconsistent. It is because of this misplaced longing for happiness that the spirit of humanity is being deceived.

 

If we think profoundly enough, what will we discover regarding what is the true source of happiness? Bần Đạo shall let your think this over for yourselves and discover your own answers. Bần Đạo is speaking clearly! Each of us thinks of ourself in order to discover within the self the source of ones true happiness. In life from our birth onwards we have been asking, ‘where is happiness – let us to find it!’ But within ourselves we see nothing at all, we only know suffering, therefore Bần Đạo advises all of you to examine closely the four noble truths of Sakyamuni Buddha, there is Truth. The souls at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa cannot avoid this issue.

 

We know that our life is suffering. From birth onwards, whether we are male or female, we must seek out this source of our happiness.

 

When Bần Đạo uses the light of reflection to examine my life I see how much suffering I must undertake and note how much happiness I am allowed. Where should I start? I can see that I was born into a family of both clemency and virtue. My father was an official in the French Colonial Administration. At the age of 4 my father attained a good position and the family lived well. There was plenty of food on the table, nice clothes, but if my father had have been corrupt and taken bribes he would have been very rich. My father, however, was extremely virtuous. He considered virtue the highest of goals. He often objected to injustice, especially oppression of the poor. Because he committed himself to helping people he had difficulty keeping his position. He was always defending the weak and the lonely and he objected strongly to the authorities when they were unjust. Such people hated objectors like my father, and so he was eventually fired. After he lost his job he returned to the family house to work with my mother as a trader to make ends meet. I was the eighth child and I had a ninth younger sister. We lived as a herd of children in a very ragged nest. My other brothers and sisters made their way in the world with their own families, but I remained with my parents because the second last must stay with the family. At that time I thought I was unfortunate, but looking back, I did not know anything except that we all must love each other; that is, I had to love my father who caused my birth, who raised me, a genuine man, and I had to love my mother who nourished me, cared for and nurtured our family, and I had to love my brothers and sisters, it was because of this love that I studied hard, worrying that if I did not study hard enough, my grandparents and my mother and father would be sad and concerned. My parents would say “if you do not study, we will be very distressed.” It was because of love that I determined to study hard. Study is a virtue of nature. I loved them so much, even more than others in the family, and I also loved intensely my brothers and sisters, especially when there was disharmony amongst them. This was when there was the most suffering. If brothers and sisters could not be in harmony with each other, I was often the one, in tears though I may have been, who tried to make peace. Looking back at that time and all that has happened since, it still was the happiest time of my life. The time when all I knew was love.   

 

My father passed away when I was 12 years old, so by the time I completed my studies and started working I was living with my mother. I loved her dearly and was worried that she would pass away. I did not know where I would go after her death. I worried far too much, I even worried when I was asleep.

 

In Tây Ninh people often took part in funerals that stretched through the night, following them to their graves. While I slept I would hear people chanting. When I would hear these chants I would wake up and stumble towards my mother. She would ask me what I was doing. I would reply that I had heard people going to a funeral and that I was scared that she had died. This was because I loved her so much. When I was 17 years old I decided that I would go to work in order to support and return thanks to my surviving parent.

 

Bần Đạo at that time was living in Tây Ninh and people around here still remember this. Of course then I did not know anything, only the love of my mother, also, my younger sister had got married and moved out of the family home. By then I had passed my examinations and if I had taken a job with a large company, I could have had a high salary, but I was still worried whether I could look after my mother. Furthermore, my brother in law advised me that working for a commercial company provided no honour. Taking his advice, I decided to work for the government. My salary at the time was 70 – 80 piastres and that seemed so much! I spent more than others but still had some left to look after my mother. My salary left me about 20 piastres a month, but by now, I also had a wife to support. This made me confused because it was now hard to look after my mother. How could I take care of all this? At the time I suffered physically and spiritually. It was a time I could not forget. Could I bring happiness to my family like this? It was when I could not that my mother passed away. I was 22 years old, how sorrowful it was, I only knew one thing and that was I needed to work to look after my mother, my brothers and sisters, but when you make a name for yourself then you suffer so much, especially when your parents have passed away. You retain so much love for them, even though they do not exist anymore. Thee feelings were intensified by the fact that my wife was about to produce our family and you can no longer worry about external matters. And here is the beginning of the mind’s most intense suffering. When you find a noble and happy life you look back and you no longer see your parents, for they have already passed away. When ones parents pass away then the only thing to do is bond with your brothers and sisters but then your younger brothers pass away, and then, in their turn all the loving members of your family pass away and so, all the familial love I had was directed to my elder brother-in-law. I loved him more than my blood brother, and then my youngest sister, she was the dearest friend in my life, but she also passed away. It was enough to make a wanderer of my soul, and my body became indifferent to life. Outside I would look at the grasses, see the birds and I would remember. I listened to the songs of the girls as they sowed the rice, hearing the calls of the boatmen all reminded me of my sorrow. There were no longer any days of joy, and all I wanted to do was practise the Way and find for myself a noble location in which to do this. Up until this moment, my soul was a terrible thing.

 

Thanks to the Supreme Being I was provided with a touch of enlightenment, one that illuminated this small soul and liberated me from suffering. And so Bần Đạo followed Him, and the more Bần Đạo followed His ideal the more I offered my soul to Him. Then He delivered a Profound Love to me – a love a million times more rewarding than the love of a family.

 

If one knows how to practise the Way, then one knows the Dao / Tao. If one knows the Đạo then one knows how to guide ones brothers and sisters with the sense of this Profound Love. It means facing with love the situation of humanity with its thousand sufferings.

 

Bần Đạo has lived through many years of suffering and all I know is that we must share and undertake these sufferings together. But our elder brothers and sisters have one by one disincarnated and returned to union with the heavenly father. They have left only Bần Đạo to shoulder the burdens of this suffering; elder brothers are suffering, younger brothers are suffering but you friends still remain so unconcerned, as if you don't know the Dao at all. Bần Đạo has to take care of the religious work to teach and to guide our younger brothers and sisters, to take care of the young children. But people do not help the Dao or protect it. Moreover, in their hearts they change their nature.

 

On the other hand Bần Đạo has offered my life for this religion, I can liberate my soul from suffering, but all I see is an increase in suffering. What is the source of this agony? In such suffering I can find the happiness needed to live, if there was no happiness then Bần Đạo would already be dead. Dead since the time I was forced into exile (by the French to Madagascar), or maybe dead during that time when the Dao was in a state of emergency, and about to fall. If there was no happiness to comfort my spirit then I would not be alive now.

 

Indeed there is happiness but the happiness which comforts my spirit is the love that I have for the children of the Supreme Being, and the love of these million souls, that is true happiness.

 

Bần Đạo does not ask for it, but my physical body is strong and healthy. This power keeps Bần Đạo alive in order to conquer suffering using this love and happiness. Bần Đạo truly loves His children, so I know that all His children will return their true love to me. Of the time when there was no love there were people who were jealous and made envious their spirits and there were those who held the true love of the children of the Supreme Being. They showed us proof of justice. A justice that makes the whole of humanity see clearly. So they now can see the sacred love of Justice which appears as the witness that supports my case.

 

Because of love happiness is created, because of love the deeds of our ancestors were guided. This time the true physiognomy of happiness is generated from the limitless love granted to the children of the Supreme Being, certainly this arises from the virtuous dharma. It is this happiness which enables me to live with strength and power; all of us should consider this point, whenever we establish a great action or achieve a great thing or complete some public work, we enjoy this special favour of strength and so that work remains valuable.

 

We can achieve some public good, but you cannot achieve it in a small period of time. No small period of time is long enough to achieve any sort of public good. If millions of people believe something to be beneficial, we may even have to sacrifice our life for that public good. We still have to do it. What is the value of one life? What if we exchange our life for the happiness of millions? Well that is true happiness.

 

I tell you now, if the Caodaist Religion can enjoy infinite happiness as it is provided by the Supreme Being then we begin to know the true physiognomy of honour. Bần Đạo has achieved a great work and presented it to the children of the Supreme Being. Bần Đạo could achieve this because of the incomparable power of the happiness I have been speaking of.

 

Next time Bần Đạo will explain more regarding the power of love and the happiness of humanity.

  

Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa - Palace of Divine Beings who hold the power to control all human beings in a universe of many planets. The Palace (or department) of the Divine Alliance for preaching (the Way).

 


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 19.- Delivered in the Tây Ninh Holy See 13th of January 1949
(Lunar Calendar 15th Day of the 12th month, year of the Mouse)

The Supreme Being Created the Caodaist Religion
In order to Create Happiness
For All Human Beings and Peace For This 68th Planet.

In my last sermon, I left a question hanging: can the Cao Đài Religion produce happiness for all humanity and create peace for universal harmony?

 

The question has been asked so we must answer it. We should not only believe in the Supreme Being but we must know he comes to create this religion and is willing to sign the third great covenant with humanity to create happiness on Earth and allow people to enjoy profound happiness on this 68th planet. Certainly we dare to believe how it will be achieved. We are especially able because of the emphatic prediction of our spiritual elder brother, that is the Spiritual Pope (Lý Bạch, Li Po 李白). He said,

 

          A great belief begets a figure,

          Already united ten thousand beings with the Supreme.

 

That is the Caodaist Religion has been achieved step by step to lead us further into each incomparable realm.

 

We know that the Supreme Being has come and signed the agreement on this earth, we have seen how the agreements of human beings work, especially those amongst the great powers. They sign agreements between each other referring to this article, or that one, all kinds of articles in fact I, who knows how many.

 

With the Supreme Being there are only two articles:

 

1.      The Law of Love. He determines that the law for us is love, not simply loving humanity, but a love for all beings.

2.      The rights of Justice. He designates the rights of justice.

 

We have not seen any agreements which are as simple as this, nor so powerful. We have not seen agreements which are able to be carried into effect, even right through to doomsday itself even though humanity will remain unable to carry this into effect by itself.

 

We have understood and believe that it will nevertheless be achieved, but we cannot determine the time. We only instinctively know and ascertain through our wisdom and intelligence the true physiognomy of the Caodaist religion. How can we make a happiness for humanity to enjoy and to create peace for this race and for universal harmony?

 

We only get wisdom and understanding from seeking, only then we can see the power of the law of love. The drama that commenced with the start of humanity and has played itself out every since, if it lacked the boundless strength of the law of love, then Sakyamuni Buddha would never have established his religion.

 

When the Buddha engaged in esthetical starvation at Ream, there were four people who followed him, these four did not go with him as followers but went along to observe and see if he would reach enlightenment. When they saw Prince Gotama (that is: the Buddha-to-be) come down from the mountain and start eating and drinking normally, these four people who had been waiting for him remarked that he had returned to an earthly life and had not attained enlightenment at all and all four walked off and left him.

 

When he went out to preach he searched for these four people, and these four realised his authentic nature and so the rejoined him. Among these four there were only two who were essential to the cause, but at the end there was only one left who attained the way of the Buddha.

 

The Daoism of Lao Zi had one disciple, and one servant, (Từ-Giáp). Both of them knew the way, but only Doãn-Hỉ (Yin Hsi) followed Lao Zi and attained immortality. Through him Daoism developed right through to our own times. 

 

Although Confucius (Kong Zi, Khổng Tử) has 36 saints and 72 sages and 3000 disciples, it still remains true that from all of these Kong Zi was not sure if any would completely realise his teachings. There was only one person who did, Master Sam. This is proved because in the moment before Kong Zi passed away he called Sam to him and said “my way – only you know it.”

 

And Jesus Christ had only half a disciple because Saint Peter denied him three times, before he repented, cried with and confessed to Mary.

 

At the start Muhammad had but one female disciple (Khadisha) and from then Islam was achieved.

 

We deduce that it is only love, there was only one person, or sometimes only half a person, who offered their love, from that these religious founders could establish their religions on this earth.      

 

If we reconsider we see that Caodaism is more fortunate than these previous traditions if we accept, and this was sure, that there were three people, and with three this was more than the others.

 

The true physiognomy of the religion of the Supreme Being is created from His incomparable powers, from this truth the disciples, by the order of Đức Cao Đài, draw and mould its form. May I offer my excuses to His children, it is not pride that makes me say this, but this hand has contributed a good part to that form through self-illumination, therefore I ask all of us to become self illuminated in order to recognise our physiognomy which is an essential element of this religion. If we look at our true physiognomies we see that all of us united collectively become the physiognomy of the religion. I recognise that Đạo Cao Đài has been established from immense and boundless love. It is formed from a natural beauty because it is drawn with love, writing a spiritual calligraphy for his divine body (the religion’s hierarchy) which follow these arabesques of loving script and so create the form of universal love.

 

We do not dream nor hope, neither do we deceive the psychologies of humanity, everyone can see in front of them, so, ask where does the power come from, this power with which we form the current authority.

 

The current power of the Dao is formed from the law of love. If it formed from the Law of Love then there is no power that can destroy it. It might be concerned about the law of hate, but how fortunate it is that the whole force of hatred cannot give trouble because there is this divine hand that already turned aside all hatred.

 

It is formed from love, it grows by love, from the constitution of love the more it grows the stronger it becomes, it will become the master of hatred, and hatred will never be able to conquer it.

 

For sure I have defeated this hatred, when the party and factions had used the power of hate in order to occupy the throne of the Supreme Being on earth!      

 

I was brave and used my prerogatives to strike down all of them so that I could conserve the divine physiognomy of the Dao. I have lost a great deal and have had to shoulder all this hatred in order to maintain the image of the Supreme Being for complete love.

 

I took courage as my main tool in the shouldering of this hatred. I struggled to protect the boundless love of our Supreme Being. I prevented it from being blemished and becoming besmirched. Why did I dare make such sacrifice and bear this hatred in order to protect such love? Because I knew that it would become the Lord of the image of that authority that governs the world in the future. It would be the Lord of those people governing the earth. If it were not complete then it would leave behind a blemished and rustic model unable to govern people.

 

The sects at the time used this power in order to forcefully take their positions, and I, who am the Hộ Pháp, hold the orthodox power of the Supreme Being in my hand, how could I let them usurp the throne and take their positions by force as if a king or a lord to maintain it for the religion of the Supreme Being?

 

How fortunate that those powers would not conflict with the Holy Body of the Supreme Being, it was defeated because in His Holy Body there is an imposing person who holds the law, that is, he holds the sword of wisdom and enlightenment in his hand to protect the true religion, allowing it to reach its true form. This can be formed, that is, it can create for people, it can form this power, and then it can create the power for humanity on this planet earth in the future.

  

Doãn-Hỉ - Yin Hsi. Lao Tzu (Lao Zi, Lão Tử) wrote his only book the Tao Te Ching (Đạo Đức Kinh) just before he walked away from the Chou empire that he had served. One day Lao Tzu decided to take his leave of the city and simply started walking towards the distant mountain pass to the West. Arriving at the gate leading out of the Empire, he was halted by the gate keeper at the border. This was a man named Yin Hsi, who asked him, "Before you retire entirely from the earthly world, will you please write some words for our enlightenment?" Lao Tzu agreed and before he walked out through the gates and disappeared into anther realm, he left with Yin Hsi a slender collection of eighty-one short chapters verse consisting in total of only around five thousand words, which is now called Tao Te Ching.

 

Đạo Cao Đài  - Cao- Đài Religion.

 

Đức Cao Đài - God, the Supreme Being.

 

Hộ Pháp - is the one who unveils the Mystery of the Invisible and is the Maintainer of the Rules and laws of the New Religion /The Cao- Đài Religion. It is he who pronounces judgments on dignitaries and disciples, who elevates the dignity of the faithful through their merit and brings sanctions against those who have committed faults. He is actively involved in assuring that the religious Rules and Laws which have become Divine Laws are carried out in detail, in order to keep the dignitaries and adepts free of the suffering inflicted by the Lords of Karma.    

    In so doing, he watches over the positive progress of disciples in the Way of God, and guide all evolved souls to achieve the Divine Phase of the Great Spirit. He holds control over the Legislative Power both exoterically and esoterically.

 

Khổng Tử  - Kong Zi , Confucius

 

Lý Bạch  - Li Po 李白, the Spiritual Pope of Cao- Đài Religion.


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 20.- Delivered at the Tây Ninh Holy See 16th of January 1949
(Lunar Calendar 18th Day of the 12th month, year of the Mouse)

The Image of the Divine Mother on the Earth is the Image of Shiva.
The Divine Extended Family of Each Individual
Will meet at the Cung Diêu Trì

For a while now we have remained at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa.  We have learnt numerous interesting lessons regarding the natrure of our spirit. We could stay forever, no doubt, on this very topic, but, I regret, we must move on so that we can continue our advance along the Path to Eternal Life. Sure we have delayed here. Instead of leaving we would rather invite friends here and spend time with them. And, of course, such a thing would be easy; when we stay at the Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa we realise that it is close to the Diêu Trì Cung (The Palace beside Precious Jewel Lake). This palace is our original womb. No wonder it is not easy for us to move away from this area. But friends, you must remember this; we are but passengers and if you want to eventually arrive at this palace it may seem that all you need do is stop walking, but we have such an endlessly loving mother – just imagine if you could see how this mother expresses her profound love for us? Yes, I have explained previously in these sermons about the happiness that came from how my mother, who had passed away years before, entered into the spiritual form of the Great Divine Mother. All our mothers, all who show us profound love do.

 

How can we see those very primitive times when we were just matter? How can we see how we were transformed in the direction of human and even angelic rank? Finally, how can we achieve happiness and reach the position we so long to attain? Our second bodies reincarnate again and again and became human. In the Third Yin Light we saw the law of continual suffering. This manifests itself in the form and grandeur of the Cung Diêu Trì.

 

I would like to explain what is a most essential point, for it is linked to each cornerstone of our practise for the Way. Now, we have already seen our mother complete in Her Palace. The great works in the spiritual realm which we have encountered, our Great Divine Mother has preserved. She has cared for our works with care. This is not so different from how our mother has behaved on this planet. Remember our holidays, such as Christmas or Noel, when a mother buys toys for her children? It is an expression of her love for them. After her child finishes playing with the toys she takes them into the house. By her profound love she keeps the toys in pristine condition. When the child grows to adulthood, the mother looks upon the toys as a trace of the childs early/primitive years. Just as our earthly mother does such things, so much more than this does our Great Divine Mother work! She who has lived through millions of lives. What can we attain by this? How can we not be amazed? Every action at her Palace helps us remember these traces of her endless affection for us. 

 

Besides this, there is another essential point; it is at this Palace that we meet our extended spiritual family. Then we have certainly understood this special kind of happiness.

 

You friends should consider that when we arrive at this palace we have the chance to rest here for some time. Now, here on earth even if we can create a great family, the most we can hope to live for is about 100 years. Whatever the number of years you have left to you, you still must die one day (and leave your family). Whereas, our extended spiritual family are waiting for us right now, waiting in this place. They are expecting our return. They want desperately for us to return. They do not want us to waste our lives. So, if I ask, ‘what is our standard experience of love?’ It surely must be the love we experience since before our last departure. Although we suffer so much in terms of our conscience and our spirit (as we reincarnate), the most important thing for all of us to remember is that we are merely a passengers. We might live over here or over there, for in this universe there are, as you know, numerous planets.

 

At this time we are living on the 68th planet. It is the most loving house we have. Around us we see that everyone is afraid of death. This is because everyone is worried that if we die we will leave this planet 68. Everyone is worried of that death where we fall downwards. If we understood our death, however, we would not need to undertake this kind of suffering. I am sure that in this universe and on this planet that is 68th in ranking, we are in the lowest class. We suffer the most. Our life on this planet is not so worthy that we should grow too fond of it. Our planet is full of suffering - it is the planet itself that suffers the most in fact.

 

Now, we have seen some sights on this planet, I mean, we have seen the passengers going far from home, their relatives go out to the port and say goodbye. The ones who are leaving cry, the ones who are staying cry. They cry but yet they leave. If you are going to cry so much why go in the first place? The people who are staying cry even more – if you are going to cry that much why let them go? Why all the tears? Why leave?

 

For passengers at the door to Eternal Life its just the same. However, we must continue our progress ever further along this Divine Path to Eternal Life. All the time we progress and do so without limits.

 

Throughout this vast universe, along the path we use to arrive, we come towards the great work of the Supreme Being. There is no one soul who yet knows this limitless work. There is no one who can understand this work to its very end.

 

You, friends, must follow me in order to enter the Divine Door. We face two of the most essential things in this area; these are the Ngọc Hư Cung and the Cực Lạc Thế Giới. And when the time comes I willl guide you to the Cung Diêu Trì. I must also point out to you clearly that the Great Mother Buddha who descended to this earth represents the Shiva Buddha in India, and so you see the statues on the Bát Quái Đài and we know we have already seen the breadth of her chest.

 

At the time (in the beginning) when the Supreme Being decided to divide His “Tánh” (i.e. His nature) and did so using the khí (qi, energy), we can say he used his mystical dharma to beget and develop the physiognomy of the Buddha Mother.

 

The Buddha Mother belongs to the yin, the Supreme Being belongs to the yang, when the yin and yang are united together they beget and transform the cosmos and generate the 10 000 things.

 

Regarding Shiva Buddha, we note that the Indian people sculpt a statue of her and half of it looks female but her physiognomy resembles the male. This is because at this time humanity could not distinguish surely enough the yin/yang composition of heaven. The Shiva Buddha in energy (qi) and blood, and from this the Supreme Being created the perispirit. The Supreme Being is Buddha, the Buddha Mother is the Dharma, the Dharma then creates the 10 000 things of the universe. These 10 000 things come from the essence (tinh, jing, material) and are called “tăng/ the sangha” or the global community.

 

The Spirit which is the Supreme Being divines and decides the development of the khí/qi, the khí/qi then begets the “tinh.” While Buddha is the Supreme Being, the Dharma is Shiva, that is the Buddha Mother and the “tăng” constitutes the beings of this universe.

 

Therefore Buddhism worships the Buddha mother, of this they are aware. Although they may not venerate Her, still She was there since the beginning of heaven and earth. So we say She is the Being who created all the beings of the universe.

 

Who is the Buddha Mother, why don’t we know this? We might have eyes, but we don’t know about her. Next time I will guide you to enter the Ngọc Hư Cung and we will examine the mystery of this palace.

 

Bát Quái Đài - the Council of the Great Spirits which heads the Eight States of Soul, the Eight-sided Palace of God's presence, the Eight Trigrams Palace.

 

Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa – Palace of Divine Beings who hold the power to control all human beings in a universe of many planets. The Palace (or department) of the Divine Alliance for preaching (the Way).

 

Cực-Lạc Thế Khí Giới - a paradise of extreme joy.

 

Diêu Trì  Cung - The Heaven of the Creation under the Mother Goddess. It is a palace located beside The Precious Jewel Lake.

 

Khí – qi (c) , energy.

 

Ngọc Hư Cung - Heavenly Council of Eternal Law , The Court of God, The Council of

God , Divine Jade Palace.

 

Tánh -  nature , pakati (p).

 

Tăng -  the sangha or religious community.

 

Tinh – jing (c) ,  material, essence.


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 21.- Delivered at the Tây Ninh Holy See 9th of February 1949
(Lunar Calendar 12th Day of the 1st month, year of the Buffalo)

The Secrets inherent in what we have done,
What we are doing, What we must do:
The relation between Angel and Animal In Each of us

Tonight we have been brought together to move along this Divine Path to Eternal Life.

 

We are human, and being human we hurry along the Way of the Supreme Being who has come to preach that Way on this planet earth. We are ourselves creating most sacred matters to become a lofty soul suitable for His religion. Previously, we came to observe the political organization of the universe and at the “Ngọc Hư Cung” we should understand who we are and what we are doing now. Don’t be surprised by the unexpected! We saw this during the true struggle at the “Cung Hiệp Thiên Hành Hóa.’

 

Human Beings, as I explained in that philosophy, have two special parts:

 

-          The soul is our mysterious spirit, created by the Supreme Being, and,

-          That part which is the invisible body, which is the part created by the Buddha Mother.

 

One part is visible, the other invisible. The invisible part should be considered perfect as wel as the most mysterious.

 

The visible part is still a separate organization, whereas the invisible part still continues to progress all the way through the ranks of Geniis, Saints, Immortals and Buddhas.

 

From before history religions have likened the human physical body to the form of an angel riding upon an animal.

 

From antiquity the philosophers have shown multiple examples of religions, the sacred, and the mysterious traditions In France we have “La belle et la bete” or the beauty and the beast.

 

In this way all religions are essentially the same, they all distinguish the two obvious reasons for our motivation. For example in East Asia and in Buddhism we have seen Manjucri Bodhisattva (Đức Văn-Thù Bồ-Tát ) riding his white elephant, or Từ-Hàng Bodhisattva (Đức Từ-Hàng Bồ-Tát) that is Quan Yin Bodhisattva (Đức Quan-Âm Bồ-Tát) riding the Kim Mao-Hẩu, or Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva  (Đức Địa Tạng Vương Bồ Tát) riding the Đề Thính and, of course, the Eight Immortals ride their animals and so on… We thus compare the spiritual and physical parts of the human. To put it even more clearly we see the mechanism of creation on this planet, and we can also see at work here the mechanism of husband and wife. We can see that it is never one person alone can achieve something, our hearts and minds must be unanimous so that we can bring our actions to completion. This is true of two souls special to each other; although they are concerned closely with each other, the two souls may never arrive at a unanimous position.

 

The law of creation is essential and obliges humans to pay attention and to move towards self-discovery. This law of mystery compels us so and one must search continually for the key to our life. It is like this when one reaches the age of marriage. Some may not decide to become a couple and this means something is lacking in life, a human lack that becomes a missing element in the lives of a husband and wife.

 

The law of creation requires us to solve our own problems as well as the problems of others. The male and female who know how to solve their problems make harmony between themselves. But how do we make this law of creation balance rather than leave it unbalanced? We do it by understanding our physical body.

 

Now, angels and animals, how can they be harmonious? They do indeed have a method and by being united can live together, but only if they progress up to their original spiritual rank, that is, raise themselves to their souls.

 

This law allows us to formulate a question in our mind: can an animal and a human have the same law? No, an animal has its own law and humans have their own as well.

 

Therefore in our physical body we can see it has its own law. And in terms of a spiritual law it does indeed have such a law. Yet these two laws cannot be intermixed, we can see clearly in front of us that each of us share the experience of living, but we do not have the same dignities, nature and essence.

 

The way an animal lives is not the same as us. We cannot carry rice to a horse and then expect the house to eat it, just as we cannot eat grass. And we do not walk on all fours. We cannot run a thousand miles.

 

A horse cannot sit at the same table as us; therefore any philosophy that allows people to question the spirit shows that an animal and a human cannot hold the same dignity.

 

An animal – that is the physical body that we carry – and the spirit (Ngươn Linh) – that is our original soul. The two of them are unable to be equal and unite with each other.

 

These two laws are special to each other yet cannot be united with each other. There is a thing that people compare and say; “We attain the way achieve Bạch Nhựt Chi Thăng” (Our bright day of ascension) and this allows you to unreservedly transform yourself. This is an incorrect dharma, or incorrect way, if it is true then Tripitaka after he received the script, did not let his body flow amongst the waters of the river.

 

Is this living or is it not? To achieve a spiritual and sacred mechanism is not simply living. We are not just a physical body to be won over, ours in fact is an animal and it must follow its animal nature. It must obey the laws of birth and death.

 

When we move to attain a celestial position by appearing at the door of the divine eternal life, we arrive in our second body. In the profane realm this called the ethereal body.

 

It is at the door of the Ngọc Hư Cung, where the political power of the universe is wielded, that we find the spiritual paths that are the laws of the universe, these spiritual paths do not have the same direction as the ways of this earthly realm. The two laws are two different political systems. So we cannot imagine how one can be united with others. Therefore there are many organizations which govern the universe yet this is different from the organization which governs the planet, even though there is a close relation between these two political systems, nevertheless they cannot be united as a single system. This means that one cannot apply the laws that are needed to govern this planet in the spiritual realm. It will not work.   

 

We must know what part we are looking for. In fact what we are looking for is the organization which enables us to attain a heavenly position. We must seek the invisible part of our true soul, and attain the most noble and highest position. This is the position of a Buddha. Whatever way, we must attain the holy virtue of the Supreme Being who is Lord. He Himself is the Buddha who created the universe and begets all other Buddhas. Whatever we do, we must eventually attain to the position He did.

 

This organization is not so different from those visible organizations that we can see around us; let us say that a child always wants to embody his father’s nature. Whatever the father can do, the child seeks to imitate him. This is entirely natural, it is part of our virtuous nature, and it is certainly not strange. Human souls, in fact any individual as I have explained, and it doesn’t matter how earthly they are, everyone wants to reflect heaven. It does not matter how base and earthly they are, their mouths will always say “I want to be God” because their spirits look up and hope to attain this supreme universal position. We can see how people strive and desire to get to heaven, this is the desire to leave our animal self in order to transform into a Buddha.

 

As this philosophy stares us in the face, we cannot deny it. We cannot lead a base way of life. The base is animalistic. This is our physical body. This body may be good, it may be strong for a period of time, but when it becomes weak and breaks down, we must leave it for dead.

 

So the horse we are riding, when it is healthy and strong, sometimes it can run a thousand miles. But when it becomes weak and old it must be destroyed and so it dies. There is no reason to consider that an animal is better than us, therefore we cannot consider this physical body, this animal is better than our soul. Nor should we consider an animal better than our soul. For these reasons intellectuals from the distant past until now, working very hard and lost in thought, seek out the causes of our life in relation to the universe. By looking deeply, examining the significance of our place, the assume existence is a mechanism. We, on the other hand, can see that we need to search for the answer to one question and this is, “why must our souls remain connected to such beasts?” Our spirit and spiritual nature are special, if it were not so, we would all be merely weak animals. They can never win therefore they must find for what reason they were created.

 

And so we see such humans never dare to stray from their “Dao.” They are animals, so if they stray from the “Dao” then how can they be anything but animals. This is why they never dare to stray. They want to search in a way to offer their virtuous hearts and so create a value, that is, to create a value for their lives.

 

Therefore, this time I have disclosed a secret for us to see. But now it is for you to find out what it is we must do. The next time we meet Bần Đạo will guide all of us to the Ngọc Hư Cung in order to thoroughly observe the politics of the universe.

  

Bạch Nhựt Chi Thăng

 

Bần Đạo -  His Holiness Hộ Pháp Phạm Công Tắc refers to himself throughout as 'Bần Đạo' or 'poor monk'.

 

Đề Thính

 

Địa Tạng Vương Bồ Tát -  Ksitigarbha Boshisattva (S).

 

Kim Mao-Hẩu  - The yellow holy lion.

 

Ngọc Hư Cung - Heavenly Council of Eternal Law , The Court of God, The Council of

God , Divine Jade Palace.

 

Nguơn linh ( Nguyên linh) – the original soul.

 

Quan-Âm Bồ-Tát - Quan Yin Bodhisattva, Godess of Mercy, Kuan Yin.

 

Từ-Hàng -   the boat of mercy, to cross the sea of sorrows

 

Từ-Hàng Bồ-Tát - Từ-Hàng Bodhisattva.

 

Văn-Thù Bồ-Tát  - Manjucri Bodhisattva.


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 22.- Delivered at the Tây Ninh Holy See 15th of February 1949
(Lunar Calendar 18th Day of the 1st month, year of the Buffalo)

The Philosophy of Civilization

Before Bần Đạo leads you all, oh children of the Supreme Being, along the path to eternal life, especially to enter the Cung Ngọc Hư, there is one essential point that you must know. If I don’t explain this before we enter the next palace we will only make mistakes. The children of the Supreme Being have no right to gainsay anything concerning the essence of the sublime philosophy; the progress of the soul especially is a method we use to attain our heavenly positions. There is one essential philosophy that we can derive from planet earth and that is the cycle of cause and effect – a cycle that creates in our souls incredible suffering. Especially when we are hasty in our desire to progress, this also, from time immemorial has created so many sins.

 

So, Civilization (văn minh)! Today Bần Đạo will preach about these two terms: “văn” & “minh” - the civilization of this age. What is civilization? The root of this Vietnamese term is found in the Chinese. Văn means “words,” or “culture” or “literature” (wen), these are “words” which we get from others or invent ourselves. Minh means “apparent,” “clearly,” “conscious,” “bright” (Chinese - ming). Words which are apparent and clearly help us discover ways that allow us to decide the future and preserve the progress of our lives, or we use the matter of words in order to pass on our language so that we can develop our progressive way of life; a way of life through society. As we have decided to excel, so progress must be conserved by means of writing. This is the complete meaning, explained generally: văn-minh is “civilization.”

 

We should understand that the term civilization has three additional meanings.

 

Firstly, it is the total of progress regarding psychology, politics, reason, - the proportion, and form of the activities of humanity which have gained control of the use of the mind to preserve information that permits more progress. In this way progress becomes more satisfying.

 

Secondly, it is the synthesis of social progress, or national progress, for there are things that need to be preserved and yet may be pushed aside by new ideas and new developments. These continue to arise from more recent creative actions. For it seems some of us discover that, by their good work, they can create their culture in terms of their own happiness. Sometimes new ideas can be put aside if the whole of the great enterprise can be preserved, and if humans can find a way to preserve it. In this way it survives.

 

Thirdly, the method of our spirit is to struggle to win-out over the material. This is a method which we cannot suppress; it is our spirit in relation to the constitution of our animal selves. With our minds we can recognize the spiritual from the divine nature, and we do so in order to be worthy human beings, thus we do not lower ourselves to be like animals.

 

Concerning these three meanings – which of these is certain? If we say all three are certainties then we need to recognize that the last meaning is certainly the most authoritative. But why? We cannot imagine helping humanity up to the point at which we think they have achieved happiness. Human beings can now fly across the skies like a bird, such is the airplane, they can dive into the oceans using apparatuses and perhaps we will not need to even stay on earth but hang about in the clouds. Perhaps we may even stay in the spiritual air. Now they don’t walk across the earth they run, they don’t have to fly, they just soar across the skies, but this is not happiness, this is following the path of civilization – that which people imagine creates happiness for humanity. It is not an embracing, comforting or flattering of others that makes for complete happiness in our physical bodies. Or in having happiness we imagine that there is no force left for us to deal with, we imagine we have gained real happiness, but this is not it at all. True happiness is not corporeal, it is spiritual.

 

Since ancient times we have seen hundreds of kings creating nations and completing other great works, all of us can imagine this: “Tứ-Hải vi Thiên-Hạ Chi-Giáo.” ( ? ). Just look at the happiness of kings in other nations and compare it with all history, this might present you with a vague question, did these kings achieve happiness? On the other hand we have seen the drama behind the quote “…the higher our name and fame the more difficulty we must face.” If any king is not satisfied in terms of their spirit then that cannot be happiness. It does not matter how content, how noble they are, this is not happiness. If the spirit is not satisfied then there can be no happiness. Human beings always search for this sort of happiness. It is more important than their search for food or shelter. Life has given them an honourable, luxurious and satisfying existence, but this is only on the physical plane. Human beings constantly seek enjoyment for their physical body, they would indulge themselves for days, two or three if they could, but after several days they would be numb. If they attain happiness in terms of their physical body then it does not matter what level of happiness they attain, they will still not be satisfied, because true happiness does not depend on the physical body. It is better to say that happiness and glory does not depend on the physical body at all.

 

Therefore civilization has made a kind of happiness for humanity that is only relevant in terms of the physical and this is a temporal thing. This sort of happiness is no different from the dew that forms on the grass in the morning. It is transitory. It is a flash in the eyes of a humanity that is still not satisfied. What we create will not last. It can not therefore be completely honourable.

 

The theory of civilization is a method which helps people control their animal desires in order to moderate their survival on this planet earth.

 

Living so temporarily on this planet, we might find ourselves satisfied, and then we can moderate our physical desires. But we can do this only if the spirit of virtue and morals permits it.

 

Once again in order to explain the true meaning of the term “văn minh” we should consider that “văn” means competence, and “minh” means the brightness of virtue; if civilization can become like the true physiognomy of the dao and carry into effect the sublime faith of this planet then there will be true happiness. It will bring into effect a method of virtue from which such happiness will perpetually manifests.         

 

Bần Đạo -  His Holiness Hộ Pháp Phạm Công Tắc refers to himself throughout as 'Bần Đạo' or 'poor monk'.

 

Cung Ngọc Hư - Heavenly Council of Eternal Law , The Court of God, The Council of

God , Divine Jade Palace.

 

Tứ-Hải vi Thiên-Hạ Chi-Giáo -  (?)

 

Văn-minh – civilization.


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 23.- Delivered at the Tây Ninh Holy See 23rd of February 1949
(Lunar Calendar 26th Day of the 1st month, year of the Buffalo)

The Desire to Progress on this Path to the Eternal Life is Limitless

Tonight Bần Đạo continues to talk to you about our progress along the path to eternal life. For a few days we have postponed our talks and there are many things that we need to cover quickly, things we need to understand, because we have already seen many people pack their bags and go home. Male and female adepts have to learn to understand and become familiar with their way of going home.

 

We have progressed from the Diêu Trì Cung to Ngọc Hư Cung, that is, the palace which governs the universe. It is not necessary to mention this for we have already learnt that we are coming before a very important place. This is the place that both holds power over and directs the machinations of the cosmos.

 

Perhaps we should all imagine what it is like to possess the power to govern the universe; such power depends upon a group of highly skilled officers working without ceasing. So perhaps everyone can imagine that this group of busy officials is sort-of like those we have governing nations of earth.

 

For example, wherever the location for a capital is situated, that place will resound with the congestion of government business. I would like to say that; in regard to this sort of hectic chaos, this palace is not as we would think it.

 

I would like to remind you, in fact explain step-by-step this palace, so that you, children of the Supreme Being can understand as easily as possible. I saw it and I am here to tell the story for all male and female believers – particularly the elders and those dignitaries amongst you who are heavenly appointed. It is now that you must pay attention and remember this.

 

Bần Đạo will explain this scene and all of you will see this palace appear in front of you. There is one thing that remains fascinating. When you leave the Cung Diêu Trì in order to continue your spiritual progression – here I confess that it is very hard to convince souls to leave there and continue. The majority of souls when they arrive at this motherly realm enjoy such incomparable happiness, particularly those souls who have undertaken hard lives during their previous reincarnations, are so at home in this realm and enjoy so fully the unbounded joy of that place, sharing the company of their Mother, that Mother of immeasurable and boundless love, it is not easy to ask souls to leave such a place, but there is one essential thing as the saying goes “it is better to experience the world and increase your learning than to stay at your mother’s hem” (đi cho biết đó biết đây ờ nhà với mẹ biết ngày nào khôn). So, we must progress in order to clearly see our way, the Divine Path to Eternal Life, a way upon which we can go forever without needing to stop. This is the key; we should continue to travel in order to know as much as we can.

 

If ever we hold in our hands the infinite power of the Supreme Being we have the chance of creating from ourselves another universe. We can create our own great work, for the path of progress has no end, there is no limit to it, it is truly immeasurable, boundless and as endless as the universe which we see in front of us.

 

If we see the banner of the Diêu Trì Cung unfurled in front of us and if we would like to find out where is the Ngọc Hư Cung then we simply turn to our right and we will see it directly in front of us and the Diêu Trì Cung appears on our left.

 

We continue, but this progression is not like before because the scenes we see here are the most extra-ordinary and mysterious. We see ten thousand things in front of us, but all of them appear in the form of their perispirit. The ten thousand dharmas are formed and there is nothing which we can imagine that does not immediately appear in front of us. These scenes are formed mysteriously and without limit, without end, it is an unimaginable situation.

 

On the path of progress at this point, we may wish to possess a particular skill, for example, we might want to travel with incredible speed, by imagining this we can. Whatever we desire we have it. Just to think of something or someone means that they will be instantly before us. In this boundless world we can never exhaust our intelligence by attempting to imagine it. When walk along this part of the Eternal Path we can not describe it through writing - how can you capture a scene of indefinite delight.

 

We have enjoyed the delightful happiness of the Cung Diêu Trì, the happiness which we thought could not be surpassed but the further we progress the more this delight increases. Keep going! Keep on going forever; on up towards the level of spiritual contentment which is boundless, however so it is enjoyed, it is never depleted.

 

As we pass this way, we do not suffer from loneliness. As we pass we meet many, many close friends who warmly welcome us.

 

If we have seen a person who left his homeland and lived far from home but who now has returned to meet their family again, this is something we do not need to explain, all of us can understand how cheerful and happy they would seem. Let us imagine that we have seen our close friends on this path of progress, in catching sight of them how our love would overflow from our hearts! It would take 10 000 lives on earth in order to create such love. Imagine our extended family, not just of this life, but of many thousands of lives, when they walk together with us on this path to eternal life, we experience an endless happiness which cannot be captured in words.

 

Bần Đạo dares to ensure you that “in this realm there is no instance of cacophony, no whiff of sadness,” no sadness, no suffering, we remain eager to keep moving with joy in our hearts. Suddenly in front of us there appears an indefinite realm replete with beautiful palaces mysterious in their presence. We have seen the form of these palaces – they are made of one thing - crystals and the colours that are clear like crystals. In this realm there are halos flying in all directions - the physiognomy of this realm creates these forms.

 

And so those who have attained the Dao when they return to this realm of the Ngọc Hư Cung oh, what a mysterious realm! We are unable to describe it, because it is mysterious and because of the way it continually changes under the influence of the spirit. We have seen its form as a perfect square, as we imagine it so it is created, whatever form we think of - there it is! Any architect or engineer who sees this place would straightaway give up their career because there is no way of creating a place like this. I am afraid that they would not only give up their career they would become insane if they tried to understand it; all their energy could not replicate it.

 

When we get to this realm we see our physical body change its nature from how it appeared on earth, our form and our colour changes, but it can only enter this realm if it can assimilate to the nature and colour of this realm. If it cannot change then we must leave. That is our Pháp Thân (Dharmakaya) or mental body. It must enter this realm therefore there is a sentence of prayer Rấp Nhập Cảnh Thiêng Liêng Hằng Sống (prepare to enter the path to eternal life). When we have entered this realm we think we see innumerable people, very noisy, it is a very unusual sight, but in fact this is not the case. We only see before us our extended spiritual family offering their greetings to us. Oh, this is the meeting place of our family, from the time we attain the spiritual position of Ego (Tiểu Hồi) right through to the position of  Monad  (Đại Hồi), from this position one can then reincarnate in order to attain the positions of Geniis, Saints, Immortals and Buddhas, it may take millions of lives, but it can be done.

 

We see our friends, our extended family and our spiritual clan (Tông Đường) they are innumerable when we come they welcome us and they take us to a palace and tell us “over here you are not allowed to speak but only think, thinking here is the same as talking, for example I think I would like to see my brother, then naturally that thinking becomes saying, then there is my brother standing in front of me. At this palace words are not used to communicate, there is only thinking, it replaces language, they tell us “don’t think of Geniis, Saints, Immortals and Buddhas because there are no such divine beings in this realm.” Words are only used on that 68th planet earth, at the Ngọc Hư Cung there are no need, no terms. Concepts such as Geniis, Saints Immortals and Buddhas are only used on this planet.

 

We know that in the spiritual positions of the soul there are no ranks. We think there should be such positions but there are only such ranking on this 68th planet. We have seen the people on this planet earth – each individual has a different spirit, with 2.7 billion souls on this planet there are 2.7 billion people each with their different behaviours and perispirits. None of them have the same perispirit, and so we can say that no two people are the same. There is no perispirit like any other and so that spiritual position does not determine the value of each individual, each individual as his special position each life has its own progression. When one progresses, one’s position is reassessed, each step is a new rank, and rank is determines ones class. Class is not the same on the earthly world because the positions are not the same, so what is your rank? And how do you stand there? No one can push you or raise a dispute over where you stand. It does not matter how much you refuse you cannot pass up your position because there is no other position for you to occupy but the one you have, however, it seems these positions are already set up and available because you occupy one. Therefore the Supreme Being says, “the great work of each individual, your divine master has already acquired it on our behalf.”

 

Now we need to talk about the order inherent in the quality of our behaviour. We have no rank. What can we use to determine where we are? Should we use our extended family?

 

Bần Đạo have seen the extended family of the Divine Beings from this earthly realm, this disturbed world, there it is, there are five planets (Kim, Mộc, Thuỷ, Hoả, Thổ) where humans live, and are able, from there, to attain the Way. Besides this we have seen the extended families of Sakymuni Buddha, Lao Zi, Confucius, Mohammed and Jesus Christ, but the most honourable and numerous extended family is that of Quan Yin Bodhisattva (Từ Hàng Bồ Tát).

 

Therefore each family has its own part and they intimately create each other, for example, the soul Kim Thanh Quan descends to this world and may be born in the family of Từ Hàng Bodhisattva or Confucius or Muhammad or Sakyamuni Buddha, therefore these souls are closely related to each other. This is why the Universe bears our name. Even if we want to know the number of planets we remain unable to know it. If there are only five planets where we live, then this is all we know. We are unable to know everything, and the other three thousand worlds and the other 11 worlds after that - amongst those planets we are unable to guess or to understand. Sometimes we see divine beings descend into the world and so it seems that they know everything about our spirit. One example: many people in France know things about Vietnam, it seems that they are talking to someone in the Moon, but indeed they understand clearly the whole physiognomy of this planet, they know the occult soul. And they know their indefinite magic. Regarding our life, it doesn’t mean that we should treat them badly, but we must train them. When we are able to return, our relatives will lead us to a palace where there is a book called “Thiên Thơ” (Gods’ records of the Divine Rules), they leave this in front of us. When we open it we see both our name and what we have done in our previous life, it all appears before us from this divine book. From this material we will be the judge of our own deeds, whether we need to reincarnate or are able to attain a heavenly position of a particular rank. Whatever position you decide that you can hold then that is the rank within which you serve.

 

The chief of this palace of the book is called in earthly terms “Nam Tào & Bắc Đẩu.” At the “Nam Tào & Bắc Đẩu” there is no one ruling over us, this is a place where we rule ourselves. There is nobody who decides our life except ourselves, there is no one to decide the value of our sins or merits. We decide these things on our own. Our founding principals are decided by us there is no law which can compel us, we have the prerogative and freedom to decide the roots of our fate. 

 

Bát Quái Đài - the Council of the Great Spirits which heads the Eight States of Soul, the Eight-sided Palace of God's presence, the Eight Trigrams Palace.

 

Bần Đạo -  His Holiness Hộ Pháp Phạm Công Tắc refers to himself throughout as 'Bần Đạo' or 'poor monk'.

 

Cung Diêu Trì  - The Heaven of the Creation under the Mother Goddess. It is a palace located beside The Precious Jewel Lake.

 

Diêu Trì  Cung - The Heaven of the Creation under the Mother Goddess. It is a palace located beside The Precious Jewel Lake.

 

Đại Hồi  - Universal Monad.

 

Đi cho biết đó biết đây ờ nhà với mẹ biết ngày nào khôn  - It is better to experience the world and increase your learning than to stay at your mother’s hem.

 

Kim, Mộc, Thuỷ, Hoả, Thổ - five planets : . . . .

 

Nam Tào & Bắc Đẩu - Nam Tào & Bắc Đẩu are the two Immortals who are in charge the registration of the birth and death of human beings on the earth. Nam Tào who is in charge the registration of birth and Bắc Đẩu who is in charge the registration of death.

 

Ngọc Hư Cung - Heavenly Council of Eternal Law , The Court of God, The Council of

God , Divine Jade Palace.

 

Pháp Thân - Dharmakaya

 

Rấp Nhập Cảnh Thiêng Liêng Hằng Sống - prepare to enter the path to eternal life.

 

Thiên Thơ - Gods’ records of the Divine Rules.

 

Tiểu Hồi – Ego.

 

Tông Đường - literally ones ancestral temple. The Hộ Pháp also uses this term to refer to our wider spiritual family whom we meet in returning to heaven. It is our Spiritual clan or spiritual extended family or even spiritual lineage.


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 24.- Delivered at the Tây Ninh Holy See 27th of February 1949
(Lunar Calendar 30th Day of the 1st month, year of the Buffalo)

Our sins are recorded by the hands of our own Perispirit,
Therefore there is no way we can deny them.

Today Bần Đạo continues to speak about our progress on the Divine Path to Eternal Life.

 

Before I take all you children of the Supreme Being on to enter the Ngọc Hư Cung I would like you to see inside this palace, this is the palace which is used to record all the karmic accounts and the lives of humanity.

 

Today, I will explain it in more detail so that we can understand clearly why the whole political organization of the universe is so vast.

 

Now if we can imagine, in reverse if you will, the 3000 worlds, the four great heavenly regions, the 72 planets, now keep imagining backwards, let us take these 72 planets, these are the purgatories of our soul. In the twelve worlds of the 72 planets, the last and smallest planet is the world into which we descend to pay-off the wrong doings and debts from our previous lives. There are five planets on which humanity dwells.

 

We here belong to planet number 68. And let us recall humanity on this planet. There are more than 2700 000 000 human beings, and let us consider that this globe is bigger than planet 69 by over 100 times, so then image how many human beings there are in this vast universe? If we imagine the political system of the universe, and listing the life of each individual, without missing a single person, this is not easy! Let us now try to imagine what power is needed to govern this great political system? Let us investigate where is that subtle and sacred power? Where can we find it? How should the governing organization of the world be modified in order to bring it into accord with the political organization of the universe? At this time the people will have peace, how the spirit is, then so is the form. Because all of humanity has not yet attained the Dharma and has not yet held that which is subtle and secret therefore that is why humanity is still in chaos. We have witnessed, and we can not deny this condemnation, that is the punishment which is reserved for us, that which we cannot avoid.

 

When this power is held then nothing is overstated. Why? Because this organization holds an esoteric power, the eternal and boundless power which controls the whole universe, the condemnation, the invisible guilt, which is from the Pháp Thân or Dharmakaya of Humanity, that is in our hands recorded by our perispirit. If we want to deny this guilt, well how can we? It is our perispirit itself that records and decides for us. All our guilt is displayed in front of us from our Ego (Tiểu Hồi), and then with far too many reincarnations that we need in order to make our way to the Monad (Đại Hồi). All our activities, all our relations, all our basics, all our karmic accounts from all our lives are recorded on the Vô Tự Kinh (The Divine Wordless Book). We had decided ourselves to carry out these actions, so how can we deny that we have done them? Even if we want to deny what we have done, we cannot do it. Our perispirit has decided our condemnation. No one else is involved, and this is what we are afraid of.

 

When a judge on this planet has to pronounce a sentence often a lawyer is present to plead on our behalf. But in this palace there are no lawyers to plead; it is we who must decide our own sentence. Therefore we can now see the incomparable secret power of governing the universe: it is that which allows us to be our own judge. So who else can defend us? We cannot argue or deny the guilt from our condemnation because we decide it ourselves, we cannot reject our guilt. If we could we would argue, that is, if we could, we would override the perispirit. But we cannot argue or deny the sentence in any way.

 

Additionally, there are two classes of souls. 

 

- The first is that class of souls who come to the earth in order to resolve the bad karma generated from their previous lives, we should call these souls sinners coming to correct their actions.

 - The second class of souls are those who have come from afar in order to enrich their knowledge of life and who descend to our planet in order to gain a heavenly position.

 

We have already seen that the drama of the officials it is a strange idea, but somehow nice, if we endure the condemnation ourselves this is not so much suffering at all. The incompatible and mysterious law of the universe obliges our extended family, or our Tông Đường, and our ancestors to endure with us. They witness our punishment and that for us is the real suffering.

 

Souls that undertake the results of their previous lives when they return to the Ngọc Hư Cung they are welcomed by their entire Tông Đường; they observe the path along which the soul has passed, and if this has meant that the results of that life has surpassed their bad karma, and they wish to discover if there has been any change from their previous life on the karmic account, or to find out if the life just lived has created more sin. There are souls going towards their perfect way, gaining secret esoteric knowledge as they ascend. Then there are other souls who return to the animal level, generating more and more sin. We see here because of us the whole Tông Đường must share our guilt, and this is why there is so much suffering.

 

We must know that there are Beings that enter the Ngọc Hư Cung, these are the souls who have attained the Way; whereas there are others who must enter the Dharmakaya caused by their bad karma and so the whole of the Tông Đường suffers incredibly.

 

Bần Đạo has said that the spiritual extended family (Tông Đường) is normally at the Ngọc Hư Cung, the most respectful and honourable of these is the Tông Đường of the Quan Yin Bodhisattva, (Từ Hàng Bồ Tát). The second most respectful is the Tông Đường of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva (Địa Tạng Vương Bồ Tát) and the third most respectful is that of Maitreya Buddha. These are the three most respectful and honourable Tông Đườngs. There are, of course, other Tông Đườngs. Everyone of us is assigned to a particular Tông Đường and these groups remain at this palace waiting for us to return.

 

Everyone, because of the Quả Kiếp (our predetermined karmic life) is sent to the earth in order to pay back this Quả Kiếp pay back the punishments set for us. Instead of following on the perfect path towards creating for ourselves a heavenly position, we might in fact be creating sins which are a grievous error.

 

Another class of souls are Du Học (those who Study Abroad), that is those coming to investigate a dimension of life. They will use this knowledge to establish for themselves a heavenly position. Nothing on earth affects this class because their Tông Đường decides to send them to the earth to carry out a life’s worth of research.

 

We have seen the children of upper-class people who are permitted to study abroad. They study there in order to increase their knowledge and learn correct behaviour. If they pass their exams well then everyone is happy but if their studies are mediocre then they still have the experience of overseas study. What of a child who is sent to study in France, but who did not study hard and so at the end of the month his results are sent home and it is seen that the mark is not good, that his morals, geography, technical lessons as well as… (laughs) one might say he is lazy and does not study hard, and so you write him a letter and ask him to concentrate harder on these matters, he is not really good yet, only of average level. Those friends who came and kept their faith carefully, closely and not without nobility; they do not want to come down, but if they do then they act with nobility. They never lower themselves to undertake unclean actions.

 

So, we have seen how the universe wields power to make our Tông Đường bear its suffering. This should make us most afraid. When confronted with the love of our Tông Đường we stand facing a great punishment from the spiritual realm. When we finish a life and we return we accept both the love and the suffering of our Tông Đường and then we suffer so much. It is a punishment so great that it sets fear into every soul. 

 

Why did the Supreme Being came to gather all His children to establish this visible Holy Body? Why? Because if He can establish this visible law, then all of His children will be able to attain the Way. One day they will attain the position in the realm of Eternal Life, and there is no happiness on this earthly realm that could ever compare with this realm of Eternal Life. Now do you have a real happiness or not? If you do, it comes from this place.

 

What is the Holy Body of the Supreme Being? It is the power of managing all the laws of love offered by the Supreme Being and this becomes a tidal-wave of love, this tidal wave of love He preserves in His heart. Each reincarnated individual is an element of the Supreme Being sewn into the law of love which is deep within the heart of each individual.   

 

We have seen that the Supreme Being has established his Holy Body using love. He has said, “You have been enjoying the right of endless love so you children should take this love and hand it out to your younger brothers and sisters, from this century and on to other centuries.

 

The punishment that we are most afraid of in the realm of mistreatment is that of banishment. What is banishment? To be banished is to be expelled from your great family, the great Tông Đường which the Supreme Being has established for us. That is the law of this earthly realm it is essential and it exists so that we should not be excluded from a Tông Đường. Afraid or not, this is the reason behind the sentence of banishment.

 

Whoever is expelled, that is whoever is abandoned by their great family, is abandoned into an animal state and will not be able to find happiness by themselves. The law will compels our flesh to grow old and die, and we will cease being alive.

 

The right of the Sacerdotal Council to punish is not very different from being expelled from the Tông Đường of the Supreme Being, to be turned out on this earthly world is the same as up there, the physical body is turned out and so the soul must go as well.

 

The day we no longer belong to the Tông Đường of the Supreme Being is the day we are dishonoured. As we think that we are living, whether we can return and pay our debt, of this we are not completely afraid, the scariest thing is the dishonour we suffer in the face of our Tông Đường.

 

Đại Hồi  - Monad.

 

Địa Tạng Vương Bồ Tát - Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva .

 

Ngọc Hư Cung - Heavenly Council of Eternal Law , The Court of God, The Council of

God , Divine Jade Palace.

 

Pháp Thân -  Dharmakaya , Etheral (astral) body.

 

Quả Kiếp - our predetermined karmic life.

 

Tiểu Hồi – Ego

 

Tông Đường - literally ones ancestral temple. The Hộ Pháp also uses this term to refer to our wider spiritual family whom we meet in returning to heaven. It is our Spiritual clan or spiritual extended family or even spiritual lineage.

 

Vô Tự Kinh  - The Divine Book without words.

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