The So Nation had a legend of “Three Heads” as the legend of Thu Hung Kiem [Male Female Swords/ Pair of Swords/ Precious Sword]. So Trang Vuong [楚庄王, 613-591 BC] desired to be a suzerain in the Historical Account of Feudal China. In order to execute that aspiration, So Trang Vuong gave an order to let people seek the precious sword and the everlasting medicine.

            Au Gia Tu was a smith who could forge the Pair of Swords, which could kill hundred people when brandishing it that the Profession Ancestor transmitted for three generations.

            As So Vuong knew that, he called Gia Tu to go to the court. He gave an order to forge a precious sword for him to win the popularity in oneness.

            When Gia Tu took leave of his wife and knew that this journey would end without the family union because So Vuong was very cruel to want to cause the warfare by killing people to become a suzerain.

            If Gia Tu did not obey the order to forge a sword, he would die immediately. If he agreed to forge it, he would die after the completion. Consequently, Gia Tu applied a scheme to last the time and advised his wife that: “In my journey, I will die sooner or later. If the God loves to let us have a son, when I die, you should not show your pitiful heart because it may be involved. However, you try to nourish our son to be grown up to the age of discretion. You seek the master to let him learn Feat, seek the Immortal for him to learn the Tao to be expert in swordsmanship. I will stay in the invisible world to hold So Vuong, so that our son will be able to cut off head to take revenge”.

            After advice, he took leave of wife for the journey to the Court. On meeting, all officials were full in court. So Vuong gave an order to forge the precious sword urgently.

            Gia Tu reported: “Your Majesty, in order to forge the Pair of Swords, it spends three years that I have to go to the Celestial mountain to burn the smelting furnace to complete the precious sword. I wish Majesty to approve in arranging all equipments on the Mountain, so that Your Majesty’s humble subject does immediately”.

            The Kind had to approve the time to let Gia Tu live within three years and gave wealth to Gia Tu, so that Gia Tu could send to his wife while he was executing the mission for the King.

            That is the Gia Tu’s scheme. Actually, the forging sword does not need such that time.

            When Gia Tu begun to forge the sword, he supposed: So Vuong was cruel. After forging the precious sword, it will be impossible to avoid the warfare of killing the good people. He had an effective trick that he would forge two swords with one real sword and normal sword called as the Male-Female Swords.

            The real sword was the Precious Sword and he packed by brocade. He stealthily went back home to bury at the garden, grew a Cinnamon then told his wife that: “When our son grow up to the 18 years old, you will let him know the truth of his father’s death. You show the position of Precious Sword, so that he takes it and seeks the master to learn Feat, seeks Immortal to learn the swordsmanship to exterminate So Vuong. I have a method to help our son to do that”.

            “The importance is that you should not let him know the truth sooner than the mature age, it will be unsuccessful. You should remember that. That is the important point that you should not ignore it”

            “It is time to go to the Court to offer the unreal Sword to So Vuong. I will die today surely. Thus, when you hear the news of my death, you do not moan, cry to be involved you because So Vuong is very cruel”.

            After speech, he carried the Sword to go away.

            When Gia Tu offered the Sword, So Vuong was very happy. He immediately requested the prisoners under death penalty to test the Sword at the Dragon yard in front of all officials. So Vuong believed that the throne of suzerain would belong to the person holding the Sword.

            Strangely, when the prisoners under death penalty were kowtowing, the Kind brandished the Sword to test it and the Sword suddenly fell down the yard in front of all officials. It made the Kind very angry. He knew that Gia Tu told a lie and hid the real sword and offered the unreal sword.

            So Vuong immediately took the sword and cut off Gia Tu’s head in front of palace. The Gia Tu’s head rolled in three circles, his eyes stirred at cruel So Vuong and ejected drops of hatred blood to So Vuong’s face to make So Vuong terrible to fall down.

            The precious sword and hatred occurred from that. It did not only come from the Gia Tu’s family, but it was the hatred of all people because of So Trang Vuong’s cruelty.

            When hearing the news of husband’s death, Gia Tu’s wife remembered her husband’s advice. She felt painful, but she did not dare to cry because she scared the damage. She attempted to nourish the son newborn.

            Consequently, the retribution of borrowing and paying happened as the following:

            When Gia Tu’s son grew up to the school age, he went to school and he was fought and abused “student without father” by children. He felt angry and went back home to ask his mother: “Where is my father, mum?” His mother smiled and said: “You are young, try to learn. Do not ask that issue. Your father trade far away, he has not come back yet”.

            The time elapsed. The child was fought and abused again “student without father”. He was full of pent of anger to ask his mother: “Mum! As being a human, if having a mother, there must have a father. Why has my father gone for a long time. Mum, please do not conceal me anymore. Perhaps, there is a secret. Now, I am mature. Please tell me the truth”.

            She thought that it was time to say the truth to her son because he was mature. According to his father’s advice, she reported his father’s sorrowful death done by So Vuong. She also let him know the position of precious sword.

            After he had known his father’s sorrowful death with an advice, he immediately ran back the garden to spit out the Cinnamon to make soil shot splashingly. The light was brilliant from the Sword and he took the sword then kowtowed his mother to seek master for learning the feat, to seek the Immortal for learning the Swordsmanship to exterminate So Vuong due to his father’s mandate.

            Due to the death-feud of same way with So Vuong, the son swore that: if he was impossible to kill So Vuong by that Precious Sword, he would not live. That was a hard swear of a child who determined to avenge for his father.

            The divine premonition told his mother to know that there was no reason to keep the son anymore. She accepted to let her son to go away to avenge for his father in other world.

            After his mother agreed, the son felt happy and touched in separation time. He kowtowed his mother, packed the sword and went away.

            He went forever passing the forests and high mountains that he did not scared the danger. He determined to seek the patent master to teach the swordsmanship to avenge for his father.

            One day, when he left a gloomy forest, he was so tired to lie and sleep. When awaking, he saw a Hermit wearing the blue dress, wearing the shoes of grass, asking him with a refined voice: “Where do you come?”

            The child replied: “I come far away, I had to overcome many forests and mountains to get here to seek master to learn the Feat, to seek Immortal to learn the swordsmanship to kill the cruel So Vuong, in order to avenge for my father”. The child reported the full story in detail.

            With a pitiful speech, the Hermit said: “So Vuong has high and tight bastions, thousand soldiers guard carefully. How can you be close to avenge?”

            When hearing the Hermit’s speech, the child felt very disappointed. He kowtowed, cried and petitioned to the Hermit for love and help to avenge the deep hatred with So Vuong: “If this hatred is done and my head is cut, I also accept happily for sacrifice”. After speech, he cried distressingly.

            The Hermit said: “If you agree, the execution needs obviously your wise head and precious sword, so that I help you to kill So Vuong to abolish dangers over people”.

            The child heard the Hermit’s intention help, Gia Tu’s son kowtowed for merit of Hermit in helping him to exterminate the danger over people. After kowtowing, he took the sword and put at his head. The head left the body immediately.

            Strangely, Gia Tu’s son’s brave death without blood at head made the Hermit touched  because he saw the son’s sacrifice acceptance with a bravery and filial piety of a child in avenging the hatred for father.

            Indeed, the Hermit shouldered the mission of exterminating the cruelty, of saving the people from the warfare. The Hermit felt touched to say that:

            “Your sacred soul! Follow me to be satisfied”

            The Hermit packed the death head put in coat-tail and took the Sword to fly to the Imperial City of So Vuong. When the meeting of Court organized, He went to the Southern Gate, stood outside. He cried three times and laughed three times. He requested to see the King to offer the precious sword and immortal medicine.

            Whenever the King heard news about the precious sword and immortal elixir, he was very satisfied to let the Hermit enter the Court immediately.

            The King asked the Hermit: “Why do you laughed and cried three times? What does it means?”

            The Hermit replied: “My laugh means that the world is not awake to know the precious sword to adore the patent King. If Your Majesty have this Sword, you will dominate all satellites of six nations in your hands”.

            “What does the cry mean?”          


            The Hermit replied: “My cry means that the humankind is dull-witted. They want to be immortal to such extent that they follow the persons who swindle the Lord and offer dirty food (penis of horse) to the Emperor that they called them as the elixir. That sin is the lese-majesty, unrespectful (abuse cleverly)”

            Now, I have the elixir to offer to Your Majesty. You will be surely immortal because it is the efficacious elixir of Taoism”- While he was speaking, he showed the Gia Tu’s head.

            The Emperor felt satisfied when hearing the elixir, but he became pale when looking at the death head. He immediately asked: “That is the death head, but why do you call it as the elixir?”

            The Hermit replied: “This is really the elixir. Your Majesty put here a boiled pan of oil. I will place the death head of child inside the boiled pan of oil within six minutes. That head will become the elixir for Your Majesty”.

            “Before it becomes the effective elixir, the head of child changes miraculously in those six minutes to prove that it is the elixir of Taoism:

            1/ First minute: He will stand up and call the Royal Family, Your Majesty and Mandarins (abuse cleverly).

            2/ Second minute: He will change into a lotus.

            3/Third minute: He will change into a lotus-rootstock.

            4/ Fourth minute: He will change into a seed of lotus.

            5/ Fifth minute: He will change into the medicine.

            6/ Sixth minute: The dose is enough to become the elixir. The fragrance will pervade all over the Palace. The light is brilliant to make everybody cheery when seeing the light. If using one piece of medicine, the skin and body become ruddy, blood changes to become pure. If using two pieces of medicine, the glamour makes the spirit light. If using over three pieces of medicine, you can be immortal”.

            “Your Majesty’s humble subject thinks of you and wish Your Majesty to be immortal to be worthy of a Patent Lord of people. Consequently, I do not mind hard things and come here to offer the effective elixir to Your Majesty”

            Under that report of Hermit, the Kind felt very pleased as drought got the heavy shower. The King immediately gave an order to the Minister of General Affair to do as the Hermit’s report with a pan of oil at the yard.

            When the pan of oil begun being boiled. The Hermit used the magic, placed the child’s death head in the pan of boiled oil. The head somersaulted due to the waves of boiled oil. It suddenly appeared into a child standing up and called the Royal Family and name of Mandarins. It made everybody there very surprised and believable. Especially, So Vuong praised the strange miracle of Taoism very much, but he did not know that it was the end time of a cruel Lord.

            All steps happened as the Hermit’s statement. When the sixth minute came, it changed into the medicine with the fragrant perfume spreading all over the King’s Palace. The King’s countenance was strangely excited to seem that he wanted to rush there to take the medicine to be immortal.

            The divine time came for the Hermit to kill the cruel Lord. The Hermit also prepared the posture to sacrifice as his promised done with the child that he would kill So Vuong to stop the damage for people.

            All ready and suitable steps made the Lord’s spirit excited without a doubt.

            The Hermit spoke:

            “Your Majesty, it is time to take the effective elixir. We should not take at the wrong time because the medicine will not be miraculous. Your Majesty come to the pan of oil to receive the medicine by yourself to be miraculous”.

            The Lord gradually left the Golden Throne to the pan of oil under a joyful heart and a belief that he would be immortal to be the people’s Suzerain forever.

            When the Lord’s head was at the pan of oil to take the medicine, the Hermit immediately placed the Sword at the So Vuong’s head. So Vuong’s head fell down the pan of boiled oil. The situation happened like lighting to such extent that Mandarins of security could not respond to emergency. At that time, the Hermit also self-killed his life by the Precious Sword. The Hermit’s head also fell down the pan of oil.

            For that reason, at that time, there were three heads in the pan of oil somersaulted in waves of oil. Therefore, the Mandarins of Court could not differentiate which head belonged to the Lord, to Hermit, to Gia Tu’s son. They buried three Heads in a coffin according to the Royal Rites. It forced them to do that because they scared about the mistake of Lord’s head.

Consequently, this expresses the doctrine of “Civilian is important, Lord is light” [Manh Tu’s doctrine/ 孟子]

Via this legend, the Hermit’s great cause is to “exterminate the cruelty because of civilian”. That is an eternal example for human to glorify and follow it.

The filial piety of a child is the certain Tao. However, “Enemy of anterior existence should be solved, not accumulated more”. Due to the Lord’s immorality, the enemy of anterior existence was accumulated under the law of cause and effect. The person killing the Lord was due to the precious cause only.


That is the reason that the So Nation had the “Three Heads” legend. From that time, the Precious Sword was handed over from previous dynasty to next one.

After that, at the Han dynasty [汉朝], Truong Luong [張良] offered the Precious Sword to Han Tin [韩信] holding the Seal. Nguyen Nhung was invincible because of the Precious Sword. After that, the Sword spent thousand years…

Nowadays, in the Caodaism, Rev. Cao Thuong Sanh is using the Male-Female Sword as the His Precious Object under His mission of building the world and changing the world.

Rev. Religious Reformer [Khai Đạo] mentioned about the Male-Female Sword: “When Rev. Thuong Sanh had just come to serve the Religion [15th April Dinh Dau year], I have not respected Him very much. Until He executed the sanctification for the Male-Female Sword, He went to the “Natural Forest” to test the Precious Sword. I could see the miracle of the Precious Sword. From that time, I respected Him very much”.

“This is the sanctification Sword made by the wood of 100 years old in Thanh Dien. However, it is so miraculous”.

“Therefore, we are impossible to imagine about miracle of the Precious Male-Female Sword in the Divine World.

That is the Precious Object of Lu Dong Tan [呂洞賓, belongs to Eight Immortals] [Thuan Duong Lu To]




Present respectfully to

Rev. Thuong Sanh Cao Hoai Sang’s soul

[Phụng hiến đến hương hồn Đức Ngài Thượng Sanh

Cao Hoài Sang]


Collected Legend

[Sự Tích sưu tầm]


Maitreya Buddha Spring [Mùa xuân Di Lặc 2014]


Translator [Người dịch]: Khai Tâm Quách Minh Chương