Initiation and Its Meaning

According to the Tân-Luật (The New Canonical Codes), anyone who wishes to follow the Religion (CaoDaism) has to be introduced by two followers of outstanding moral rectitude to the head of the parish/head of the Local Congregation. These two sponsors must initiate and guide the new disciple into the path of ethics and morality. Thus the new follower should learn the prayers by heart, understand the Religious Codes promoted by the Great Faith and must practice the Way.

In order to become a Cao-Đài Disciple, an ordinary person must have a visible ceremony of initiation. The disciple must kneel before God's Altar and take the following solemn oath:

"I ..........vow that from now on I will know only one Cao-Đài Religion (God-Way Religion), I will never change my mind, I will live in harmony and be a close member of the believer's community, I will observe Cao-Đài Laws and Regulations. Should I change my mind, I shall be exterminated by Heaven and Earth"

“Tôi tên: . . . . . . . . . tuổi: . . . . . Thề rằng: từ đây biết một Đạo Cao Đài Ngọc Đế, chẳng đổi dạ đổi lòng, hiệp đồng chư môn đệ gìn luật lệ Cao Đài, như sau có lòng hai thì Thiên tru Địa lục

This ceremony has a spiritual value to the Religion and particularly to the disciples themselves. The ceremony of initiation is presided over and witnessed by a dignitary or sub-dignitary. After the ceremony of initiation the new follower receives a temporary religious certificate (Sớ Cầu Đạo tạm). The new disciples then are considered in the probation period of 6 months for practising the Way. They learn by heart the prayers in verse, get acquainted with rituals in daily services and major ceremonies, maintain the vegetarian diet at the minimum level of 6 days per month, study God's teachings, and observe the Cao-Đài  Laws and Regulations. At the end of the probation period if followers show that they are able to fulfill the required duties for Cao-Đài disciples, they then receive a permanent religious certificate (Sớ Cầu Đạo thiệt thọ).

According to the Secular Rules/Laws on the Secular Life of the Faithful (Thế-Luật), "Having recognized the existence of one Master, the faithful must consider themselves as children of the same Father. They must love one another, maintain good relations among themselves, help each other sincerely, mutually guide one another in the Religious Path and the secular Path".

After making the solemn vow, the new disciples belong to one universal bond of humanity in the Caodaist community. They make no distinction as to race, nationality, colour and language. They call the other followers brother (huynh, đệ) and sister (tỷ, muội) as brothers and sisters in one family. Baptism (入門, entering the Cao-Đài Religion) spells out a number of duties for the follower as mentioned above; it tacitly involves repentance of all misdeeds done in the past, and the resolution to follow henceforth the path of virtue, righteousness, love, forgiveness and justice.

Moreover, baptism opens the door for the disciple to follow the new pattern of living, thinking, and acting within the framework of Cao-Đài  teachings.

 

    Conversion Oath

    (36 words)

    I, named  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .              born on . . . . . . . . . . .

    “I swear that I recognize only Caodaism as my faith. I shall observe all Cao-Đài  Laws and Regulations and shall never recant, if I do betray my oath may I be exterminated by Heaven and Earth”.


    INAUGURATION OATH OF SUB-DIGNITARIES

     

    1/ IN FRONT OF GOD'S ALTAR:

                

    I, (Full name)  . . . . . . . . . . .of Religious Village . . . . . . . . . . . .has been publically elected to (Chánh-Trị-Sự/Phó Trị-Sự/Thông-Sự). . . . . . . . . .wow that: 

     

    From today, I will forever exert  impartially in all religious matters, I cannot be biased even for the benefit of my  parents, my brothers and sisters, my spouse and children. I will behave with the utmost sincerity when I act in the Name of God to guide and lead my spiritual brothers, sisters who are all adepts of Jade Emperor Cao-Đài. I swear completely loyalty to the Sacerdotal Council. I swear to follow ever order given by superior dignitaries. I will treat all co-believers as my blood brothers and sisters. I promise not to arbitrate between co-believers perversely nor rule autocratically. If ever I should act in a way counter to God’s teachings or betray my  co-believers, or recant this declaration, then let me be exterminated by Heaven and Earth, let my soul be banished and endure the three ways of torture without hope of ever escaping this Earthly World.

     

       

    2/ IN FRONT OF HỘ-PHÁP'S ALTAR:

    (Dedicated only to Chánh-Trị-Sự and Thông-Sự, because they are the Laws and Regulations protectors)          

     

     I, (Full name)  . . . . . . . . . . .of Religious Village . . . . . . . . . . . .has been publically elected to (Chánh-Trị-Sự/ Thông-Sự). . . . . . . . . .wow that

     

    From today, I will forever exert  impartially in all religious matters, I cannot be biased even for the benefit of my  parents, my brothers or  sisters, my spouse and children. I will behave with the utmost sincerity when I act in the Name of God to guide and lead my spiritual brothers and sisters who are all adepts of Jade Emperor Cao-Đài. I swear completely loyalty to the Sacerdotal Council. I swear to follow ever order given by superior dignitaries. I will treat all co-believers as my blood brothers and sisters. I promise not to arbitrate between co-believers perversely nor rule autocratically. If ever I should act in a way counter to God’s teachings or betray my  co-believers, or recant this declaration, may the Hộ-Pháp banishes  my soul by the three ways of torture without hope of ever escaping this Earthly World”.

     

    LỜI MINH THỆ NHẬM CHỨC CỦA BÀN-TRỊ-SỰ

     

    Tham chiếu:         -Chỉ thị số 75-NCPS ngày 16 Tháng 4 năm Giáp Dần, (DL: 7.05.1974) của Ngài Ngọc Đầu Sư NGỌC NHƯỢN THANH.

    -Thánh Lịnh thi hành ngày 22 Tháng 4 năm Giáp Dần, (DL: 13.05.1974 ) của Ngài Phối Sư Ngọc Tịnh Thanh, Thượng Thống Lại Viện Tòa Thánh Tây Ninh. 

     

    1/ TRƯỚC THIÊN-BÀN ĐỨC CHÍ-TÔN:

     

    Tôi là . . . . . . . . . . .ở Hương Đạo . . . . . . . . . . . .lảnh chức . . . . . . . . . .thề rằng: "Từ đây tôi giữ dạ vô tư hành đạo, dầu cha mẹ, anh, chị, em, vợ con, chẳng đặng phép tư vị, giữ dạ chơn thành, thế Thiên hành đạo mà dìu dắt cả anh em chúng tôi đều là môn đệ của CAO ĐÀI NGỌC ĐẾ, trọn trung cùng Hội Thánh, nhứt nhứt do lệnh Chức sắc bề trên, coi cả tín đồ như anh em ruột, không đặng chuyên quyền, chẳng đặng vạy tà, như ngày sau tôi có bội sư phản bạn, đổi dạ thay lòng thì THIÊN TRU ĐỊA LỤC, LINH HỒN TẬN ĐỌA TAM ĐỒ BẤT NĂNG THOÁT TỤC".

     

    2/ TRƯỚC BÀN THỜ HỘ-PHÁP:

     (Chỉ dành cho Chánh Trị Sự và Thông Sự, vì 2 Chức-vụ nầy có giữ về Luật Pháp của Đạo).

              

    Tôi là . . . . . . . . . . .ở Hương Đạo . . . . . . . . . . . .lảnh chức . . . . . . . . . .thề rằng: "Từ đây tôi giữ dạ vô tư hành đạo, dầu cha mẹ, anh, chị, em, vợ con, chẳng đặng phép tư vị, giữ dạ chơn thành, thế Thiên hành đạo mà dìu dắt cả anh em chúng tôi đều là môn đệ của CAO ĐÀI NGỌC ĐẾ, trọn trung cùng Hội Thánh, nhứt nhứt do lệnh Chức sắc bề trên, coi cả tín đồ như anh em ruột, không đặng chuyên quyền, chẳng đặng vạy tà, như ngày sau tôi có bội sư phản bạn, đổi dạ thay lòng, thì tôi thề HỘ PHÁP TẬN ĐỌA TAM ĐỒ BẤT NĂNG THOÁT TỤC".


Introduction | Caodaism In A Nutshell | Fundamental Principles of Caodaism | Stucture of Caodaism | Ways of Serving In Caodaism | Practising Caodaism - Duties of Adherents | CaoDai Rituals - Worship and Prayer | Initiation And Its Meaning | Centres of Caodaism Around the World | Bibliography / References & Links | Illustrations | Further Readings

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