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TOPIC: Cao Dai - religion of Vietnam

Cao Dai - religion of Vietnam 6 years 4 months ago #858

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Cao Daism was founded in southern VietNam in 1926 and claims six million followers.

"The Cao Daist Missionary Church" is the English name of this religion in I Corps, and the CAO DAI Temple in Danang serves as headquarters for all of I and II Corps and the Saigon region. Because of its originality, its' comparative large fellowship within the total population of South Vietnam, and the various religious particularity which have influence, it is peremptory that Americans know what this believe is, what its followers experience as a result of their beliefs, and what factors are fundamental in establishing and maintaining the Cao Daist.

Cao Daism began as an native Vietnamese religion constituted of "spiritism" or "spirit mediums" and a "ouija-board" type appliance called corbeille a bec (beaked-bag). It aspires to form a connection between the fundamental doctrines of Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity and a Roman Catholic type church organization. It was formed as an experience to create a universal religion that would be accepted everywhere in an area of the world where there is a mix of many religious beliefs often found in the same person. A result goal was the encouraging of amicable human relationships by means of a common spiritual life free of any religious discrimination. Some Vietnamese religious leaders, who are not adherents of this faith, call it a "salad-religion" because of the bits of many religions which are mixed together up.

The CAO DAI believe there have been three major findings of divinity to mankind.
The FIRST REVELATION was given to several "missionary saints": Nhiem-dang Co-Phat for Buddhism, Thai Thuong Lao Quan for Taoism, the Emperor Phuc-Hy for Ancestor Worship, and Moses for Judeo-Christian religious apprehension.

The SECOND REVELATION came a little later during the period of 500 B. C. to after 600 A.D.--through Lao Tse for Taoism, Confucius for Confucianism, Ca Kyamuni for Buddhism, Jesus Christ for Christianity, and the Prophet Mohammed for Islam.

The crowning or THIRD REVELATION OF GOD, according to all Cao Daists, was given on Phu Quoc Island, South Vietnam, in 1919. The official title CAO DAI translated into English is DOCTRINE OF THE THIRD REVELATION. This REVELATION was given by God to Ngo Van Chieu, the first CAO DAI apostle.This 3rd REVELATION is updated from time to time through the spiritual mediums who applies the corbeille a bec which spells out actual revelations by focusing on letters of the alphabet lying on a board, as some in the Western world use the ouija-board.

According to the CAO DAI, God first revealed himself in human form because the human soul was not yet sufficiently advanced to receive God's teachings. At the present time, however, it is believed possible for divine messages to be given directly through spiritual mediums and the corbeille a bec.

Major Doctrines of the CAO DAI: The major doctrines of beliefs of the CAO DAI are:

1. That Cao Daism is the THIRD REVELATION of Divinity to permit general buyout to all men and, as such, replaces misunderstandings of previous teachings.

2. Cao Daism idolizes the Absolute Supreme God who has no beginning and non end, and who is the Creator of all, Supreme Father of all, and unique Master who created and creates all angels, buddhas and saints.

3. Cao Daists gives credence to the existence of three main categories of invisible beings. These are:

a. the highest deities composed of buddhas, saints, and angels;

b. the medium beings which include sanctified spirits and the great benefactors of mankind;

c. the lower beings which include both phantoms and devils.

This belief includes the idea that all three orders must pass through human existence in order to help humanity, and normally move from the lowest to the highest forms. Of all living creatures, only man can become a devil or an angel because he has a special spirit and his position depends on the effects of his works.

4. Cao Dai believe that the human soul may "go up" or "go down" the stairway of being, and that man by his will and action determines the direction.

5. The main goal of Cao Daism is the total deliverance of man from the endless cycle of existence in order to realize a life of supreme perfection. To them, man is created through the natural cycle of life and death, and possesses an immortal soul which is sainted. This soul must ultimatelly get liberation from the cycle for complete victory.

6. The idolatry of predecessors is a mean of communication between the visible and invisible worlds; between those dead and alive. It basically forms a kind of expressing love, gratitude and affection for them.

7. Cao Daism also teaches, in its ethical concepts, equality and brotherhood of all races, the love of justice, the Buddhist Law of Karma, Buddha's Five Commandments, as well as the Buddhist Eightfold Path to Perfection and the Confucian doctrine of the Golden Mean.

8. Within Cao Daism is a pantheon of saints and demigod. On the front of the Tay-Ninh temple, there are paintings representing Joan of Arc, Sun Yat Sen (the founder of the Chinese Nationalist Party), Victor Hugo (the 19th century poet and writer), and Trang-Trinh (famed Vietnamese prophet of the 18th century).

9. Last, but not least is this doctrine that Divinity speaks to mankind through spiritual mediums using the corbeille a bec, which is a bag which has a beak-like projection. When this beaked-bag is held by two followers of the Law Protective Body of the CAO DAI over a board which holds the alphabet, divinity causes his spirit to move the bag so that the divine connection is spelled out by the beaked-bag tapping suitable letters which sometimes take the form of verse. Only one beaked-bag exists. For such messages to be accepted as valid and official, the revelation must take place at the Tay Ninh Temple. Other revelations may occur at the main temple of each sect.
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Cao Dai - religion of Vietnam 6 years 3 months ago #907

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Once I have seen on the TV program that in one Vietnamese temple they encouraged tourists to burn money in fire. Local inhabitants practice the same thing even if they don’t have a lot of money. I don’t remember with the purpose of what they did it. I would like to know is that also one of the concepts of the Cao Dai religion? What does it give, and which purposes does burning the money have? If anybody knows about this practice, please, tell me!
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Cao Dai - religion of Vietnam 6 years 4 weeks ago #1488

Yes, there is a curious tradition in Vietnam to burn fake money's of some hundred thousand dong on the Vietnamese New Year's Eve called Tet. The inhabitants usually burning the fake banknotes in the iron urns in front of their houses, expecting to increase the income exactly on the amount of burned "money" in the coming year.

Such “money” is also known as spirit money or joss paper. Spirit money is given by relatives for the purpose of enabling their deceased family members to have all they will need or want in the afterlife. It has also been noted that these money have been given as a bribe to Yanluo (or Yen Loo), who judge the dead and preside over the Narakas ("Hells" or "Purgatories" in Buddhism) and the cycle of rebirth to hold their ancestors for a shorter period of time. However, hell in Buddhism it is only the place where spirits live and it have not any negative meaning.

Often the joss paper looks like real American dollars and very similar to them, and sometimes American tourist seeing their burning are requiring the sedative medicines. If relatives wish to please the dead relatives by firmly convertible currency, they have to shell out buying fake dollars into the nearest shop. They sell them in packs of 30-50 bills covered by the cellophane wrapper. Notes of the Bank of hell usually have a very high rating - 10,000, 100,000, 1,000,000, or 500 million dollars. However, the Vietnamese money are prepared to burn for people for free and placed near the ovens.

Credit and debit cards are very popular for burning too - from the most primitive to very modern models with handmade ornaments. Often, fake pieces of gold or silver composed of gold or silver paper are burning together with the ritual money.

By the way, Vietnamese, as well as Chinese who practicing the same, are very serious about ritual money, even if they look like souvenirs or things for playing. It is not recommended to gift hell money to living people (even with the purpose of joke) - this may be perceived as wishing of death and considered as the great hurt.

Same time, it is assumed that the burning of real money instead of the joss paper will bring the bad luck, so, nobody burns the real money. :)
Last Edit: 6 years 4 weeks ago by dostupzakritTangerine. Reason: word
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