Talk:Cao Đài

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Cao Dai army[edit]

They had some role in the Vietnam War. --Error 05:31, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

  • AFAIK they had to suffer from the general anti-religious mentality after the war, but I have to do more research. Ravn 13:45, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)
  • found a snippet of information: "The importance of Cao Dai religion has been due in part to its standing army, which was involved in the Vietnam War" from Gall, Timothy L. (ed). Worldmark Encyclopedia of Culture & Daily Life: Vol. 3 - Asia & Oceania. Cleveland, OH: Eastword Publications Development (1998); pg. 808. -- does anybody have access to this source? Ravn 13:50, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

As far as I know the role of Cao Dai military groups (including several factions that split from the original hierarchy) in the Indochina wars was very significant, at least from the point of view of the U.S. and, earlier, Japan; for example see Trinh Minh The. This kind of thing definitely deserves a mention in the article, or possibly a separate article (it's not directly related to the religion as a religion - but kind of analogous to the way the Muslim conquest of North Africa was a key part of the early history of Islam). But as I don't have the sources, I'm afraid of getting it wrong. --HobTalk 17:17, 2004 Aug 13 (UTC)

  • The Cao Dai had been pro-Japanese during the 40's, supportive of the Nguyen pretender Cuong De before the August Revolution. They were allowed to rule their own area in return for a nominal support of the regime of former Emperor Bao Dai in the early 50's. This was the time they built up their private army. When U.S. was pushing Ngo Dinh Diem for president, Edward Lansdale bribed the Cao Dai general to betray the religion and the Pope had to flee into Cambodia. Later Diem, who was a Catholic intolerant of other religions, tried to wipe out the Cao Dai. After his government was collapsed, they started to rebuild and were used as counter-insurgent group by the American military. After the Communists took over they put strict controls on the Cao Dai, they have had no pope since then, but are ruled by pro-Communist council. NguyenHue 08:57, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)NguyenHue
NguyenHue, calling Cuong De a "Nguyen pretender" is a bit harsh -- even offensive -- don't you think? What is your source? Encyclopedia Britannica says:
"As a direct descendant of the emperor Gia Long, Cuong De had a legitimate claim to the throne of Vietnam but was excluded by the French, who held a protectorate over the country." cann0tsay 22:10, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
I would like to correct myself and apologize to NguyenHue. I was ignorant and misunderstood the usage of the word "pretender" in this case, which means claimant to a throne. The term in itself is not pejorative. cann0tsay (talk) 20:16, 4 January 2011 (UTC)


The link to cardinal is (as one would expect) a link to a disambiguation page. Should it point to cardinal (Catholicism)? Michael Hardy 23:49, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

Reasons for changing Le Anh-Huy's 07:08, 2 October 2005 revision[edit]

Cao means "high" and Đài means "raised place, platform." Although it is true that the religion relied on human mediums or channelers to communicate with God during sacred ceremonies, Le Anh-Huy, where did you get "supreme channel" from?

The terms, "a supreme God," or, "Cao Dai Supreme God," imply there may be other kinds or types of supreme God. I think the phrase, "God, the creator of the universe," leaves little room for ambiguity.

Mr. Ngô Văn Chiêu is not the founder of Caodaiism. He may be credited as the founder of the Chiếu Minh sect of Caodaiism. However, to place the founding of Caodaiism upon his shoulders is analogous to saying one of Jesus' disciples founded Christianity. Furthermore, according to the Tay Ninh Holy See, Mr. Chiêu committed the unpardonable sin of disobedience to God (see the discussion below: How many Cao Dai Popes (Popes of Vietnam) have there been?).

Christianity was based on the teachings of Jesus Christ; Confucianism was the teachings of Confucius (Kong-Fu-Zi); Taoism was the teachings of Lao-Zi. Arguably, these teachers were men who walked the earth. Therefore, it is easy to give them credits. On the other hand, God, to many, is an intangible idea. So, when Caodaiists claim that the Creator himself is their teacher, might it be that they are refuted, and, instead, an actual person is named as the mastermind behind their movement?

From day one, Caodaiists are taught that in this Great Religion of The Third Period of Revelation and Salvation (Đại Đạo Tam Kỳ Phổ Độ), God is not using a middleman like the other times. This time, He is at the helm. cann0tsay 07:16, 5 October 2005 (UTC)


Not too many non-Caodaiists are aware that Caodaiism also suffers from schism like other religions. Some of the sects that have split from the Tay Ninh Holy See (Tòa Thánh Tây Ninh) are, Chiếu Minh, Bến Tre and Đà Nẵng. cann0tsay 07:16, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

In the Thánh Ngôn Hiệp Tuyển (TNHT), Caodaiism's equivalent to the Bible, Đức Cao Đài (God) has stated that throughout the ages, He has allowed false prophets to mislead and test the strength of character of his children. This Third Period is no different. He has allowed false prophets to use His name, but they cannot sit in his seat at the Tay Ninh Holy See. This, my mother recalled, was the reason why my grandfather strictly warned her and my uncle to refrain from attending seance ceremonies outside the Tay Ninh Holy See, no matter how interesting or alluring they seem. cann0tsay 08:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I estimate that the number of Caodaiist sects to be between thirty to fifty. Each believe they are worshiping the true Cao Dai, following the right path. On the surface, they look similar, but look closer and one will see contrary views along with different symbolisms. For instance, some websites list numerous historical figures as Cao Dai saints, including (gasp!) Vladimir Lenin. The Tay Ninh Holy See does not recognize Lenin as a saint. Superficial articles on Caodaiism that homogenizes all the Cao Dai sects just lead to further misinformation.

I can only point out that in the TNHT text, the Tay Ninh Holy See was repeatly emphasized as the only place where Đức Cao Đài and other venerable spirits post their teachings. cann0tsay 22:51, 16 November 2005 (UTC)


7 o 8 millions caodaist? are you kidding me? Where do you get that number from?
But most sources there say 2 millions.
Pjacobi 09:21, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

How many Cao Dai Popes (Popes of Vietnam) have there been?[edit]

Does anyone know how many Popes of Vietnam there have been? - (Aidan Work 05:38, 15 November 2005 (UTC))

Hi Aidan Work, I am a Caodaiist of the Tay Ninh Holy See. I say that up front because Caodaiists from other sects, particularly the one established by Mr. Ngô Văn Chiêu, called Chiếu Minh, may or may not agree with the following account.
First, some background info.
The Earthly Head of Caodaiism is called "Giáo Tông," which literally means leader or head of a religious group. Translators noticed similarities between the structural hierarchy of Caodaiism and the Catholic Church, and, for lack of better words or whatever reasons, borrowed terminologies such as Pope, Cardinal, Bishop, Priest, etc. In practice, Caodaiism has many more ranks and titles of which there are no official English translation as of yet. Also, the actual Vietnamese term for Pope, as in The Catholic Pope, is "Giáo Hoàng."
To a Caodaiist, the existence of God the Father in the invisible world is accepted as readily and plainly as the flesh and blood father in the visible world. The idea of direct communication with the Heavenly Father is as normal as talking on the phone or sending e-mails.
God, Đức Cao Đài, took great pain and care in initiating and developing a relationship with his first disciples. In the begining, He was their friend, and then, their teacher. Months would pass until finally, he revealed himself to them on Christmas day, the birthday of His begotten Son.
Why did God not tell them who he was right away? In my humble opionion, only a false prophet would immediately identify himself as God.
The fact is, even after He has given them his official title, Cao Đài Tiên Ông Đại Bồ Tát Ma-ha-tát, to be used in the New Religion, and explained the symbolism behind it, through out his subsequent messages, He addressed himself as Teacher.
Later, seance sessions were more efficient and nothing short of amazing. While in trance, the channelers holding a "basket and beak" would write at hyper speed. What was written in minutes would take hours or days to copy.
Đức Cao Đài recruited twelve disciples. It is no coincidence that Jesus also had twelve disciples. Twelve is an important number that requires another discussion. As with Jesus, these men were not randomly selected. Instead, they were entities from Heaven, sent down to Earth to carry out God's plan.
Incarnation to the world had wiped their minds from past memories, but the "permanent recorder" component -- that is a part of every living being -- makes them receptive to God. However, there are no guarantees because all sentient beings have free will. It is said that many entities have come down to Earth from Heaven with the intention of doing God's will and help mankind rejoin the Father, but the lure of the world has kept them in the endless cycle of birth-death-rebirth. The heavenly entity that had incarnated as Ngô Văn Chiêu was no exception.
Caodaiism has two papal positions -- one in Heaven and one on Earth. The spirit that had once incarnated as the great Chinese poet Li Bai (Li Po) is the Heavenly Pope. Ngô Văn Chiêu would be the Earthly Pope. At least, that was the plan.
I think all the sects agree, more or less, with the above information. The following discussion on Mr. Chieu may arouse disagreements.
When reminded of his assignment, Mr. Chieu refused God three times, even after he had been granted all the signs and proofs that he had requested. Exasperated, God withdrew the offer. The penalty for denying God is excommunication. As the ultimate loving father, God did not have the heart to hand out such a harsh sentence. But the stalwart Heavenly Pope, Li Bai, insisted the punishment be carried out, or else, the New Religion would falter.
This was a hard blow to the other disciples, who love and respect Mr. Chieu like an elder brother. Mr. Chieu was not involved with the Tay Ninh Holy See. He was remorseful later, but it was too late. Even so, he could have looked to Tay Ninh for spiritual guidance. Instead, he had accepted another entity claiming to be Cao Dai, and formed the Chiếu Minh sect of Caodaiism.
God handed the papal responsibilities to the Venerable Le Van Trung, who admirably performed his duties as Acting Pope for eight years, from 1926 to 1934, when he disincarnated. Afterward, Venerable Phạm Công Tắc, who was also the Maintainer of the Laws/Dharma, assumed the role. It was during his time as Acting Pope that the Holy See was completed and membership grew from a few hundred thousands to around two million.
There has not been an Earthly Pope since Ven. Pham Cong Tac. The Heavenly Pope Li Bai, however, is ever present.cann0tsay 21:09, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

The Current State of Caodaiism[edit]

Almost everyone in the Free World know that many of the inalienable rights we enjoy and take for granted do not exist in Vietnam, China, North Korea, Russia and a few other countries. Among those rights is religious freedom.

Caodaiism and other religions in Vietnam are under the control of Vietnam's government. The Tay Ninh Holy See is ruled by a council that the government had inserted. The current situation may look bleak but Caodaiists are not worried. This is not the first time Caodaiists have faced oppression. Caodai temples, called Thánh Thất, are being built all over the world and subsequent generations of bilingual Caodaiists will clarify and shed light on this interesting, and, in my humble opinion, misunderstood religion. cann0tsay 13:34, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Victor Hugo a saint[edit]

Victor Hugo is a saint in this church, really?-- 09:16, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Yep, he sure is. Victor Hugo is one of the many incarnations of a Sage. cann0tsay 06:58, 26 January 2006 (UTC)


"Although various sects of Caodaiism claim to have received messages from numerous spiritual entities, the Tây Ninh Holy See acknowledges significantly fewer. Inside the Holy See is a painting depicting the Three Saints [1] signing a covenant between God and mankind. From left to right, they are: Sun Yat-sen, Victor Hugo and Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm."

The Victor Hugo from "los miserables"? That Hugo? Then, there must be a mentino an explanation on his wikipage...

-GTB 7:50 A 18/10/2006

Seriously, nobody's trying to question your beliefs here, but WHY is Victor Hugo SPECIFICALLY an incarnation of a sage?

    Yes, I want to know.  This seems very random. Magmagoblin (talk) 02:24, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
I'll give you a Cao Dai link, see this, that discusses the issue a bit. It says they believe Hugo was "a prophet" and insists they don't worship or deify him. Some Cao Dai adherents seem not entirely sure how to explain it, but say he was in "spiritual contact" and was very compassionate.(PBS interview) Another source says he is to represent the French[1], chosen as he was anti-imperialist, while the other two represent China and Vietnam. These are three nations that ruled/influenced Vietnam.--T. Anthony 16:11, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Interesting! I admit I first thought this was going to be some wacko cult stuff. But it actually makes some sense. If I felt the need to join a religion, this is just the sort I'd join. Very interesting movement, I hope it catches on, it'd be an improvement over the ones that are popular now. Magmagoblin (talk) 02:29, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

One of several misconceptions is that the Three Saints of Caodaiism represent China, France and Vietnam, or that they were chosen because of their nationality. It is an obvious and easy assumption because China and France were very much involved in Vietnam’s history. However, it is not true. To better understand Caodaism, one must think in terms of reincarnation. Spiritual entities go through many incarnations, and the Three Saints, like the rest of us, have had many past life times and lived in many different countries.
All sentient beings are on the road to spiritual enlightenment, to become buddha. Caodaism defines, from low to high, the following levels above human: angel, saint, sage and buddha. Only buddhas are perfect and are free from the cycle of birth-death-rebirth. A sage, although the closest to being buddha, still has minute imperfections, and thus, are prone to sins. A sage can make mistakes, lose spiritual grounds and go backward. For example, according to the Tay Ninh Holy See, Ngo Minh Chieu was a high ranking sage who has gone backward spiritually because he disobeyed God (God appointed him as Pope of Caodaism and he refused).
The Three Saints are highly honed spiritual beings -- they are actually sages.cann0tsay (talk) 17:05, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Jean Lartéguy in Le Mal Jaune (1962): Phu-Ngo-Chieu, avait lu tout ce qui lui tombait entrer les mains: Camille Flammarion, Allan Kardec, les en enseignements de Bouddha, Confucius, Sun Yat-Sen, la Bible, les poèmes de Victor Hugo. Tout cela s'était mêlé dans sa pauvre tête et il en était sorti Cao-Dai, l'Être Suprème qui était à la fois Bouddha et le Christ et dont les prophètes étaient devenus Victor Hugo, Confucius et Sun Yat-Seng. --Havang(nl) (talk) 20:09, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Hayesian Movement[edit]

Could someone elaborate on the "Hayesian Movement" in Caodaiism? When and where did it started. How many followers? cann0tsay 15:14, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Misconstrued as unfair bias[edit]

In the last paragraph of the section "Religious Constitution and Organization", it is said "However, the fact that ordained women may attain ranks only up to cardinal but not Pope may be misconstrued as unfair bias.". That seems to be a POV.

If the word "misconstrue" is changed to "construe", the POV disappears, I think. "Misconstrue" implies error but "construe" does not imply lack of error.

I agree. Thanks. cann0tsay 19:33, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Sacred Teachings (in Vietnamese)[edit]

Deleted the Hugo-Rosicrucian reference, which may be more suitable on the Victor Hugo page; this connection would be relevant here had Caodai texts mentioned it.) (cur) (last) 06:11, 11 November 2006 Cann0tsay (Talk | contribs)

Thanks. I was not sure at the time if this reference should be stated, since it is not a reference to any physical organization...
The 'Eye of Providence', commonly interpreted as representing the eye of God keeping watch on humankind.

(→Origin of God and the universe - Reverted to Big Bang (from a lesser known Tay Ninh Holy See text describing the origin of the universe) and God (see discussion page).)

May you please state which text? I did not find it through a yet superficial look into Cao Dai sites at the bottom of the article.
Are you sure it is not a later i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of original Cao Dai teachings? (As it happened in the Catholic Church in the 1950's, applying the cosmological[nonesense, my pov] theory of Big bang, from the extremely flawed(?) standard model of physics, to the Genesis[Bible]). Pls. see also emanationism, planes of existence (there is a section at this article devoted to this issue) and related articles. Also a look into the work of the physicist Harold Aspden, or into the work of astrophysicist Nikolai Kozyrev may be valuable. Best regards.
The Tay Ninh Holy See's library is a repository of all the teachings from God and other revered entities such as Venerable Tac Cong Pham (Phạm Công Tắc) before and after his disincarnation. When the Communists took over Vietnam in 1975, they curtailed relgious practices severely as they exerted their control. There had been two "accidental" fires in the Tay Ninh Holy See archives. As a matter of preservation, a few pre-1975 Caodai officials, in secret, made duplicates of religious texts and stored them in safe locations.
The adept who provided the article on the origin of the universe is Khuyen Minh Le, whose religious post is Cải Trạng (Cải Trạng LÊ MINH KHUYÊN). Mr. Khuyen is special in that while some Caodai officials have accepted promotions in rank from the post-1975 Communist government, Mr. Khuyen still retained his pre-1975 position.
The following is an article, in Vietnamese, from Venerable Tac Cong Pham, quoting God, and answering the age old question of where we came from. Below it, I will do my best to translate. cann0tsay 16:39, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your detailed explanation; the translation, in order to provide insight into the Cao Dai teachings related to cosmology, would be welcome. Best regards. --Lusitanian 23:37, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Bài Thuyết Đạo của Đức Hộ Pháp

(Paragraph 1)

Kể từ Thái Cực, Lưỡng Nghi, ba mươi sáu từng Trời (36) Chín từng Cửu Thiên Khai Hóa. Nhứt mạch Đẳng Tinh-Vi, Thập Phương Chư Phật, Vạn-Chưởng Thế Giái, Đại Thiên Thế Giái, Tam Thiên Thế Giái, Tứ Đại Bộ Châu, Thất Thập Nhị Địa Cầu và chư Động Phủ Phật, Thánh, Tiên cư ngụ.

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Thưa chư Hiền-huynh, Hiền-tỷ, Tôi xin nhắc ngày giờ mới khai Đàn tại Cần Thơ, có mấy vị Đồ Nho hầu Đàn xin Bạch THẦY như vầy: xin THẦY từ bi giải cho chúng con rõ hình thức quả Càn Khôn Vũ Trụ sao mà con thường nghe mấy vị Đồ Nho bàn cải với nhau, mỗi mỗi không in một lý. Người thì nói TRỜI lớn, người thì nói PHẬT lớn, còn trong sách Tam-Tự Kinh chú giải thì Đức Thánh nói Tam Thập Tam Thiên, nên phần nhiều bình luận phân-phân bất nhứt. Con không rõ thế nào là đúng. Xin THẦY từ bi xá lỗi.

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THẦY ĐÁP: Các con có học rộng, nhưng cái rộng còn khuyết điểm muôn phần. Nơi Thế Giái hữu hình hiện tượng trước mặt mà con chưa hiểu đặng, huống hồ gì thấu đáo sư vô hình, vì huyền diệu Thiêng Liêng mà người không học Đạo dễ gì hiểu đặng. Những bậc Thánh trước Hiền xưa ra công tham khảo cùn đời, mãn kiếp còn chưa vén nổi cái màng bí mật của Đấng Tạo Hóa đón ngăn, huống chi người thường nhơn luận bàn làm sao cho suốt lý.

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Kể từ khi THẦY sai Bàn Cổ xuống thế mở mang địa cầu nầy, nhơn-loại thuở đó còn mang hình tượng Thiêng Liêng chưa biết mặc áo quần, còn ở nơi hang hố chưa có nhà cửa, chưa có văn tự. Từ đó về sau mấy ngàn năm đến đời Ngũ Đế, họ Phục Hi, họ thường hết tâm theo quái điểu tích (tầm dấu chân chim) chế ra văn tự để mà ghi nhớ. Từ đó về sau mới có lịch-sữ, nên sách Nho có câu:

cái cái thiên nhị chi dân,
sào cư huyệt sữ nhụ mao ẩm huyết,
đồng nhi các vĩ kỳ hàn,
ẩm cư vĩ thị kỳ thử.

Nên lúc đó văn tự bất quá nghe truyền ngôn độ chừng rồi chép bướng, hỏi vậy lấy đâu làm bằng chứng. Ấy là nói tích ở Thế gian nầy còn chưa rõ, còn luận qua Thế-giới khác, như nhắm mắt mò kim đáy biển, hay bầy kiến tầm đường lên Núi Tu-Di, thì chẳng khác sự học thuyết của người mài kiếm dưới bóng trăng, ếch nằm đáy giếng, cũng có lắm người gọi mình là hay giỏi, dẫn người đi lạc bước sai đường. Thân mình mù-quáng mà chưa hay, còn tài khôn dắt thêm kẻ tối đui thì làm sao khỏi lọt vào đám chông gai cùng sa hầm sa hố … Cười …

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"Nếu người nào muốn học hỏi thì THẦY cũng rộng giãng dạy, còn kẻ nào không chịu học, sau đừng đổ cho Phật giã vô ngôn."

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Vậy trước khi chưa phân Trời Đất, khí Hư Vô bao quát Càn Khôn sáng soi đầy Vũ Trụ. Đó là một cái trung tâm điểm tức là ĐẠO, rồi ĐẠO ấy mới sanh Thái Cực. Hồng mông sơ khởi huyền-huyền hạo-hạo, khối lại thành ngôi Thái Cực rất đầm ấm lưng chừng. Trong đó toàn là một khối, đúng mấy muôn năm đùng nổ ra một tiếng dường như Thiên khuynh, địa-phúc, thì đã có THầY ngự trong ngôi Thái-Cực. Rồi đó có một tầng DƯƠNG một tầng ÂM gác chồng nhau thành hình chữ thập ló ra bốn cánh, kể là lưỡng nghi sanh tứ tượng, chữ thập mới dần-dần quanh lộn chạy lăn tròn như chong-chống. Giăng tủa ra muôn ngàn quả tinh cầu Thế giái, chữ Thập ấy dưới có bốn cánh bóng kêu là tứ Âm, tứ Dương tác thành Bát-quái là: CÀN, KHẨM, CẤN, CHẤN, TỐN, LY, KHÔN, ĐOÀI. Bát-quái mới biến hóa vô cùng phân định ngũ-hành, Càn Khôn muôn vật, Thái Cực sanh lưỡng nghi tức là Tam Thiên Vị (3 ngôi Trời) dưới ba ngôi ấy có Tam-Thập Tam Thiên (33 từng Trời) cộnh với ba ngôi trên là 36 từng… Nên kiêu là Tam Thập Lục Thiên. Trong mỗi từng Thầy chia chơn linh có một vị Đại-La Thiên-Đế Chưởng-Quản. Chỗ THẦY ngự là nơi Bạch-Ngọc Kinh là Kinh-Thành toàn là ngọc trắng rộng cao vọi-vọi. Ngoài là Huỳnh-Kim-Khuyết, cửa ngỏ bằng vàng cực kỳ mỹ lệ, dưới ba mươi sáu tầng Trời, còn một tầng kế Nhứt Mạch Đẳng Tinh-Vi gọi là cảnh Niết-Bàn. Chín tầng nữa gọi là Cửa-Thiên Khai-Hóa, tức là chín phương Trời cộng với Niết-Bàn là mười, gọi là Thập-phương Chư Phật. Gọi chín phương Trời mười phương Phật là do nơi đó.”

(Paragraph 7)

“Trong cõi Niết-Bàn là chư Phật ngự: Phật-Tổ ngự nơi hướng Tây, Quan-Âm ngự hướng Nam, mỗi từng đều có sơn xuyên hà hải, tứ phương, bát hướng liên Đài hằng hà sa số Phật. Còn hai chữ Như-Lai là Cảnh Phật chớ không phải là danh Phật. Nên trong Kinh có câu: “Bổn Giái Vị Như Kim Giái Như Lai” còn Bồ-Đề là chỗ Phật ngự, Phạm-Môn là cửa Phật, Bĩ-Ngạn là Đất Phật, Huỳnh-Kim Bố-Địa là vàng rồng đầy đất, còn chỗ Nam-Hải ngạn thượng là Quan-Âm ngự gần bờ biển Nam nơi cảnh Phật, chớ không phải hướng Nam như cảnh phàm. Đó là còn ở thượng từng không-khí hay là hư-vô chi-khí, rồi kế đó có Đại-Thiên Thế-Giái là Thế-Giái rất lớn có mấy triệu tinh-cầu bao trùm cả nơi mấy Thế-Giái đó. Kế đó là Thượng-Phương Thế-Giái đó là chỗ Đức TâY VƯƠNG MẫU ngự nơi Cung Diêu Trì, gần đó có vườn Ngạn-Uyển Bàn-Đào, Ngũ-Nhạc Bồng-Lai Nhược-Thũy. Còn các Đấng Thiêng-Liêng nam nữ hằng hà sa số lầu Đài Cung Điện toàn bằng Ngọc-Ngà Châu-Báu, Hổ-Phách San-Hô, như lục, Thiên-Ngân-Cung Tử-Phủ Thánh-Đế Điện-Đài Lãng-Phóng trong cảnh nhị châu Chơn-Võ, Nơi Linh-Tiêu-Điện là chỗ chư TIÊN nhóm hội, có Ngọc-Vệ Kim-Nương, giao-lê quả-táo toàn là kim-dược nhẹ-nhàng cũng Kim-Đơn Đề-Hồ, Huỳnh-Tương, trường-sanh chi tử, lò rượu trường-sanh dùng đặng sống hoài không chết.”

(Paragraph 8)

Kế đó là Trung-Phương Thế-Giái cũng là nơi cung Điện của THẦN, TIÊN, Nhơn-Tiên, Quỉ-Tiên, các bậc Quần-Tiên. Kế đó là Hạ-Từng Thế-Giái, Tam-Thiên Thế-Giái, ba ngàn quả Tinh-Cầu là Địa-Cầu Số 1 cho đến Địa-Cầu các con ở là Địa-Cầu 68. Từ hồi có Địa-Cầu nầy đến nay kể ra đặng: 12 MUÔN, CHÍN NGÀN, SÁU TRĂM NĂM. Dưới các con còn bốn Địa-Cầu nữa, còn U-Minh chưa có loài người kêu bằng U-MINH-GIỚI, nên từng Thế-Giới Địa Cầu đều có các đẳng nhơn-loại.”

(Paragraph 9)

Nên chi có điều khác nhau là do không-khí nặng nhẹ cùng tùy theo công-quả của mỗi Tinh-Cầu cách nhau từ một MUÔN cho đến mười MUÔN dặm, luôn-luôn xây tròn giáp một Vòng là 360 ngày gọi là một NĂM. Nơi Địa-Cầu cũng có Sơn-Xuyên Hà-Hải như: Thái-Bình Dương, Đại-Tây Dương, Bạch-Hải, Hắc-Hải, Hồng-Hải chỗ trắng, chỗ đen, chỗ xanh, chỗ đỏ, bề sâu có chỗ tới 8,000 ngàn thước, chỗ 3,000 thước, chỗ 2,000 thước không đều nhau. Còn núi Tu-Di cao độ phỏng 8,000 thước. Núi nhiều chỗ thấp, chỗ cao không đồng. Phong Thũy mùa tuyết nóng nực không đồng, như mùa nắng đây, chỗ khác lại mưa, xứ nóng nực, xứ lạnh lùng, như ngày đêm trong Lục-Địa có 24 giờ, còn người ở Bắc-Băng Dương sáu tháng tối, sáu tháng sáng, quanh năm nước đặc như giá, chỗ chua, chỗ mặn, chỗ ngọt không đều. Còn màu da của người, nào là da trắng, da đen, da vàng, da đỏ. Nước thì lớn cao đồ-sộ, nước thì lùn thấp nhỏ con. Dân số trên Toàn-Cầu phỏng định 2 tỷ 300 triệu sanh-sanh tử-tử không ngừng. Điểu thú côn trùng cũng đều khác lạ như chim Đại-bàng rất lớn lần-lần nhỏ như chim Sắc chim Sâu. Loài Cá như cá Ông, Cá Mập, Cá Sà, Cá Sấu, rồi nhỏ lần Cá Bạc-Mạ, Cá Trắng. Loài thú như Tượng-Voi, rồi tới những loài Nhiếm-Mang, Chuột, Bọ. Chính những loài cầm-thú suốt đời ta chưa còn hiểu biết hết lựa là đến việc cao-siêu, nếu ta không học hỏi các Đấng vô-hình thì ta phải chịu tối tăm mù-mịch không mong gì đoạt thấu huyền-vi mà siêu Phàm nhập Thánh. Hễ ta học nhiều chừng nào ta sẽ thấy dốt nhiều chừng nấy.

(Paragraph 10)

Vậy chư Huyền-Huynh, Hiền-Tỷ, ta phải gia tâm sưu-tầm cho hoạt-bát, nếu ỷ lại sự biết của mình là đủ thì dạ-thảo bích-châu, đường muôn dặm bóng xế chiều không rán bước ắt là phải trể.

SAO Y NGUYÊN VĂN TÒA-THÁNH, ngày 20 tháng 6 năm BÍNH-TÝ (dl.03.8.1996)


Sacred Teachings (translated)[edit]

NOTE: Initially, the translation will be very rough. Hopefully, it will improve with subsequent revisions. cann0tsay (talk) 21:14, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

...Translation begins...

Sermon from Venerable Tac Cong Pham

(Paragraph 1)

(Paragraph 2)

(Paragraph 3)

TEACHER REPLIES: My children, you are well educated, but your education is vastly incomplete. The visible world is right in front of you yet you do not fully understand it, how can you expect to comprehend the invisible world, the Divine inner workings that elude those who do not study Tao. If previous saints and sages who have devoted their lives in study cannot unveil the secrets of the Creator, then how can people discuss among themselves and uncover the ultimate truth?

(Paragraph 4)

(Paragraph 5)

“If there are those who want to learn then I will teach, but as for those who do not wish to learn, do not say I did not speak [about this matter].

(Paragraph 6)

Before the creation of Heave and Earth, [khí Hư Vô] was everywhere, lighting the whole Universe. It was a singular point, which is the Tao, and the Tao borned the Highest Position/Post. […] coalesced to form the seat of the Highest Post, having reached equilibrium. It was entirely one block that, after countless years, exploded with a sound that stirred the entire Universe, and I was already seated in the Highest Post. Afterwards, there was a level of Yang and a level of Yin that overlapped each other, forming an X with four protruding wings, it was [lưỡng nghi] borned four [tượng], then the X started spinning gradually, like a propeller. Spewing countless planets and Worlds, the X has below it four shadows called the four Yins, four Yangs, which formed the Eight-Sign Figure: [CÀN, KHẨM, CẤN, CHẤN, TỐN, LY, KHÔN, ĐOÀI]. The Eight-Sign Figure changed and morphed continuously, defining the five "elements", numerous things, [Thái Cực] borned [lưỡng nghi] which are the Three Divine Seats, below which are thirty-three Heavens (or 33 levels of Heaven), altogether, there are 36 levels of Heaven… therefore the name Thirty-Six Heavens. In each level, I have shed a part of myself, creating a [Great Divine Governor]. Where I reside is the White Jewel Palace, a [Kinh-Thành] consisting of voluminous, tall white crystals. Outside is [], with golden doors […], and below which are the 36 levels of Heaven, also there is a level next to […] called Nirvana. Nine more levels called […], those are the nine Divine areas plus Nirvana resulting in ten, called the Ten Buddha Areas. The saying of nine Heavenly areas ten Buddha areas refers to those places.”


(Paragraph 7)

(Paragraph 8)

(Paragraph 9)

(Paragraph 10)

SAO Y NGUYÊN VĂN HOLY SEE, 20 JUNE year BÍNH-TÝ (dl.03.8.1996)


...Translation ends... cann0tsay (talk) 21:14, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

The Visible and Invisible Worlds[edit]

TEACHER REPLIES: My children, you are well educated, but your education is vastly incomplete. (...) then how can people discuss among themselves and uncover the ultimate truth?

A PUPIL(?) CRIES: Indeed we are not able, yet. But then, why do we miserable mortals, acquainted to some degree within ourselves with this profound words of Yours, continue to assume that the "ultimate truth" has been uncovered by the intellectual pride of those who have imposed to the world a materialist-reducionist view of the universe of God; such limited view which "has done such terrible damage to almost every aspect of life on this planet"? When will we all be able to reach a more aethereal truth?
Makes you reward, baron, the Sapience
Supreme of, with the corporal eyes
see what can not the vain science
of the wrong and miserable mortals
-- Luís Vaz de Camões in The Lusiads: Canto X
-- (talk) 00:30, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


Someone should correct the first/second period lists; not sure what they would look like if correct, but they must include the three saints mentioned at the end.

Cut and paste move[edit]

Esimal recently tried to move this page to Caodaism via cut and paste. This is not the proper way to do a move, it destroys page history. It has been reverted back to this location. To do a proper move, please see WP:MOVE.--Cúchullain t/c 22:25, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Move again[edit]

I don't think there is consensus to change the name of the page (though props for doing the move properly this time). I think consensus should be gathered first, via requested moves.--Cúchullain t/c 23:30, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Caodaism is the proper Western name. --Esimal (talk) 23:35, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
According to what? Cao Dai looks much more prominent. At any rate, the page has been at Cao Dai for long enough that consensus for the change ought to be gathered.--Cúchullain t/c 23:46, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

A somewhat odd note[edit]

Back in 1956, when few people in the United States could even locate Viet Nam on a map, and most knew very little about it other than vague memories of newspaper headlines about the battle of Dien Bien Phu (in which the United States had not been involved), a U.S. science-fiction author wrote a book -- Slave Ship (Frederik Pohl novel) -- which predicted that a Vietnam war would lead to the near-overthrow of Western civilization, with Cao Dai being the main antagonist... AnonMoos (talk) 19:14, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


What is the history of Cao Dai? How did it come about? Something about this in the article would be good. (talk) 19:20, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Agreed; I might move on to this as I progress in improving the Religion in Vietnam article. There's definitely a lot to be said of the history of Cao Đài, mainly about the effects it's had on the course of political events in Vietnam. Followers of both Cao Đài and Hòa Hảo were mobilized against various groups (including each other) in the run-up to the Vietnam War, and it can be argued that at certain points they played a key role in shaping the country's future. This should definitely be reflected here. --dragfyre_ʞןɐʇc 17:49, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, an article on Cao Dai that does not mention its political activities is not only incomplete, it's downright misleading as to the nature of the movement. Every religious movement has a political dimension and Cao Dai is definitely not an exception. I hope someone can address this with some authority -- there is too much questionable information around about Vietnam's colonial and post colonial years, such as the very first comments on this talk page (Cao Dai suffered persecution DURING the war as well as after; to ignore religious persecution in southern Vietnam prior to 1975 is characteristic of a well-organized effort to sanitize the later colonial regimes that is unfortunately reflected in many of the articles on Vietnam).TayRuong (talk) 14:32, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

This is long overdue - I'm going to get it started.Sylvain1972 (talk) 15:13, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

How is Cao Dai monothestic?[edit]

I'm not trying to debate the monotheism of Cao Dai, but to illicit a reference to substantiate having called it monotheistic in the article. I see no description of intrinsic unity between the God and Goddess, save for one being created from the other. For example, Christianity has its "homoousios" trinitarian theology -- even if you do not agree with it, it is an apologetic that helps understand why Christianity considers itself monotheistic. Thanks (talk) 21:25, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

First, God is the focus of Caodaiism. He reigns solely, over everything, from the highest place, in the highest heaven (there are 36 heavens). Being at the top of the hierarchy, God delegated tasks to other buddhas including handing over to the Goddess the task of managing Yin. Second, the term Goddess is a translation that may have caused more confusion than it's worth because of its intrinsic meaning. A goddess is female, but not the Goddess in Caodaiism. A goddess may equal God in power and position, but not in Caodaiism. Caodaiists literally use the term Mother Buddha, not Goddess. Okay, one might point out that a mother is female. But here is something non-buddhists may not know: a buddha is always male. In sum, Caodaiists believe all of creation can be traced back to the one God and thus, Caodaiism is monotheistic.
A side note, Vietnamese do not have the concept of multiple gods. It wasn't until my family emigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. (1975, I was 9) that I learned about the idea of multiple gods such as those in Greek Mythology. The Vietnamese word for god is "Ông Trời", and the literal translation is "Mr. Sky." :-) In Vietnamese, the word god (Ông Trời) is reserved strictly for God; all other entities are labeled as buddhas, sages(a.k.a. immortals, I avoided using this terminology because Caodaiists and Buddhists believe that only buddhas are immortal), saints or angels. Therefore, Poseidon, "the god of the ocean" would be roughly translated in Vietnamese as "the angel of the ocean."
Hope this helps. cann0tsay (talk) 17:38, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Ah gotcha, I think. So Goddess is not a or part of the God? It is just a confusing term for non-Cao Dai English speakers? :) This should be explained in the article if it has not been done so already. (talk) 19:33, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. I was going to ask about "Cao Dai vs. monotheism" when I found this discussion here. I propose a step further, replacing the "Goddess" by "Mother Buddha". That would "degrade" it from a God-like being to something else for a non-Vietnamese, making the article easier to understand. Sae1962 (talk) 15:50, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Reorganization and expansion[edit]

I've been bold and reorganized parts of this article to follow a somewhat more logical structure (all those level 2 headings were bugging me). I've added {{unreferenced-section}} templates to indicate which sections need additional citations and references. Backing up statements with citations is very important on an article like this, since religion can be a touchy subject. I've also commented out some of the photos, since the profusion of images was making the article feel extremely cluttered; I kept what I felt were the nicest and most relevant ones, and tacked them onto the appropriate sections. Lastly, I've created a short stub of a "History" section, since there was a discussion above about the need for a historical perspective on the development and past activities of Cao Dai. I've only put a few statements that I know to be verifiable (yay, references!), but interested parties should feel free to expand it with more verifiable material (and within the bounds prescribed by WP:NPOV of course). --dragfyre_ʞןɐʇc 14:30, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved per request. Favonian (talk) 18:53, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

– Two sects and a goddess. Per use of best sources, WP:RS and WP:AT title consistency with the rest of Category:Religion in Vietnam and Category:Vietnamese mythology. Increasingly English texts on Vietnamese Caodaism, Buddhism and animism are using full fonts. Philip Taylor Goddess on the Rise: Pilgrimage and Popular Religion in Vietnam 2004, Olga Dror Cult, Culture, and Authority 2007, S. Blaguov Caodaism 2011, - etc. The use of Đ distinguishes "Cao Dai" (Chinese 高臺, "high altar") from soft-D, "Cao Yai" ; Likewise Đạo Mẫu "mother goddess". In ictu oculi (talk) 10:10, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Support; looks reasonable to me. bobrayner (talk) 02:47, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Three-fold revelation[edit]

In the section Caodaism#Three-fold revelation, there is a passage:

...served suffering humanity founding religions.


Maybe I am just confused but to me, that sentence doesn't make any sense. A mistake in the text possibly? Perhaps the original contributor could correct that if (s)he happened to be roaming around at the Talk Page =P Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 19:38, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Correction has been made to the above. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ppn vn (talkcontribs) 13:49, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

What is this source (Dao, Tam)[edit]

What is this "Dao, Tam" source used in the article? I tried to find for the exact classification of it - e.g. a holy book, a commentary, a scholarly book, etc. - but I could find nothing. Knowing what kind of source it is would make the editing a lot easier, trust me. Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 21:06, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

This is the name of a Cao Dai adept who is a looking after the Cao Dai library at He wrote the Understanding Caodaism in 10 minutes book, which is divided into multiple pages on the library site. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ppn vn (talkcontribs) 13:54, 9 November 2014 (UTC)