Hien Tai Hum D. Bui, MD


Human beings have a tendency toward materialism. They discriminate against each other because of physical differences between cultures and religions; they fight, and kill each other under the form of religious wars; the relationship between parents and children, husband and wife, brothers and sisters, friends becomes controlled by materials desires and money.

In order to bring peace on earth, in 1926, via spiritism, the Supreme Being founded a novel faith called CaoDai in Vietnam with the principle that all religions are one, have one same origin, one same principle, and are just different manifestations of one same truth.

"CaoDai" literally means high palace or Supreme Palace or Abode on High where God reigns). Figuratively, the phrase Cao Dai (two words) is used as God's symbolic name, and CaoDai (one word) as the path being taught. The philosophy of CaoDai is the oneness between the Supreme Being and universe including humanity and religions.

The official name of CaoDai is DAI DAO TAM KY PHO DO

Dai Dao is the great way, including all religions. The word Dao has two meanings, one is the Tao (Spirit), the way that leads living, beings to become One with God, the other is the religion, a physical organization with diverse physical appearances, rituals, and laws. The Tao is invisible and religion is the visible physical counterpart.

Tam Ky means the third time. Saying the third time denotes that there had to be the first and the second times.

Indeed, the first revelation of the great way consists of diverse messengers representing diverse religions who were Nhien Dang Co Phat (Dipankara Buddha) founding Hinduism or the way of Buddhas, Thai Thuong Dao Quan (previous life of Lao Tse) founding Taoism or the way of Immortals, King Fu Hsi founding humanism, Moses founding the way of Saints which is Judaism, the precursor of Christianity, and Islam.

The 2nd revelation of the great way consisted of Sakya Muni or the Buddha Gautama representing the way of Buddhas, Lao Tse the way of Immortals, Jesus, Mohammed the way of Saints, and Confucius the way of humanism.

The 3rd time is the revelation of CaoDai, or the time for all religions, all the previous ways from East to West to be together in harmony.

Pho Do means universally saving, saving all humanity regardless their culture backgrounds.

CaoDai was officially founded in 1926. Regarding this 3rd revelation CaoDai said: "Before I founded CaoDai I have sent Angels, Saints, Immortals, and Buddhas to all over the world to promote religious unity."

Indeed, various movements of religious unity happened at many places in the world: in 1862, Baha'i was founded by Balla'Ulla in Persia, in 1875, Theosophy was founded by Blavatski in New York, in 1893, the 1st Parliament of the world's religions was organized in Chicago, in 1900, the 1st International Convention on religion's history was held in Paris, in 1939, Radhakhrisnan taught Comparative Religion at Oxford University.

Why CaoDai? One more faith? Don't people have enough religions?

There are in reality more than enough religions in the worlds, so that religious competition, discrimination have lead humanity to hatred,conflict, wars with each other. Because of this "too many religions," of the conflict between humanity, God has come to offer a way to bring people, religions together in harmony.

CaoDai said: "Formerly, people lacked transportation and therefore did not know each other, I then founded at different epochs and in different areas, five branches of the Great Way:the way of humanism, the way of Geni (or of Angels), The way of Saints, the way of Immortals, and the way of Buddhas, each based on the customs of the race. In present days, transportation has been improved, and people have come to know each other better. But people do not always live in harmony because of the very multiplicity of those religions. That is why I have decided to unite all those religions into one to bring them to the primordial unity."

History of CaoDai.

In 1920, Cao Dai the Supreme Being revealed to Ngo Van Chieu, the then governor of Phu Quoc, a beautiful island in the gulf of Siam. Ngo was leading a life of seclusion and wisdom.

With the assistance of a mediumistic form of worship, he maintained contact with the spiritual realm. An apparition which revealed an identity of "Cao Dai" appeared. From the beginning, the name Cao Dai, which literally means high abode, or roofless tower, was given as a symbolic name of the Supreme Being.

The Supreme Being informed Ngo that all the world's religions should return to the One from which they originally sprang. This message was to be delivered to the world. Ngo asked CaoDai for permission to worship Him under a tangible form. He then had a vision of the All-Seeing Eye and was subsequently ordered to use it as the symbol of Cao Dai. Ngo returned to Saigon in 1924. To those interested in self-cultivation, he taught the philosophy and esoteric practice he had learned from Cao Dai during his stay in Phu Quoc.

In mid 1925, totally separated from Ngo Van Chieu, three minor civil officials in Saigon - Cao Quynh Cu, Pham Cong Tac, and Cao Hoai Sang - were together practicing spiritism. One spirit contacted was singled out for His wonderful virtues and outstanding knowledge. He introduced Himself as AAA. (AAA are the first three letters of the Vietnamese alphabet).

On Christmas eve of 1925, AAA finally revealed that He was the Supreme Being, coming under the name of Cao Dai, to teach the Way. He said: "Rejoice this day, it is the anniversary of My coming to the West to teach the Way (God came to the Middle East in the form of Yeshua - Jesus - Christ to found Christianity). This house will be filled with blessings. You will see more miracles which will lead you to further belief. For some time, I have used the symbol AAA to lead you to religious life. You soon are to found a unique religion under My instructions."

Principle of CaoDai.

The principle of CaoDai is that "All religions are one, have one same origin, one same principle, and are just different manifestations of one same truth." One may wonder how all religions can be one while they look so different.

The Vietnamese word used to call religion is "Dao" which has two meanings. The first meaning is "The Tao" or the way which is invisible that leads living beings to the unification with the Supreme Being; the second meaning is religion, a physical organization, or a physical visible counterpart of the Tao with physical structures, rituals, laws in order to guide humanity to the Tao.

Therefore, if one is talking about religions, one would see them under myriad different appearances; but when one is talking about the Tao, or the esoteric aspects of religions, one would see them as one.

Regarding the Supreme Being, CaoDai believes that before the creation of heavens and universes, the cosmic ether was a kind of stillness, quietness, nothingness; and at the same time a kind of primordial chaos, indistinct and shadowy with mixtures of pures and impures which is called "the Tao" or pre-creation ether. In this cosmic ether appeared a great source of Divine Light called "Thai Cuc" (Monad) or the Supreme Being. The Monad then created Yin and Yang, the two opposite logos: "Am Quang" (Yin Darkness) and "Duong Quang" (Yang Energy). Yin is heavy, dark, cold, dense, negative, inactive… while Yang is clear, bright, warm, pure, positive, active… Yin and Yang interact with each other to form heavens and universes, of which Yang being the origin of the invisible spiritual part, and Yin being the mother of all visible physical manifestations.

Taoism calls this as "The Tao begets One, One begets two, two begets three, three begets ten thousands beings; ten thousand beings carry Yin on their back and hold Yang in front, blending these two vital breaths to attain harmony." (Tao Te Ching, 42)

Taoism calls the Creator the Tao, and the Tao is nothing but the nothingness:
"There was something nebulous, existing before the heaven and earth, silent, empty, standing alone, altering not, moving cyclically without being exhausted, which may be called the mother of all under heaven." (Tao Te Ching, 25)

Regarding the Creator, Judaism considers God or Elohim as a state of consciousness that pertains neither to perception nor to non perception or in other words, the state of consciousness perceiving Nothingness. In the beginning of the King's authority, the lamp of darkness engraved a hollow in the Supernal Luminescence...and the hollowing of the Divine Essence occurs on Tohu and Bohu. (Chaos and Void)
"He stretches the north on Chaos, He hangs the earth on Nothingness (Beli-mah)" (Job 26:7)

Similarly, Christianity says:
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things are made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:1-3)

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (John 1:4)

Islam says:
Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. (Koran)

"In the widest sense Islamic mysticism may be defined as the consciousness of the One Reality Be it called Wisdom, Light, Love or Nothing." (Annemarie Schimmel, Chapel Hill, 1975, Mystical dimension of Islam)

Hinduism says:
He is the one light that gives light to all. (Katha Upanishad) Primal energy is Brahman.That Brahman is beginningless, transcendant, eternal. (Bhagavad Gita)

Sikkhism says:
God, being truth, is the one light of all. (Adi Granth)

The common Buddhist conception is that the Creator and living beings came from the nothingness: There is an unborn, not become, not made, unmanifest. (Samyutta- Nikaya of Theravada Buddhism)

Does Heaven ever speak?
The four seasons come and go,
and all creatures thrive and grow.
Does Heaven ever speak?

CaoDai, inspired by the principle that all apparently separate religions are actually diverse manifestations of the same truth, holds that the Supreme Being is the "Great Sacred Light"—or Energy—and human beings are the "little sacred light."

CaoDai said:
"The Cosmic Ether created only Me. so, who created these founders? It was Tao, or Me. You must understand this. If I did not exist, there would be nothing in the universe. And if there were no Cosmic Ether, then I would not exist either."
In this cosmic ether appeared a great source of Divine Light called "Thai Cuc" (Monad) or the Supreme Being. The Monad then created Yin and Yang, the two opposite logos: "Am Quang" (Yin Darkness) and "Duong Quang" (Yang Energy).

In explaining the meaning of the All Seeing Eye, the symbol of the new faith, the Supreme Being taught:
"The Eye is the Master of the heart.
The two sources of Energy, Yin and Yang, are the Masters of Creation. (that is to say, these two sources of Energy correspond to Electrons and Protons and are responsible for the creation of the universe).
Energy is, in turn, the Spirit;
Spirit is the Supreme Being."
And the Supreme Being is from the midst of The Invisible Void, or the Nothingness (called in Buddhism Shunyata or in Judaism Beli-mah).

Through religions, the Supreme Being is called bybreligions under diverse names: The Nothingness, The Void, The Light, The Sacred Light, The Wisdom, The Love, The True Self, The Absolute Self, The Truth, The Word, The Monad, The One…

Regarding the formation of the universe, the Supreme Being gave this following message: "After creating the universe, I divided My spirit and with it made all creatures, plants and materials. Everything in this universe comes from My spirit, and therefore has a life. Where there is life, there is Myself even in materials and plants. I am each of you and you are Me."

Everything in this universe are from Yin and Yang. The proportion of Yin and Yang would dictate the properties of each dimension. More advanced souls would enter a dimension which has a higher proportion of Yang and would be lighter, brighter, calmer, more beautiful, and may be called heavens. Less advanced souls enter a dimension which has a higher proportion of Yin, and would be heavier, darker, more burdensome with many cruel souls and may be called hell.

Spiritually, everything in the universe shares a part of the Supreme Being's spirit, which is called Conscience or soul in human beings. Physically, everything in the universe has a visible body consisting of a mixture of Yin and Yang, which is well demonstrated by science under the form of electrons and protons in atoms, the basic common elements of all physical reality including materials, plants, animals, and human beings.

Science has contended that the universe came out from the nothingness, the void, when there was no space, and there was no time.

Time is not an ever-flowing stream which gushes from forever in the past to forever in the future. The flow of time is intimately linked to space and to matter and gravity. We cannot speak of what happened before the Big Bang, because time itself did not exist then. Before space existed, nothing could exist; there was nowhere for it to exist. Our universe probably came into existence not only from nothing, but from nowhere.

Science cannot answer the question of why the universe began. All we do know is that something did happen. The Big Bang took place about 13 billion years ago. From nothing, a tiny speck of brilliant light appeared. It was infinitely hot. Inside this fireball was all of space. With the creation of space came the birth of time.

The infant Universe was searingly hot, brimming with the energy of intense radiation. Albert Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 says that mass and energy are interchangeable: one can be turned into the other. In the early Universe, the energy of the radiation was so intense that it could spontaneously transform into matter, which took the form of subatomic particles, such as electrons and positrons. (Presently, Stanford University is still continuing the experiment of creating matter from electrons and positrons.)

From those tiny sources of energy was created the Universe. The Creator was nothing other than energy, and so is the Universe. It is clear from the discoveries of modern science relating to the nature of molecules and atoms, which are just energy, that everything, whether it is what we term animate or inanimate, is in motion and also seems to exhibit some form of organizing intelligence.

The levels of heavens depend on the proportion of Yin and Yang forces (energy) in their constitution. A level with more Yang would be lighter, brighter, and higher, closer to God. Each level would accommodate corresponding souls. Souls with good emotions (more yang) would be lighter and dwelling at higher dimensions. Souls with more negative emotions, with less Yang or more Yin, would be heavier, and dwelling at lower, darker, colder dimensions. Emotions are like coats. The more negative emotions one has, the more heavy coats one wears, the heavier one is, the lower dimension one dwells.

When one is in physical body, heavens or hell are in one's heart. People with good heart would feel like in heavens. People with negative emotions would feel very heavy, miserable, suffering in their heart, or in other words, like in hell. Although living on earth, weren't Buddha and Jesus always like in heaven? The way to cultivate self is to return to one's inner self to find the quietness (without being attached to emotions) in one's heart which is a state of beatitude in Nirvana.

Most Eastern philosophies believe that there are nine dimensions in heaven. CaoDai believes that there are twelve. The highest dimensions are Hon Nguon Thien, Hoi Nguon Thien, and Hu Vo Thien which belong to the pre-creation heavens where there is only Void, Nothingness, and Chaos.

The other nine dimensions are the dimensions of the Creation where universe and living beings are created from two sources of energy Yin (electrons) and Yang (positrons). They belong to the post-creation heavens. These nine dimensions are under the control of the nine female Buddhas who guide human spirits to progress through the nine dimensions.

After death, CaoDaists organize nine "Cuu" (nine, every nine day requiem) to pray for the passed away person to transcend through the nine dimensions. Two hundred days after the ninth "Cuu" is the celebration of the "Tieu Tuong" (ceremony Minor Beauty) when the spirit of the passed away person is prayed for reaching the "Hu Vo Thien." Three hundred days after the "Tieu Tuong" is the celebration of the "Dai Tuong" (ceremony Major Beauty), the last requiem, when the spirit of the passed away person is prayed for reaching the "Hon Nguon Thien," the highest dimension.

In summary, science and religions agree with each other that there is a oneness between the Supreme Being, the universe, human beings and every thing, and they are all under the form of energy. The only difference is that the Supreme Being is absolutely pure, absolutely good, absolutely Yang.

Human beings, not withstanding the spiritual part from the Supreme Being, which as noted is absolutely pure and absolutely good, and which is called Conscience, have a physical body, which is a mixture of Yin and Yang, and which human beings have to cultivate in order to become more and more Yang, better, purer, and closer to the Supreme Being, finally become unified with the Supreme Being.

In CaoDai, this distilling process is a product of meditation, vegetarianism, moral practices, prayer, to continually raise the vibrational level of Yang.

World religions' COMMON LANGUAGE:

Although religions wear different physical appearances, they do have one same principle. The most practical important principle of all religions is "LOVE and JUSTICE" Following are posters of diverse religions showing this priciple.


Love is the light that guideth in darkness
The living link that uniteth God with man that assureth the progress of every illumined soul .
Lay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid upon you,and desire not for anyone the thing you would not desire for yourself.
Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the drops of one ocean.

Tình yêu thương là ánh sáng đưa người ra khỏi sự tối tăm, là gạch nối giữa Trời và Người và đảm bảo cho sự thăng tiến của mọi linh hồn.
Đừng trao gánh nặng mình không muốn cho kẻ khác.
Đừng mưu cầu cho kẻ khác những gì mình không muốn.
Mọi người đều là lá của cùng một cội và là những giọt nước của cùng một đại dương.


The ninth perfection is loving kindness.
As water quenches the thirst of the good and the bad alike ,and cleanes them of dust and impurity, so also shall you treat your friend and your foe alike with loving kindness.
Hurt not others in way that you yourself would find hurtful
What is meant by soul of a suchness is the oneness of the totality of things, the great all- including whole.
For the essential nature of the soul is uncreate and eternal.

Điều toàn mỹ thứ 9 là tình thươngyêu,như nước mắt làm mọi người đở khát đồng đều và rửa họỳ sạch sẽ như nhaukhông phân biệt kẻ tốt người xấu..
Vì vậy dù đối với bạn hay thù hãy thương yêu họ như nhau
Đừng làm đau kẻ khác những gì làm chính ta đau đớn.
Linh hồn của vạn hữu là lý nhứt nguyên bao trùm tất cả, vì linh hồn là bất sanh bất diệt.

You are the body of love.
God and Humanity. Love and Justice.
I, your master, am you; You, my children, are me

. Các con là cơ thể của sự thương yêu.
Thiên thượng- Thiên Hạ ; Bác ái- Công bình.
Thầy là các con, Các con là Thầy.


God is love; and He who dwells in love dwells in God
Do not do unto others what thou wouldst not they do unto thee.
There is one body, and one spirit, ...
One Lord, one faith, one God who is above all, and through all, and in all.

Thượng Đế là tình thương yêu,
Ai sống trong tình thương yêu là sống trong Thượng Đế .
Làm cho kẻ khác những gì mình muốnlàm cho mình.
Chỉ có một xác thân , một linh hồn . .
Chỉ có một Đấng Tối Cao, một đức tin,, một Thượng Đế.
Thượng Đế ở trên tất cảỹ, xuyên qua tất cả, và trong tất cả mọi chúng sanh.


True religion is to love. As God has loved them, all things, whether great or small.
Do not to others that which if done to you would cause you pain.

Chân Đạo là tình thương. Vì Thượng Đế yêu cả muôn loài dù lớn dù nhỏ.
Đừng làm cho kẻ khác những gì làm ta đau đớn.


I was not sent to curse the infidels , but to have mercy on mankind.
None of you truly have the faith
If you do not desire for your brother that which you desire for yourself.
The Eat and the West is God's: therefore, whichever way you turn, thre is the face of God.

Ta không phải đến để trừngphạt kẻ phản bội mà là để yêu thương loài người.
Không ai có thể tự cho rằng mình có đức tin thật sự.
Nếu mình không mưu cầu cho kẻ khác những gì mình muốn cho chính mình.
Thượng Đế ở mọi nơi dù Đông hay Tây.


Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Do not do unto others what thou wouldst not they do unto thee
Hear, O Israel, the Eternal is our God .The Eternal is One.
The Eternal one of all being is the God within us.

Thương người như thương mình.
Đừng làm cho kẻ khác những gì mình không muốn làm cho mình.
Hãy nghe đây người Israel, Thượng Đế là Đấng bất diễt.
Đấng Bất Diệt là Đấng Duy Nhất .
Đấng Bất Diệt của con người là Thượng Đế trong Ta.

The Excellence of Friendship is measured by love.
Who loves people as he loves himself.
Myself and God and Earth are born together .
Myself and ten thousand beings are one.
Dùng tình Thương Yêu để đo lường tình Bè Bạn.
Khi trị thế, thương người như thương mình.
Ta cùng Trời Đất đồng sinh,
Ta cùng mươn vật sự tình chẳng hai.


We are the children of the world. We are one.
Chúng ta cũng đều là con cái của thế gian. Chúng ta cũng đều là một.


All beings are beloved of the Lord and should love God in return.
That nature only is good when it shall not do to another whatever is not good for its ownself.
The soul of the righteous shall be joyful in immortality.

Thượng Đế yêu thương muôn loài.Và trả lại muôn loài phải yêu thương Thượng Đế.
Đừng làm cho kẻ khác những gì không tốt cho mình
Linh hồn của người tốt sẽ luôn được an vui bất diệt

Beside the principle "Love and Justice" which has an important role in the daily life of humanity, most religions believe that one has the Supreme Being, or God, or Buddha inside oneselve which is usually understood as conscience. It is the Spirit or one's true self bestowed by the Supreme Being. It is called Microcosm by Zoroasterianism, True Self by Hinduism, Buddha's heart by Buddhism, God's heart by Taoism, Soul by Christianity, Rei by Shintoism, Nafs-e-mutamannah by Islam, and little sacred light by CaoDai...

Caodai said: "After creating the universe, I divided My spirit and with it made all creatures, plants and materials. Everything in this universe comes from My spirit, and therefore has a life. Where there is life, there is Myself even in materials and plants. I am each of you and you are Me."
(Thánh Ngôn Hiệp Tuyẻn p. 170)


When are liberated all the desires that lodge in one's heart, then a mortal becomes immortal, therein he reaches Brahman. He that has known the glory of the self within the ephemeral body that stumbling block to enlightenment knows that the self is one with Brahman, Lord and Creator of all.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishads

A person of the measure of a thumb, is the inner soul (antaratman) ever seated in the heart of creatures, he is framed by the heart, by the thought, by the mind; they who know that, become immortal.
Svetasvatara Upanishads


The heart is the Tao, the Tao is the heart.
Return to the heart to find the Tao.
You can see the whole world Without leaving your room.
You can see the universe Without even looking out your window.
In fact, it is often true That the farther one travels ,The less one sees.
By looking inside himself, The wise man sees with his heart and his mind, And his heart and his mind see everywhere.
Tao Te Ching


There is one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in you all. (Eph. 4:6 )
For the Kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)
Don't you realize that all of you are the house of God, and that the Spirit of God lives in his house. (1 Cor 3:16)
For though we have never yet seen God, when we love each other, God lives in us and his love within us grows ever stronger. And he has put his own Holy Spirit into our hearts as a proof to us that we are living with him and he with us. (I John 4:12-13)


I am a Buddha already enlightened You are a Buddha who will be enlightened.
Every human being has a Buddha inside.
The heart is Buddha, Buddha is in the heart.


We (God) are nearer to him (man) than his jugular vein. (Koran 50:16)
One of the most persistent doctrine of Sufism is inwardness. They despite outward piety and shallow religious rituals. "Direct thyself to the inward and thou shalt see thy God."

Poem of the Sufi Hallaj:
I saw my Lord with the Eye of the Heart.
I said: "Who are thou?"
He answered: "Thou"
(Martin Lings, What is Sufism. 1995.)


I, your Master, am you, My children, are Me.
Nhien Dang (Dipankara) Buddha is Me,
Sakya Muni (Gautama Buddha) is Me,
Thai Thuong Nguon Thi (Lao Tse) is Me,

Who is CaoDai.

Buddha, God; God, Buddha are Me,
Although different, all branches belong to one same trunk (family),
Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity are in My hands,
Because of love, I come to save humanity for the 3rd time.
It's miraculous, God and men are one.
(Dai Thua Chon Giao p.65)

We are One Universal Mind ,Immense and omnipresent
Although our selves do not exist, we still individually exist
We individually exist, but we are still One Universal Mind
The Tao is the first cause, the Master, And is one with ten thousand beings.
(Thanh Giao Suu Tap 1966-67, p. 35)

Children, you are sacred spirits on earth,
Who share with Me the same sacred light…
You have already the key,
To go to anywhere either to earth or to heaven.
(Thanh Giao Suu Tap 1966-67, p. 36)

Isn't it wonder in the presence of how much religions have in common? If an individual as well as a religion takes time to study others' religions, one would realize that they are but one unique truth which has been expressed under different ways.

At this moment, in this current situation of the world, the existence of CaoDai is just to remind humanity and all religions that ALL RELIGIONS ARE OF ONE SAME ORIGIN, OF ONE SAME PRINCIPLE AND ARE JUST DIFFERENT MANIFESTATIONS OF ONE SAME TRUTH.

A thorough study of all religions leads to the conclusion that ALL RELIGIONS ARE ONE, not in their historical accuracy or separate customs, but in their essential message:

All religions come from one common divine source
All ethics are essentially contained in the golden rules and love all humanity is one common family.
Divinity can be experienced and realized in the individual through prayer / meditation.
Good deed are rewarded, evil deeds are punished etc . .

The noble effort of CaoDai is to unite all of humanity through a common vision of the Supreme Being, whatever our minor differences, in order to promote peace and understanding throughout the world.

CaoDai does not seek to create a gray world, where all religions are exactly the same, only to create a more tolerant world, where we can all see each other as sisters and brothers from a common divine source and reaching out to a common divine destiny.

If people are open to read and study on their own each other's religions, or to contact other religious communities in their areas to talk to the religious leaders and perhaps to some of the faithful as well to simply build a continuing dialogue of understanding between them, this would be likely the most powerful weapon against hatred and intolerance, and hopefully many friendships will result.

In addition, various church groups could organize meetings where different religions could be discussed, speakers could be invited, videos and music of different traditions could be shown, and understanding between humans would be enhanced.

Also, could charity projects for communities be established with participation of everyone regardless their religions, and their ethnic origins so that through love and compassion for the needies, humans would become closer and closer to each other, love would develop between them as a solid bond, and peace would be subsequently be found between individuals at first, and then progressively in local communities and finally on earth ./.

Hien Tai Hum D. Bui, MD