Fundamental Principles of Caodaism



    The doctrine of the Cao Đài Religion tends not only to reconcile all religious views, but also to adapt itself to all degrees of spiritual evolution. A basic principle of Caodaism is "All Religions are One".
    • 1) From a moral point of view, Cao Đài Religion reminds people of their duties towards themselves, their family, their society (a broader family), then toward humanity (the universal family).

    • 2) From a philosophical point of view, Cao Đài Religion preaches renunciation of honors, riches and luxury, in other words, deliverance from servitude to materialism in the attainment of full spiritual quietude of soul.

    • 3) From the point of view of worship, Cao Đài Religion recommends the adoration of God, the veneration of Superior Spirits and the worship of ancestors.

    • 4) From a spiritual point of view, Cao Đài Religion confirms, in harmony with other religions, the existence of the spirits and the soul, their survival beyond the physical body, and their evolution by successive reincarnations, according to the Karmic Law.

    • 5) From the initiates' point of view, Cao Đài Religion communicates to worthy adherents and reveals teachings that enable them, by a process of spiritual evolution, to reach the ecstasies of happiness.

    A basic principle of Cao Đài Religion consists in synthesising the Doctrines of the three main Religions - Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism - into one. This is why in belonging to Cao Đài Religion, believers must observe the basic principles of these three Religions to cultivate and purify themselves by strictly pursuing the following:

    • - The three main duties and five essential virtues of Confucianism. The three main duties (Tam-Cang) are social relationships between king and subject (quân-thần cang), father and children (phụ-tử cang), husband and wife (phu-thê cang). And the five essential virtues are: Love/Humanity (Nhơn), Justice/Faithfulness (Nghĩa), Good behavior/Politeness (Lễ), Wisdom (Trí), and Loyalty (Tín).

    • - The three refuges and the five prohibitions of Buddhism. The three refuges (Tam Qui) are: to take refuge in the Buddha (Qui Y Phật), to take refuge in His Law/Dharma (Qui Y Pháp), and to take refuge in the Spiritual Community (Qui Y Tăng). The five prohibitions are: do not kill living beings (sát sanh), do not steal (du đạo), do not commit adultery (tà dâm), abstain from drinking intoxicants (tửu nhục), and do not sin by words (vọng ngữ).

    • - The striving to unify the three jewels and the five elements of Taoism. The three jewels (tam bửu) are: life matter/ching (tinh), life energy/chi (khí), and soul/shen (thần). The five elements are: mineral (kim), vegetable/wood (mộc), water (thủy), fire (hỏa), and earth (thổ).

    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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