Vietnam Homegrown Religion: Caodaism: A blend of Asian philosophies with 6 mln followers
Today, we head to Vietnam to learn about its homegrown religion - Caodaism. Bringing together Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, Cao Da is rich in symbolism by drawing on elements of other faiths. CGTN's Rian Maelzer talked to its religious leaders to find out more.
CARDINAL THUONG TAM THANH LEADER OF CAO DAI "Caodaism was established by God the father in 1926 and Tay Ninh was chosen as the holy land for our religion. We worship the Eye of God, the spirit of the conscience of humanity. And that is the universal eye to mean that God is the master of the universe and all humanity must accept this. In Caodaism, we consider compassion as the basis of the religious practice. We also consider benevolence and righteousness as the motto of the religion, serving human beings as the action, and saving souls and spirits of humanity as the target of the religion."
RIAN MAELZER TAY NINH, VIETNAM "Four times a day here at the Great Temple and other local Cao Dai temples. Then twice a month, on the first and 14th day of the lunar month, special midnight services take place."
NGOC HONG THANH CAO DAI ARCHBISHOP "The purpose of Caodaism is to unite the three religions: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. That's why the dignitaries of the religion wear different cultured robes: The yellow represents Buddhism, the blue represents Taoism and the red Confucianism."
"This is the most important and sacred place of Caodaism and also of the temple because this is the place where the spirit medium through séance received direct messages from God and other deities to instruct and manage the religion. In the middle you can see the figure of the Buddha, then the spiritual head of Caodaism Li Bai. There's Lao Tze, Confucius, the goddess Guan Yin and Jesus Christ. In the octagonal palace, a most sacred place, here is the tablet of Victor Hugo."
CARDINAL THUONG TAM THANH LEADER OF CAO DAI "Victor Hugo was a famous French poet and writer but in the holy world he was a saint. He got a special sacred mission from God to come and help to develop Caodaism around the world."
"Since the religion was established in 1926, now there are six million followers of Caodaism in Vietnam, and in other countries, like the United States, Canada, Cambodia, Belgium there are also many more followers."