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Biography of Cao- Quynh-Cu(reply : edit : del)
Posted by Hien Cao on 1/4/2005 10:07 PM
Cao Quynh Cu. (1888 – 1929)

Cao Quynh Cu, also known as Boi Ngoc, was born in 1888 At Hiep Ninh village, Tay Ninh province to a Confucian family of Mr. Cao Quynh Tuan and Mrs. Trinh thi Hue.
He has a gentle personality as a child and is very intelligent.
Mr. Cao Quynh Tuan passed away when Cao Quynh Cu was 10.
In 1907, he was married to Ms. Nguyen Thi Hieu (who has become female Dau Su in 1968). In 1909, he has his first and only son named Cao Quynh An, who went to France later to study.
In 1915, he worked as secretary of the Saigon railroad office, and lived at 134 Bourdais (which changed later into Calmette road).
In 1925, three Vietnamese workers of the French colonial government began to explore the table tipping which they have read in the Western spiritual books. They were Cao Quynh Cu, his nephew Cao Hoai Sang who worked in the custom department, and Pham Cong Tac (1893 – 1958) who was a clerk of the custom office. Mrs. Cao Quynh Cu also participated and had the role of secretary.
On 7 – 25 – 1925, they sat around a four-legged table, their hands resting on its surface, and prayed. When spirits came, the table shook and knocked on the floor. Each successive rap indicated a letter of Vietnamese alphabet. There were many visitor spirits on the first night trying to give messages in various languages such as Vietnamese, English, French, and Chinese.
The following night, at midnight, a spirit came and gave a poem:

“When I left this world I was about more than fifty years,
And you were only ten.
You should remember with perseverance my counsels
To try to promote love in life.
I have been teasing you some times during your dream,
But now forever, I am free in the immortality.
I am still sorry for my gentle wife, old and weak,
These are just some words for our meeting today!”

Signed Cao Quynh Tuan

In reading the 7th sentence, Mr. Cao Quynh Cu was so touched and cried. He invited the spirit to return the following night for him to set up a ceremony to show his piety. The spirit knocked twice on the floor as sign of agreement.

On July 30, 1925 (the 10th of the 6th month of the year At Suu), the trio got together at Mr. Cao Hoai Sang’s house for a seéance. A female spirit gave a poem:

“To whom may I confide my heart?
I have left this world young wasting all my talent and beauty!
I thought I was married to a noble gentleman,
But I died early instead.
I have not paid all hard works of my parents for raising me,
I could not keep my marriage promise either,
I kept bearing all those sentiments on my shoulder,
To whom may I confide my heart?”

Signed Doan Ngoc Que

Cao Quynh Cu asked: Where did you live before?
Answer: At Cholon
Pham Cong Tac: Where did you study?
Answer: At a French school for female.

The trio had answer to her poem with the same rhymes.

Following is the poem of Cao Quynh Cu:

“It was rare to see willow mourning oriole,
I am admiring you through your poem
As a talented, beautiful and noble lady.
And feel sorry for a friend in the other world.
The bush of bamboo is sad for the flowers floating for thousand miles.
So is the apricot branch for the withered grass tomb.
Your spirit from the other world
Please witness this willow mourning the oriole.”

Doan Ngoc Que is only her pen name. Her real name was Vuong Thi Le.
The next day, according to her instruction, the trio found her tomb, which strengthened more their trust. They continued to communicate with Vuong Thi Le via the table tipping and were informed more about the spiritual world. They later adopted her as their sister. Cao Quynh Cu was the eldest brother. Pham Cong Tac was the second. Cao Hoai Sang was the third brother, and she was the 4th sister.

On August 4, 1925, during the seéance, she announced the coming of a spirit who gave them the following poem:

“Hot pepper, pepper is hot, the more one is thinking about it, the hotter it is.
Salt is always salty, and the saltiness even lasts for three years, what a long lasting saltiness!
Because I don’t have money for wandering around, so I come here,
But I don’t want to stick to anyone for money.”
Signed A. A. A.

Pham Cong Tac was disturbed by the poem, but Cao Quynh Cu calmed him down knowing that the spirit was very special. Cao Quynh Cu asked the age of the spirit. The table knocked continuously until they could not count any more. Pham Cong Tac asked about the residence of the spirit, and received the following poem.

“I am poor, so poor that I have nothing but my body,
And a white lotus for my shelter.
My house is the dark blue cloud,
My way of transportation is a white crane.
I arrange humanity to establish the Tao,
And bless my disciples to build love.
When the earth rises and the sky changes
Then Buddhas, Immortals, and Saints come to earth.”

On 8-18-1925, during a seance, they asked Vuong Thi Le to invite her other friends to come to teach them poetry. She responded: “Sister Hon Lien Bach, the sixth lady, the first lady are very good poets” and she added “but you have to be vegetarian in order to evoke them.”

On 8-25-1925 (the 8th of the 8th month of the year At Suu), the spirit A-A-A came and instructed them to set up a vegetarian banquet on the 15th of the 8th month to welcome the Mother Goddess and the nine female Immortals of the Dieu Tri Palace.

On the 14th of the lunar month, the spirit of the Immortal Nhan Am came and gave the following poem.

“I get used to the pleasure of living in the pine forest,
Watching life on earth up and down.
Enjoying the moon and the breeze with my Chrysanthemum wine gourd,
And traveling all over the country.”

The spirit of Mr. Cao Xuan Loc came and gave a poem following the same rhymes.

“Since long long time ago, there has been a rule for life and death.
I just completed my duty to humanity on this earth.
At the end of my life,
What I had left was just three foot grave and empty hands.”

Cao Quynh Cu came up with a poem also following the same rhymes.

“It is difficult to guess where Heaven is
And to find talented people
At the end of one’s life, if one wishes to reach Heaven.
One has to follow the step of Saints during one’s young age.”

On the 15th day of the 8th month of the year At Suu, at his residence at 134 Bourdais, Saigon, they set up an altar with beautiful and fragrant flowers in the middle of the house. They burned incenses all day long. They wore national costumes, kneeled in front of the altar and prayed to the Mother Goddess and the nine female Immortals. After the prayers, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hieu (Cao Quynh Cu’s wife) served foods on the altar and on the table.
After the banquet, they set up the seéance, the spirits A-A-A, the Mother Goddess and the nine female Immortals came and each gave them a poem. This banquet became historic, and later every year, the Holy See at Tayninh celebrates the banquet on the 15th of the 8th month which is called the banquet of the Dieu Tri Palace, and during which the poems given by each spirit were sung. Besides, the 6th female Immortal gave them a special poem, and asked them to take turn to make poems with her.

The 6th lady began:
“Being born on this earth is like having a debt,
People of the earth, this debt is very heavy!”

Cao Quynh Cu continued with two verses:
“The load of duties toward the country is so heavy on my shoulder.
I have to sustain all the hardship in this world.”

Pham Cong Tac:
“The world changes often from a blue ocean to a mulberry field
The honors and the richness of this world are just like a game.”

Cao Hoai Sang:
“In living in this world, one will realize the difficulty.
Not only for one or two years but also for life.”

Then the 6th lady initiated another poem:
“In living in this world, why do you say that it’s sad?
How could you measure the sadness and the joy?”

Cao Quynh Cu:
“The honors, the richness, the longevity are teasing our spirit.
I have had enough difficulties with them in this world.”

Pham Cong Tac:
“Our life is like a little boat up and down in the blue ocean,
Or in other words, is like a dream.”

Cao Hoai Sang:
“We are waiting for the time when we are free of secular obligations,
And we will have the pleasure to travel around with the guitar and poems.”

At this time, thanks to the friendship, the 6th lady revealed that Vuong Thi Le is the 7th female Immortal of the Dieu Tri Palace.

On September 14, 1925, in a seance, they asked the spirit A – A – A the reason for not coming for a long time, the spirit said that because he revealed the secret divine mechanism to them, and therefore had broken the divine law of the Jade Palace. The trio then set up the altar to pray to the Jade Palace for forgiving the spirit A –A –A.
Cao Quynh Cu read a poem in front of the altar:

“We ask the nine female Immortals
To pray to the Jade Palace our situation,
Because of our friendship, A – A - A had committed severe crime,
Please grant him amnesty just on behalf of our co-religious relationship.”

On the 15th of that month, the spirit A – A – A came with a poem:

“What a magnificent Jade Palace,
Illuminated with stars.
Separated from the North Star and the South Star
With a long distance.
It’s so bright of colors that blind Angels’ eyes.
And scare highly virtuous Saints.
It changes continuously like lightning.
It always persists through time.”

The news on the table tipping expanded to the public. By curiosity, lots of people came to challenge the seéance.
One Buddhist came to ask A – A – A how to differentiate the truth from the false. A – A – A gave him a poem:

“Orchids, which grow among wild flowers
Would not be recognized if one did not get closer to smell their fragrance.
A kind and gentle person who lives unfortunately among the tyrannical people,
Would look alike with them despite his angel heart.”

The Buddhist continued to ask him how to distinguish between right and wrong. A – A – A gave another poem:

“When there is right, there should be wrong naturally.
It’s difficult to distinguish between them.
It’s like secular persons who want to become Immortals and Buddhas.
They have to come to me.”

On the same day (11-14-1925), Mr. Nguyen Trung Hau, who was a famous poet with the pen name Thuan Duc (which was unknown to the trio), wanted to know the truth, came to challenge the seéance. He received a poem in which his pen name was spelled out:

“Your talent with your fine writing and kind virtue
Was famous in the poetry society.
If you want to leave your name as a hero of the country.
You have to wait for the right time.”

Nguyen Trung Hau then became a confirmed spiritist and disciple of A – A - A as the result of the evidence revealed by the seance.

Mr. Truong Huu Duc did not believe the story, set up himself a seance at home; he received a prescription from his brother’s spirit to cure his own disease. He also received a poem from Minh Nghia Immortal:

“Duc, you should be glad to meet the Master,
There is nothing better that you could wish.
You should wish that there would be more manifestations in Europe and Asia.
And be happy that the ruffians have followed the way.”

Mr. Truong Huu Duc was convinced and became fully vegetarian.

On 12-12-1925, the Mother Goddess came and gave them this following instruction: “On the 1rst day of this 11th month, you three have to pray to God for the Tao.”
They did not understand the meaning of the phrase “pray for the Tao.” When they asked the 7th female Immortal, she said that it’s not her duty to explain. They then asked other superior spirits, they were referred to A.A.A.
On 12-15-1925, A.A.A. gave them this instruction: “Tomorrow, on the 1rst day of this 11th month, you have to pray God for the Tao: you have to purify yourself, kneel outside on the side walk, hold nine incenses and pray as following: We are Cao Quynh Cu, Pham Cong Tac, Cao Hoai Sang, pray to the Jade Emperor CaoDai to give us sufficient grace to reform our way of live, to return to the right path. You have to borrow a corbeille a bec for the seance.”
They followed the instruction, and at the seance, received this following message via the corbeille a bec:
Jade Emperor or CaoDai Tien Ong Dai Bo Tat Ma Ha Tat, teaching the Tao for the Southern quarter.
Verses:
“Heaven is striking the bell like thunder
For guiding all humanity of this world to the self realization
The true Tao is now open for the good of thousand generations
For the unity of all religions on this third revelation.”

This has ended the period of the seance with the table tipping, and the use of the corbeille a bec then opened the period of the third revelation of the Tao.
They did not understand well the message, and evoked the spirit A.A.A. for explanation.
A.A.A. explained: “the Jade Emperor is God, CaoDai is a Confucian term to indicate the high tower or God, Tien Ong (Immortal) indicates Taoism, Dai Bo Tat Ma Ha Tat (great Bodhisattva) indicates Buddhism. The whole sentence means that God has come to unite Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism and teach the Tao to the Southern Quarter.”
They were still not quite convinced. On 12-23-1925, the 6th female Immortal came and explained to them further. Later, Immortal Hue Mang Truong Phan came and gave this following poem:
“We promised before to get together sometime in the future,
Did not realize that we meet today.
Keep cultivate self with perseverance,
We would get together soon.

I had cultivated self in the Linh Son cave at TayNinh,
I did not care about gain or loss in this world
I’d rather endure all sufferings during my life time,
But the kings, the dukes, and the marquis could not be better.

Please try your best to self cultivate. Even at a low spiritual level like me, I still can be blessed to become Immortal Hue Mang Kim Tien just because I had faith in God. And you, being at higher spiritual level, if you keep cultivate self you would reach much higher spiritual positions.”
The message from Hue Mang Truong Phan had made them happy although scared. They set up a seance the next evening to evoke A.A.A. for further instruction. The 6th female Immortal came and announced the coming of the Jade Emperor CaoDai.
Cao Dai came with a poem:

“For ten thousand generations, I have been holding the power,
If you would please cultivate self, you will be blessed.
The miraculous Tao is spread all over the earth.
Your names will be remembered for ever.
Jade Emperor CaoDai

Rejoice this day, it is the anniversary of My coming to teach the Tao in the West. Your allegiance and respect bring much satisfaction. This house will be abundantly blessed. You will see more miracles, which will lead you to further belief. For some times I have used the symbol A.A.A. to lead you to the religious life. Soon you must found a novel faith under My instruction.”
At the same night, Ly Thai Bach (Li Tai Pe) came and gave this following poem:

“I came to the earth at the Tang dynasty
I did not care about honors and positions, but leisure.
People have still remembered my wine drinking power and my hundreds of poems
And I am still staying in the Immortality for thousands of generations.
With a gourd of wine, I was drunken days and nights,
And a bag full of poems.
I was still dreaming about the fairy land when I moved my pen
To describe people’s sentiments toward the country.”

Thai Bach Senior Immortal

The news of the coming of the Jade Emperor was spread widely to the public, a head of the province, a catholic friend of Cao Quynh Cu, asked him to let him come to the seance for challenges. He asked the permission to put a picture of Jesus and a cross on the table, if it was really God who had come, God would come again, otherwise if it were evils, they would be scared and would not come. Then they started the seance as usual, the spirit of Saint Peter came and gave this following poem:

“I have been keeping the gate of heaven in the West sky,
To spread the Tao to humanity.
I have been saving humanity for almost two thousand years,
Now Cao Dai has entrusted me the mission to guide you all.”

Then Cao Dai came with the following message:

“Do you know who was Jesus? I have shed my blood to humanity because of love. Now I have come to save humanity also because of love. Have you ever loved Me that much? Repent in order to save yourself.”

The French government was also aware of the events and suspected that there was a revolutional movement agaisnt the government. It sent an undercovered person to participate to the many seances. He witnessed everythings that happened and was not convinced himself. One day, he went to a seance, knelt in front of the table with a poem in his pocket. The seance came up with the following poem:

“It’s the Jade Emperor who is answering to your poem,
Immortals and Buddhas are now coming to earth.
To awaken and guide living beings to the right path.
It’s the Jade Emperor who is coming to save all humanity.”

Then people saw the person prostrating three times to the seance and asked to be converted.
He said later that he had hidden a poem in his pocket, and the Jade Emperor had answered to his poem using the same rhyme that he used in his. This was his poem:

“I am angry and come here to asked the Jade Emperor
Are there real Immortals and Buddhas coming to earth?
Or just evils that cheat people?
If you are able to answer to my poem, you would be the real Jade Emperor!”
On 12- 31- 1925, in the evening, A.A.A. came with a message: “You three children love Me, your master, that much! Have you realized the humility of A.A.A.? Have you realized My power? Have you ever seen anyone with that greatest authority who came with such a humble manner like A.A.A.? A.A.A. is Me, your master. I came to you like that! Do you love Me?
The gentleness of the 7th female Immortal, have you ever been as gentle as her? You should learn that gentleness.
The greatness of the 6th female Immortal, have you ever been a tiny part of that greatness. You should learn that greatness.
The benevolence of the 1rst female Immortal, have you ever been as benevolent as her? You should learn her benevolence.
The love of the 8th female Immortal, have you ever had such love? You should learn that love.
You should learn examples of love, loyalty, and help of the Mother Goddess.
You should learn the respect of the 9th female Immortal.
This is the era of destruction.
I have sent Angels, Saints, Immortals, and Buddhas to you. Even Myself, because of love to humanity, I have come to you, in a humble manner, using the table tipping to play with you, to entertain you in order to teach you the Tao, and then to found the Great Tao for the 3rd time to save living beings.”

The term Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do was never used until that time. When God came to Mr. Ngo Van Chieu in Phu Quoc island, God only used the name Jade Emperor.
Mr. Ngo Van Chieu and the trio have not realized neither the greatness of the Tao nor its teachings.
Therefore, on January 1, 1926, The Jade Emperor CaoDai taught: “Cu, Tac, you two children should not consider the Tao as just a game. Listen! You should wait for My order. You should not use your own idea. I have already prearranged your duty and your responsibility. It’s not time for action yet. You must obey Me. From now on, I will start teaching you the Tao.”
That day was a historic day for Mr. Pham Cong Tac and Cao Quynh Cu for being able to learn the real Tao from the Supreme Being. They used to evoke the superior spirits for explanation of what they have not understood. Therefore the Supreme Being came one day and reprimanded: “I said that A.A.A. is Me, Dieu Tri Palace is itself a separate entity. Saints, Immortals, and Buddhas all exist. You should not summon them just for fun, unless you really want to learn, because they all have their own responsibility.”
On 1- 9 – 1926, the Supreme Being ordered Cao Quynh Cu and Pham Cong Tac to visit Mr. Le Van Trung at Quai Testard street in Cho Lon. Pham Cong Tac was not happy because of his prejudice against Le van Trung. He related later on: “Le Van Trung was the senator in the French government. He was the only Vietnamese who was able to reach that position. He was totally averse to religion. Cao Quynh Cu and I could not get along with such a kind of person. I could not tolerate. I could never be a such mandarin for the French government. No body could describe how bad was a mandarin of a country under the French colony. When we brought the corbeille a bec to his home, we just did what ever the Supreme Being wanted us to do. At his home, we said: ‘The Supreme Being told us to set up a séance for you to receive His instruction, and I am sure you know that spirit better than us.’” Indeed, since 6- 6- 1925, Mr. Le Van Trung had been frequenting the Cho Gao oracle, where he had received many messages from Ly Thai Bach. So he understood what Mr. Pham Cong Tac told him. They then set up the séance. The corbeille a bec kept moving, Mr. Le van Trung kept asking, the Supreme Being kept answering. CaoDai said: “Trung, dear child! Be loyal. Your life and your death all depend on Me. Look at your clear vision as an example and think.” Mr. Le van Trung was almost blind before. Cao Dai’s miracle has cured completely his blindness. Finally Mr. Le Van Trung was convinced, believed the existence of the Supreme Being, and became a sincere CaoDai disciple. As soon as Mr. Le Van Trung became CaoDai disciple, the Cho Gao oracle was closed.

Despite of studying the Tao from the Master God, they were still always occupied by the situation of the country under the oppression of the French. Their revolution mind raised very often. The 7th female Immortal came on 1- 27 – 1926 and counseled: “Please sit back and look at life. It is like the Phu Dung flower, which blooms beautifully in the morning to wilt in the evening. Despite its short life, it always has its own beauty. In contrary, human beings have nothing but sufferings: they died without having any satisfaction. Life is just an ocean of sufferings. I beg you to appreciate your long lasting spiritual life. Many others seek for it in vain. You already have it. It would be regrettable if you lose it. You are on the right tract. You should continue to progress. I am sure you will return to your initial position (unified with God).”
Since the end of the table tipping séances, Cu and Tac were the only two mediums for the corbeille a bec. Sang realizing himself not helpful, stopped attending the séances. Cu and Tac brought this matter to the Supreme Being for counseling, the latter said: “He is honest and still has a physical body. Having a physical body, no one would be perfect.”
Being disciples of the Supreme Being for quite a long time, they still did not know the way of worshipping God. When they asked the Supreme Being, they were answered: “Come to Chieu to see how he worships Me and tell him to join you.”
Le Van Trung, Cao Quynh Cu and Pham Cong Tac came to visit Ngo Van Chieu at his home at Bonard street. Chieu set up the altar very carefully and privately high in the middle of the house so that people would not notice it if he did not mention. And Chieu would not tell to anyone except his co disciples.
The story how to set up the altar went back to 1921 when Chieu was the head of the Phu Quoc island. One morning, the Supreme Being manifested under the form of a brilliant eye and instructed Chieu to use it as a symbol to worship. When he returned to Saigon in 1924, he continued the worship and meditation at home.
On 1- 28- 1926, Le Van Trung installed the altar at his house. He invited Ngo Van Chieu, Cao Quynh Cu, Pham Cong Tac, Cao Hoai Sang, Nguyen Trung Hau, Le Quang Ky, Doan Van Ban, Nguyen Van Hoai, Truong Huu Duc, and Vo Van Sang... for the ceremony. He set up a séance. The Master gave the following message: “I am very please to see you getting along well with each other. I want you to keep up this way for ever. This is a solemn offering to Me.”
Verses:
“You do not need to have the same name to be in the same family.
By following the same Way, you all have the same father.
In this life span of one hundred years, remember to serve humanity,
And try your best to teach each other Concordance.”
CaoDai Immortal.

On 2- 2- 1926, on the New Year eve, Ngo Van Chieu along with Cu and Tac went visit everyone for the New Year wish. At each person’s house, Cu and Tac set up the séance. The Supreme Being gave each of them a four verse poem. Following is the poem for Cao Quynh Cu:
“It’s is usual for the youngest to receive more love and attention.
The more you love the more you teach, that would be the true love.
Loving without teaching is the false one.
It is false because it has not enough sincere love.”

On the New Year, CaoDai said: “Today is an important day, I officially open the Tao or Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do (the third amnesty of the great way) in order to save 92 myriads of souls who are drowned in the ocean of sufferings:
Verses:
The phoenix singing on the South mountain is the sign of the Tao revelation.
The Tao will manifest to all humanity of four corners of the world.
The sky of Europe, the oceans of Asia are waiting for a change.
The white cloud is the sign of blessing to all.”
Jade Emperor CaoDai

It was the day of opening of the Tao.

On 2 – 21 – 1926, the 9th day of the 1rst lunar month, the God’s anniversary, Mr. Vuong Quang Ky set up a séance at his home at La Grandiere street. The Supreme Being gave this following poem:
“From My precious throne, flowers are happily and continually blooming more.
Although many different branches are growing out, they will belong later to one same family.
Likewise, you should join together to try your best in serving the Great Way.
With patience and loyalty, you will come back to Me.

It is not easy to find the Way to Nirvana.
I have in My hands all miracles of the universe.
In antiquity, to find Nirvana, one had to cultivate one's self over the course of innumerable lives.
Now, anyone from all over the world can be guided to this Way,
Whose virtuous messengers I am still discovering.
Attempting to change the hearts of the evil ones has brought me sorrow on many occasions.
If one wishes to escape from the suffering world,
One should cultivate one's spiritual self and thus will find Nirvana soon.

The branches that you are now are all part of Me. You will understand this later. I am happy to see you always getting along well with each other: it is a precious gift to Me. Be united and be cooperative in glorifying the Way. My Way is you, and you are Me. Be united and strong. Do not quarrel. Keep performing your duties and you will more fully know My will later.”

Ngo Van Chieu asked the Supreme Being to give a poem using the names of all present disciples. The Supreme Being gave this following poem:

“Raise high the flag of guidance for all living beings--the born and the unborn!
The Way has been successfully shown;
Those who improve themselves spiritually will return to Heaven
In the palace of splendor.”

CHIEU KY TRUNG do dan HOAI SANH
BAN dao khai SANG QUI GIANG thanh;
HAU DUC TAC CU thien dia canh.
HUON MINH MAN** dao thu dai danh.

** The capital letter words are the names of the first 12 disciples of the Supreme Being. The last three names of the last verse are the names of the séance participants


Being disciples of the Supreme Being, they were still bewildered with the rituals, religious dresses, and especially the worship of the Divine Eye. On 2- 24- 1926, Cao Dai taught: “The creator of the twelve heavens is Me, the Supreme Being of all universe, having twelve zodiacal spirits in My hands. Number twelve is My own number. It is not time to understand the full meaning of the Divine Eye, but I will briefly explain this to you.

The Eye is the principle of the heart:
Two sources of light (Yin and yang) are the Master;
Light is the spirit;
The spirit is God;
God is Myself.

Since the Dao was established, there has been a lack of the spirit in the miraculous mechanism of enlightenment. With this third salvation, I will allow the Than (spirit) to be unified with the Tinh (physical matter) and the Khi (emotions), leading to a unification of the three elements, which is itself the miraculous mechanism of the enlightenment.”

With time, people understood the goal of CaoDai as to bring the three main religions to their primordial origin and to unite the five branches of the Tao. But they still wanted to know the reason of the founding of the new faith. CaoDai gave another message: “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: Confucianism, Shintoism, Christianity, Taoism and Buddhism, each based on the customs of the race. In present days, transportation has been improved, and people have come to know each other. 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. Moreover, the Holy Doctrine has been, through centuries, more and more denatured by the people responsible for spreading it.”

On 4- 25- 1926 (15th of the 3rd month of the year Binh Dan), a séance was set up at the residence of Mr. Le Van Trung, CaoDai came and granted appointments to many disciples: “Listen, Cu: have Tac clean and deodorize himself and dress neatly with a hat (celestial laughter). Theoretically, he should wear armour, as in the theater, but it is so expensive that I have excused it. Tac must stand on the table facing the throne of the Giao Tong. His head should be covered with a 9 dm. red cloth. Make a Giang Ma Xu charm for him to hold. From now on you must purify yourself until the date of taking the oath.”
“Today you have not yet returned to your inner Divine Light.
Understanding people's hearts is hard;
You must wait until your enlightenment.
Because right now you are still not virtuous enough, and others are wild.

Duc and Hau are appointed as Tien Dao Medium Assistant Taoists.
Cu is appointed as Tien Hac Medium Assistant Taoist.
Tac is appointed as Protector Fairy Medium Assistant Taoist.
Trung and Lich are already appointed: keep following My orders.
Ky is appointed as Tien Sac Lang Quan, Giao Su responsible for teaching.
Ban is appointed as Tien Dao Cong Than, Lecturer Taoist.
Cu, implement My orders!”

Mr. Cao Quynh Cu and Mr. Pham Cong Tac became the pair of mediums responsible for important séances in the appointment of dignitaries, and the establishment of CaoDai constitution.

To avoid difficulty with the French government, the initial disciples (disciples all together) submitted their application for the establishment of the new faith to the French Governor of Indochina (who was Mr. Le Fol) on October 7, 1926. The application was considered as just an announcement to the French government; they started their activities to spread the new faith without waiting for the reply of the French government, which never issued any official permit to CaoDai.

On November 18, 1926, they organized an official ceremony of the grand opening of the new faith, Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do, or CaoDai, at the Tu Lam pagoda at Go Ken, Tay Ninh, the first temple of CaoDai. Tu Lam pagoda was a Buddhist temple owned by monk Nhu Nhan. After being converted into CaoDai, Nhu Nhan offered this temple for the opening ceremony of the new faith.
Because of the huge crowd, the ceremony was not well under control and therefore not solemn, the Supreme Being came to the séance, gave a few words to reprimand and left. Evils then came and spoiled the whole ceremony.
Despite the chaos of the opening ceremony, on the next day, the 15th of the 10th month, the Master still granted CaoDai constitution establishing the Cuu Trung Dai for the male college with Thanh (purity) as the spiritual name for the male dignitaries:

"The Third Revelation of the Thanh Dao (pure Way) will endure seven hundred thousand years.
It endures as long as the earth, and will bloom as well as Heaven.
Human beings' "khi" (Chi) shall return to Hu Vo (the Cosmic Void),
Shining the way to Nirvana."

(Thanh Dao tam khai that uc nien,
Tho nhu dia huyen thuan hoa thien,
Vo hu qui phuc nhon sanh khi,
Tao van co dan chieu Phat duyen).


Because of this incident, many people including monk Nhu Nhan have lost their faith. Monk Nhu Nhan then decided to take his pagoda back.
The Sacerdotal Council promised to return the temple in three months.
They received the order from the spiritual Giao Tong Ly Thai Bach to go look for land for the future temple. The dead line was close and they have not found the land. Ly Thai Bach then instructed them to follow the auto route until the natural lake. Cao Quynh Cu discovered a large area with the name Cao van Dien on the sign. Cao Quynh Cu recognized that name as one of his old classmates. Cao Quynh Cu went to meet Cao Van Dien who told him that the land belonged to Mr. Aspar, a forest administrator. In the evening, Ly Thai Bach came to the séance and said: “Yes, that is the land you are looking for. Let me explain why this land is to be the Holy land. The center is 30 meters deep and is the intersection of six streams (six dragons). The land has three angles, one toward the lake, the other two toward the forest.”
Giao Tong Ly Thai Bach instructed regarding the location of the temple: “The temporary sanctuary should be at the vacant land. The Hiep Thien Dai should be in front of the sanctuary. You have to demolish the forest, put one stake about 3.5m from the vacant land. Put another stake 50m from the CaNa pond. The Holy See will be between the two stakes.”
Cao Quynh Cu mobilized thousands of people from Cambodia to help demolish the forest, which attracted the attention of the French. The French Chief of justice was worried about the crowd, had summoned Cao Quynh Cu to the city hall for investigation. Cao Quynh Cu said he was planning to establish a plantation for rubber trees, which had been the favorite business to profit the French, and which had pleased the Chief of justice.
On 3- 23- 1927, Cao Quynh Cu had to move the twenty foot Buddha statue from the Go Ken pagoda to the new location, using two ten foot ox carts assembled together. The French soldiers were ordered to hide themselves in the near by trench watching. They were ordered to open fire to people if they found any suspected movement potentially harmful to the French government.
Cao Quynh Cu continued the building of the Holy See and its other supporting structures including offices, cafeteria, schools, etc...
Realizing the building of the temple, the French chief of justice harassed Cao Quynh Cu almost every day and had isolated the temple, forbidden disciples to organize ceremony inside the temple.
During this time, many volunteers got sick because of malaria. Cao Quynh Cu pray the Supreme Being to get Holy water to cure sick people. The miracle attracted more and more Cambodians and the construction went very fast.
The French news papers criticized Cao Quynh Cu accusing him for selling mineral water from the Black Lady mountain for his own profit. The rumors were spread to Thu Duc, a city located about 5 km from Saigon.
On the 3rd month of the year Mau Thin (April 1928), Mr. Nguyen Phat Truoc, a CaoDai leader of Thu Duc, led a group of people to TayNinh for investigation.
Nguyen Phat Truoc was originally a gang leader in Saigon. In 1926, he was curious about the seance movements, came to a seance organized in Cau Kho oracle in Saigon, and became CaoDai disciple. Following the order of CaoDai he established a CaoDai temple in Cho Lon. When he came to Tay Ninh he forced Cao Quynh Cu to leave the Holy Temple immediately. Cao Quynh Cu was then confined at his private home, where he became progressively depressed and died on the 1rst of the 3rd month of the year Ky Ty (4 – 10- 1929). At his funeral, the Hiep Thien Dai dignitaries set up a séance, Cao Quynh Cu spirit came and showed his happiness for being able to returned to the Master:

“Being pure, I do not care about the gossip of people of the earth,
Being spiritually advanced, I do not care about being depreciated.
I know now the price for being able to return to my initial position,
I just wanted to cultivate self to have love and mercy to humanity.”

At the time of enterment, he came and gave another two poems:

“I am now free from the earthly world,
Thanks to CaoDai.
The sunshine over the forest was at time bright, at time dim,
People on earth are at time confused and drunk, at time conscious like the moon light.
I don’t care about the gossip on earth,
But just about the leisure of the everlasting happiness in Nirvana.
I am happily holding my fan to guide people,
Day by day from the suffering ocean.

I am heart broken looking back to see humanity suffering,
I am just happy for being free of karma in heaven.
With perseverance, I have paid all my debt on earth,
To return glorily to my initial position.
My sincerity shines brighter than the sun and the moon,
My bravity for the country is well known.
The 42 year life seems not long enough,
To witness the victory of the country.”

On the 7th of the 3rd month of the year Ky Ty (4- 16- 1929), the Supreme Being came and taught: “I have foretold clearly that Cu had to return to Me first before any of you, but you were so lazy to read and find it out from My message. The Tao is originally the Nil (cosmic void), if Cu was not in the spiritual realm, who is going to guide humanity’s spirits? Moreover, you have responsibility of guiding humanity on earth, there should be someone in the spiritual realm to guide the spirits. Do not blame anyone for his death. It was predestined according to the Divine plan.”
Cao Quynh Cu had served the new faith for only four years, but he had tremendously contributed to its progression from the very beginning.
RE: Biography of Cao- Quynh-Cu(reply : edit : del)
Posted by Vinh Dang on 4/28/2005 2:54 PM
Did you actually translate this into English yourself? Great work!!!
RE: Biography of Cao- Quynh-Cu(reply : edit : del)
Posted by Hien Cao on 4/28/2005 4:03 PM
Dear Vincent,

This article is translated by Dr.Hum, and he asked me to post over here.

Please visit his homepage at Dr. Hum Bui's Home Page, and you can ask any question about this article or any related topic.

Thank you,

-Hien
RE: Biography of Cao- Quynh-Cu(reply : edit : del)
Posted by Vinh Dang on 4/29/2005 1:31 AM
Thank you Hien for the info.
RE: Biography of Cao- Quynh-Cu(reply : edit : del)
Posted by Adele Pham on 5/12/2005 10:37 PM
I really liked the story. Do you think there was anything particular about the time Cao Dai communicated with followers? Are Cao Daists allowed to communicate with spirits today in Vietnam? How are communism and the Vietnam War dealt with in the religion?
Thank you for the posting of the English translation.
RE: Biography of Cao- Quynh-Cu(reply : edit : del)
Posted by hum bui on 5/12/2005 11:07 PM
Dear Adele,
Spiritism is very special to CaoDai. It is a way of communication between man and God. Any one of us may communicate with God by returning to our inside, to our heart by practicing CaoDai meditation.
CaoDai faith activity and administration are based on spiritism with the principle of Man-God Union. Of course in the spirit of democracy, men may get together and make decision by consensus for any activity and administration, but there must be approval from the Supreme Being (by spiritism). Now in the current situation of Vietnam, spiritism is forbidden by current government, and thus communication between man and God will not anymore exist and the functioning of CaoDai faith is subsequently totally paralyzed. This policy of the VN government leads certainly to the destruction of CaoDai faith.
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