Bibliography & References
His Holiness Hộ Pháp
His Holiness Thượng Phẩm
His Holiness Thượng Sanh
Organization Structure (Cont.)
2) The Hiệp Thiên Ðài (The Divine Alliance Body, The Heaven Union Body, 協天臺)
The Hiệp Thiên Ðài is the Legislative Body which has the duty of communicating with the other realms to receive divine messages, to preserve the religious laws and listen to the complaints of the unhappy, in order to symbolize equality in the Religion. Hiệp Thiên Ðài is the mystical place where the Giáo-Tông (Pope) comes and places himself in spiritual communication with the Thirty-Six Heavens, the Three Thousand Worlds, the Sixty-Seven other Earths and the Lords of Karma so that he can pray for the salvation of Humanity. The Hiệp Thiên Ðài is placed under the authority of the Hộ-Pháp (Head of the Legislative Affairs). He is assisted by the Thượng-Phẩm (Head of the Spiritual Realm/Religious Affairs) and the Thượng-Sanh (Head of the Temporal Realm/Secular Affairs). The Ho Phap is concerned with the Laws and Justice.
Hộ-Pháp / 護法 (The Head of Legislative Affairs), is the one who unveils the Mystery of the Invisible and is the Maintainer of the Rules and Laws of the New Religion. He carries the duties of pronouncing judgments on the dignitaries and disciples, elevating the dignity of the fervent through their merit and bringing sanctions against those who have committed faults. The Hộ-Pháp holds control over the Legislative Power both exoterically and esoterically. He watches over the positive progress of the disciples in the Way of God, and guides all evolved souls to Bát-Quái-Đài for the union with Angels, Saints, Immortals and Buddhas. He has control over four Lords of the Zodiac, namely Tiếp-Pháp (接法, Juridical Legislator), Khai-Pháp (開法, Juridical Reformer), Hiến-Pháp (憲法, Juridical Renovator) and Bảo-Pháp (保法, Juridical Conservator).
Thượng-Phẩm /上品 (The Head of the Religious Affairs), is the Representative of the Hộ-Pháp in the formation of virtuous souls of the Sacerdotal Council. He depends on the Hộ-Pháp in all his missions. In a word, the Thượng-Phẩm is responsible for helping the Cửu Trùng Đài to live in an atmosphere of happiness; he is to reveal the Heavenly Voice to virtuous souls, and guide them to the Divine Phase of the Great Spirits, while closing behind them the Door of regression. He considers the priestly laws to take up the defence of all office-bearers and disciples; he prevents all perversion of the Divine Rules, and helps all initiates to attain their aim. He is simultaneously the President of the Hall of Defence and protector of all disciples. The Thượng-Phẩm is Leader of the Spiritual Power. Under his command, he has four Lords of the Zodiac, namely Tiếp-Đạo (接道, Religious Legislator), Khai-Đạo (開道, Religious Reformer), Hiến-Đạo (獻 道, Religious Renovator), and Bảo-Đạo (保道, Religious Conservator).
Thượng–Sanh /上生 (The Head of Secular Affairs), has control of all the laws and rules which relate to the worldly life of all disciples to guide them out of the Abyss of Suffering. He may present a formal complaint before the religious Tribunal against all those who impede the faithful as they move along the Way of God. He is the President of the Hall of Accusation. Under his command, he has four Lords of the Zodiac, namely Tiếp-Thế (接世, Temporal Legislator), Khai-Thế (開世, Temporal Reformer), Hiến-Thế (獻世, Temporal Renovator), and Bảo-Thế (保世, Temporal Conservator).
The second unit in the Hiệp Thiên Ðài is comprised of under-officers, cadres of the second rank. These are: Tiếp Dẫn Đạo Nhơn (Instructor, 接引道人), Chưởng Ấn (Chancellor, 掌印), Cải Trạng (Lawyer, 改狀), Giám Đạo (Judicial Inspector, 監道), Thừa Sử (Justice Commissioner/ Administrator of Justice, Historian, 承使), Truyền Trạng (Clerk of Court/ Greffier/ Investigator, 傳狀), Sĩ Tải (Archivist/ Archival Secretary, 士載) and Luật Sự (Student of Law, 律事, Agent judiciaire).
The third unit in the Hiệp Thiên Ðài is a group of Thập Nhị Bảo Quân (十二保君)/ 12 Skilled Academicians (Advisory) who may be asked for advice by the High Dignitaries of Hiệp Thiên Ðài. The Thập Nhị Bảo Quân are: Bảo Huyền Linh Quân (in charge of Theosophy), Bảo Tinh Quân (in charge of Astronomy), Bảo Cơ Quân (in charge of Orphanage), Bảo Văn Pháp Quân (in charge of Culture/Arts, 保文法君), Bảo Học Quân (in charge of Education), Bảo Y Quân (in charge of Health), Bảo Vật Quân (in charge of Science and Industries), Bảo Sĩ Quân (in charge of Literature), Bảo Sanh Quân (in charge of Social/Welfare, 保生君), Bảo Nông Quân (in charge of Agriculture), Bảo Công Quân (in charge of Public Works), and Bảo Thương Quân (in charge of Economics).
The role of the members of the Hiệp Thiên Ðài is to act as mediums (đồng tử), and as legislators who protect the sacred laws, and see that all the dignitaries in the Administrative Branch/ Cửu Trùng Ðài correctly fulfil their tasks. The dignitaries of the Hiệp Thiên Ðài are entrusted with the maintenance and application of the religious Rules and Laws so that they can watch over the good progress of the disciples in the Way of God, transform the Cycle of Destruction into the Cycle of Renewal/ Conservation, and assist Humanity to bring into reality the Era of Peace.
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