A Great Quiet Leader

Updated: Jun 5, 2021



In a previous post on the Supreme Being's Day, we revealed the four Divine Horsemen among whom he is one. Although the former Acting Pope - His Holiness Thượng Trung Nhựt - was considered the eldest and the first leader, his younger brother soon became the most accomplished and enlightened. After the Pope's disincarnation, His Holiness Hộ Pháp was unanimously elected to be the Head of different branches in the Sacerdotal Council, a glorious but very strenuous role in the salvation mission.

Today, we commemorate his disincarnation in 1959 when he returned to the Eternal Realm after fulfilling his vows to the Supreme Being and humanity.


His Holiness's Legacy in the Cao Đài Religion

Below are excerpts from his biography delivered by His Holiness Thượng Sanh (Head of Temporal Affairs) in 1964:

"If we read about him we read about his great spiritual contributions, his great building works, that is, the construction of both the concrete and spiritual forms of our religion, forms which make the reputation of our faith resound throughout the world. Without the grace of His Holiness Hộ Pháp Phạm Công Tắc, he who exhausted himself both with his heart and with his mind, at this moment Vietnam would not yet have a Great Faith which is this Great Way for the Third Universal Amnesty (Đại-Đạo Tam-Kỳ Phổ-Độ / 大道三期普度). This religion now has more than two million adepts, its majestic and solemn Great Divine Temple and other magnificent buildings both in the urban areas of Tây Ninh and the periphery of the Holy See constitute a significant part of Tây Ninh...

His Holiness Hộ Pháp was born into the Phạm family on the 5th day of the fifth lunar month year of the Tiger (1890) at An Hòa village in the Trảng Bàng District of Tây Ninh Province. He attended the college of Chasseloup-Laubat, which is often referred to as our national school... His purpose was not to take advantage of officialdom in order to create happiness for himself alone, or to glorify his name or for the advancement of his family. Rather, his intent was to seek like-minded spirits around him and build close friendships. He sought to reveal his soul to his friends in discussions that went far into the quiet of the night...

One night, he said to his two close friends: “A life where you are focused on money makes you obsessed with the smell of materiality. We must look for temples and seek to practice the Way. We must do this in order to avoid seeing again and again these stories that break our hearts with a pain so intense that we forever wish to turn our eyes from such injustices...” They began to practice table tipping at the house in Darras Street near the Thái Bình Market (Saigon).

Amongst the Beings who descended and transmitted poems, there was one Being who did not want to present his name but was regconized only by [the first three vowels of Vietnamese] A, Ă, Â. This Being offered to come every night and teach the group about various religious matters and doctrines and to speak about many issues beyond the knowledge of those present. This made Hộ Pháp and his friends especially respectful of this “voice.” On the night of 24 December 1925, the Venerable “A à ” came to reveal to us all that He was no other than the Supreme Being who had now come to Vietnam to establish the foundation of the Great Way...

His Holiness is the one who unveils the Mystery of the Invisible and is the guardian of the rules and laws of the New Religion. He is the one who pronounces judgment on dignitaries and disciples alike. He elevates the dignity of the fervent through their merit and brings sanctions against those who have committed sins. In order to keep dignitaries and adepts free of the suffering inflicted by the laws of karma, he keeps an impartial heart in order to promulgate the Way. He used the mysterious and secret dharma to guide all the evolved souls towards entering the Bát Quái Đài [the Council of the Divine Spirits]...

His work led to the building of the Great Divine Temple. This has become a significant modern work. It not only receives compliments by visitors, but is also greatly admired by architects. Such a great work was completed only by the contribution of the believers in the religion. The financial means and the building materials were very hard to come by. It is thanks to the kindness of the Divine Pope, Lý Thái Bạch (Li Tai Pei), who through séance, gave step-by-step instructions and designs from the start through to the time of the building’s completion...

His Holiness is a Divine Being who followed the order of Heaven to come to the earth and establish a Religion that will last 700,000 years. Therefore, the disincarnation of His Holiness is a spiritual or heavenly reward for a soul who has completed the responsibilities he was given. Now he returns and submits to the Supreme Being after having carried out His mandates. The legacy that he left behind was a series of very extraordinary works."


To be continued...


Read his full biography