Bibliography & References
The Universal Globe
The pinnacle of the Great Divine Temple is the Altar to the Supreme Being, (Đức Cao Đài / God / 高臺) placed at the Bát Quái Ðài / 八卦臺 (Eight Trigrams Palace, administered by the Council of the Divine Beings governing the Eight States of Soul). It rises from the ground on twelve steps; they refer to a divine message in which He revealed that the number twelve was His sacred number. Around each side of this Eight-Sided Altar on each of the twelve levels are representations of the divinatory trigrams of Caodaism. These are inscribed on the uppermost steps and are difficult for the worshipper or visitor to see. These trigrams are similar to those of the Yi-Jing (易理). They have been oriented however to accommodate the spirits of the Bát Quái Ðài / 八卦臺 (the Eight-sided Palace of God's presence, or the Eight Trigrams Palace). It is an orientation that runs anti-clockwise in part so that the 乾 / Càn / Qian trigram (the most Yang or male of the trigrams) is aligned with the male side of the Temple and 坤 / Khôn/ Kun (the most Yin or female of the trigrams) is aligned with the female side of the Temple. The trigram Dui (兌 / Ðoài) is placed in the central position facing the West; followed to the South-west by Qian (乾 / Càn/Kiền); the South by Kan (坎 / Khảm); the South-east by Gen (艮 / Cấn); to the East is the trigram Zhen (震 / Chấn); the North-east Sun (巽 / Tốn); in the North Li (離 / Ly); and the North-west Kun (坤 / Khôn).
In the Bát Quái Ðài / 八卦臺, the Divine Eye is represented on the Universal Globe (Quả Càn Khôn /果乾坤 - literally meaning "the coming together of heaven [Qian / 乾 / Càn/Kiền - i.e. father/male/heaven/sky] and earth [Kun /坤 / Khôn mother/female/earth]). The Universal Globe has a perfectly spherical shape, with a diameter of three metres, three decimetres and three centimetres. Its construction was conveyed via a heavenly message on 17 September 1926. Also appearing on the front of the Globe is the constellation Big Dipper. The Supreme Being revealed to the Religion that at the peak of this constellation He could be found. Above this constellation the Divine Eye is placed, looking towards the Cửu Trùng Ðài / 九重臺 (the Palace of nine divine planes, or the Palace of nine degrees of evolution).
On the left side of the Temple is a small door in the globe. Inside a small lamp is kept continually alight. It represents the Universal Monad - or first principle from which the universe was created.
Continue to "The Cao Đài Altar"