Cao Dai Temple
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Tue 26 Dec 2017 23:37
The Cao Dai Temple
We arrived at the Cao Dai Temple, sixty miles from HCMC, a very slow, bumpy and horrid journey. The main gates were impressive and we walked toward the huge temple, somewhat kitsch..... The temple began to take shape in 1926, was finished in 1955 when the Cao Dai Army was formed following the Japanese occupation of Indochina. Caodiasts believe that all religions are ultimately the same and seek to promote tolerance throughout the world. The Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad and Confucius, in addition to Joan of Arc and Julius Cesar are all honoured at this temple.
There are nine hierarchies of worship including a pope, cardinals and archbishop with festivals, rituals and prayer all practiced regularly. The temple is similar in design to a Christian Cathedral featuring side aisles and an altar, as well as a long central nave, all positioned as they would be in a Christian Church, there is even a high dome decorated with clouds and saints. The main focal point is a Divine Eye symbolising God which has the Ying and Yang icon in its pupil. Ceremonies take place daily with two services accompanied by musicians and a choir singing in English to traditional Vietnamese music.
Worshippers at the Cao Dai Temple strive for world peace and harmony with beliefs steeped in a number of world religions. Followers must obey the five virtues of Confucianism – humanity, obligation, civility, knowledge and reliability and have belief in the Buddhist principles of rebirth and karma. Watching Caodiasts pray is one of the major highlights when visiting the temple as they dress in long flowing robes of white for lay followers, yellow, blue or red for priests whilst bishops have the Divine Eye embroidered on their headpieces. During worship men are seated on the right and women on the left with all devotees seated in orderly rows. The building is a combination of Neo-Gothic, Baroque and Oriental design and is very ornately decorated including dragon wrapped pillars, seven-headed cobras and ceilings of sky blue.
Ngo Van Chieu, a district head of the French administration in Cochinchina, was the first to worship and receive messages from Cao Dai in 1921. Adherents maintain that on Christmas Eve 1925 God identified Himself to the first group of Cao Dai mediums.
In reality. We were directed to enter through the right door (men's), leaving our shoes outside. There was a horrid little man at the top of the stairs who, if he had pointed his finger and snatched it to one side just once more, I was going to snap it off and shove it in fifty per cent of his tools of vision. Ecumenical church my arse. Crammed into two very small areas, visibility zero, band and singers in the middle. Enough for me, I left and had a nice time in the gardens. This could have been lovely. other than the women’s section in a Mosque, I know of no other that prevents visitors taking in the chapel. Afterward, on Trip Advisor a chap and his friends had a bad experience and felt threatened when using the loo and a lady had here shoes taken. There are indeed loads of ‘Terrible’ as a comment, I for one concur. Bear’s shots follow.
ALL IN ALL A FAIRLY AWFUL EXPERIENCE
PRETTY BUILDING BUT SHOCKING TOURIST TRAP