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Big ASA 335th Radio Research Company
Photo's of Tay Ninh Temple
9th Infantry
Back Button Updated: 10 February 2001

Great Temple

Photo courtesy of Richard Hargrove

Tay Ninh Caodaism - This is the inside of the Temple. I'm sorry the picture is not better,
but you were not suppose to use a flash inside the Temple {esp. during a ceremony}.
Each step is a movement closer to "God" as you advance in your prayer and learning.
Page -1- of the Caodai manual has God's Message ...

"Formely, the peoples did not know one another and lacked means of transport:
I then founded at different epochs, five branches of the Great Way: Confucianism,
the Worship of Genii, Catholicism, Taoism, Buddhism, each based on the customs of
the race called particalarly to apply them. Nowadays, All parts of the world are
explored: people knowing each other better, aspire to a real peace. But because of
the very multiplicity of those religions, men do not live always in harmony one with
another. That is why I decided to unite all those religions in once to bring them to
the primordial unity.

Moreover, the Holy doctrine of those religions has been, through centuries, more and
more denatured by those who have been charged to spread, up to couch a point that I
have now firmly resolved to come Myself, to show you the WAY."
(Message transmitted on April 24, 1926)
Now you surely know more than you wanted to? {The above is type as it appears in the
manual typos and all.} OH! by the way ... Tay Ninh is the HOLY SEE OF TAY NINH.

When entering the temple, the males enter on the right, and the females enter on the left.
Even when inside the temple, both genders stay on their sides and conduct worship at the
smaller altars to the left and right of the central altar. The Holy See as well as all
Tay Ninh churches are made up of five tiers inside, which indicate rankings on each level
by a statue(s) of the Diving Beings and other important spiritual leaders. The first and
highest tier are statues of Buddha, Confucius, and Lao Tze. The second tier has Quan Am,
Ly Thai Bach and Quan Thanh De Quan who are recognized as the three "Lords of the earth."
Jesus Christ is on the third tier, ranked below the others because "he appeared in a later
era." Khuong Thai Quan, the head of the ancestral spirits, is on the lowest tier. On the
fifth tier are the altar accoutrements.

The altar is the central focus inside of the temple arranged accordingly with meanings and
symbolism behind each object and figure present. In the middle of the altar, one's attention
is focused on the pictorial representation of the Divine Eye (Than Nhien). Right below the
Divine Eye is a lamp that is continually lit, and symbolizes the Universal Monad, who is God.
Around these two important symbols are other arrangements on the table.