Among the five religions that came from the same Truth, which

one is the most sublime?  Should a practitioner of Tao emphasize

any particular religion?

 

Since the five religions all came from the same Truth, of course

they are all the same. However, if one has to compare according

to the standards of the commons, the Dharma of Buddhism is the

most sublime. The reason is that from the ancient days up to now,

Heaven and Earth has been supervised by Buddhas.  In-jie Ching*

states “when the Heaven and Earth was first created, God ordained

the Buddhas to rule the Heaven and Earth.” The first seven Buddhas

have passed. (There is the Seven Buddha Temple in Da-tong Fu,

Shan-xi Province, China, to support this.) The last three were

Ran-deng Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, and Mi-le Buddha.

Ran-teng Buddha led Heaven and Earth for fifteen hundred years.

Sakyamuni Buddha was born in year 563 B.C. His father was King

Suddhodana of Sakyas and his mother was Mahamaya. At the age

of nineteen, he became an ascetic to practice Tao. After he was

enlightened by Ran-deng Buddha, he preached the truth for

forty-nine years, and his teachings were recorded into many

volumes. His teachings ferry the world for ten thousand years. 

His way reaches directly to the origin of the True Self,

transcending both the Qi-tien9,12  and Xian-tien.9,13  He was

respected as the Founder of Buddhism.

 

Lao-tzu’s last name is Li. His first name is Er, while Bo-yang is

his courtesy name and Dan as his posthumous title. He was born

during the time of King Ding of Zhou Dynasty in Chen County,

State of Chu. He served as the Custodian of the Imperial Archives

for King Ding.  His father had a family name of Han and the first

name Qian, with Yuan-bi as his courtesy name. His mother’s name

was Jing-fu. After eighty years of pregnancy, the baby was born

under a plum tree. Thus Lao-tzu adopted the Chinese character

for plum (pronounced as Li) as his surname. After transmitting

the essence of Tao to Confucius, he rode a green ox and went to

the west through Fort Han-gu. He enlightened the King Yin-xi in

the west. His teaching emphasizes on distancing emotions and

desires and maintain one’s True Nature.  His method is to take the

yang in kan to fill the centre of li.  By excluding all images in the

material world, his way of reaching Li-tien9,11 is from the Qi-tien

When the True Fire and True Water inside the body become

complementary, the process of refinement will give birth to the

immortal embryo.  He wrote Tao-teh Ching (The Classic of the

Way and Virtue) and Qing-jing Ching (The Classic of Purity and

Quiescence, also known as Ch’ing-ching Ching) to teach people. 

He is respected as the founder of Taoism.

 

Confucian teaching balances both order and cultivation. His way

of reaching Li-tien starts in, yet is never bounded by, the Xian-tien

and transcends the Qi-tien. This is well known by everyone.

 

Christianity was founded by Jesus Christ. Jesus was born in the

area now known as Palestine. He was filled with Holy Spirit

when he was baptized by John. Before he started preaching,

he went to the desert and fasted for forty days; during which

he was tested three times by the devil. Not tempted, he was

enlightened and found the way to eternal life. He then started

preaching God’s message and died on the cross. Three days

after his crucifixion, he resurrected and showed miracles to his

disciples. The Christian practice emphasizes on the rebirth of the

soul and on seeking the Truth through the cross. His disciples

recorded his teachings in The New Testament.

 

Islam was founded by Prophet Mohammed. He was born in April

of the year 570 A.D. in Mecca. His parents died during his

childhood and he was raised by his uncle. Meditating in a cave

near Mecca, his mission of becoming a prophet was revealed to

him one day. So at age forty-one, he founded the religion of Islam

to reform society. His teachings is based on believing Allah as the

only Lord of the universe, following the way of Allah, practicing

the five Orders of human relationships and Five Pillars.25  His

method of returning to Heaven is through repentance of the soul

and performing good deeds. His disciples recorded his teaching

in The Koran. He is respected as the founder of Islam.

 

In conclusion, all five great religions were founded based on the

Truth. Their teachings on ethics and proprieties are manifestations

of the True Selves. If one knows his True Self, he will conform to

these teachings without any learning. This works naturally like

the sayings of “One who knows the principles fully can easily

apply them.” and “When the root is healthy, the branches will

be prosperous.”

 

Unfortunately, Taoism has lost the mystic Truth to refine “golden

concoction”, and Buddhism has lost the Dharma and the chance of

confirming with Buddhas.  Practitioner of these two religions end

up as monks and know only reciting Sutras and repentance for alms. 

Practitioners of Confucianism have also lost the true teachings of

the Truth. They focused on quotes and writings and do not know

the true meanings of “rest”, “set” and “tranquility”, nor the practice

of internal reflection and audition, and exhausting the Truth.  This

way of cultivating and following the True Self is known to few. 

After Christ and Mohammed fulfilled their missions and left the

world, neither Christians can find the Truth in the cross nor Muslims

can find the True Self in The Koran.  This lack of understanding of

the Truth among the five great religions makes religions ineffective.

 

Thus, to attain the essence of the Truth, one must practice the

teachings of all five great religions without any favouritism. 

One must follow the teachings of propriety and justice in

Confucianism, Gong-fu15 in Taoism, admonitions in Buddhism,

praying in Christianity, and spiritual repentance in Islam. If one

conforms to a modest practice, he can gain longevity. If one

conforms to a full practice, he can be enlightened and restore

his True Self.  Practitioner of Tao must remember this point.