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
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.