30. 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 ten 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-deng Buddha

led Heaven and Earth for fifteen hundred (1,500) years.

Sakyamuni Buddha

was born in the 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 (49) years, and his teachings were recorded into many volumes. His teachings ferry the world for ten thousand (10,000) years. His way reaches directly to the origin of the True Self, transcending both the Qi-tien 9,12 and Xiang-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 the 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 (80) 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 King Yin-xi in the west. His teachings emphasize on distancing emotions and desires and maintain one’s True Nature. His method is to take the yang in kan to fill the center of li. By excluding all images in the material world, his way of reaching Li-tien 9,11 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 Xiang-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 the 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.

Salvation to the Three World
Seeking the Truth trough the cross

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 teaching 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 base 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. Practitioners 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 favoritism.

One must follow the teachings of propriety and justice in Confucianism, Gong-fu 15 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.


*In-jie Ching is one of the Taoist Scriptures.

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