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The Doctrine Of Tenrikyo



Part One

 

Chapter One

Oyasama

 I am God of Origin, God in Truth. There is causality in this Residence. At this time I have descended here to save all humankind. I wish to receive Miki as the Shrine of God.

 These were the first words declared by God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, through the mouth of Oyasama, Miki Nakayama.
 Miki's family was greatly startled by the unexpected revelation. Using every possible argument, they refused God's request, but God the Parent remained steadfast. Finally, forsaking all self-centered human thoughts and concerns of inconvenience to the family, they replied that they would comply with God's request. That day, October 26, 1838, marks the beginning of Tenrikyo.

Looking all over the world and through all ages, I find no one who has understood My heart.

So should it be, for I have never taught it to you. It is natural that you know nothing.

At this time, I, God, reveal Myself and teach the truth of all things in detail.
Ofudesaki I : 1-3

 We human beings wander about on the mind's dark paths having nothing to depend upon but our own self-centered imaginations. This is because we have not known the Parent of Origin, nor have we understood the divine heart. God the Parent felt pity for us and, through Oyasama as the Shrine, became revealed at that time to teach all of Godヘs intentions to humankind.

These thoughts of Tsukihi are spoken through Her: the mouth is human, the mind is that of Tsukihi.

Listen! I, Tsukihi, am borrowing Her mouth wholly, and I, Tsukihi, am lending My mind wholly.
Ofudesaki XII : 67-68

 Oyasama's outward appearance was no different from that of ordinary people but Her mind had become that of God the Parent. People who came in frequent contact with Her, however, presuming on their familiarity, not only refused to listen to Her words, but ridiculed Her as being possessed and mocked Her as being insane.

 While it was far from easy to convince such people of the truth of God the Parentヘs teachings, unless Oyasama had first convinced them that She was indeed the Shrine of Tsukihi, the path of single-hearted salvation could never have been opened and the reconstruction leading to the Joyous Life could never have been hoped for. So Oyasama guided them with unceasing devotion in the manner of nurturing innocent children. Putting Herself in their place, She taught them with utmost patience by Her spoken word, by Her writing brush, by demonstrating God's teachings in Her daily life, and by showing the free and unlimited workings of God the Parent before their very eyes.

 Because of Her single-hearted desire to save humankind, Oyasama plunged into the depths of poverty. By living in high spirits even through such difficulties, She demonstrated the model of the Joyous Life. Further, to prove that God the Parent was indeed revealed in this world through Her as God's Shrine, Oyasama demonstrated many miracles of God's protection before the eyes of all. The first of these was the Grant of Safe Childbirth, which opened the path to all miracles of salvation. Thus, She dispelled doubt from people's minds.

 Further, Oyasama wrote the verses of the Ofudesaki (The Tip of the Writing Brush) to reveal the intention of God.

This is a world constructed on reason. So I shall press upon you everything with the reason in verse.

I shall press, though not by force or word of mouth. I shall press by the tip of My writing brush.

It is all very well if you err in nothing. But should you err, I shall inform you by verse.
Ofudesaki I : 21-23

 She wrote out of parental desire to allow us to contemplate the teachings of God over and over, again and again.

Step by step, I have informed you by My writing brush. Quickly awaken your mind to it!
Ofudesaki IV : 72

 Also, as revealed in later years, the verses of the Ofudesaki were committed to paper in view of our tendency to forget what we hear.

Until now, about everything, I taught by word of mouth. But you forget. Because you forget, I have informed you with the tip of My writing brush.
Osashizu, August 23, 1904

 With parental forethought, Oyasama wrote in verse so the teachings would be attractive to all and easily remembered. Also, She often used metaphors so the profound will of God the Parent would be more understandable and convincing.

Hereafter, I shall speak in the metaphor of a path, not indicating any place in particular.

Over steep mountains, through tangles of thorns, along narrow ledges, and through brandished swords, if you come,

Yet ahead through a sea of flames and a deep abyss, you will arrive at a narrow path.
Ofudesaki I : 46-48

 Oyasama compares the path of single-heartedness with God to a journey over steep mountains and through tangles of thorns, showing that no matter how difficult this path may be for a time, if we but travel it relying single-heartedly on God the Parent, the path will gradually open into a narrow path and finally widen into a broad path full of promise. Thus, She encourages us, giving us hope and inspiration. Indeed, spiritedly facing all difficulties which arose, Oyasama personally led the way, demonstrating the Divine Model of the Joyous Life.

 Again, using water as a metaphor for the human mind, She taught that the reason we cannot readily grasp the will of God the Parent is that our minds have become turbid like muddy water. If we but calm our minds and cast away our self-centered thoughts, our minds will become as clear as springwater and all truths will be mirrored in them. Comparing our selfish thoughts to dust, She taught us to sweep away this dust constantly, with God the Parent as the broom.

 Further, She used the metaphor of construction to refer to the building of the world of the Joyous Life and gave those concerned such names as shinbashira (the central pillar), toryo (master carpenter), and yoboku (timber). By indicating specific roles in the work of construction, She strove to teach us in ways easily understood so that we might quicken our progress toward spiritual maturity.

 Thus, out of Her single-hearted parental love for humankind, Oyasama strove to make the will of God the Parent readily understandable by using metaphors. Further, in order that we might be convinced of the truth of God the Parent, She first referred to God the Parent as Kami (God), next as Tsukihi (Moon-Sun), and finally as Oya (Parent), changing the names in accordance with our spiritual growth.

 Further, adding words of explanation in such expressions as "God, who began this world," "God, who made the origin," and "God in Truth," Oyasama clarified the nature of God the Parent.
 Further:

This salvation is not brought about by formulas of worship, or by exorcism, or by calling on oracles.
Ofudesaki III : 45

 Oyasama taught that the name Kami (God) did not refer to the common "gods" of tradition to whom people prayed or whose powers they invoked but to the true God, who created humankind and the world, who is constant in sustaining our bodies and means of life, now as in the long past.

 Then She called God the Parent by the name Tsukihi (Moon-Sun) and taught that the sun and the moon are none other than visible manifestations of God the Parent in the heavens. By comparing God's providence to the sun and the moon, which impartially illuminate the entire world and nurture all creation with warmth and moisture day and night, She sought to lead us to a sense of intimacy with God the Parent and to an appreciation of God's blessings.
 Further:

Even until now, though having firmly received the Shrine of Tsukihi, I have been keeping still.
Ofudesaki VI : 59

What do you think of these red clothes? Tsukihi dwells within.
Ofudesaki VI : 63

 Oyasama began to wear red clothes, which was unusual for the time, to persuade people by this visual symbol that She was truly the Shrine of Tsukihi. The divine intent was to unify the followers' faith in Tsukihi, God the Parent, and their veneration of Oyasama, the Shrine of Tsukihi, and thus to develop in them the firm conviction that the words of Oyasama were none other than the voice of God the Parent .
 Further:

Until now, I taught you by the name Tsukihi, but from today I shall use another name.
Ofudesaki XIV : 29

 Finally, Oyasama used the name Oya (Parent) to indicate God the Parent.

Day after day, the concern of the Parent is only about the means to save you.
Ofudesaki XIV : 35

 Thus, Oyasama taught that God the Parent is not merely to be revered as God or Tsukihi but is our true Parent, whose love for us is like the love with which human parents tenderly care for their children, and is the One to whom we can open our hearts and fully reveal our joys and sorrows, on whom we can depend without reservation. Oyasama strove in earnest to lead us to a closeness with God the Parent and, at the same time, to heighten our trust and joy in Her, the Shrine of Tsukihi, as being the true Parent of humankind.

 In such ways, Oyasama taught clearly and vividly so people would be able to have faith in God the Parent. Yet those who could not understand God's heart increased their opposition. Attempts by society to stop the teachings grew stronger. As a result, there were followers who, deeply troubled by the hardships which fell upon Oyasama, would at times waver, at times be lost. Oyasama, impatient with such hesitation, used words such as "regret" and "anger" to urge them sternly onward. But at the same time, She always reminded people of the Parent's deep love for them. As always, Her thought was for Her children's spiritual growth.

Though regret is so piled up within Me, I shall save all of you according to your minds.

However high My regret is piled, I shall work, holding fast to the utmost.
Ofudesaki XV : 16-17

 Oyasama untiringly exerted Her efforts in teaching and guiding people by Her spoken word, by Her writing brush, and by the Divine Model of Her life, establishing the path of single-hearted salvation which leads to the Joyous Life. Upon deep consideration, She gave the divine name of God the Parent, "Tenri-O-no-Mikoto," to the eternally unchanging Jiba, the home of the Parent and of humankind. To hasten the salvation of humankind, She withdrew from physical life, yet remains alive now and forever at the Residence of Origin, with the portals open, protecting humankind day and night and shedding Her infinite, parental love on each of us.

 Through Oyasama alone can we human beings come to worship God the Parent and know the divine will. Indeed, Oyasama is Tsukihi on earth and the Parent of humankind.

This Parent, who began human beings, lives. This is the truth.
Ofudesaki VIII : 37

 

 

Chapter Two

The Path of Single-hearted Salvation

To Tsukihi, all of you throughout the world are My children. My only desire is to save you.
Ofudesaki VIII : 4

 Because of the desire from parental love to have all humankind lead the Joyous Life, God the Parent became openly revealed through Oyasama as the Shrine and, after disclosing the truth of all things, taught the marvelous path of single-hearted salvation.

Concerning the Service: never think that I have any other intention. I have only the single desire to save all of you.
Ofudesaki XVI : 65

 From such parental love, God the Parent taught the single-hearted performance of the Service as the path to universal salvation.

I shall do marvelous things, the same as My beginning of this world.

I shall begin a Service which has never existed since I began this world, and assuredly settle the world.
Ofudesaki VI : 7-8

 The Service was taught by God the Parent with the intent to manifest once more the marvelous workings by which humankind and the world were created where there was no form, this time in the cause of the single-hearted salvation of humankind. Through the Service, the world will be reconstructed as the world of joyousness, which is the intent of God.

As to the Service to be done, it is none other than the Service of the Kanrodai.
Ofudesaki X : 21

Thus, the Service is to be performed with the Kanrodai, the Stand for the Heavenly Dew, as center.

As proof of My beginning of human beings, I shall put the Kanrodai into place.
Ofudesaki XVII : 9

 The Kanrodai is a stand to be set up at the Jiba of Origin to give proof that it is the place where humankind was conceived. It is shaped so as to represent the truth of human creation and growth--to symbolize the origin and perpetual development of humankind and the world.

When God has accepted the sincerity in the minds of the ten performers of the Service,

Thereafter, I shall teach you all of the thoughts of God on every matter step by step.

Though the mind of God hastens day after day, to what avail if the ten performers do not assemble?
Ofudesaki VI : 18-20

 This Service, which God also called the "Kagura Service," is a reenactment in principle of God the Parent's workings during creation. Ten chosen Service performers wear their respective masks and symbolize by hand-gestures the principles of God the Parent's providence, moving in unison to the song and in harmony with the music of the nine instruments. Indeed, the Kagura Service is the means by which we return to the origin of human creation, restore its joy in the present, and invoke divine providence by uniting our minds in praise of the boundless grace of God the Parent.

When all are assembled and quickly do the Service, as those close to Me become spirited, God, also, will be spirited.
Ofudesaki I : 11

 When the Service performers perform the Service in harmony, each relying on God the Parent, they will become joyous and their minds will become one with the mind of God. Then God the Parent, accepting their spirited minds of unity, will also become spirited. Thus, the joy of the harmonious union of God and humankind will overflow.

Again, I impatiently await the coming Joyous Service. What it is, is the Kagura Service.
Ofudesaki IV : 29

 God also called the Kagura Service the "Joyous Service." Indeed, the Joyous Service celebrates the very joy desired by God the Parent and is our prayer for the attainment of it.

Any salvation whatever is all through the Service. If only you do just as Tsukihi says. . .

If your mind is sincere, Tsukihi will assuredly save you.
Ofudesaki VII : 83-84

 When the Service performers perform the Service joyfully as intended, God the Parent will accept their sincerity and will grant free and unlimited blessings.

This Service is the path of salvation for the entire world. I shall enable even a mute to speak.
Ofudesaki IV : 91

Day by day, hasten to begin the Service. You will escape any danger whatever.

However serious your illness may be, you will all be saved by the Service done single-heartedly.
Ofudesaki X : 19-20

 God also called the Joyous Service the "Salvation Service." It is the Service by which every prayer is answered.

The salvation is not just to cure illness. I intend it to be a marvelous salvation.

What do you think this salvation is? It is to be free from illness, death, and weakening.
Ofudesaki XVII : 52-53

 By means of the Salvation Service, God the Parent not only saves us from disease, disaster, and despair, but gives us the marvelous blessings, not known before, of freedom from illness, death, and weakening.

By this salvation given in accordance with the mind of sincerity, you shall be freed from illness, death, and weakening.

By this salvation, to fix the natural term of life at one hundred and fifteen years is the single desire of God.
Ofudesaki III : 99-100

After that, you may stay as long as you wish, without illness, death, or weakening.

Further, after the passage of long years, there will be no aging at all.
Ofudesaki IV : 37-38

 God teaches us that when we have all purified our minds and attained the mind of sincerity, we shall receive kanro, heavenly dew, by virtue of the Salvation Service. Whoever partakes of kanro will live one hundred fifteen years. Further, one will be allowed to live forever, if so desired.

What do you think this Service is about? It is solely to bring peace to the world and salvation to all.
Ofudesaki IV : 93

If you quickly unite your minds and do the Service correctly, the world will settle.
Ofudesaki XIV : 92

 Thus, the blessings of God the Parent called forth by this Service are not limited to the salvation of individuals from illness and trouble but are extended throughout the world to benefit humankind with bountiful harvests and lasting peace.

 By receiving these blessings, we shall awaken to the truth that we are all brothers and sisters, equally the children of God the Parent. Then we shall come to respect and help one another, and the world will be reconstructed as the world of the Joyous Life where the minds of all people are united as one.

 In addition to the Service, God the Parent taught the path of salvation from illness by means of the Sazuke of Breath and the Sazuke of Hand Dance.

Hereafter, however serious an illness there may be, I shall save you all by the Breath and the Hand Dance.

However serious an illness there may be, never say that it will not be cured.

Ofudesaki XII : 50-51

 The Sazuke, the Divine Grant, is the truth of effectiveness bestowed in the cause of single-hearted salvation on those whose minds God the Parent has determined as being sincere. Those who receive the truth of the Sazuke resolve to keep this sincerity of the day of bestowal for a lifetime and become Yoboku for the joyous construction. When Yoboku transmit the truth of heaven by administering the Sazuke, God the Parent accepts the true sincerity with which they pray and saves any sufferer from any illness by the free and unlimited blessings. The truth of the Sazuke, bestowed on the sincere mind pledged to single-hearted salvation, is a treasure for a lifetime and for eternity. With this truth, when Yoboku of God the Parent go far and wide in their mission, miraculous healings will occur one after another the world over.

 Indeed, the Service and the Sazuke constitute the path of single-hearted salvation taught by God the Parent from a fervent desire to have all humankind lead the Joyous Life. Through them we can sever the root of illness and purify our minds; then the world will be restored to joyousness.

 Thus, all humankind will come to praise the boundless grace of God the Parent. Our minds will grow steadily more joyous and spirited, and God the Parent, accepting our growing joyousness, will bless us evermore with divine providence. In this way, the joyous harmony of God and humankind will be attained, and a world overflowing with joyousness will come into being.

Sweeping away evils, hasten to save us. All humankind equally purified, The Kanrodai.
Mikagura-uta

 

 

Chapter Three

The Truth of Origin

In order to hasten the realization of the Joyous Life, God the Parent revealed the truth of the creation so that we might understand the truth of the Joyous Service and the mysterious causality by which God appeared on earth through Oyasama as the Shrine.

 In the beginning, the world was a muddy ocean. Tsukihi, God the Parent, finding this chaos unbearably tasteless, thought of creating human beings in order to see the Joyous Life and thus share in that joy.

 Looking carefully through the muddy ocean, God saw a fish and a serpent amid many loaches. Planning to make them into models of husband and wife, God summoned them. Discerning their single-heartedness, God obtained their consent and received them, promising that when the years equal to the number of their first-born had elapsed, they would be returned to the Residence of Origin, the place of original conception, and would be adored by their posterity.

 Continuing, God summoned an orc from the northwest and a turtle from the southeast. Again, after obtaining their consent, God received them and, after consuming them to test the flavor of their minds, determined their natures. Then God decided to use the orc as the instrument of the male organ, of bones and support; and the turtle as the instrument of the female organ, of skin and joining. Then God put the orc into the fish and the turtle into the serpent and established them as models of man and woman. God gave the sacred names of Izanagi-no-Mikoto to the model of man, the seed, and Izanami-no-Mikoto to the model of woman, the seedplot. To the divine principles of these instruments, God gave the names Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto and Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto, respectively.

 Then God summoned an eel from the east, a flatfish from the southwest, a black snake from the west, and a globe-fish from the northeast, one after another. Again, God first gained their consent, received them, and consumed them to test the nature of each.

 God then decided to use the eel as the instrument for eating, drinking, and elimination, the flatfish for breathing and speaking, the black snake for pulling forth, and the globe-fish for cutting. To the divine principles of these instruments, God gave the sacred names of, respectively, Kumoyomi-no-Mikoto, Kashikone-no-Mikoto, Otonobe-no-Mikoto, and Taishokuten-no-Mikoto.

 Thus, the models and instruments having been determined, the creation of human beings was begun. First God consumed all the loaches in the muddy ocean, tested the flavors of their nature, and made them the seeds for human beings. Then God the Parent, as Tsuki-sama (the Moon), entered the body of Izanagi-no-Mikoto and, as Hi-sama (the Sun), entered the body of Izanami-no-Mikoto and taught them the divine providence of creating human beings. Then nine hundred million, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine seeds were put into the body of Izanami-no-Mikoto in three days and three nights. Izanami-no-Mikoto remained there for three years and three months and gave birth in seventy-five days to as many children as there were seeds.

 The first children thus born were all half an inch (5 bu) tall. Growing taller gradually, they reached a height of three inches (3 sun) in ninety-nine years. Then they all passed away for rebirth and their father, Izanagi-no-Mikoto, withdrew from physical life. However, Izanami-no-Mikoto again conceived the original number of children by the divine providence already taught her and, after ten months, gave birth to them again. The children, then too, were half an inch tall at birth and, after growing to three and a half inches (3 sun 5 bu) in ninety-nine years, all passed away for rebirth once more.

 Then the children were conceived for the third time. They were again born half an inch tall and, this time, grew to four inches (4 sun) in ninety-nine years. At that time, their mother, Izanami-no-Mikoto, said, "Now that they have grown so tall, in time they will reach the height of human beings five feet tall (5 shaku)," and with a smile, withdrew from physical life. Then all her children, too, passed away for rebirth, deeply yearning for their mother.

 After that, human beings were reborn eight thousand and eight times as worms, birds, beasts, and the like. Then they all passed away except a she-monkey. She conceived ten human beings at a time, five male and five female. They were born half an inch tall and grew taller gradually. When they grew to eight inches (8 sun), the bottom of the muddy ocean began to develop highs and lows by the providence of God the Parent. When they grew to one foot and eight inches (1 shaku 8 sun), land and sea, heaven and earth, and the sun and moon came to take form so as to be distinguishable. In the development of human beings from one foot and eight inches to three feet (3 shaku), twins were born from each conception, a male and a female. When humans reached three feet, one child was born from each conception and they began to speak. When they reached five feet, land and sea, heaven and earth, the whole universe, was completed, and human beings began to dwell on land.

 God the Parent taught that human beings lived in water for nine hundred million and ninety thousand years, were trained for six thousand years in wisdom, and were instructed for three thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine years in letters.

Only through the exhaustive efforts of Tsukihi, made step by step, have you become the humans you are.
Ofudesaki VI : 88

 

The true and real God of this universe is Tsukihi. The others are all instruments.

Drawing them forth one after another, I used them to begin human beings and gave to each a sacred name.
Ofudesaki VI : 50-51

 God of Origin, God in Truth, is God the Parent, Tsukihi (Moon-Sun). The name of Tsuki-sama (the Moon) is Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto and that of Hi-sama (the Sun) is Omotari-no-Mikoto. All the others are models or instruments. More precisely, they are those aspects of the complete providence of God the Parent which were given sacred names due to the divine forethought of making the providence easier to understand.

Listen! This origin is the venerable Kunitokotachi and Omotari.
Ofudesaki XVI : 12

 God the Parent not only created human beings and the world but has watched over our growth with unending parental love, providing us with training in the seasonable times appropriate to our growth. The development of humankind and our cultures is entirely due to the gracious providence of God the Parent.

Though Tsukihi looks all over the world, there is no one who knows the origin.

Desiring to teach this origin to the world by all means, Tsukihi has become revealed.
Ofudesaki XIII : 30-31

 God the Parent became openly revealed in this world through Oyasama, the Shrine, to teach the truth of origin in order to show all humankind the path to the Joyous Life. This was in accordance with the promise made at the time of creation that God would return those who had become models in human creation to the Residence of Origin to be adored by their posterity when the years equal to the number of their first-born had elapsed.

This is the Residence where I began human beings. Because of this causality, it is here that I descended.
Ofudesaki IV : 55

This is the Residence where I began this world. Therein lives the original Parent of human beginnings.

Discerning this, Tsukihi descended from the desire to teach about all matters.
Ofudesaki VI : 55-56

 To fulfill this promise, God the Parent brought Oyasama, whose soul was that of the mother in human creation, into this world, and drew Her to the Residence of Origin, the place of the original conception. On October 26, 1838, which was the fulfillment of the promised time, God the Parent received Her as the Shrine of Tsukihi. The causalities concerning person, place, and time are called the Causality of the Soul of Oyasama, the Causality of the Residence, and the Causality of the Promised Time.

Because the Jiba of Origin and the causality of origin exist, Tsukihi works freely and unlimitedly.

You may wonder why I repeat this teaching so persistently. It is the basis of My assurance of single-hearted salvation.
Ofudesaki VIII : 47-48

 Thus, God the Parent intimately revealed the truth of all things through the lips of Oyasama. It is the final point to the teachings which God had given to all of us human beings over many years according to the stages of our spiritual growth. God the Parent became openly revealed at this time to give the final teaching directly to us, for God had already given us nine-tenths of the complete teachings. In this last teaching, God revealed the Parent of Origin to make us aware that we are truly children of God and, thereby, to urge all the peoples of earth to live as brothers and sisters so that this world would be reconstructed as the world of the Joyous Life in which the Parent and children dwell in joyous harmony.

To God, who began this world, all of you in the world are equally My beloved children.
Ofudesaki IV : 62

To God, people throughout the world are all My children. All of you equally, know that I am your Parent!
Ofudesaki IV : 79

All of you throughout the world are brothers and sisters. There should be no one called an outsider.
Ofudesaki XIII : 43

 Further:

The reason Tsukihi began human beings was the desire to see you lead a joyous life.

Because the world does not know this truth, everyone sinks only deeper into depression.
Ofudesaki XIV : 25-26

Hereafter, I shall set out to make the whole world brim with joy.
Ofudesaki X : 103

 The Joyous Life is the purpose and final goal of human existence. To attain this goal, God the Parent initiated the path of single-hearted salvation by teaching us the Joyous Service. This Joyous Service is based upon the truth of the origin of human beings.

Just a word: Listen to what God says.
I never tell you anything wrong.
Representing heaven and earth
I have created husband and wife.
This is the beginning of the world.
Mikagura-uta

 

 

Chapter Four

Tenri-O-no-Mikoto

We call out the name Tenri-O-no-Mikoto in praise and worship of God the Parent. God the Parent is God of Origin, God in Truth, who created humankind and the world where there was no form and who gives life, time, and place to all things throughout eternity.

I am God of Origin, who began the human beings of this world. Yet there may be no one who knows Me.

I began to teach My providence in the muddy ocean, and you have come to prosper step by step.
Ofudesaki III : 15-16

 God the Parent is the origin of humankind and this world. Not only was the world created by God the Parent, but there is nothing in this world whose existence does not depend on divine providence. The unlimited workings of divine providence can be distinctly seen by our eyes, felt by our bodies, and sensed by our minds. Indeed, God the Parent is God of Origin, God in Truth.
 God the Parent manifests in the heavens as the moon and the sun and sheds benevolent light all over the world.

The earth and heaven of this world is your real Parent. Out of this, human beings were born.
Ofudesaki X : 54

 We are given life between heaven and earth and exist in the exquisite harmony of nature. Just as all of us without exception receive the light of the moon and the sun, so do we all bask in the blessings of heaven and earth without discrimination. Heaven and earth are manifestations of God the Parent as are the moon and the sun. Thus, we live in the embrace of heaven and earth, in the very bosom of God the Parent, gently caressed by Godヘs benevolence, which knows no bounds.

The true Parent of this universe is Tsukihi. It is I who protect you in everything.
Ofudesaki VI : 102

 At the time of creation, God the Parent entered the instruments and the models of man and woman and, by the complete providence, created humankind. Thereafter, God has lent us our bodies, constantly providing them with freedom of function and bestowing food and all other things necessary for life.
 God gave a sacred name to each aspect of the complete providence and explained its workings:

Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto: in the human body, the providence of the eyes and fluids; in the world, the providence of water.
Omotari-no-Mikoto: in the human body, the providence of warmth; in the world, the providence of fire.
Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto: in the human body, the providence of the female organ, of skin and joining; in the world, the providence of joining in general.
Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto: in the human body, the providence of the male organ, of bones and support; in the world, the providence of support in general.
Kumoyomi-no-Mikoto: in the human body, the providence of eating, drinking, and elimination; in the world, the providence of the rise and fall of moisture.
Kashikone-no-Mikoto: in the human body, the providence of breathing and speaking; in the world, the providence of wind.
Taishokuten-no-Mikoto: the providence of cutting off the ties of the child to its mother at birth, and also in cutting off the breath of life when one passes away for rebirth; in the world, the providence of cutting in general.
Otonobe-no-Mikoto: the providence of pulling out the child from its mother during birth; in the world, the providence of pulling forth in general.
Izanagi-no-Mikoto: the model of man, the seed.
Izanami-no-Mikoto: the model of woman, the seedplot.

 Thus, humankind and all things in this world exist and develop by the complete providence of Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, God the Parent.

This universe is the body of God. Ponder this in all matters.
Ofudesaki III : 40 and 135

 This universe is the body of God the Parent and is filled with divine providence. Manifested as fire, water, and wind, divine providence can be seen, but at the same time it governs the entire universe with majestic authority, invisibly, as the truth of heaven. It is the source of life for all that is the origin of all phenomena.

 Truly, the truth of heaven pervades the universe; there are no gaps or omissions. From the natural laws which govern the universe to the order in the society of humankind, everything is maintained by the exquisite providence of God the Parent.

To Tsukihi, who can see everything in this world, nothing is unknown.

Watching each and everyone of you, Tsukihi will discern the good and evil.
Ofudesaki VIII : 51-52

 God the Parent sees not only into the minds of all people but also into and through everything, discerning good from bad, and bestows providence according to the divine intent.

Just as you humans worry about your children, I worry over your dreadful and dangerous path.

Unaware of this, all of you everywhere are living your lives without heed.

Know that Tsukihi rules over everything in this world without exception.
Ofudesaki VII : 9-11

 Indeed, God is in every way our loving Parent, whose love and concern for us is without limit. But we conduct our lives unaware of this parental love. We disregard the truth of heaven and are overconfident of our own strength. We are selfish in our thinking and in our actions. In the all-seeing eyes of God the Parent, who rules over everything, we are like toddlers wandering off on their own. Nothing could be more dangerous than this.

Whatever I say to you in My tedious appeals, it is solely from My single desire to save you.

If only all of you understand Me quickly, truly from your innermost heart,

Then Tsukihi will rule over everything and bring forth a myriad of saving graces.

Ofudesaki VII : 26-28

 God the Parent, moved to pity over our condition, spares no effort in teaching us of the boundless parental concern to save all of us and, after revealing the truth of all things, manifests the marvelous, free and unlimited blessings.

To Tsukihi, all of you in the world are My children. Love for you fills Me: this is My single heart.
Ofudesaki XVII : 16

 God the Parent is the true Parent of humankind. God's sole desire is the Joyous Life for all the children. Therefore, God appeared in this world through Oyasama as the Shrine to open the path of single-hearted salvation at the Jiba, the place of origin.
 The Jiba is the place to which the divine name Tenri-O-no-Mikoto was given, and there, Oyasama remains alive forever, protecting all humankind.

Of whatever salvation, you are assured, because your true Parent lives.
Ofudesaki VII : 101

 Indeed, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, Oyasama, and the Jiba are one in truth. Only when we accept this truth can the path of single-hearted salvation leading to the Joyous Life be fulfilled.

Sweeping away evils, please save us,
Tenri-O-no-Mikoto.
Mikagura-uta

 

 

Chapter Five

The Divine Model

Oyasama not only revealed the teachings of God the Parent by Her spoken word and by Her writing brush but demonstrated them in Her life. The life of Oyasama after She became the Shrine of God is indeed the Divine Model for all humankind to follow.

 Oyasama was born on April 18, 1798, as the first daughter of Masanobu Hanshichi Maegawa and was named Miki.
 Oyasama was kindhearted and compassionate from childhood. She quested deeply along the path of faith and Her cherished desire was to dedicate Her whole life to its cause, transcending this earthly life. But due to a mysterious causality, She was drawn to the Residence of Origin and became the wife of Zenbei Nakayama of Shoyashiki Village, Yamabe County, Yamato Province.

 There She continued Her religious devotions while fulfilling Her duties as a wife. She was obedient to Her husband, devoted to Her new parents, kind to the members of the household, friendly to Her neighbors, and applied Herself industriously to the work of the house and fields. Her innate virtues of benevolence and compassion grew deeper and stronger. She reformed idlers and thieves. Even when a woman attempted to take Her life, Oyasama held the woman blameless and ascribed the misdeed to Her own lack of merit. In due course, She reformed the woman. On another occasion, when a child under Her care fell sick, She resolved to save the child even at the sacrifice of Herself and Her children and offered fervent prayers until She was heard. The child was saved from imminent death.

 After October 26, 1838, when She was called to serve as the Shrine of God in Her forty-first year, She hastened to obey the divine command, "Fall to the depths of poverty," and began to give away the family possessions to the poor. Such an act was not understood by Her family, relatives, or acquaintances and, during the following period of over fifteen years, She suffered severe censure and vigorous opposition. While under such circumstances, Her husband passed away for rebirth in 1853 and the family fell further into the depths of poverty. However, that very year, in the midst of this large knot of suffering and grief, Oyasama, transcending the circumstances, sent Her youngest daughter, Kokan, to Osaka to spread the divine name Tenri-O-no-Mikoto.

 For such uncommon devotion to the will of God, She was subjected to increasing scorn and alienation until, at last, no one came to call. Moreover, the family of three had to spend many a day without rice to eat. With his father gone, Shuji became the head of the family and sold vegetables and firewood for their support. But even in such hard times, whenever Oyasama saw people in need, She never hesitated to give them what little rice the family had managed to obtain.

 During the autumn festival of the village one year, the young girls, dressed in their finery, were enjoying the festivities. Kokan, in the bloom of youth, not only had no finery but did not even have a change of clothes. Thus, she had to watch the festival procession from the shadows of their half-ruined wall.

 In the summer they had no netting to ward off the mosquitoes. In the winter they scraped together twigs and leaves for a fire to warm themselves from the cold wind which streamed through their now dilapidated house. They spent many a night spinning thread by the light of the moon since they had little oil for their lamps.

 Such severe circumstances continued for ten long years. But Oyasama, full of hope and delight, never stopped teaching the path to the Joyous Life. At times when they had nothing to eat but pickled vegetables and nothing to drink but water, She encouraged Her children by saying:

In this world there are those who are suffering, unable to eat or even to swallow water despite food piled high at their bedsides. If we think of them, how blessed we are, for when we drink water, it tastes of water. God the Parent has blessed us with exquisite gifts.

 In this way, more than twenty years passed since Oyasama had become the Shrine of God. Then the Path started to spread wider and farther by the miracles of salvation shown through the Grant of Safe Childbirth. People began to come from neighboring villages in veneration of Oyasama as a "living goddess." Oyasama taught them that the origin of illness is in the mind and worked countless miracles of healing before their eyes. Even the so-called incurable illnesses were not incurable to Her--the blind opened their eyes at once and the insane completely regained their sanity.

 Thus, the dawning of the Path came gloriously, but it was also the beginning of new trials. Jealousy, suspicion, and incomprehension gave rise not only to strong opposition but to violent attacks by men with drawn swords. Despite the troubles which beset Her day and night, She became even more spirited and taught the joyous Kagura Service and dance movements for the Teodori. Indeed, there is nothing contained in them that even hints at the suffering She underwent during those thirty long years, nor is there any indication of the days She had spent exposed to the danger of swords. There is only the desire from Her parental love to lead all humankind to understand the heart of God.

 In addition, Oyasama took up Her writing brush to explain the truths about the Jiba, the place of origin, about the Kanrodai, the center for the Salvation Service, and about the Service performers. She also bestowed the Proof Amulet and the Sazuke of Breath and the Sazuke of Hand Dance. Thus, She taught the path of single-hearted salvation.

 Meanwhile, She was made to endure imprisonment or detention by the authorities seventeen or eighteen times, even in the heat of summer and the cold of winter. But such hardships did not bother Her in the least, and She constantly strove by every effort, day and night, to enlighten those who were doubtful and slow to understand. She guided them at times with warmth and at times with sternness, depending on the circumstances and according to the individual.

Due to Her thorough guidance, the teachings spread through the province of Yamato, then to the districts of Gokinai, Tokai, Kanto, Sanyo, and to the island of Shikoku. Thus, the followers' adoration of Oyasama flamed with intensity, leading an ever greater number of people to return to Jiba. Meanwhile, in accordance with the will of God the Parent, Oyasama persisted in urging that the Kagura Service be performed.

 However, the persecution had grown harsher with each year's passing. Each performance of the Service resulted in Oyasama's imprisonment. But wherever She might be taken, Her attitude never changed and She would gently thank the policeman sent to arrest Her, saying to those She left behind that She was "going out" or that She was "going to work."

 The followers, inspired by this example set by Oyasama, resolved to follow Her Divine Model courageously in the cause of single-hearted salvation, discarding all concern for what might happen to themselves. However, they could not endure the thought of any further suffering befalling Oyasama, now quite aged. This situation continued and on December 8, 1886, there was a sign that Oyasama was not physically well. At the time, Oyasama said, "It is a sign that the world is going to move." Her disciples, filled with anxiety, wondered what the intent of God the Parent could be and discussed the matter earnestly for many days. Then they went to Oyasama with the problems they had found insoluble in their discussions, and made repeated inquiries concerning the divine will, pressing their requests for answers again and again, more than a dozen times. The divine intent revealed in response never varied--they were to hasten to perform the Service.

 In a severe tone, it was implied that a grave moment impossible to evade was at hand:

But I say, "Now!" Because I say, "Now," you must do it now. Time is pressing. Do you understand?

 Further, they were urged to commit themselves in response to Oyasama's physical condition:

Sah, sah, with each of you, to settle the mind is to settle the Service performers. If there are no difficulties, the mind cannot be truly set. It depends on your heart, on your mind.

 Further, they were instructed on the state of mind they must keep:

Sah, sah, where there is sincerity, you shall receive sincerity. You may not know what My sincerity is. It is My providence--fire, water, and wind.
Sah, sah, you are to purchase My sincerity. Purchase My sincerity with your own sincerity.

 The disciples clearly understood the divine will but they still did not perform the Service. While it might be said that their inability to commit themselves forthrightly was due to the frailty of human thinking, it was in fact due to their concern that Oyasama would be imprisoned.
 The year came to an end. Then on January 25, 1887, Her physical condition became critical. When the disciples made an inquiry of the divine will, the reply was:

Sah, sah, I shall begin to level the ground completely. Sah, sah, with the portals opened, opened, I shall level the ground all over the world. Sah, I shall step out to level the ground. Sah, sah, shall I open the portals and level the ground? Shall I close the portals and level the ground?

 Unable to understand the true meaning of the words, the disciples thought it would be brighter with the portals open, so they requested that the ground be leveled with the portals opened.

I shall open the portals to the whole world, open, open, open. Everything will be entirely changed.

 The following day was the 26th. Not only because it was the day of commemoration for the beginning of the teachings but especially because God the Parent so urgently demanded that the Service be performed, the disciples felt that this was no time for hesitation and firmly resolved to act. Preparing themselves for the worst that might occur, they began the performance of the Service with the musical instruments included.
 Oyasama, lying in Her Resting House, listened to the joyous sounds of the Service. She seemed greatly pleased. With Her head to the north and Her face to the west, She fell quietly into sleep. She was in Her ninetieth year.

 Oyasama shortened the natural term of Her physical life by twenty-five years. Her presence cannot be seen, but Her soul remains at the Residence of Origin forever. Oyasama, everliving, watches over the spiritual growth of all humankind, Her children.

If there should be another parent who began human beings, go and seek to find where.
Ofudesaki VIII : 75

 

 

 

Part Two

 

Chapter Six

Divine Guidance

Human beings detest pain and seek pleasure, avoid worry and look for joy. This is because God the Parent created us with the intention of having us live the Joyous Life.

 Nevertheless, there are many in this world who are tormented by illness, pursued by misfortune, and beset by family troubles and adversity, who grieve that their lives are so wretched. They grieve because they do not know of God the Parent or of God's deep parental love.
God the Parent is the Parent of all humankind. But people are not aware of this fact or of the fact that human beings are therefore all brothers and sisters who should revere God as their Parent. They mistakenly think that they exist by their own power and conduct their lives as if only they themselves mattered. Through their self-centered actions, they injure and cloud the minds of others. Their blunderings disrupt the peace of the world. Further, by so doing, they unknowingly injure and cloud their own minds.

Because Tsukihi sees a dreadful and dangerous path opening before you step by step,

Know that Tsukihi worries and is anxious to tell you quickly about that path.
Ofudesaki VII : 7-8

 God the Parent takes pity on us, the children, who stray unaware onto dangerous paths, and gives us a sign in the form of illness or trouble. This is in order that we might correct our misuses of mind arising from human thinking by learning of our true Parent and of the divine intent that we lead the Joyous Life.

Illness and pain of whatever kind do not exist. They are none other than the hastening and guidance of God.
Ofudesaki II : 7

Illness and pain throughout the world: you do not know that these are the road signs or guidance of God.
Ofudesaki II : 22

 Thus, all illnesses, calamities, and troubles are expressions of the warm parental heart of God to urge our self-reflection and are none other than guidance out of love to lead us to the Joyous Life.

 But those who do not know of this deep love of God the Parent deal only with the surface of their sufferings and, by the shallowness of human thinking, are apt to blame others for their misery, to curse the heavens, to tire of life, or to dream of a better life in the world beyond.

With you humans, also, your children are dear to you. Think of this and ponder, please.

Day after day, the concern of the Parent is only about the means to save you.
Ofudesaki XIV : 34-35

All children in the world are equally dear to Me. Though there is no discrimination whatsoever,

Listen! There will be no help if your mind is in error. That is why I am giving you My care step by step.
Ofudesaki XV : 69-70

 Revealing to these people that the divine parental love is sincere and impartial, God the Parent teaches that people should ponder over their love for their own children to understand God's love for them.

 Truly, there are no parents who do not love their children. Because of their concern for their children's welfare, there are times when they admonish their children severely. By understanding this human parental love, we can appreciate God's loving care, even in its severity, and become filled with gratitude.

 In this way, even our hardened minds can be opened, allowing us to be bathed in God's benevolent light and our minds be renewed so as to accord fully with the parental heart of God. When our minds are thus settled, God the Parent will accept our minds at once and will show us free and unlimited workings. This is what God the Parent longs to do.

If you truly resolve your mind and pray to Me, I shall grant you My free and unlimited workings at once.
Ofudesaki VII : 43

Whatever mind you may have had until now, replace it, even in the span of a night!

If you truly replace the mind in its entirety, Tsukihi will accept it, too, at once.
Ofudesaki XVII : 14-15

 Due to the shallowness of the human mind, however, even after we have received divine guidance and resolved our minds, as time passes we are apt to weaken and simply go through the motions of faith. Often we drift again into being contrary to the will of God in our thoughts and actions without realizing that we are doing so. Thus, God states in the Osashizu:

Even if I reveal the free and unlimited workings of God, you remember it only for the time being. But when a day passes, ten days pass and thirty days pass, you forget it entirely.
Osashizu, May 9, 1898

With the passage of time, your minds relapse. Therefore I must inform you by the truth of repetition.
Osashizu, July 7, 1890

 Thus, in order to encourage us to overcome the laxity to which we are prone even after we have entered a life of faith and to further us toward our spiritual maturity, God the Parent presents us with illness or troubles from time to time as opportunities to replace our minds. When we awaken to this benevolent parental love and respond by strengthening our resolve and pursuing our lives of faith, we shall be blessed with the truth of everlasting joyousness.

 Thus, as the truth of the teachings settles in our minds and we make steady progress in spiritual growth, we deepen our appreciation of the benevolence of the parental love, which guides us by reducing a great misfortune to a small misfortune and a small misfortune to no misfortune at all, and we shall be able to rejoice in things we could not rejoice in before and find happiness in situations where we were unhappy before.
 This is how positive steps are made toward the state of joyousness.

Ponder and come follow Me with firm resolve. There is a path of hope in the future.
Ofudesaki V : 24

 

 

Chapter Seven

A Thing Lent, A Thing Borrowed

The conception of a baby is by Tsukihi. Giving birth to it, also, is by the work of Tsukihi.
Ofudesaki VI : 131

 The ingenious structures and delicate functioning of our bodies were not devised by our parents nor can these be controlled by our own power. Everything concerning the body is due to the exquisite forethought and providence of God the Parent.

All human bodies are things lent by God. With what thought are you using them?
Ofudesaki III : 41

All human bodies are things lent by God. Do you not know the free and unlimited workings of God?
Ofudesaki III : 126

 We are born into this world by the grace of God the Parent and live each day sufficiently provided for, because we are in the embrace of heaven and earth, constantly nurtured in the very bosom of God the Parent. That we are able to use the body each day without the slightest hindrance is due to the complete providence of God the Parent, beginning with warmth and moisture and extending to encompass our every need.

 If, on the other hand, we become ill, no matter how much we might call upon our strength and wisdom, we shall still suffer from the fever and chills of our condition. One's sickbed will become the whole world and one will not be able to move so much as a single limb freely. If we ponder over this well, the truth that the body is a thing lent by God will settle into our hearts.

So long as you remain unknowing that the body is a thing borrowed, you can understand nothing at all.
Ofudesaki III : 137

 Since the body is a thing borrowed from God the Parent, it is important that we use it in accord with the will of God. But we do not see this truth clearly and, relying on human thinking, we attempt to use the body for our own willful ends. Thus, we cloud the truth by which we receive divine providence and, sooner or later, we invite suffering upon ourselves.
 Concerning this we are taught:

With human beings: the body is a thing lent by God, a thing borrowed. The mind alone is yours.
Osashizu, June 1, 1889

With human beings: the body is a thing borrowed. The mind alone is yours. From just one mind, any kind of truth will appear daily. I accept any kind of truth. You must understand the truth of free and unlimited workings.
Osashizu, February 14, 1889

Do not wonder where My free and unlimited workings are. In each of your minds, you will find them wherever sincerity abides.
Osashizu, December 7, 1888

 Whether we can enjoy the free functioning of the body or mourn its impairment or loss of function is determined solely by the way we use our minds. This is what is meant by the teaching "the mind alone is yours."

 However, we find it difficult to settle this truth in our minds and, from the shallowness of human thought, tend to think that we can accomplish anything according to our own plans. We are swayed into pursuing our own pleasures and profits and use our minds in ways contrary to the will of God the Parent, who desires the joyous harmony of all humankind. Thus, God the Parent warns us against such ways, comparing them to dust.

 Essentially, particles of dust are so light and minute that they can be blown away by a single puff of breath. If the cleaning is done promptly, dust can be cleared away easily. But dust accumulates quickly and, if we are negligent, the dust will in time pile up so high that the cleaning will be very difficult no matter how hard we attempt to sweep or wipe it away.

Looking all over the world and through all ages, I find no one who is evil.

Among all humankind, there is no one who is evil. It is only a bit of dust stuck on.
Ofudesaki I : 52-53

 We are allowed to use our minds as we please, since they are ours. But when our use of mind is not in accord with the will of God the Parent, our minds will become clouded, as though covered with an accumulation of dust. In time, our minds will lose their original brightness, until finally we are unable to manage. This is why God the Parent teaches us against such use of the mind through the metaphor of dust. We are advised to reflect constantly and sweep this dust away, for the dust of one person has a harmful effect on others and may even lead to the disruption of peace in the world.

As a means to help us reflect on the dusts of the mind, God the Parent cited eight: miserliness, covetousness, hatred, self-love, grudge-bearing, anger, greed, and arrogance. In addition, God warns us that Tsukihi "dislikes falsehood and flattery."

 God the Parent pities us for such misuses of the mind and gives us signs in the form of illness or other troubles so as to afford us opportunities to sweep the dust from our minds. In this way, God the Parent leads us to the Joyous Life.

Throughout the world, God is the broom for the sweeping of the innermost heart. Watch carefully.
Ofudesaki III : 52

None of you needs self-centered concern. God will distinguish between each of you.

Ofudesaki V : 4

I shall make everything in the mind of each of you clearly manifest on your body.

Whoever you may be, when this is seen, the cleansing of the heart will be truly accomplished of itself.
Ofudesaki XII : 171-172

 Thus, we must come to the realization that the appearance of all illness and troubles is due to the deep love of God the Parent, who, as the broom, desires to sweep each of our hearts clean. If we ponder deeply, seeking the reasons for these appearances, the dusts of the mind will be swept away as a matter of course. Thus, if only the dusts are cleanly swept away, we shall bathe in marvelous salvation, receiving the blessings that will keep our bodies in good health, free of illness and weakening.

If only the dusts are cleanly swept away, then I shall work marvelous salvation.
Ofudesaki III : 98

 However, because of the immaturity of our minds, most of us must return the body before we have lived out our full term of life. This returning of the body is called "passing away for rebirth" and is much like taking off our old clothes to put on new ones. The mind alone having been taught as ours, we borrow new bodies and return to this world.

If you wish to know and will come to Me, I shall teach you the original cause of all things.
Ofudesaki I : 6

 Inherent in us human beings is the desire of God the Parent that we live the Joyous Life. This is our original cause. However, as we conduct our lives with the free use of mind that has been allowed to us, we sow both good seeds and bad seeds. When our deeds are good, the truth of good will appear. Conversely, when our deeds are bad, the truth of bad will appear.

There is every kind of causation in this world. There is good causation as well as bad causation.
Osashizu, July 22, 1895

 Needless to say, seeds do not always sprout soon after they have been sown. So it is with causality. In some cases the seed sprouts in one's lifetime. In other cases the seed sprouts only after many generations have passed. One can, upon quiet reflection, discern the reasons for the appearance of causality if it is a result of one's own conduct. In the case of causality from a previous life or lives, however, one must first reflect on one's own past and then on the lives of one's forebears. If we continue to seek answers in this way, we shall come to an understanding of our causality. This understanding is called "the self-awareness of one's causality."

 The reason God the Parent shows us our causality in various ways is to have us replace our minds and become spirited so that we can live the Joyous Life. This is from God's parental love. Even when we are shown a causality which is disagreeable to ourselves, it is never from any intention to torment us or to cause us suffering. So if we trust entirely in the love of God the Parent, who is leading us to a better way of life, and keep our minds settled, then everything will be restored to the original cause of the Joyous Life. We shall receive the unlimited blessings of God the Parent in full, our minds becoming brighter and our spirits ever higher.

 Our happiness does not depend upon our circumstances nor are the joys and sorrows of life determined by outward appearances. Everything in life is determined by the way one handles the mind. The path of faith is to correct the way one handles the mind and to live each day joyfully in high spirits.

 We must thoroughly ponder the truth that the body is a thing lent by God, a thing borrowed. We must always be aware that the mind alone is ours and never neglect sweeping the mind clear of dust constantly each day. We must remain devoted to the Divine Model of Oyasama in all circumstances, trust in God the Parent in all matters, and be committed to the salvation of others. Then nothing will cast a gloom over our minds or the minds of others. There will only be the joy of living in accord with the will of God the Parent and of being led through life by divine benevolence.

Everything in this universe is all by Tsukihi. All human bodies are things lent by Tsukihi.
Ofudesaki VI : 120

 

 

Chapter Eight

On the Way to the Final Goal

Beginning our faith through the guidance of God the Parent, we come to understand the teachings. Settling in our hearts the truth of "a thing borrowed," we gradually clear away the dusts from our minds and gain awareness of our causality. When this is done, the way we see things will change.

 The sights and sounds of the world do not change, but our perception of the world--that which is reflected in our minds--changes. The world, which we had imagined to be a world of suffering, now comes to be perceived as a world of joy. When our minds are bright, the world is bright. This is what is meant by the teaching "When your mind is completely purified, then comes paradise."

 Our minds, however, are ever changeable. Our minds in the morning are not always the same in the evening. We are affected by events that occur around us, and our minds, bright in the morning, may become darkened by evening. Though once deeply moved by the teachings and determined to be devoted, in time our joyful and bright spirits may wane. There may also be times when, despite having been saved by divine grace, we falter because of some new illness or other troubles. In such circumstances, however, our path of faith is always to reflect on our minds, to understand that all occurrences are from the will of God the Parent, and to live with joy and brightness without allowing our spirits to fall. This way of settling the mind is taught as tanno.

 Those of us who advance straight ahead on the path of faith, trusting in the heart of God the Parent, do not succumb to the pains and sufferings that befall us but, rather, because we advance with our eyes fixed directly on the truth behind all events that occur, our pains and sufferings are transformed into joy. When the mind of tanno is thus truly settled, the causality from our previous lives is cancelled. Concerning this, God the Parent taught: "Tanno is accepted as the repentance for the causality from your previous lives."

 Tanno is not merely to be resigned nor is it just to persevere. It is to recognize God's parental love in all events and be braced by their occurrence into an ever firmer determination to live joyously each day. Thus, even illness or troubles become nourishment for the mind and they, as knots, afford us the opportunity to make an advance in our faith. This is taught by God the Parent in the words: "From a knot, buds will sprout."

 As our perception of the divine blessings in every event grows keener day by day, our gratitude to God the Parent comes to be expressed in our attitude and in our actions. This is taught by God the Parent as hinokishin.

Whatever may happen, from now on, I will go single-heartedly leaning on God.

There is nothing so trying as illness; So from now on I, too, will devote Myself to hinokishin.
Mikagura-uta III : 7-8

 When we receive the blessing of a cure from illness, we are keenly aware of the providence of God the Parent. Looking back on the days of suffering, our hearts dance with indescribable joy for our present good health. Indeed, when we thoroughly understand the happiness of being able to work in good health, we shall lean on God the Parent and work spiritedly in hinokishin in accord with the divine will.

Forgetting greed we work in hinokishin. This becomes the first fertilizer.
Mikagura-uta XI : 4

 There is no greed in someone who is working spiritedly in hinokishin. To devote oneself silently, seeking nothing and sparing no effort, is the best fertilizer to cause splendid fruit to bear in one's life.

I behold more and more people coming from the world,
And bearing straw baskets in hinokishin.
Mikagura-uta XI : 3

How remarkable this carrying of earth is, When it serves as a contribution to God!
Mikagura-uta XI : 7

 Desiring to help in the work of construction in some way, we contribute our efforts in carrying loads of earth day after day. Our minds become increasingly bright and spirited. This is hinokishin at its best. Anyone can do it, and it is only in doing it that we know its indescribable joy.
 Hinokishin is an action arising from the joy of fervent faith and can take many forms. It is not limited to the carrying of earth. All efforts made joyously and spiritedly, purely from faith and forgetting greed, are hinokishin.

 Hinokishin is not something we do just for a time, but is a daily expression of our continuing joy. Furthermore, the joy expressed in the effort does not remain confined to us alone but spreads its influence, inducing others to join in, and thus comes to be joyousness that is shared.

Husband and wife working together in
hinokishin;
This is the first seed of everything.
Mikagura-uta XI : 2

 God the Parent says: "Husband and wife working together in hinokishin. . . ." When a husband and wife work spiritedly in hinokishin daily, each helping and encouraging the other, their happiness will overflow and harmony and brightness will fill their home. This is what is taught by the phrase "the first seed of everything."

 The joy of one home will spread its influence through the neighborhood. Many others will come to join the activity of hinokishin and the joy of united hearts will pervade the world. This is how the world of the Joyous Life desired by God the Parent will make its appearance.

Forever continues the carrying of earth. If yet it continues, I, too, will go.
Mikagura-uta XI : 5

 When the mind of tanno is settled and the body is spirited through efforts of hinokishin in which greed is forgotten, there will emerge the virtue of true sincerity, a virtue which is most acceptable to God the Parent. Then our lives will overflow with clearness and brightness. We shall be able to perceive the intent of God the Parent without error and respond in exact manner. When we have attained true sincerity, our spiritual growth will have been completed. This is the state for which God the Parent longs.

And though each of you throughout the world has been pondering until now,

To My sorrow, no matter how deeply you have pondered, you have no mind to save others.

From now, Tsukihi requests you, everyone in the world, to replace your mind firmly.

To explain what kind of mind it is to be: it is none other than to save the world single-heartedly.
Ofudesaki XII : 89-92

 As our desire strengthens to follow the parental heart thus expressed, we shall not be able to sit idle at the sight of others who suffer. We shall not be able to remain aloof from their pain. We shall find joy in doing whatever lies in our power to help them, striving for their welfare in word and in deed. This desire for the welfare of others will lead us to further efforts of salvation and of sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings, resulting in the guidance of a great number of people. Thus, we shall set aside our own interests, having awakened to the truth that we are all brothers and sisters and, by the teaching of mutual help and respect, we shall accept the sufferings of others as our own. Forgetting our own concerns, we shall direct our every effort for the welfare of others single-heartedly.

Hereafter, if all of you throughout the world save one another in every matter,

Know that Tsukihi will accept that mind and will provide any salvation whatever.

Ofudesaki XII : 93-94

 This way of life--striving tirelessly for the salvation of others in the manner of the Divine Model of Oyasama, our words, thoughts, and actions never varying and our eyes always fixed on the truth--may appear to others, at first glance, as being weak. But there is no firmer or stronger way of life, as time will tell, since it is based on true sincerity--the mind which communicates directly with the heart of God the Parent and which is, therefore, readily accepted.

There is nothing stronger than true sincerity. True sincerity is the truth of heaven. If it is true sincerity, the world will be convinced.
Osashizu, June 2, 1888

 Since true sincerity is the mind which accords with the will of God the Parent and conforms to the truth of heaven, God the Parent will accept it at once and will assure us of every salvation.

If your mind is truly sincere, there will never be a failure in any salvation.

Ofudesaki XIII : 71

Sincerity alone is the truth of heaven. Because it is the truth of heaven, I accept it at once and give a return at once: this is the one truth.
Osashizu, April 17, 1890

 When our minds are settled with the truth of sincerity, we shall be filled with strength and joy which will never diminish. Nothing ever said against us will cause us concern and we shall be able to make progress joyously and spiritedly. As the state of true sincerity is reached by each member of the family, complete harmony will prevail in the household. Thus, true sincerity radiates a positive influence on others and, just as one wave calls forth thousands more, true sincerity will impart vitality to a great number of other minds.

Step by step, all things will come into sight. Whatever your path may be, take delight in it all.
Ofudesaki IV : 22

 

 

Chapter Nine

The Yoboku

Our joy at having been saved is directed outward and is transformed into acts of saving others. Herein we become the material for the construction of the world of the Joyous Life. God the Parent calls such material Yoboku (timber).
 Desiring ardently to save all humankind, God the Parent hastens to draw forth a great number of Yoboku.

Just a word: the hastening in the mind of God is solely to prepare to assemble useful timber.
Ofudesaki III : 128

Of these timbers, it is not to be just a few. I desire a great number of timbers.
Ofudesaki III : 130

The reason I am waiting for these people is that I desire to save all of My children in the world.
Ofudesaki XIII : 85

 As for the Yoboku, there is no distinction between men and women or between those of differing social ranks. There may be a difference depending on the time and place in how God the Parent uses Yoboku, but since we become Yoboku because of the truth of sincerity, all Yoboku are equal building materials for God the Parent to use.

Of these trees, I do not say whether male pine or female pine. Tsukihi has an intention for any tree.

Ofudesaki VII : 21

 Without doubt, it is a blessing for followers of the teachings to be called as Yoboku to God the Parent's incomparable construction of the world of the Joyous Life. However, if the minds of those called forth are not upright, they would not be usable material for this construction, so God the Parent tends them as may be needed, again and again and in various ways. By understanding this divine intention, we shall be able to accept illness or other troubles joyously as "flowers of the Path."

Day by day, I shall tend those trees which are to become My useful timber. Never take it to be illness.
Ofudesaki III : 131

 A follower thus called forth returns to the Home of the Parent and attends the Besseki lectures. As one progresses through the sessions, one gradually sweeps away the dusts by virtue of the truth of the teachings, corrects one's conduct and, finally, the mind becomes clear. The desire to be saved becomes a desire for the salvation of others. This is when the truth of the Sazuke is bestowed and the mind is reborn. The truth of the Sazuke is a divine gift bestowed on the mind of sincerity befitting a Yoboku. Only when the truth of the Sazuke is settled in the mind, will its effectiveness be manifest.

I shall let you work by the truth of your mind. One person can face myriads solely by virtue of the mind. God rides on the mind and works. As long as the mind is firm, God will ride the mind and work freely and unlimitedly.
Osashizu, October 2, 1898

 Thus, how recipients of the truth of the Sazuke use their minds each day is highly important. If they conduct their lives by keeping the resolve they made on the day they received the truth of the Sazuke as a lifetime resolve, then God the Parent, also, will always bestow the marvelous divine grace.

Step by step, the Parent, who began this world, will enter all of these useful timbers.

When the Parent, who began this world, enters them, there is no knowing what I shall do.
Ofudesaki XV : 60-61

 The mission of the Yoboku is single-hearted salvation. In the beginning, we must make diligent efforts to settle the truth of the teachings in our minds. Thereafter, as we carry out the teachings in our lives, we convey a word to others about the teachings. Then, with the hope and prayer that others be saved, we proceed to administer the Sazuke with sincerity. Herein will the marvelous, saving grace of God the Parent appear.

 The appearance of such miracles is by no means due to our skill, but to God the Parent's acceptance of our earnest desire to have others saved and of the sincerity with which we administer the Sazuke. Far from being the result of our own power, the miracles are the workings of God the Parent, who enters the Yoboku and effects salvation.

 Thus, while the function of the Yoboku is to administer the Sazuke for the salvation of the sick, Yoboku are not saviors but materials for God the Parent's construction. That being the case, the Yoboku must take care to settle their minds each day and to keep them unclouded so as to reflect the truth of heaven. The Yoboku fulfill their mission by constantly following the Divine Model of Oyasama, by living in the common world without falling into common ways, and by making positive efforts to become models of the truth of the teachings for the communities in which they live.

 The path of the Yoboku, then, is to administer the Sazuke to those in pain and suffering from illness and to convey the truth of the teachings to those in anguish from insoluble problems. It is not merely to relieve this pain or to remove that anguish but, rather, to effect a true salvation of the mind, whose condition is being shown through the suffering.

 We do not live by our own power, but it is our nature to think that we do. Herein lies the cause of our minds' endless path of darkness. Salvation work, then, is to convey to those people the intention of God the Parent and, by divine blessings, to lead them from the maze of darkness to the world of light.

 In truth, this Path is the path of the salvation of the mind. When the mind is saved, we shall be freed from the pain and suffering of illness and other troubles, whose cure and solutions will come of themselves by virtue of the fact that the mind is in complete accord with the will of God the Parent.

If only your mind is truly accepted by Tsukihi, you will be assured of any salvation whatever.
Ofudesaki VIII : 45

 All Yoboku, regardless of the length of their devotion, will be able to receive vivid instances of the protection of God the Parent, if they but follow the Divine Model of Oyasama and, by their single-hearted dedication to the salvation of others, overcome all difficulties and advance with sincerity straight forward on the path of salvation.

If you are truly of a mind to save others single-heartedly, I shall firmly accept you, even if you say nothing.
Ofudesaki III : 38

Ponder from your innermost heart to understand. Through saving others, you will be saved.
Ofudesaki III : 47

 When we earnestly pray for the blessings of God the Parent on behalf of others and conduct our lives without thought for our own welfare, we are protected in the embrace of God the Parent. Though we may not be aware of it, we shall advance in spiritual growth and be on our way to a bright and joyous salvation.

 When the merit of the sincere efforts of a Yoboku appears and the number of followers increases, permission to establish a local church is granted. This permission is granted in recognition of our dedication to the salvation of others. Herein, glory is added to our work as Yoboku.

 The church is a place where the truth of single-heartedness with God is conveyed and where single-hearted salvation is practiced. In order to enhance the functioning of the church, it is necessary for the members who assemble there to be in accord with the truth of the Jiba and, with the head minister as the center, to be unified in mind. Then the church will become a model for the Joyous Life, bringing peace and harmony into the community by promoting spiritual growth among the people through mutual help.

 The duties of a head minister of such a church are to be ever mindful of the origin, to seek a deeper understanding of the truth of the teachings, to settle the mind, and, with true sincerity, to teach and guide the followers, taking the lead at the forefront of the Path. Then the followers, influenced by the head minister's virtue, will progress in spiritual growth, becoming harmonious and united. Thus, the teachings come to bear fruit.

Since My aim is truly single-hearted salvation, there is nothing at all for you to fear.
Ofudesaki III : 77

 

 

Chapter Ten

The Joyous Life

When we are making diligent efforts on the path of salvation, our days are bright and cheerful and our lives are filled with happiness. This is because we lead our lives in the warm embrace of God the Parent and our minds are at peace with the assurance that if we save others, we shall ourselves be saved. This is the state of the Joyous Life.

 God the Parent created human beings to see the Joyous Life of humankind and, thus, to share in that joy. To bring this intent of God the Parent into realization is the significance of human life and the ultimate goal of humankind.

However long you may continue to believe,
Your life shall ever be filled with joy.
Mikagura-uta V : 5

 A bright and spirited mind is a joyous mind. By living each day with this joyous mind, we shall find true happiness and shall feel that life is indeed worth living. On the other hand, if our minds are not spirited, but depressed, we shall not be in accord with the mind of God the Parent, no matter how long we continue our faith. The greatest source of happiness for humankind is to live each day joyously in this world, receiving the blessings of God the Parent as they are given. If we open the windows of our minds and receive the radiant light of God the Parent, the dark clouds will clear away of themselves and we shall arise in brightness and joy. The Joyous Life is indeed a life full of happiness.

 When we come to share our joys and pleasures with one another, the Joyous Life will come into being. When the minds of all are spirited, all truths will be seen and all flowers will bloom.

Only when your joy brings joy to others, can it be called true joy. If you enjoy yourselves while causing others to suffer, this cannot be called true joy.
Osashizu, December 11, 1897

 There may come a time when, because of our selfishness, we forget to live in harmony. Far from being a mind-purifying life of joy, this is the dark path which clouds the mind.

Selfishness may be well for the individual but it will never be the truth that will bring peace to all.

Osashizu, November 20, 1900

 To bring our minds into unity is to unify our minds with the One Truth of the Path. When this truth is forgotten, we shall become awash in selfishness.
 A unity of minds calls forth God's free and unlimited blessings. On the other hand, if there is no unity of minds, we shall not be acceptable to God the Parent, no matter how numerous we may be. Only when we become united in mind with the One Truth of the Path, each of us respecting and helping one another, shall we be able to live joyously and spiritedly. This is when we shall have reached the goal of the Joyous Life.

Unite your minds and construct a path of hope. You must reflect it to the world so the world will be convinced that it is the true path to follow.
Osashizu, September 6, 1902

 If we but live joyously, trusting in God the Parent, adoring Oyasama, reflecting on the truth of the teachings, uniting our minds, and helping one another, then a path of hope will appear and the joy of it will spread throughout the world. This is the desire of God the Parent.

If only human beings throughout the world have purified their minds and lead lives joyously. . .

When the mind of Tsukihi is truly spirited, so will be all human beings.

When the minds of all the world are spirited, Tsukihi and human beings will be one in mind.

Ofudesaki VII : 109-111

 Receiving the providence of God the Parent, our minds made bright and pure, living joyously and in high spirits, and coming together to help one another: this is the life which is in accord with the will of God the Parent. It is also the "endless construction." In this state, our brightened minds will receive further blessings and will become even more joyous and spirited. God the Parent, having long awaited our spiritual maturity, will look upon our joyous lives and will be joyous and spirited in return.

 If we continue our efforts by relying on the parental love of God and extending a helping hand to one another, whether near or far, rich or poor, in full recognition of the truth that we are all children of God the Parent and brothers and sisters to one another, and if we follow the path of the Divine Model steadily, endeavoring diligently in the endless construction of our minds, then the minds of all humankind will be replaced and the world will be reconstructed of itself.

 Thus, when all of the minds in the world have been made pure, the intent of single-hearted salvation will have been fulfilled. The blessings of God the Parent will flow without limit, and the whole world will enjoy unprecedented prosperity. Such a world is indeed a world filled with happiness, a world of bliss for God and humankind, and a world of everlasting peace.

 The human race, while making great progress in civilization, has to this day wandered about in delusion on dark paths of unknown destination. In this delusion, people, on the one hand, pit themselves against one another in the erroneous belief that life's happiness can be attained through defeating others, while, on the other hand, their unstifled yearning is to live in peace and tranquility. This is indeed a deep contradiction. The solution to this contradiction is none other than the path of single-hearted salvation. It is this path alone which can give true support to the minds of all humankind and show us the way to light.

 The world never stops hoping for peace. But a true world peace cannot be accomplished merely by the cessation of conflicts, for, although this will make the world free from conflicts, it will not lead to a world of peace filled with light. Such a world of true peace can only be brought about by the truth of God the Parent. When this path of God the Parent settles in our hearts without error, when we forget all desires for our own gain and work to help one another in expressions of true sincerity under the warm protection of God the Parent, when our minds are joyous as God the Parent has long awaited・nly then will the eternal paradise on earth, filled with vitality, come into being.

 In summary, God the Parent appeared in this world through Oyasama, the Shrine of Tsukihi, taught the intent of creation, which was to see the Joyous Life of humankind and thus to share in that joy, taught everything concerning the path of single-hearted salvation, and then hastened the salvation of humankind by teaching the Salvation Service and bestowing the Sazuke of Breath and the Sazuke of Hand Dance. And in order to reveal the truths of salvation, God taught the Truth of Origin, which explains how the teachings began through the preordained conjunction of person, place, and time. Also God the Parent taught us to pray by calling out the name Tenri-O-no-Mikoto in praise.

 Oyasama, in accordance with the deep intention of God the Parent, revealed the teachings and demonstrated them in Her life as the Divine Model. Truly the Divine Model of Oyasama is the very life of the Path.
 As for ourselves, we receive the guidance of illness and other troubles and come to know God the Parent. We come to understand that the body is a thing lent to us by God the Parent and, upon understanding how blessings are to be received, we sweep away the dusts and endeavor in the construction of our minds. In our path to spiritual maturity, we come across days of wind and rain. These especially are the days in which we are to settle our minds with tanno and strive in hinokishin. Then the mind of true sincerity we have attained will spread its influence to others and one person's path will become the path for many. That is, followers of the Path will desire to become Yoboku and will receive the truth of the Sazuke. As they strive in single-hearted salvation and convey to others the truth of heaven, they will become pioneers of the Path. Instances of marvelous salvation will follow one after another and the souls of humankind will be regenerated in rapid succession.

 When we come to live in perfect harmony, our united minds will call forth the blessing of the world of the Joyous Life, a world filled with happiness. This is the world of true peace long awaited by God the Parent, the world which is the goal of this Path. We followers of the teachings, embraced by the everliving Oyasama, who guides us, earnestly pursue the path of salvation, praying sincerely for the peace and happiness of all humankind.

What do you think this path is? It is the true path that will settle this world.
Ofudesaki VI : 4

 

 

 

 


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