Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven
This universe is the body of God.
Ponder this in all matters.
The book at hand, Book X could be viewed as being a handbook for those who would be Moonsun’s “intermediaries”. To make this point I will draw a distinction between being taught and being trained. Moonsun, the parent of Origin, wishes to teach all human beings the truth of origin so that we can enjoy the free and unlimited workings that flow from returning to the origin and single heartedness with God the Parent.
To accomplish that task Moonsun intends to ”teach”, in ways that are
appropriate for the time, the place and the individual level of spiritual
maturity of each and every person equally, all of us human beings how to calm our minds and return to
our origin and single heartedness with our Parent of Origin.
The first step in that process was to gather together those
who would be Moonsun’s intermediaries and “teach” them, in ways
appropriate for their time, place and level of spiritual maturity, how to purify
their own mind and return it to the truth of origin.
The second step was to “train” those intermediaries in
how to open the countless new paths that will be necessary to “teach” the
way to return to the origin to all human beings in the world equally, in a way
that is appropriate for their time, their place and their individual level of
Please ponder this world plan. This is somewhat complicated by the
fact that the second step can also be used as an effective method of the first
Which is to say that the first crucial step can be accomplished through the
sincere effort to help other people to purify their minds in ways appropriate
Which is to say that the first crucial step can be accomplished through the sincere effort to help other people to purify their minds in ways appropriate for them.
The seventeen Books of the Ofudesaki and the Mikagura-Uta
model these two steps in great detail. The Osashizu ( timely directives) then, are a demonstration of the
model both explained and put to appropriate use.
In terms of words and phrases there is much in the Osashizu that does not
appear in the Ofudesaki. However, in terms of intent and spirit there is nothing
in the Osashizu that does not appear in the Ofudesaki.
In terms of words and phrases there is much in the Osashizu that does not appear in the Ofudesaki. However, in terms of intent and spirit there is nothing in the Osashizu that does not appear in the Ofudesaki.
Taken together, the model and its appropriate use, all of
the paths of the human mind that lead back to the truth of origin, constitute
the “divine record” made in the origin. It is the record of Moonsun’s
tireless efforts to gather intermediaries and to train them to teach all human
beings in ways appropriate for their time, place and level of maturity the way
to purify their mind and return to the origin and single heartedness with God
may wonder what Moonsun is speaking about,
but the future is promising.
It has become apparent that there is a problem with our reception and understanding of Moonsun’s intention. The reason, both then and now, why we might wonder what Moonsun is speaking about is because the very foundation of our thought process is biased toward denying or misunderstanding what Moonsun is trying to teach us. We all pretty much think and act according to worldly common self-centered reasoning. That worldly common self-centered reasoning is the foundation of all of our thinking and it is that foundation that we are hastened to replace. In our daily use of our mind we do not have to summon up or make any effort to use self-centered thinking as the basis of our thinking because it is “understood” by us as the proper way to view the world. It could be truthfully said that pretty much all human beings speak the same language in so far as we all use worldly common self-centered reasoning as the foundation for all or most of our thoughts. Though that self-centered imagination is a marvel beyond compare we unfortunately have been unable to find joy in relying solely on that foundation. Though unintended at its origin, worldly common self-centered thinking could be said to be a shaky and insecure foundation as concerns support for a free and unlimited joyous life.
Be that as it may, Moonsun assures us that the future
is promising. In such a promising
future, Moonsun will use trained intermediaries to show all human beings equally
the way to replace the shaky and insecure foundation that is the self-centered
imagination with the secure foundation that is the truth of origin.
Each person no matter where or no matter what kind of mind
we may have, can look forward to the free and unlimited joyous life that is
single hearted salvation because the Parent of Origin is tirelessly working to
train intermediaries to show each of us equally a way that is appropriate for
our time, our place and our individual spiritual maturity to calm our mind and
return it to single heartedness with its true origin.
Above all, the mind of Moonsun
desires a divine record for Nihon.
It could be said that we human beings all speak “worldly
common”. That is to say that we
all ordinarily deal in and communicate with worldly common, self-centered ideas.
To converse with us, Moonsun finds it necessary to also speak “worldly
common”. It must be noted however
that there is a great difference between our use of worldly common speech and
ideas and Moonsun’s use of worldly common speech and ideas. When we deal in
worldly common self-centered thoughts we expect that our words will be
understood or misunderstood in a worldly common way. On the other hand, though
Moonsun, in order to accommodate our needs, also uses worldly common words to
speak to us, Moonsun never has a worldly common self-centered meaning intended
for those words.
To bridge the gap in understanding that such an exchange
implies, Moonsun constantly reminds us that our worldly common self-centered
interpretations cannot be used to understand Moonsun’s intention and we are
constantly hastened to purify our minds of worldly common self-centered thinking
and to ponder deeply on the actual intended meaning of Moonsun’s words.
At the time that these poems were written there was good
reason for Moonsun to use the worldly common words “divine record (koki)
and Japan (Nihon)” in these poems. There was already a worldly common
understanding of what “divine record” could mean (an important and ancient
record) and as such it was appropriate basis for a teaching for the time, place
and spiritual maturity of some of the earliest followers.
Assuming that Moonsun was referring to an “ancient record” (koki),
some of the followers expressed their sincere desire to help with the completion
of such a “divine record” by writing down various recollections and
interpretations of the stories of creation that were passed orally from person
to person apparently after the Ofudesaki had already been written. Of course the
use of Japan (Nihon) was entirely
appropriate in a worldly common sense because that was the place where Moonsun
was gathering intermediaries and teaching.
The Third Shinbashira addressed this very question in his
Address at the Tenrikyo 150th Anniversary Doctrinal Seminar delivered on October
28, 1987. I specifically mention
this because it is often the case that even sincere ponderings can come up empty
and need some guidance and direction. In my own case I often turn to the
Shinbashira, both past and present, whom, though I may be thought of as being
presumptuous, I consider to be my poetry teachers. Briefly then we can take a
step from a solely worldly common view of this phrase by expanding the meaning
of “Divine Record” to include the entire Ofudesaki and indeed the entire
divine model (hinagata).
Having made that expansion, I suggest that the next step
might be something like the recognition that both the Ofudesaki and the Hinagata
are dynamic models. They are not meant to gather dust on a shelf somewhere. Nor
are they even intended to be venerated as incomprehensible ancient and sacred
texts or stories to be told. They, the divine model and the Ofudesaki, are meant
to be actively followed exactly as they are shown until they reach their
promised conclusion in single-heartedness with Moonsun and the free and
unlimited joyous life for all human beings.
The “Divine Record” then, in the context of Moonsun’s
intermediaries, would be the pursuit and completion of the purification of all
human minds in ways that are appropriate for the time, place and spiritual
maturity of those who would be saved. Though made by Moonsun, as all things are,
the “divine record” will be made and bought to completion through
Moonsun’s intermediaries as they too use simple worldly common language to
craft paths that are appropriate for time, place and maturity and that show the
way to purify and settle the self-centered imagination so that it can return to
the truth of origin and Moonsun’s free and unlimited workings, a joyous life.
The meaning then is the action of following and completing the service that
leads to single-hearted salvation, both for oneself and for others.
If the Divine Record is surely made
in Nihon and spread widely,
Kara will do as I wish.
As was mentioned, the use of the worldly common term Japan
(Nihon) was used by Moonsun because it
was and perhaps still is appropriate for the time, place and level of spiritual
maturity of some persons who wished to be saved. There is reason to pause and
reflect here as the worldly common meaning is so clear it is also apt to be left
with its worldly common meaning unless we actively make the honest effort to
find its intended meaning.
In this verse we see Japan (Nihon) used in opposition to China or alien (Kara). For the people
who were hearing this and indeed for all human beings it is conceivable that
Japan Nihon as used here refers to the state of mind that has returned to its
native, natural and original place, the truth of origin. In such a view China,
alien, (Kara) would refer to the
self-centered imagination, which is alienated from and does not know the truth
of its origin or its native, natural and original place. This of course
represents the meaning of a poetic metaphor and is only a slightly more
sophisticated worldly common view of the two words. The true and intended
meaning is for each of us to make the sincere effort to actually purify and
return our own mind to its natural, native and original state of
single-heartedness with Moonsun the truth of origin. And then to help others in
all times, places and levels of spiritual maturity to do the same.
What are you all thinking of this
It concerns all of you, the people
As always when asked a question it is a good opportunity to
sincerely ponder one’s answer. In worldly common terms this would draw
attention to the apparent a lack of understanding and the misunderstanding of
Moonsun’s intention. However, for a person in this or any other time who may
aspire to be one of Moonsun’s intermediaries it presents an opportunity to
mature and truly become an effective instrument in opening and maintaining new
paths of single-hearted salvation for all human beings equally, just as Moonsun
The words Oyasama uses when She speaks are plain and simple words that are easy to understand. For that very reason, however, we tend to limit the meanings of Her words to the usages with which we are familiar, and I fear that this will lead us to make erroneous interpretations. We must, by all means, step inside Oyasama's mind, leaving our preconceptions behind, and be skillful in seeking Her innermost heart to discover the true intention behind Her teachings.
The 3rd Shinbashira, October 28th 1987
is not the outer form but the true inner spirit that we must ponder deeply. It
will not due to look at the outward form alone and draw the hasty conclusion
that that constitutes the tradition of the path. Of course, it would be unwise
to reject or deny a given practice outright, claiming that it is merely a
formality. What is important is to discern whether the true spirit of
Oyasama’s teachings is implemented in a way that is appropriate for the times
in which we live.
Shinbashira, March 29, 1944 MHFTY
I mentioned before, the Koki [Divine records] are all the talks concerning the
path of single-hearted salvation which completes the Service of the Kanrodai. I
believe, therefore, that we should understand the Koki to be the entirety of the
if one just settles the Koki firmly in one’s heart, then that person will also
have settled the intention of God the Parent and Oyasama, the parental heart of
the Divine Model, the truth of the Kagura Service, and the state of mind that is
capable of receiving the truth of the Kagura Service, and that person will be
braced with dauntless and unwavering courage in following the path of single
Sinbashira, October 28, 1987