Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


XVI: 77 - 79

Leading you forth is no small matter.

I see a great number of people but perhaps no one is aware.

Moonsun, God our Parent intends to use a great number of "Timbers" to effect single-hearted salvation for all human minds, in all times and places. It is probable that since no one understood God's intention, everyone hearing God teach was thinking only of themselves, in their own time and place. 

No matter on how high a place you may be,

today finally, things will change entirely. 

This refers to the rather high opinion we may have of our self-centered imagination as being separate from the rest of the natural universe. Generally speaking the higher our opinion of our self  the more likely we are to try and keep things the same, unless of course change means more fuel for our greed. One doesn't have to do to much pondering to see that the very nature of the universe is dynamic change. It is impossible and childish to try and either possess it entirely or keep it from changing. We can however have a positive or negative effect on those changes that our within our power to influence. 

Now ponder! From  now you must replace your mind.

It will not do, not to ponder and resolve!

The final poem of Book XVI emphasizes the essential instruction.

Just in case there is someone who is at a loss as to what to ponder, I would suggest pondering that the whole universe is the body of God and that all human bodies are things lent by God. It is also instructive to ponder in what ways we are using the body that we are borrowing. 

Certainly it is beneficial to ponder the meaning of the Model of Parental Love, wherein all human beings are equally the beloved children of our original Parent. And in the same vein to ponder God's intention to save all of those children equally, without discrimination. 

Pondering the "mind like clear water" and its reasonable implications is another useful exercise. Replacing the self-centered imagination as the foundation of our thinking with the mind that relies on the truth of origin as its foundation is of course the goal. 

These are some of the things that we can ponder that come to mind after reflecting on these poems. As far as resolve is concerned, we can resolve to do all sorts of things and even carry them out but these poems make it clear that for this path the resolve to settle the mind, returning it to its original condition, is primary. 

Now, can we not correct or mistaken use of the mind and restore our minds to their original state? Certainly we can. The Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service, teaches us:

God, the same as water, 

Washes away the dirt from your minds.

                                        Mikagura-uta V:3

This Mud in the water,

I wish you to take it out quickly.

Greed is fathomless like muddy water.

When your mind is completely Purified,

Then comes Paradise.

                                        Mikagura-uta X:3-4

I should like you to ponder well over these verses. As I said earlier, our minds are originally clear. But since we mix dust into them they become murky. Thus if we purify our murky and muddy minds by sweeping them with God the Parent as a broom, teaches Oyasama, our minds will surely be restored to their original state. 

The 3rd Shinbashira, October 26, 1994