Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven
This universe is the body of God.
Ponder this in all matters.
Until now, people have worshipped
and prayed to a great many gods.
The above verse compares and contrasts God's new path of single-heartedness with God with the worldly common paths of prayers that human beings had been so familiar with in the past. God's new path is shown to be a path that shows us the way to become instrumental in quickly returning to the origin and single-heartedness with God. It is a very high spirited and positive path as opposed to a passive path.
Should there be anyone who knows the origin,
God permits you to seek and inquire.
Again God desires to make it clear that the topic of this teaching is "knowing the origin". Here we are taught that the way to quickly know the origin is to actively seek and inquire into its truth wherever it might be found.
In the future when the main path is opened,
I shall teach you everything step by step.
It is important to note that the "main path", the path of single-heartedness with God has yet to be opened. The reason for this is the lack of understanding and misunderstanding of God's intention in this teaching. To overcome this misunderstanding God has given us the "Teodori" and "Kagura Services" (Service with Masks) as a way to open a "narrow path." Recall that we were taught that the "narrow path" is constantly in need of maintenance to keep it from being choked and overgrown with weeds. Many of the poems in the Ofudesaki are directed at this problem of opening and keeping open "just a narrow path". And we are once again promised that when the "main path" (the path that shows the way to know the truth of origin and single-heartedness with God) is opened then we will be taught everything in a step by step manner. Again in context, this is a dynamic path of actual change and awakening as opposed to being just one more path of prayer in the world.
I shall begin to tell you solely of that which had never existed
before, and teach you the Service for universal salvation.
This verse fully shows a perfect model of parental love in action and clearly defines the device of the poems to come. Though we will be told of things that never existed still everything we are told will point to the way to the truth, through the performance of the Service for universal salvation. Please sort this verse out for yourself and then step out on to the "main road" of single-heartedness with God".
Among the ten performers of this Service, there are those
who take the role of the Parent of the beginnings of origin.
I drew forth Izanagi and Izanami and taught them
the providence of how to begin human beings.
At the origin were a fish and a serpent in the muddy ocean.
I drew them up and began the first couple.
In the beginning of origin, the world was a muddy ocean.
Therein were only loaches.
Among them were a fish and a serpent.
Looking closely, I saw that they had human faces.
Seeing this, an idea came
to none other than the sincere mind of Moonsun [Moonsun].
If I should add instruments to them
and teach them My providence step by step,
These instruments being Kunisazuchi and Tsukiyomi,
if I should put them into their bodies,
And call together Kumoyomi, Kashikone,
Otonobe, and Taishokuten,
Then, after holding counsel,
god came to the firm decision t begin this world.
Since that time, the providence of God has been
by no means an easy matter.
It is indeed difficult to explain
how I began things which had never existed.
There may be no one who knows
the truth of the beginning of this world.
From now on, I shall tell you everything step by step.
Never take it to be false.
I began human beings,
taking a fish and a serpent as seed and seedbed.
Tuskihi [Moonsun] entered their bodies
and taught them the providence step by step.
The number of children was nine hundred million,
ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine.
The children were conceived in three days and three nights,
and there Izanami stayed for three years and three months.
The first children born were five bu tall
and grew taller gradually.
By this providence once taught,
the children were conceived in the same body three times.
The true and real God of this universe is Moonsun [Moonsun].
Drawing them forth one after another, I used them to begin
human beings and gave to each a sacred name.
Izanagi and Izanami are the prime instruments.
They are the basis of the Grand Shirne of Teshoko.
In the days to come, I shall teach you everything step by step.
It will be solely about things you have never known.
Hereafter, whatever I say will be solely about
the beginning of human beings.
Volumes can and I expect have been written about the stories of creation that appear in some of the Books or Parts of the Ofudesaki. There are apparently so many things going on within the stories (ten original instruments fashioned by Moonsun [Moonsun] into the creation) that it is hard to know exactly what to make of them. I will approach the version that we see above as a whole and from within the context of what we have already learned from the poems that we have previously pondered. First let's look at what we know:
The intention of God in this teaching is to provide a new path of single-hearted salvation for all mankind. We call this path the" broad path", "main path" or "main road". From now, I shall begin to open a broad path. I shall make all the minds in the world spirited.
There was and continues to be a great deal of both misunderstanding and a lack of understanding of God's intention on the part of we human beings. That situation has made it appear to be difficult if not impossible for us to realize God's intention and in so doing go out directly onto the "main path" or "main road" of single-heartedness with God. Step by step I have taught the truth of single-heartedness with God, but you still do not understand.
In order to make the "main path" and God's true intention "visible" to us, it was first necessary for God to provide us with a way to purify our minds of the marvel that is the self-centered imagination [There is nothing that I cannot teach but, there is no one who listens with a purified mind]. That self-centered imagination, which like dust [When this dust is completely swept away, nothing will remain but universal salvation] or muddy water [From now on, I shall speak in the metaphor of water. Be enlightened by the words "clear" or "muddy"], clouds our vision and makes it difficult for us to see clearly. Our minds, we are taught, are all as if in a haze. To hasten the purification of our mind God constantly encourages us and shows us the way to make the sincere effort to distinguish between what is original in our self from what is imaginary in our self. Know that the distinction between fire and water will be made by the performance of the Joyous Service at this place.
To help us to make this distinction God has opened for us a "narrow path". About the service: first the Teodori, then the Kagura. Thus, I have opened just a narrow path. The path is described as a "narrow path" as opposed to the broad or "main path" because it is held open with great difficulty [But weeds have gradually grown thick and the path is obscure. Quickly, the preparation to open the main path!] from within the muddy water of our self-centered imaginations [ I shall go into water in the mountains and make it clear, whatever kind of water it may be.]
Unfortunately, though the intended service performers were willing to believe that Oyasama was God. And though they would sincerely pray to her, they were still unable to understand that the sincere performance of the Service would purify their minds and bring about single-heartedness with God and in so doing open the "main path" of universal single-hearted salvation for all mankind.
That brings us right up to the point in Book VI where God once again teaches the story of creation . As before, the intention is to hasten the sincere performance of the Service and in so doing, clearing the weeds that had overgrown the "narrow path" and realizing the promise of single-heartedness with the service performers. And with that awakening of ten realized instruments, going on to open the "main path" of universal single-hearted salvation for all man kind.
To realize this goal, God set out to hasten the performance of the Service by drawing the minds of the intended service performers to the truth and importance of Moonsun [Moonsun]. Notice that in all of the verses related in the story of creation, it is Moonsun that is the first cause and real actor. All the rest of the characters are just instruments that were used by Moonsun. Though God's effort here is in keeping with the model of parental love and God's willingness to tirelessly teach from within the mud of our human minds in ways appropriate for time, place and spiritual maturity, still, to grasp the truth of Moonsun was a large step for the villagers to take.
When we look at this story today, we might well ask, " If all of this is
Moonsun and what Moonsun does and says, then who am I?" Notice that the verses I am using as
page headers and footers bring up that very same question. The answer of course can only
be truly known when the self-centered imagination is allowed to settle and return to its
origin. It is the sincere performance of the Service that shows the way to quickly settle
the self-centered imagination so that the truth of origin can be known through the mind
like clear water and single-heartedness with God. Of course there are lots of other things
that the self-centered imagination can be drawn to. Which is why we are hastened and
encouraged to make the distinction between what is original and what is the product of our
marvelous self-centered imaginations.
Try it now. With your eyes open, be aware of the voices and images of your self-centered imagination. Watch them. See how they are superimposed over the way the world actually is. Watch them as the sink back into their origin and the warm embrace of the parental heart.
Those who oppose Me are also children dear to My heart. Yet dearer are those who pray to Me. But even with those who pray to Me, if they do not follow My will, they are the same as those who oppose Me...
A long as you continue your human thoughts, I cannot help you.
Osashizu April 21,1896
While Oyasama's parental love is thus shown in innumerable ways. She certainly too the greatest care in teaching the Salvation Service. From the very beginning, Oyasama had in mind the completion of the Salvation Service. All the paths She taught-the path to purify the mind, the path of construction, the path to bring peace to the world, the path to ensure rich harvests- all these paths would in fact lead to the completion of the Salvation Service. By teaching the Salvation Service, Oyasama sought to manifest once more, in this world, the divine providence by which the world was created, this time in order to save all mankind. Indeed, there is no other expression in the long history of the world that would show her parental love so strikingly.
The 3rd Shinbashira, October 26, 1986