Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven


This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.

VII, 57-64

Until now, as the day has not yet come,

I have been holding back on everything.

The "now" referred to is either 1838 when Miki became the Shrine of Moonsun, 1875 when this verse was written, or is right now as I read this verse. I personally think that I get the most out of these poems by seeing them as addressed to me and the state of my mind as it is right now. That is to say that if, as a result of some misunderstanding on my part, I am currently not seeing God's free and unlimited workings in all things, then my day of awakening has not yet come.

Hereafter, whatever I may say,

know that there will be nothing fearful or dangerous.

Taking this as my own business then, I am encouraged that there is nothing to be afraid of in following God's instructions for awakening to single-heartedness. Indeed I don't have anything to be fearful of from God the Parent at all. We know that at the time that these poems were written that both those who prayed to God the Parent for salvation and those who opposed God the Parent expressed fears. These days we tend to generalize those fears by saying that those who prayed to God the Parent feared for Her safety and those who opposed Miki's teachings feared for the stability of the established order. Though from God the Parent's point of view both those who prayed and those who opposed were (though equally dear to God the Parent) also equally opposed unless something was done to remove the dust that kept them seeing and awakening to the truth of origin.

From now on, Moonsun will go out

and give returns for whatever kinds of matters.

This verse sounds kind of threatening though I think that it becomes less of a threat and more a warning and statement of fact when viewed with the verse above it. When we hear that Moonsun will go out and will give returns for whatever kinds of matters we may be tempted to imagine that God is threatening to do things to us as a return for our behavior. In fact Moonsun is going out to warn us that the state of our own minds is reflected back to us as the state and truth of our world. Moonsun indeed gives returns, not however like a judge but like a mirror! We don't have to fear God the Parent in any matter but we would be wise to be concerned about the way we use our own mind because the truth of our mind is what is returned to us as the truth of our world. Moonsun has no choice but to reflect back what we send.

The regret of Moonsun until now has accumulated

and is piled mountainously high.

The regret of Moonsun piled up mountainously high is the accumulated dust of the human self-centered imagination. When the self-centered imagination is settled, becoming the mind made like clear water, Moonsun reflects our mind back to us as free and unlimited joy in all things. When our mind is clouded with the dust of the self-centered imagination (and that dust is piled up mountainously high) that reflection is distorted and there is no knowing what kind of return will be reflected back to us. That return could be good or evil, though it seems to me that we tend to have a lot of complaints about what is returned.

No matter how high this regret is piled,

I shall not tell you to do this or that.

Among pious human beings, when things go dreadfully wrong, there is a common human tendency to wonder why god or the gods would allow such a thing to happen. At the time that these verses were written there was a saying "are there no gods? Is there no Buddha?" In these poems we are told that there is a God but the relationship that God has to the creation does not include judgements, interventions or violations of our free use of mind, no matter how out of control we get with our self-centered imaginations. Moonsun will sincerely and truthfully reflect whatever we send.

In all human societies there are worldly common truths that we are conditioned to and that we try our best to condition into our children. Many of these worldly common truths contain excellent advice for getting along in a particular time and place in a world that has as its foundation the self-centered imagination. In general when these truths are collected together we call them culture or accumulated wisdom. When we believe them to be absolutely true we associate them with religion, moral teachings, ethics, law and philosophy. In short these worldly common truths tell us what to do and how to act in a worldly common way. They tell us "to do this or that." In this verse God the Parent informs us that the teaching of single-heartedness with God is not a teaching that is about those kinds of worldly common truths.

Form now on, however high their position may be,

to show them the truth quickly is My desire.

I take this "however high their position may be" to have two useful meanings. First when we consider that it is contained in a theme that informs us that there is nothing to be afraid of, the fears that the early followers had of the civil and religious authorities comes to mind. These are of course people in high positions. Secondly I think that we should consider high position in light of the dust that is piled mountainously high. Though I personally do not have any kind of high social position I think it would be fair to metaphorically say that my actual position is such that I am situated in a pile of dust. Fortunately, even though that dust is piled up mountainously high; God's intention, in keeping with this theme, is not to judge, frighten or punish me. Rather Moonsun desires to quickly show me the way to remove that pile of dust and in so doing enjoy life from the point of view of the truth of origin and the free and unlimited workings that flow from that original truth.

If only understanding comes to the minds in high places quickly,

Moonsun will show free and unlimited workings quickly.

So, in order to understand the truth of origin and see Moonsun's free and unlimited workings quickly, it is not necessary to understand any worldly common truths, or to do this or that in any cultural context. It is only necessary for me to replace the many worldly common truths that have my self-centered imagination as their foundation with the mind like clear water, which has the truth of origin as its foundation. It, the truth of origin, is the one truth that is true in all times and all places. With this teaching God the Parent is showing us the way to quickly make the distinction between the truth of origin and the self-centered imagination and its worldly common truths clear in our own mind.

Moonsun desires these free and unlimited workings

quickly known to the whole world.

Moonsun wants everyone in the whole world who wishes to do so, to be free and enjoy God's free and unlimited workings in all things and is trying to awaken instruments to carry that promise and the way to quickly realize that promise to the whole world. To do that Moonsun must reason with the natural misunderstanding and lack of understanding that is fundamental to self-centered imagination in all times, all places and at all levels of understanding. If we take a moment and watch the world, with our eyes open and our imagination calm, we can make the distinction between God's free and unlimited creation and the creations of our self-centered imagination. The first is stable and cleanly and sincerely there while the latter wants to talk about it, change and analyze it with itself as the center. Watch closely, the self-centered imagination may be hiding its voice as a whisper in the breath.

You must listen carefully or you will not understand. God, who appeared, is not a god who intends that you should suffer or worry.

Osashizu March 25, 1887


Even though you set your mind firmly and are devoting yourself, you may come to wonder how long is this path. There are no divine instructions that say you must do this or that on matters pertaining to your family or other matters which you can think about and carry out yourself.

Osashizu August 23, 1887


All human bodies are things lent by God.

With what thought are you using them?