Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


 

In our discussion of the first six books of Ofudesaki we have spoken about the three interpretations (child, parent, and single-hearted) and the two points of view (God's point of view and our self-centered point of view) that are represented and woven into the poems of the Ofudesaki. Although these three interpretations and two points of view can be found in every verse of the Ofudesaki, I am specifically mentioning them here as they appear here in Book VII as they seem to be clearly exposed so that we can more easily ponder their workings. This theme is also an excellent example of the way in which the path to perfect the service and the path of single-hearted salvation, though differing in point of view, are expressions of the same path.

Let's take a moment and using the parent / child relationship as a model review how these views, interpretations and paths work:

The parent can clearly see what is best for the child and knows that if the child will follow the parent's instructions exactly the child's success will be assured. The parent can also see what will not succeed for the child and so warns the child in advance about those matters. For the parent, the paths to success and failure are clearly seen as two easily distinguished paths and because of that the parent can show the child the shortest most direct way to the path that succeeds.

The child on the other hand does not know what is best for itself. Parental guidance though often taken is also often misunderstood both in intention and execution. For the child, there are many sources of instruction and numerous opportunities for transient satisfaction competing with what often seems to be the limitations and interference of parental instruction. Because of a lack of experience the child cannot clearly see the paths of success and failure nor can the child see the results of actions taken to assure transient satisfaction. Thus the child often ignores the warnings of the parent and sincerely pursues the path that I think we all know of as "doing things the hard way".

In our discussion of Book VII we have seen Moonsun explain that it is not necessary for us to seek relief for illness and trouble as we experience each instance of them. Instead we are instructed that we can fix them all, quickly and in advance, by changing the state of our mind. That is, the replacing of the self-centered truths of our self-centered imagination as the foundation of our thinking with the truth of origin as known through the totally purified mind like clear water. Thus the way to awaken to the joyous quickly is taught as the way of returning the mind to its origin and single-heartedness with God. This is the quick, direct path to complete the Service, it is the interpretation of single-heartedness with God and its intention is found in every verse of the Ofudesaki, the dances of Mikagura-Uta and the actions of the Model Life. Anyone who wants to do this need only follow the instructions that are clearly given.

Let's go into the next set of verses to see how the other interpretations and views appear.

VII, 88-96

The Service: it is not always the same.

I shall teach you the hand movements for each purpose.

Having just finished teaching that that there is only one problem to be removed and one way to remove it, the quick and direct way. We now see Moonsun demonstrating the interpretation of the parent in response to the interpretation of the child. The child does not see or understand two clear paths and only one problem (the self-centered imagination) to be removed. The child sees whatever self-centered problem it has encountered and though it is perhaps unwilling (due to a lack of understanding) or unable (due to a misunderstanding) to follow the direct instructions of the parent it none the less wants and is asking for immediate relief from its problems. For the child then this is the path of single-hearted salvation.

We have often spoken of God's willingness and tireless efforts to enter into the dust of our human minds to help us to make them clear. This willingness can easily be understood as a model of parental love. That model shows us the love, understanding and willingness of the parent to enter into the problems and misunderstandings of the child. Working to overcome them in a manner that is appropriate for the time, the place and the spiritual maturity of the child, in order to hasten the goal of a joyous life for the child even a moment sooner.

Indeed Moonsun taught many different Services for different needs as they occurred to the earliest followers. None of whom, according to Moonsun, understood what God's teaching and intention was. This then is the interpretation of the Parent engaging the interpretation of the child. It is the path of single-hearted salvation. Both God's point of view and our worldly common self-centered point of view are represented. It is of course up to us to each of us to ponder and decide where our own point of view is centered.

No one knows what kinds of paths humankind has

passed through from the beginning until now.

The child cannot see the various kinds of paths of human beings clearly in either the past the present or the future.

From now on, I shall tell you about every kind of path

and all of their courses step by step.

The point of view of God easily sees all of our human paths as being either self-centered or settled in the origin as known through the mind like clear water and single-heartedness with Moonsun. Because of this, it is easy for God to teach the truth of every kind of path in all times, in all places, and for all human beings. When step by step the mind is settled and purified the truth of all of the paths becomes clear.

From our child's or self-centered point of view teaching about every kind of human path would be a monster historical, encyclopedic task. No such teaching is intended or shown. When we find ourselves in this situation it is perhaps an indication that we are seeking to keep some dust and are unwilling to move it all into its proper and much simpler category.

When you hear of all these courses from Moonsun,

you will understand that my regret is not unreasonable.

The courses of the human paths correspond to the accumulation of self-centered thoughts or mental dust. It is this self-centered mental dust that has over the course of all the self-centered human paths piled up mountainously high and is referred to as the regret of Moonsun. When we see the truth of this we can understand that Moonsun's regret is indeed not unreasonable and that the removal of the dust is indeed the reasonable solution to all of the world's problems.

After Moonsun has cleared away this one matter,

there will only be joyousness.

Note here Moonsun's point of view. All of the self-centered thoughts of all human beings through all time are seen as one matter. That is as dust to be swept away and removed. On an individual level there is also only the one matter for us, the removal of the dust to reveal the joy that has been suppressed and hidden by it.

This joyousness day after day:

perhaps no one knows what it is.

Joyousness day after day is the true and lasting satisfaction that comes from returning to our mind to its origin. Perhaps we do not know what that joy is because our worldly common self-centered view sees joy as being dependent upon the gratification of self-centered desires one by one as they rise up in our imaginations. This of course leads to our frustration and depression as the world as often as not does not accommodate and gratify of our self-centered desires.

Joy in everything is all by the Service.

I shall teach you every kind of marvel.

Once again, the single-hearted view of joy in everything is offered. We are promised that the way to see every kind of marvel will be taught.

The way to see every kind of marvel is the Service that purifies the mind and removes the regret of God. There is only the one obstacle and one way to joy in everything. The obstacle is the dust of the self-centered imagination and the solution to its removal is the sweeping that reveals the joy in everything that flows from the truth of origin, the innermost heart revealed.

In preparing to teach you the Service step by step,

I shall sweep clean everyone's innermost heart.

The Service shows the way to sweep away the dust of the self-centered imagination and in so doing reveal the innermost heart. If indeed it was Moonsun's intention to make a distinction here between sweeping the self-centered imagination as preparation for the Service and the true sincerity to remain in the purified innermost heart as the actual Service is debatable. Either way both the sweeping and the true sincerity are indicated as elements of the Service and its completion.

Thereafter, your mind will become spirited day by day,

and I shall teach you the hand movements for every Service.

Once we accept the instruction and set out to sweep our innermost heart, God promises to teach us the way to the Services that quickly and surely leads to single-hearted salvation and a high spirited joyous life. The way that teaches the path of joy in all things quickly is the path of the completion of the Service, the path that shows the way to remove the dust from our innermost heart. From God's point of view then, this is the path for the completion of the Service. From our point of view it is a way to become high spirited day by day.

When we seek an ideal for our own lives from the Divine Model of Oyasama, interpretations that we understand from it may differ depending on our individual situations: for instance, an interpretation from a child's point of view: and interpretation from a parent's point of view; an interpretation of someone who is following the path of single-hearted salvation; and so on. However, any such interpretation is not wrong. We can gain understanding of the ideals for which we search by the way we direct our thinking in each of our situations. It can be said that in each case, we are looking up to Oyasama in adoration with our arms spread wide to receive Her saving grace. On the other hand, what would our thoughts be if we stepped into Her mind and looked at ourselves from Her point of view?

The first step in responding to Oyasama's parental heart is not to accept it self-centeredly but to accept it as She has shown it. If we advance in accord with the parental heart shown in the Divine Model, understanding all events which occur from day to day by the standard of the Divine Model first, and strive to correct our own thinking without looking for other models to follow, then, I believe that we shall succeed in reducing even a portion of Her regrets. I stress here that the parental heart shown in the Divine Model is none other than single-heartedness with God, and, therefore, when we are making efforts in spreading the teachings and salvation work, it is crucial that we are true to the spirit of single-heartedness with God.

The Divine Model of Oyasama is the path of single-hearted salvation leading to the Joyous Life and also the path to the completion of the Service, both of which are desired by God the Parent.

February 18,1986 The 3rd Shinbashira

... I was discussing the Ofudesaki from the duel aspects of the path to complete the Service and the path of single-hearted salvation. These are also the dual aspect of the path of the Divine Model: the heart of the Parent and the path of the children. Nonetheless, these two are not separate. The path of the children is based on the very heart of the Parent; this, I believe, is the Reason of Heaven. Indeed, the path of the children must be based on the very heart of the Parent; this, I believe, is the root of our faith in this path.

October, 28, 1987 The 3rd Shinbashira