Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


IX 61-64

On whom do you think the Food of Heaven is to be bestowed?

It is to be bestowed on the Parent who began this world.

Verse IX, 60 instructs us to put a flat vessel on top of the Kanrodai for the bestowal of the Food of Heaven. We can and indeed are instructed to erect just such a model stand. The model stand is of course something that we can see both literally and in our mind's eye. In either case the assembly of the materials for the model require the mustering and ordering of the resources of our self-centered imagination. There is, I think, no question that the Kanrodai is intended to be a major tool in the purification of the human mind and I believe that the model that we can see and focus our efforts towards is something that God the Parent wants us to have. That said, however, it is also the case that God the Parent knows the shallowness of our self-centered imaginations and through these closing verses wants to be sure that we are reminded that the model stand is just a model and and the real Kanrodai is the Parent of Origin. The Food of Heaven ( Joy and free and unlimited workings) is not going to appear on the model, it will appear when the Parent of Origin is clearly known and understood through the totally purified mind. 

There is no one who knows the mind of the Parent 

who is to receive the Gift from Heaven.

This is another way of saying that none of us understands, because none of us knows the mind of the Parent. By now we all know that the reason why we don't know the mind of the Parent is because we are lost in the darkness of our individual self-centered imaginations. The whole purpose of these poems then is to help us to overcome the limitations of our misunderstanding and find our way back to single-heartedness with the Parent of Origin. Though this all happens in our own mind, we are given guidance in understanding what needs to be done, and, detailed instruction in how to do it that have been tailored to the needs of our self-centered imagination.  Without such instruction and guidance  we would find it even more difficult to approach that one truth that can be lived but not imagined. 

After Moonsun surely ascertains the mind,

then the Food of heaven will be bestowed.

It is important to ponder, what it is about the mind that is to be ascertained. The self-centered imagination is usually concerned with the contents of the mind and so commonly we are drawn to solutions that involve what we imagine to be right mental content. This tendency is the path of worldly common reasoning that is the foundation of our current world. Be that as it may, as God the Parent's truth exists prior to any human thoughts, God the Parent is interested in ascertaining the purity of the mind rather than the human thoughts that ordinarily occupy the mind.  In this teaching the mind like clear water is the goal. The Food of Heaven then is the natural joy that flows from the the mind of the Parent. We are invited to live that joy in single-heartedness with the Parent when we return our mind to its original free and unlimited condition. 

Once Moonsun has bestowed it,

the rest is up to the mind of the Parent. 

 The mind of the Parent and anyone who knows the mind of the Parent, that is who is single-hearted with the mind of the Parent through the mind like clear water, is free and can enjoy the unfolding world from the point of view of God the Parent's free and unlimited workings. Ponder this, God the Parent promises joy and free and unlimited workings to the mind that returns to the origin. Does your self-centered imagination want that freedom defined in worldly common terms? Wouldn't that definition be a limitation? This is the problem with the self-centered imagination. It is a marvel, being a totally authentic world view that is not easily quieted. Yet that is just what must happen as it stands in the way and is the only obstacle to the realization of the truth of origin. 

  It goes without saying that, through Her dialogue with the followers, Oyasama was impressing upon them the importance of performing the Service. Yet, equally important, I believe that ultimately She was demanding that they put aside their own personal concerns and become single-hearted with God in implementing what She was teaching them, exactly as She taught it. In order to help them work with their minds so that they could do that, Oyasama spent many days teaching and training those people as thoroughly as possible. That training, I believe, was not merely meant for those people back then but for everyone who would follow in their footsteps, including all of us.   

  Today, there is nothing that prevents us from performing the Service. That is not to say that it is easy for us to become single-hearted with god in performing the Service. I cannot help but think that Oyasama's training with regard to the Service was meant to teach not only the importance of the Service but also the importance of making our mind single-hearted with god and basing all our actions on that mind. Her training provided us with a dependable guide to help us ponder  so that we can allow that to occur. 

  I would like to suggest that we try to ensure that we perform the services by purifying the mind so that god the Parent will accept them and become spirited. 

The Fourth Shinbashira  - Sermon - January 26th, 2003