The Quick Summary of the Teaching
Tenrikyo speaks of our true and original state–the way we really are–and teaches how to return to that original state.
What, then, is our true and original state of being?
One aspect of it is that all of us human beings have a common parent, whom we might call God the Parent, and are in this sense brothers and sisters. As such, we can live a life of harmony and mutual help. The body and the mind are meant to help us live in that way.
Living our lives in a manner that reflects our true and original state is often referred to in Tenrikyo as leading the “Joyous Life.” Joyous Life is the very reason why God the Parent started the whole thing: humankind, nature, and all. God the Parent provides for us each day so that our lives may embody our true and original state. God the Parent’s providence includes not only the gift of life but also the blessings that help us correct the way we use the mind.
What obscures our true and original state is self-centered thoughts. Mind states that are attached to selfish interest and that do not care about others, as well as over-confidence in our individual strength, blind us to our true and original state and to the constant providence of God the Parent. It is these selfish thoughts that cast a shadow over our lives.
To help us correct our selfishness and return to our original state requires both human effort and God the Parent’s workings.
We can start by feeling thankful for God the Parent’s providence. We can perhaps express our gratitude by using the body and the mind for the sake of others without begrudging the effort. Such selfless and thankful action, which Tenrikyo calls hinokishin, can be put into practice by anyone, anytime, and anywhere.
Yoboku–referring to those who are in a position to administer the Sazuke, the Divine Grant–can use the Sazuke to help people suffering from illness and lead those people awaken to their true and original state. God the Parent will accept such efforts made by Yoboku and respond by aiding them in working with their own situations and minds.
Helping others return to their true and original state will thus facilitate one’s own return, as well. That is why Tenrikyo says, “You are saved by saving others.” When this is practiced ever more widely, the world will eventually be reconstructed as the world of the Joyous Life.
Another thing we can do is to perform the Service with the prayer that all people return to the true and original state by correcting the use of the mind. We can receive God the Parent’s tremendous workings through the Service.
This teaching was first conveyed by Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo.