Sermon at the Autumn Grand Service

October 26, 2010  (1)

May I express my sincere appreciation for the trouble you have taken to travel from various places within and outside this country to return to Jiba for today's Autumn Grand Service. May I thank you most sincerely for the efforts you are devoting in your daily lives to the tasks of the path in your respective capacities. The Service having been duly performed, I want to take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you. May I have your attention for a while, please.

The first words ever spoken by God the Parent to humankind were as follows:

I am God of Origin, God in Truth. There is causality in this Residence. At this time I have descended here to save all humankind. I wish to receive Miki as the Shrine of God.

The Life of Oyasama

This passage is what is sometimes referred to as the declaration of the founding of the Teaching. Condensed into this concise passage are many cornerstones of the teachings such as the purpose of founding the Teaching and the causalities behind the founding.

The first sentence, "I am God of Origin, God in Truth," indicates how God the Parent is to be understood. God the Parent is God of Origin, who in the beginning created humankind and the world in the hope of seeing our Joyous Life and sharing in our joy. In addition, God the Parent is God in Truth, who takes care of all things in the universe, providing such workings as fire, water, and wind in the world and warmth, moisture, and breath in the human body.

The second sentence, "There is causality in this Residence," tells us that Jiba is the place of the original conception of humankind. This sentence refers to the promise made during the creation of humankind, a promise that, upon the arrival of the promised time, the ultimate teaching would be started at that place of origin. Also, by using the term "Residence," which is a word referring to a place where people live, God the Parent seems to indicate that the causality of origin involves not only the geographical or physical location but also people residing at the Residence. In the Ofudesaki's Part XI, we read:

The very beginning of this world was at Shoyashiki Village of Yamabe County in Yamato Province.

There, at the place known as the Naka-yama Residence, appear instruments of human beginnings.

These instruments are Izanagi, Izanami, Kunisazuchi, and Tsukiyomi.

Discerning this, Tsukihi descended and began preparations to train them in all matters.


These verses say that people who are causally related to the creation of humankind―such as Oyasama; Her husband, Zenbei; Shuji; and Kokan―have been drawn to the Residence of Origin.

The next sentence in the passage quoted at the outset, namely, "At this time I have descended here to save all humankind," reveals the great purpose of founding the Teaching. The phrase "At this time" refers to the arrival of the promised time, which came after the passage of the years equal to the number of the first humans given birth in creation. The phrase "to save all humankind" means that God became openly revealed in order to save all people in the world without exception.

God the Parent goes on to say, "I wish to receive Miki as the Shrine of God," indicating that God would enter the body of Oyasama to explain the divine intention through Her mouth. Thus, God the Parent makes clear Oyasama's position as the Shrine of God. The fact that God specifically mentions the name "Miki" indicates that there was an underlying causality of soul that led to Her being settled as the Shrine of God.

God the Parent intends to save all human beings throughout the world without exception so that the world of the Joyous Life can be realized. This teaching was started for that very purpose. This means that, in accordance with that intention of the Parent, everyone aspiring to follow this teaching―even those who embraced the faith out of a desire to be blessed with a solution to their illness or other problems―is expected to maintain the mind of saving others, however imperfectly, and implement the teachings that will realize the Joyous Life.

In the past, those who embraced the faith were immediately told to go out to spread the teachings, and, apparently, those who had just completed the Special Course of Tenri Seminary would go out to spread the teachings basing themselves only on the teachings of the ten aspects of God's complete providence and the eight dusts of the mind. Undoubtedly, those people must have been truly inspired to make repayment for the blessing of salvation from illness or other problems. They must also have been totally convinced of how wonderful Tenrikyo's teachings were and how precious the faith in this path was. Although the circumstances have changed with the times, I believe we must not simply let their enthusiasm and passion become mere stories about old times.

Since its founding to this day, Tenrikyo has consistently remained a teaching that seeks to save all humankind. To achieve that goal, we must spread the teachings of Oyasama throughout the world. The path to world salvation has barely begun. In the Divine Directions, we read:

This path can hardly be considered a broad path as yet. . . . One cannot open a path while living in luxury. Understand well. Put on your workshoes, make untiring efforts of dedication, and thus build virtue earnestly. Only then will your work be effective.

Osashizu, November 4, 1898

Indeed, given that the vast majority of people in the world are not even aware of the ultimate teaching, we can hardly afford to slacken our efforts at this point. We must steadily continue making sustained efforts to extend and spread the path of single-hearted salvation.

Hearing the phrase "to save all humankind and realize the Joyous Life World," some people may think that this is such a huge goal that it sounds as if it had nothing to do with them personally. However, if we lose sight of our ultimate goal and get wrapped up in our immediate concerns, we run the risk of deviating from the path without even being aware of doing so, and we may end up with totally unforeseen consequences. Our steady efforts to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and help others be saved―working with whomever we can―will contribute to spreading the teachings and expanding the circle of the Joyous Life. At the same time, it is also important to take every opportunity to make sure that we are moving in the correct direction in the light of the ultimate goal.

Speaking of spreading the teachings, I am sure you know that it is not easy to find people who are willing to listen to the teachings when we go door to door to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings. However, our predecessors in the past were thorough in going out to seek people they could save in the face of much more difficult circumstances arising from the authorities' oppressive measures and people's misunderstandings. I think we ought to take to heart that we are only able to follow today's path thanks to our predecessors' efforts.

In our present-day society, which is often characterized by a lack of social ties, there are more than a few people who have no one to confide in when they have troubles and who end up trying to bear them alone. There are also cases where a lack of a truly dependable guide for the mind results in confusion, anxiety, and even conflict. In our present-day society, there are present-day problems and sufferings. There are many people who need help and salvation. Given this situation, I believe we must nurture and train as many people as possible who can genuinely spread the teachings.

At the root of our effort to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings, there is, I think, the desire to have people around us be happy and be saved. Because we live in an age when so many people are indifferent to others, I would like to suggest that we start by thinking about people around us and showing them that we care.

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