What kind of place is Jiba?
In common Japanese usage, the word "jiba" is written with two Chinese characters and usually means the local community where one lives. In Tenrikyo usage, however, the term "Jiba" is written in hiragana characters and has a special meaning, for it indicates the place of supreme importance for the faith.
Jiba is the place where God the Parent conceived humankind in the beginning. It is the place where God the Parent, out of a profound desire to see our Joyous Life, exerted the complete and perfect providence to bring humans into existence. It is the birthplace of humanity, the children of God the Parent.
Thus, Jiba is the native place of all human beings as well as the home of the Parent of all humanity.
At this time, by all means, I truly wish to teach everything about this origin to the world.
This origin is exactly the center of the bodies of Izanagi and Izanami.
There at the Jiba, I began all the human beings in this world.
The Jiba in Nihon is the native place of all people in the world.
As proof of My beginning of human beings, I shall put the Kanrodai into place.
How and when was Jiba identified?
"The Identification of Jiba"--referring to the event in which Oyasama revealed the location of Jiba, the place of supreme importance in Her teachings--was conducted on June 29 (May 26 by the lunar calendar), 1875, in a highly unusual manner. Oyasama began by walking the ground of the Residence, which had been cleaned up on the previous day. When She came to a certain spot, Her feet stuck fast to the ground. She was unable to move forward or to either side. She put a mark on the spot and declared that the spot was Jiba. Then Her daughter Kokan and other people present walked blindfolded one after another. When they came to the same spot, they also stopped as if they were mysteriously drawn to the spot.
It is not as if Oyasama arbitrarily decided on the location of Jiba, nor did She consult those present to choose a spot that was convenient for everyone.
The location of the original place of human conception had always been known to God the Parent, who said at the first revelation, "There is causality in this Residence." God the Parent, however, waited until the time was ripe. The location of Jiba was disclosed when the arrangements for the Service were almost completed and the performance of the Service was about to be embarked upon. God identified Jiba in this rather mysterious way, which was beyond human thought, in order to help convince people that it truly was Jiba.
What is meant by saying, "The divine name of God the Parent was given to Jiba"?
God the Parent initially intended to give the divine name of God the Parent, "Tenri-O-no-Mikoto," to Oyasama but, upon deep consideration, gave it to Jiba, where God resides.
Jiba, which is the original place of human conception, embodies the immeasurably profound intention of God the Parent, who desires to see humankind's Joyous Life. It is also the place from which the complete and perfect providence of God the Parent emanates. Thus, Jiba is the origin of both creation and salvation. Tenri-O-no-Mikoto is the divine name that we use in prayer when we express our gratitude for God the Parent's boundless providence and ask for continued blessings. When we think of this, we can understand the profound consideration that led God to give the divine name to Jiba. Jiba truly embodies God the Parent's deep intention.
What is the relationship between the Residence of Origin and Jiba?
Jiba is the original place of human conception. The term "Residence," on the other hand, refers to the place that centers around Jiba and from which God the Parent's grand work of world salvation is advanced. Since the Residence has the causality of being the original place of human creation, it is called "the Residence of Origin."
The "Residence" initially referred to the Nakayama residence, but the term has expanded with the development of world salvation and now indicates the Sanctuary precincts of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters, which is built around the former Nakayama residence. Oyasama once said, "The divine Residence will become eight cho* square."
In addition, we sometimes refer to the Residence of Origin as "Jiba" in a broader sense and call a wider area centered around the Residence of Origin "the Home of the Parent."
* Approximately 873 m, or 2,863 ft.
What does "returning to Jiba" mean?
Jiba is the sacred place of human creation, where God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto--the true Parent of all humanity--resides and where the everliving Oyasama remains forever. In other words, it is the native place of all human beings. Coming to Jiba to worship God the Parent and Oyasama means to return to the source of all souls.
Returning to Jiba enables us to return to the origin of our life, feel the profound intention of God the Parent, who desires the Joyous Life of all humankind, and reflect deeply on our daily use of the mind. This experience can renew our minds and bring a sense of peace and spiritedness, which will help us seek a true way of living as humans.
Through returning to Jiba, we can be spiritually reborn. A renewed mind will become a "seed of everything," which will enable us to receive God's complete and perfect providence. Thus, we can be saved by returning to Jiba. This is why followers of the path find supreme joy in returning to Jiba.
Day and night Oyasama is eagerly waiting for all people in the world to return to Jiba as soon as possible.
What does "Four-fronted Mirror Residence" mean?
The expression indicates some of the important teachings associated with the Residence of Origin. "Four-fronted" means that God the Parent--who resides at the Residence of Origin--provides blessings equally to the four corners of the world, that is, to all people throughout the world, so that we are basking in the providence of God the Parent wherever we are. It also implies that this Residence is one where we are able to come face to face with God from all four directions.
The phrase "Mirror Residence" suggests that--when we are in this Residence, offering worship at Jiba--our minds' workings, which create our causality, are reflected in God's mind exactly as they are, as if reflected in a mirror. At the same time, God's intention of salvation is reflected to us as it is.
To sum up, the Residence of Origin, in which Jiba is located, is a place where we can cast aside our human thoughts and make our minds single-hearted with God, and returning to Jiba with a sincere mind naturally helps us realize our causality. We will then be able to reflect the truth of single-heartedness with God to more and more people throughout the world.
What is the relationship of God the Parent, Oya-sama, and Jiba?
In order to save all humanity, God's children, and have them lead the Joyous Life, God the Parent--the true Parent of humankind--became openly revealed in the world through Oyasama as the Shrine and taught the path of single-hearted salvation at Jiba, which has the causality of origin. Universal salvation will be manifested through the truth of Jiba, to which the divine name Tenri-O-no-Mikoto is given. For these reasons, Oyasama remains forever at Jiba, the Residence of Origin, working to save all human beings in the world.
We may say that God the Parent, Oyasama, and Jiba are one both in the parental love that desires to save humankind and in the actual work that brings about salvation. The Doctrine of Tenrikyo says:
Indeed, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, Oyasama, and the Jiba are one in truth. Only when we accept this truth can the path of single-hearted salvation leading to the Joyous Life be fulfilled.
The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, p. 34
Thus, our practice of faith aims to respond to that parental love and accept that truth so that we may reconstruct the world as the world of the Joyous Life, so desired by God the Parent, as soon as possible.