What is the Kanrodai?
The Kanrodai, the Stand for the Heavenly Dew, is set up at Jiba of Origin as proof that Jiba is the place where humankind was first conceived by God the Parent at the time of creation. Jiba is given the divine name Tenri-O-no-Mikoto out of God's profound intention. The Kanrodai, which marks Jiba, serves as the focal point for our worship of God the Parent and our prayer for universal salvation. The Kanrodai is, indeed, the center around which the Kagura Service is performed by those who melt into God the Parent's intention while praying for universal salvation and the realization of the Joyous Life.
The Kanrodai is also the stand to receive the "Heavenly Dew" or the "Gift from Heaven," which will be bestowed through the performance of the Kagura Service when human minds have been completely purified and have attained true sincerity.
What is the shape and size of the Kanrodai?
The Kanrodai is a stand consisting of thirteen hexagonal stone layers, whose shapes and sizes are specified as follows.
The bottom layer of this stand is to be three shaku* from side to side and eight sun in height. The second layer from the bottom is to be two shaku and four sun from side to side and eight sun in height. The ten layers from the third to the twelfth are all of the same shape and size, namely one shaku and two sun from side to side and six sun in height. The thirteenth layer, the top layer, is to be two shaku and four sun from side to side and six sun in height. A round mortise three sun in diameter and five bu deep should be at the center of the upper side of each layer except the thirteenth, and a corresponding round tenon should be at the center of the lower side of each layer except the bottom layer. The thirteen blocks are to be piled one atop another. The Kanrodai that now stands as a focal point for worshiping God the Parent is made of wood. We call it the "model Kanrodai" though in essence its truth is no different from that of the stone Kanrodai.
* 1 shaku = 11.9 in = 30.3 cm; 1 sun = 1.19 in = 3.03 cm; 1 bu = 0.119 in = 0.303 cm.
How does the Kanrodai relate to our spiritual maturity?
It is when the minds of all people are completely purified that we will all be able to lead the Joyous Life, which is the true way of human living that God the Parent intended in creating humankind. The realization of the Joyous Life is to be embodied in the Kanrodai constructed exactly as taught by Oyasama. An essential prerequisite for the Joyous Life, however, is that we humans grow spiritually and purify our minds so completely that we accord fully with God the Parent's intention.
Therefore, advancing the construction of the Kanrodai should naturally be an ardent wish of everyone seeking true happiness. For each of us followers, striving to accomplish it is the very process of tirelessly following the path of spiritual growth in our daily life. Every morning and evening, we perform the service while singing: "Sweeping away evils, hasten to save us. / All humankind equally purified, / The Kanrodai." This indicates the importance of firmly taking to heart God the Parent's profound intention to realize the Joyous Life World and of inviting more and more people to join us in our strong commitment to work together for the true happiness of all people in the world.
Is the Kanrodai the object of worship?
If, by the phrase "object of worship," you mean such things as idols worshiped by some people, the Kanrodai is certainly not an object of worship. It is God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, that we worship. We use the Kanrodai as the focal point for worship, meaning that we worship God the Parent through the Kanrodai.
Some think that the Kanrodai can also be visualized to help them worship God the Parent, who is invisible to the eye though residing at Jiba. In any case, one thing is certain--we do not worship the Kanrodai as if it were an idol.
What does the Kanrodai represent?
The Kanrodai is set up at Jiba of Origin, and it serves as the focal point for worshiping God the Parent. The Kanrodai is also the stand to receive the "Food of Heaven," which will signal the salvation of humanity. It is shaped so as to represent the truth of human creation and spiritual growth--to symbolize the origin and perpetual development of humankind and the world.
Can the Kanrodai be set up somewhere else besides at Jiba?
The Kanrodai is a stand set up as proof of Jiba and marks the original place where humankind was first conceived by God the Parent at the time of creation. Jiba is the spot whose location Oyasama--the Shrine of Tsukihi--identified on June 29 (May 26 by the lunar calendar), 1875, in the yard of the Nakayama residence located at Shoyashiki Village, Yamabe County, Yamato Province (at present, Mishima, Tenri City, Nara Prefecture), and it cannot be in any other place. Thus, it goes without saying that the Kanrodai cannot be set up anywhere other than at Jiba.
The Ofudesaki and the Divine Directions clearly tell us:
That I place the Kanrodai in this Residence is the proof that I began human beings.
Sah, sah, I shall inform you of the truth. The Kanrodai is the one thing which exists at no other place. You must not move it to any other ground.
Osashizu, February 20, 1891