Why did God the Parent create humankind?
We read in the Ofudesaki:
The reason Tsukihi began human beings was the desire to see you lead a joyous life.
God the Parent created humankind in order to see us lead the Joyous Life--in which we live in joy, peace, and happiness--and to share in that joy.
How did God the Parent create humankind and the world? And how has God been nurturing us?
Humans exist today because of God the Parent's parental love, which found expression in the delicate and sophisticated workings that created humankind and the world and in the extraordinary efforts to provide for us ever since. The following verses from the Ofudesaki refer to God the Parent's providence that resulted in the creation of humankind and the world and has nurtured and fostered human growth:
From that time on, God's providence has been by no means an easy matter.
Since that time, the providence of God has been by no means an easy matter.
It is indeed difficult to explain how I began things which had never existed.
An idea came to Tsukihi: how promising it would be to begin a world.
It was difficult to begin a world which did not exist. I prepared to find what could be used as instruments.
In order to begin a world which did not exist, I, Tsukihi, devoted Myself at every step.
Thus, God the Parent created and has nurtured us with wondrous and boundless providence. We are, as we will ever continue to be, protected and kept alive by God.
This is explained in some detail not only in the Ofudesaki but also in the story of creation.
Why did Oyasama teach the story of the Truth of Origin?
The Service--which Oyasama taught as a means to save all people in the world--is far beyond human reasoning and thinking in terms of form and structure. Therefore, it is difficult for people who tend to be caught up in their own experience and common worldly ideas to accept it as it is.
However, failure to perform the Service exactly as Oyasama taught would delay the realization of world salvation. Out of Her parental love, therefore, She taught the story of the Truth of Origin to explain that the Service She was teaching embodies God the Parent's intention and providence that brought about human creation. This story was also designed so that the people She was working with would fully understand the truth of God the Parent's profound intention in becoming openly revealed through Oyasama as the Shrine. Such is the story of the Truth of Origin.
Why is the story of the Truth of Origin called "the story of the truth of salvation"?
One of the reasons Oyasama taught the story of the Truth of Origin was to help people clearly understand God the Parent's intention in becoming openly revealed in the world through Oyasama as the Shrine. The other was to convince them of the truth of the Kagura Service, which was taught as the fundamental way of human salvation.
The story of the Truth of Origin is different in nature from other stories such as those concerned with a tribe's origins and history that have been passed down from generation to generation; stories that involve personifications about the creation of the universe, natural disasters, or changes in the weather and nature; and myths handed down as stories about ancestors and ancient heroes.
It explains God's intention in human creation, the origin of life, God's providence, the true way of living based on God's providence, and the purpose of human existence. It thus tells us the truth of God the Parent's providence as well as the truth of human existence. Therefore, we can be saved if we correct the use of our mind on the basis of this story of the Truth of Origin.
How and when did Oyasama start teaching the story of the Truth of Origin?
There is no clear record of how and when Oyasama taught the story of the Truth of Origin. However, it is probable that She told the story on various occasions in the course of teaching the Service step by step.
Oyasama did not tell the story all at once, but, whenever the occasion arose, taught portions that were most suitable for the situation at hand. Starting in around 1881, followers (in particular, those referred to as "Service performers" and "intermediaries") serving Oyasama wrote down what they had heard from Her, entitling their manuscripts "Koki" (Divine record), "Kami no koki" (God's divine record), and so on. These manuscripts, some of which are extant, can be regarded as different compilations of what may collectively be called Koki Banashi, or the "Story of the Divine Record." In the old days, such manuscripts were also called the "Ancient Record of the Muddy Waters."
In the Ofudesaki, the Truth of Origin is taught in Parts IV, VI, XI, XII, and XVI. It is not clear when Oyasama started teaching the entire story of the Truth of Origin. However, it is likely that the story regarding the Truth of Origin had been taught in detail by about 1881, when Ryosuke Yamazawa compiled his work in the waka style of poetry, responding to Oya-sama's words: "Compile a divine record."
How does the story of the Truth of Origin differ from the Old Testament account of creation given in Genesis or from the myth of the creation of the Japanese islands?
There are many differences between the story of the Truth of Origin and the creation account given in Genesis. The most significant difference is that, according to the Old Testament (Chapter II of Genesis), a man was first created and then a woman was created from one of his ribs, whereas the story of the Truth of Origin tells of God the Parent undertaking extraordinary preparations and procedures to produce all things necessary for human existence--and nurturing humans for a long period of time thereafter--out of the desire to see humanity lead the Joyous Life and to share in that joy. According to this story, humans were intended to develop after being created, and they grew as they underwent many births and rebirths. In the last stage of development, God the Parent trained them in both wisdom and letters in order that they would create and build civilizations and cultures and advance toward realizing the world of the Joyous Life.
The story of creation in Japanese myths speaks only of creating Japan and does not include the creation of humans or their growth.
How does the story of the Truth of Origin differ from the evolutionary theories?
Some parts of the story of the Truth of Origin may give the impression that it tells of the evolution of the human species. For this reason, some people seek to explain or understand the story in terms of the evolutionary theories. An evolutionary theory, however, is nothing more than a hypothesis which tries to explain changes in life forms scientifically and, thus, it is impossible to understand the entire story of the Truth of Origin on the basis of such a theory.
The story of the Truth of Origin does not aim to express any scientific truth, nor does it explain only the process of human growth and development. It is taught to help people fully understand the truth of the Service--which is to say, God the Parent's intention embodied in the Service--as well as God's providence and the way it flows forth. It includes the truth regarding human existence such as the purpose of the existence of both humankind and the world as well as the objective of human development.
Through this story, people can clearly understand the reason God the Parent became openly revealed through Oyasama as the Shrine and the reason the Service is the fundamental way of human salvation. In this sense, the story of the Truth of Origin is also called "the story of the truth of salvation."
Among various interpretations of the Truth of Origin that are based on evolutionary theories, there is one that claims that the phrase "nine hundred million, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine"--which in this story refers to the number of years between the creation of humanity and God the Parent's revelation and to the number of the first-born human beings--denotes the time that saw the origins of sexual reproduction, said to have emerged some nine hundred million years ago. However, this is only an interpretation in terms of an evolutionary theory that seeks to trace back the history of life scientifically. The number referred to in the story of the Truth of Origin contains much deeper and wider meanings.
For example, the repetition of the number nine may mean an uncountable amount, and we may also interpret it as saying that humanity is to make spiritual growth endlessly.